Vehkalahti joined the academic staff in autumn 2017. She is Senior Research Fellow, and Adjunct Professor of Cultural and Social History at the History of Science and Ideas. Vehkalahti lectures in digital humanities and history of childhood, youth and education. She supervises theses related to her research. She leads the multidisciplinary research team focusing on History of Childhood and Education 'Lapanen'. She is PI for two EU-funded projects: PROMISE (2016–2018) and FACT for Minors (2016–2018). Her current research interests focus on the history of longitudinal studies and changing rural youth in Finland.
Northern Rural Youth in Flux (NorFlux) (2018-2022), fundig: University of Oulu, Eudaimonia
Lives over time. Birth cohort studies as a form of scientific knowledge-production (LIVES)(2018-2021), fundung: Finnish Academy
PROMISE Promoting Youth Involvement and Social Engagement: Opportunities and challenges for ’conflicted’ young people (2016–2019), funding: Horizon 2020
FACT for Minors: Fostering Alternative Care for Troubled Minors (2016–2018), funding: EU/JUST2015 action grants
Youth in time - qualitative longitudinal study on young people (2014-2025), funding: Ministry of Education and Culture
Vehkalahti is currently on leave from her postion as a Research Manager of the Finnish Youth Research Society, funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Her previous positions also include the Turku Institute for Child and Youth Research (CYRI), Department of Cultural History and Turku Open University. She has been the editor-in-chief of Kasvatus & Aika, Finnish peer-reviewed journal in History of Education, and secretary for the Ethics Committee for Youth and Childhood Studies in Finland. Vehkalahti received her PhD from the department of Cultural History, University of Turku, in 2008. She is the author of Constructing Reformatory Identity. Girls’ Reform School Education in Finland, 1893–1923 (Peter Lang, 2009) as well as other publications on the history of childhood and youth, research ethics, memory studies, girlhood studies, and cultural history of writing.