2–4 new interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Researchers to the University of Turku thematic profile area “Human Diversity”

2–4 new interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Researchers to the University of Turku thematic profile area “Human Diversity”

The University of Turku is an inspiring and international academic community of 25,000 students and staff in Southwest Finland. We build a sustainable future with multidisciplinary research, education, and collaboration. With us, your work will have a significant impact and relevance in the changing world.

The researchers will be part of the new University of Turku profile area Human Diversity – Evolution through Contact and Communication Networks (https://sites.utu.fi/humandiversity/). Human Diversity focuses on cutting-edge research on how human contacts, past environments and communication networks influence material and immaterial culture, genes, disease burden, transgenerational effects, evolutionary fitness of people and language and language use. We uncover the long-term legacies of the contacts by studying how the (pre)historical short-term impacts cascade to current disease risks and human diversity, and how the diversity continues to evolve in the modern digital world in the form of ideas and ideologies. These will contribute to informed decision-making among policy-makers, revised teaching strategies within UTU, increased public awareness of causes and consequences of human diversity, and better understanding of how our genomes, disease risks, and cultures and languages will change in future. Human Diversity brings together research teams in different faculties studying human diversity from complementary perspectives, constructing diverse digital datasets and developing technologies for documenting and analyzing such data. Such unique collaboration and data infrastructure enables holistic understanding of how past human and cultural diversity has evolved, transformed, and created the diversity we see now, and how ongoing migrations and communication networks are likely to affect them both in the physical and digital world.

The postdocs recruited will work within and between the Human Diversity associated research groups that are presented in the web pages https://sites.utu.fi/humandiversity/. The postdocs will use and combine the diverse datasets collected within the Human Diversity teams – or suggest new datasets – capitalizing on cross-disciplinary synergies within the Human Diversity. Possible research questions include, for example: How landscape and cultural factors between local populations affect migration decisions, spread of diseases and exchange of cultural and linguistic traits? How has genetic, cultural and linguistic diversity arisen through population divergence and encounters? How have epidemics spread by human contacts affected the demography and human gene pool, especially in relation to immunity genes? How have concepts and ideas spread in the written literature and in the digital world across time and languages? How do genetic and epigenetic mechanisms influence transgenerational transmission of health and disease and how is the transmission affected by the environment or cultural environment?

The persons chosen to the positions are expected to participate in the research conducted according to the Human Diversity research plan and to realize their own research projects related to the topics. Work tasks include some teaching responsibility (5% of the working time at the maximum) and participating actively in the multidisciplinary team building. Human Diversity researchers are expected to interact with the teams involved in the profile area. 


We invite applications for 2-4 postdoctoral researcher positions for a fixed term period for 24 months (with an option for extension subject to funding availability). The postdocs are expected to begin their employment 1st of May 2023 or as soon as possible according to agreement. Successful candidates have a background combining at least two of the following fields of research: Archaeogenetics, Computational sciences, Evolutionary Ecology, Evolutionary genomics, Evolutionary medicine and epidemiology, Digital humanities, General, Digital, or Computational Linguistics, or Finnish or Finno-Ugric languages, Landscape studies, Machine learning, Mathematical modeling, Migration studies, Natural Language Processing, Network science, Population genetics, Population health research, and Scientific archaeology. They have strong skills in quantitative methods and experience in using large and complex datasets, the ability to conduct independent scholarly work and work in an interdisciplinary team. Successful applicants have published research on interdisciplinary topics and have strong research orientation and fluency in English.

The applicant is required to have a PhD degree in a relevant field of science, completed before the application period ends. The eligibility criteria for the positions are defined in the rules of procedure of the University of Turku  (Section 37).

We value equality and diversity in our work community and encourage qualified applicants, regardless of background, to apply for our open positions.


The salary for the position is determined in accordance with the university salary system for research personnel. For the postdoctoral researcher salary follows the levels 5-6 of teaching and research staff (3044,00-3549,72 EUR/month). In addition, a personal work performance component will be paid. The personal work performance component is 6-50% of the task specific salary component. The starting salary is ca. 3500-3600€.

Trial period

The position starts on 1.5.2023 or as soon as possible according to agreement. The trial period will be six (6) months.

How to apply

Applications must include a motivation letter, an example of research plan indicating the fields of interest and potential study methods of the candidate (2-3 pages), CV, list of publications, degree certificate, contact details of 2-3 referees, and other documents that can be relevant for filling the post.

The application should be submitted no later than Friday 14.4.2023 (23:59; UTC+2) at the University’s electronic recruitment system at https://www.utu.fi/en/university/come-work-with-us/open-vacancies.  A link to the application form can be found at the beginning of this notice (‘Apply for the job’).

Further information

For more information, please contact Heidi Viitaniemi, humandiversity@utu.fi

More information about Turku: University of Turku (utu.fi), Welcome, Visitor! | University of Turku (utu.fi), Turun kaupunki | Åbo stad | City of Turku, International House Turku (ihturku.fi), One-Stop Shop for All International Talents – Career in Southwest Finland, Your Official Finland Travel Guide | Visit Finland

 Read the job description at the university homepage

Apply for the job

Post expires on Tuesday April 11th, 2023