Research Strategy of the Faculty of Humanities

Focus areas

The main mission of the Faculty of Humanities is to foster internationally acknowledged, forward-looking research, research-based education/tuition, as well as knowledge-transfer with wider society, in partnership with local, national and international research networks/communities.

Of the five focus areas of the University of Oulu, research carried out in the Faculty of Humanities contributes especially to Understanding humans in change. The Faculty’s research also has relevant, well-established connections to Molecular and environmental basis of life-long health, Digital solutions in sensing and interactions and Earth and near-space system and environmental change.

Four main themes unite the research carried out in the Faculty:

  1. Cultural change, interaction and human agency. Several humanistic disciplines in the Faculty research cultural phenomena in human societies, often in the long term/ diachronically. Interaction between human beings is investigated on the individual and group level. The concept of identity is closely connected to human agency, and is examined through amongst other things language usage and histories.
  2. Northern cultures. Research carried out in the Faculty examines global cultural processes and phenomena, especially from the view point of Northern and Northeastern Europe. Research in the Giellagas Institute focuses on Sámi communities and is closely linked to this theme.
  3. Man, well-being and environment. In this theme the research focuses on the relationship between human beings and the environment, especially in the context of Northern Finland.
  4. Learning, language development and difficulties. The Faculty’s research on learning is linked in particular with different stages of language development and language learning, in different situations and environments. The majority of this research is related to teacher training. Research-based training for subject teachers is a focus of development in the Faculty.

The Eudaimonia Research Center was established in January 2013. The Center organizes activities amongst units and research groups and has established the EudaDP doctoral programme, which encompasses all of the human sciences in the University. Eudaimonia coordinates research within the Faculty to encourage collaboration. Several multi-disciplinary research groups have been successful in gaining external funding. Eudaimonia also manages the LeaF research laboratory.

The Giellagas Institute is part of university infrastructure and is administered by the Faculty of Humanities. The institute has a national mandate to carry out research and provide university-level education in Sámi cultural studies and linguistics. The Institute trains experts and thus vouchsafes the status and development of Sámi society.

The Faculty also maintains important archives related to archaeology, cultural anthropology, the Finnish language (audio material), and the Giellagas Institute.


Strategic research aims

  • Securing external funding

In order to attract additional external funding, research groups will be encouraged to apply for research financing from the Finnish Academy of Sciences, other important national sponsors (e.g. TEKES - the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation) and the EU. Resources will be directed toward distinguished researchers and research groups.

  • Publishing internationally

By providing strategic funding, the Faculty aims to support the production of international research. Publishing in international and national publications that are peer-reviewed and ranked in the Publication Forum of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies is encouraged.

  • Collaboration with other disciplines, research institutes and companies

The aim is to create connections amongst disciplines and with companies and institutes outside of the university, as well as to be an appealing partner. Individual researchers have already contacts with VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland), THL (National Institute for Health and Welfare), LUKE (Natural Resources Institute Finland), Työterveyslaitos (Finnish Institute of Occupational Health) and KOTUS (Institute for the Languages of Finland). Humanistic research complements the research carried out in many other disciplines that are connected to human beings and understanding human actions.

  • Recruiting

The Faculty aims to recruit the best possible staff and to compete successfully for doctoral student funding.



The Faculty has invested in the quest for external funding by hiring a research coordinator, whose task is to assist in writing funding applications. The research coordinator cooperates closely with the Research Administration Services. The Faculty also covers the costs of language revision of articles.

Eudaimonia creates multi-disciplinary collaboration within the university, and the research coordinator facilitates contacts between different research groups. Positions in the Faculty are filled through international calls.

Last updated: 6.7.2016