Career alternatives

We have an impressive range of career opportunities for researchers, teachers and experts who are passionate about their field and enjoy working in an academic community. We offer researchers both a personal four-stage research career model, as well as a tenure track model with a possibility for accelerated career advancement. Our options also include more teaching-oriented positions, a Professor of Practice position and numerous possibilities for experts also on other than research careers.

The specific requirements and expectations for each open position are always included in our job advertisements. Below you can read the about the qualifications and selection criteria for the most typical positions at our university.

Doctoral Student

The position of a Doctoral Student requires a master’s degree and an approved research plan. Additionally, we expect motivation towards postgraduate studies and completing a doctoral degree in accordance with the research plan.

Postdoctoral Researcher

The position of a Postdoctoral Researcher is intended for a person who has recently finished their doctorate and is moving towards a professional researcher career. Applicants, who have received their doctoral degree a maximum of ten years ago, may be appointed to the position of an Postdoctoral Researcher.

The position of an Postdoctoral Researcher requires an applicable doctoral degree, the ability to work independently and the teaching skills required in the position.

Senior Research Fellow

The person selected to the position of a Senior Research Fellow is required to have an applicable doctoral degree as well as evidence of scientific research work and the teaching skills required in the position.

The position requires the ability to lead a research group and acquire supplementary research funding. In the selection process, scientific work abroad and proof of international cooperation are emphasized.


The person selected to a position of a Professor is required to have a doctoral degree, high-quality scientific or artistic qualifications, experience of leading scientific research, ability to provide high-quality teaching based on research and supervise thesis work as well as evidence of international cooperation in the research field they represent. In addition to this, the position of a Professor requires skills to act as an academic leader. 

When assessing the merits of an applicant, the following will be considered: scientific publications and other research results that have scientific or artistic value, teaching experience, pedagogical education, skills to produce learning materials, other merits from teaching positions, teaching demonstration and guided thesis works. In addition, the applicant’s activity in the scientific community, practical knowledge of the subject if necessary, success in acquiring supplementary research funding, scientific work abroad, international positions as well as leadership and social skills, will be taken into account.

Tenure track positions promote the attractiveness of an academic career and support the university in retaining talented researchers in our community. Tenure track recruitments are always open and international and include an external assessment by academic experts about top candidates.

The basic qualifications for each career level are the same as for the corresponding career levels on the four-stage researcher career. However, in order to qualify for hiring on tenure track, the candidate must pass the external evaluation with an overall grade “outstanding” or “excellent”.  

A candidate selected for a tenure track position has an opportunity to advance on their career at regular intervals through external academic evaluations similar to the initial evaluation, and eventually proceed to a Professor or a Distinguished Professor position.  The selection and advancement procedures follow the University of Oulu Tenure Track guidelines

Tenure track positions may be allocated at different career levels as follows:

Assistant Professor 

  • Equivalent of Postdoctoral Researcher on the four-stage research career
  • Fixed-term contract of 3-5 years
  • A maximum of 2 contract periods

Associate Professor

  • Equivalent of Senior Research Fellow on the four-stage research career
  • Fixed-term contract of 5 years
  • A maximum of 2 contract periods or a permanent position


  • Equivalent of Proferssor on the four-stage research career

Distinguished Professor

  • The position of a Distinguished Professor is for especially distinguished applicants who exceed the criteria for Full Professor.

University Lecturer and Clinical Instructor

A University Lecturer and clinical instructor are required to have an applicable doctoral degree and ability to provide high quality, research-based teaching work and thesis supervision. When evaluating the merits of candidates, the following will be considered: scientific work, practical knowledge of the subject if necessary, teaching experience and pedagogic education, skills to produce learning materials and other merits achieved through teaching. Good teaching skills will be proven with a teaching demonstration.

University teacher

The position of a university teacher requires an applicable master’s degree and good teaching skills. In particular, extensive competence in the subject and pedagogic education as well as skills to produce teaching materials and provide versatile teaching are valued. Good teaching skills will be proven with a teaching demonstration.

Professor of Practice

A person appointed as a Professor of Practice is required to have particularly important merits in working life or an enterprise outside the university. The merits must be beneficial to the teaching, research or societal activity of the university. The candidate is expected to have a doctor’s degree or alternatively exceptionally high understanding and competence in the field in question. Professor of practice is appointed by invitation and the position is always for a fixed-term. 

Research Professor

Research Professor is expected to have a similar competence as a Professor. However, scientific work, results in leading a research group, success in acquiring research funding as well as international research cooperation, are emphasized in the assessment. 

The docent title can be awarded to a scientifically qualified person in Finland.  According to section 89 of the Universities Act (558/2009), a university may by application grant the title of docent to a person who has comprehensive knowledge of their own field, a capacity for independent research or artistic work as demonstrated by publications or some other manner and good teaching skills. 

Traditionally, the minimum requirement for a docentship is that the applicant has, in addition to their doctoral thesis, published scientific/artistic research which corresponds to at least one other dissertation having good scientific/artistic significance, quality and quantity. 

The docent title is beneficial when applying a position as a professor or when the person wishes to act as a supervisor of a Ph.D. student, but it does not guarantee an employment contract.
Instruction for applying for docentship 
Docentship application form