Doctoral Researcher (Applied Snow Hydrology)

University of Oulu

Oulu, Finland 🇫🇮

We at the University of Oulu work as part of the international science community to produce new scientific information and science-based solutions. We are committed to educate future pioneers to build a more sustainable, intelligent and humane world. Creating new, taking responsibility and succeeding together are values that build a strong foundation for all our actions. We offer a working environment where individuals can cultivate their skills, do meaningful work, and develop professionally. Our university’s several specialized research and service units enable extensive and diverse development and career opportunities for experts in various fields. 

We are now looking for a

Doctoral Researcher

to join the University of Oulu, Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering (WE3) Research Unit in applied snow hydrology research.

Project description

The project combines emerging technology to measure the cold climate critical zone in-situ, with high spatial and temporal resolution. The project provides opportunities to study hydrological processes at the frozen soil – snow – stream continuum by combining several of the following technologies: (1) temperature-based methods, such as distributed temperature sensing (DTS) and IoT temperature sensor network, for high-frequency snow and frozen ground monitoring (2) drone-based technology for spatially detailed snow and ground frost mapping, and (3) GNSS-R technology to monitor the snow depth and density.

The resulting big data from the novel measurements will be combined with numerical snow hydrology modelling and machine learning. The project aims to improve characterization of the catchment scale boreal snow accumulation and ablation, snowmelt runoff generation, and the hydrological role of seasonally frozen ground.

The field work for the project is done in University of Oulu field research environments: Pallas research catchment and Oulanka ecoclimate experimental platform. The planned research ties to active research programs at the sites studying the environmental change in the boreal and subarctic regions. The doctoral researcher will be a part of ongoing collaboration between WE3, international research network in Ecoclimate program and Finnish national research institutes (FMI, GTK, SYKE).

Job description

The PhD project has balanced tasks for field work, data processing and analysis, and scientific publishing. We are looking for talented and motivated doctoral researcher to (i) design and implement the field campaigns supported by the research team and collaborators, (ii) process and analyse the resulting big data and (iii) lead three scientific manuscripts studying the cold climate critical zone in high spatial and temporal resolution during winter conditions.

Required Qualifications

The successful candidate is expected to have:

  • A recent M.Sc. degree in hydrology, water resources engineering, environmental engineering or environmental sciences (or equivalent degree) with good grades.
  • Experience with analysing large datasets and programming in MATLAB, R, Python, or similar computational software.
  • Fluent written and oral English skills and good communication skills.

The following is viewed positively:

  • Prior experience in one or many of the applied technologies (drone, DTS, IoT, GNSS-r) in environmental measurements.
  • Knowledge to cold climate hydrology and/or related field work
  • Experience in scientific publishing
  • Driving license

About us

Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering research unit, at the Faculty of Technology, carries out research on land, water and energy systems and their interaction. Our water research includes a strong focus on water engineering, hydrological modelling, hydrological process, groundwater, water quality, water supply, treatment and protection. In cold climate hydrology the research includes studies at Oulanka research station and collaboration at Pallas study site in the Finnish Arctic. The doctoral research is supervised by Associate professors Pertti Ala-aho and Hannu Marttila.

We offer you an interesting and versatile position in strong group on water and hydrological research and the possibility to develop professionally with the help of an experienced and enthusiastic team. Furthermore, we offer the development opportunities of a big organisation with flexible working hours, excellent work-life balance and occupational healthcare services. Regular salary is paid 12 months per year, including paid leave and an additional holiday bonus in the summer.


The salary will be based on the levels 2-4 of the demand level chart for university–level teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50 % of the job-specific component). Typical starting salary for a doctoral researcher is 2300 € per month, depending on the appointee’s qualification and experience.

The project is expected to start in early 2023, exact date to be decided with the successful candidate. The position is fixed-term for four years. A trial period of 6 months is applied to the position.  

How to apply

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using the electronic application form by 30th November 2022 (23.59 Finnish local time).

The following documents must be attached to the application:

1) A CV in English

2) A brief (1 page) description of the motivation and suitability to the post

3) A list of possible scientific contributions (publications, talks, posters etc.) including possible teaching merits 

4) Contact details of 2–4 persons available for recommendation

5) Master degree certificate.  Scanned copy of the original relevant (BSc/MSc) degree certificates  (or, if not available at the time of application, a statement from the applicant and their supervisor(s) regarding the expected completion date).

Only applications containing all relevant appendices and submitted through the online recruitment system will be considered.

Contact details

For further information about the application and selection procedures, please contact: Associate professor Pertti Ala-aho ([email protected]) or Associate professor Hannu Marttila ([email protected])

About Oulu

Oulu is a combination of beautiful, northern nature, vivid cultural life and modern technology. The city is also known for its highly educated people and friendly, easy-going atmosphere. Oulu enjoys the high standard of living Finland is known for, while the cost of living is still affordable in national comparison. The Oulu region is home to over 200 000 people making it the largest urban centre in northern Nordics and one of the fastest growing regions in Finland. Find out more about Oulu: