PhD: I4WORLD - Imaging and Characterisation for a Sustainable World (2022-2027) 

University of Oulu

Oulu, Finland 🇫🇮

I4WORLD – Imaging and Characterisation for a Sustainable World (2022-2027) is a new doctoral programme within a well-established doctoral training environment at the University of Oulu in Finland co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Co-funding of regional, national, and international programmes (COFUND).

The programme will train 25 Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) with comprehensive understanding on environmental, economic and social sustainability. I4WORLD is based on taking the benefits of novel imaging and characterisation methods beyond the traditional borders between research fields to the sustainable world.

Why to apply?

The trained doctoral researchers will

  • get unique knowledge of modern imaging and characterisation methods with capabilities for identifying and solving industrial-scale problems.
  • develop unique capabilities beyond standard field specific approaches for identifying and solving the fundamental questions enabling future for the World. 
  • get first-hand experience of how research develops from basic science findings to interdisciplinary innovations.
  • get valuable asset through tailored secondments and customised training.

We offer

  • an inspiring international and interdisciplinary research atmosphere in well-established research units, world-class guidance, structured doctoral training, cutting-edge infrastructures and great secondment opportunities with academic and non-academic partners.
  • During secondments, Partner Organisations will provide you similar level working conditions ensured by being UOULU employees. Each doctoral researcher is provided with a travel allowance by the Programme.
  • You will receive a competitive salary paid monthly, which includes paid leave and an additional holiday bonus in the summer.
  • You will receive university occupational health insurance. The Finnish government also provides benefits to residents and their families, for example access to the national healthcare system and high-quality, affordable childcare and school services.

Who can apply?

All applicants must fulfil the following requirements in order to be eligible to apply to the I4WORLD doctoral programme:

Candidates

  1. must meet the following MSCA criteria:
  • Early-Stage Researcher (ESR): have not yet been awarded a doctorate degree. Researchers who have already successfully defended the doctoral thesis but have not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree are not eligible.
  • Mobility rule: Applicant must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country where research will be implemented for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the deadline of the programme’s call. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account. i.e. researchers coming to Finland should not have resided or carried activity in Finland for more than 12 months in the 36 month period before the end of the call 31.1.2023. 
  1. hold a master’s degree or an equivalent degree (e.g. licentiate) in any relevant discipline to the I4WORLD programme at the date on, which the call closes 31.1.2023. Must have achieved a good grade in their degree (i.e. at least 60 % of the maximum grade in both taught courses and the master’s thesis);
  2. are able to demonstrate English language skills that are sufficient to follow doctoral studies. For this, the applicant must provide official documents demonstrating one of the following options (see more detailed in the Guide for Applicants): 
  • TOEFL iBT or TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition 92 (with a minimum of 20 in the Writing section)
  • IELTS Academic or IELTS Indicator 6.5 (with a minimum of 5.5 per each section)
  • Pearson Test of English, PTE Academic 62 (with a minimum of 52 in the Writing section)
  • C2 Proficiency (former Cambridge English: Proficiency, CPE) Pass Level A, B, C or level C1 certificate or  C1 Advanced (former Cambridge English: Advanced, CAE) Pass Level A, B or C
  • National Certificate of Language Proficiency Skill level 5 in the following subtests; reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in English in a university or university of applied sciences in an EU/EEA country, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United States, excluding online degrees and offshore campuses.
  • 20 ECTS credits of studies conducted in English at a Finnish university or a university of applied sciences.
  • Statements of skills from the proposed principal supervisor and one independent scientist (anglophone or equivalent language skills) at the Oulu University, based on an interview.

Double Degree (DD) agreements with Partner Universities in individual projects may have additional requirements.

When to apply?

Call for positions is opened from November 1st, 2022 for three months. 

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using the electronic application form by January 31st, 2023 (23:59 Finnish local time). Applications received after the call deadline will not be considered.

How to apply?

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using the electronic application form by January 31st, 2023 (23:59 Finnish local time). The application should be written in English and include the following:

  1. A motivation letter (max. 2 pages) summarizing applicant’s professional experience and expertise and describing why applicant is interested in this position. Also, information on personal research interests, experience and career plans are valuable to provide here. Letter should also include potential specific interests to University of Oulu research unit(s) and/or Partner Organisation(s).
  2. Curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages) Curriculum Vitae of the applicant, including a list of any peer-reviewed scientific publications (with full reference details). A recommended CV template can be found on the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity at https://tenk.fi/en/advice-and-materials/template-researchers-curriculum-vitae 
  3. Certificates/Diplomas Scanned copy of the original relevant master’s degree certificates and transcript of records and, when necessary, official translations to Finnish or English.
  4. A valid certificate of language proficiency. The applicant must provide official documents demonstrating one of the options (see section Who can apply? and more detailed in the Guide for Applicants). 
  5. Research plan (max. 4 pages) The research plan should contain information about the background and significance of the research (you can use Impact Helper tool), a description of the intended objectives and methods, a preliminary time schedule, a description of how the research relates to the host unit’s research activities, Partner Organisations and aims of the I4WORLD doctoral programme, description of mobility complied with the MSCA rules and, if relevant, any results that have already been obtained.
  6. Ethics Self-Assessment TableTemplate is found on the I4WORLD website. Please attach the filled table to your application. Instructions for filling the table can be found from the European Commission website. If any ethics issues are raised by the self-assessment, please contact with the potential supervisors.
  7. Only if applicable: Signed letter of commitment from new partner(s) beyond the current list of I4WORLD partners provided on the website. Please request the formal template from the i4world@oulu.fi. (NOT NEEDED FOR THE PARTNERS LISTED ON THE I4WORLD WEBSITE).

Important: Potential areas for the research projects are briefly described with each research theme for candidates to choose from: 

The applicant may also freely propose a project, indicating a potential research site from UOULU and Partner(s). Please familiarise with the research done at UOULU research units . We are also providing a Impact Helper tool helping to link research to the appropriate SDGs. If an applicant is including a new partner(s), a letter of commitment from a partner is needed.

Only applications containing all relevant appendices and submitted through the online recruitment system will be considered. If the appendices exceed the required number of pages, only the pages specified in the instructions are taken into account in the assessment.

You can supplement or modify your application during the application period. After submitting the application, you will receive a reply message with a link to your application form. Applications received after the call deadline will not be considered.

Guide for Applicants

Content

Guide for Applicants provides detailed information about the stages of the application process, evaluation and selection process, appointment conditions for the selected researchers and research options and Partners of the Programme. 

If you cannot find the information you need from the Guide for Applicants document or from FAQs, please address your requests to I4world@oulu.fi

Ethics Self-Assessment

Content

Download and fill the Ethics Self-Assessment template. Please attach the filled table to your application.

Instructions for filling the table can be found from the European Commission website.

If any ethics issues are raised by the self-assessment, please contact with the potential supervisors

Selection and evaluation

Content

Eligible candidates will go through an external expert evaluation. The applications for the doctoral programme will be evaluated according to the quality of the applicant and of the research proposal, and to the compatibility of the applicant with the host, as more detailed in the Guide for Applicants.

The top 35 shortlisted candidates are invited for an interview by the Selection Committee representatives complemented by potential supervisors and by UniOGS and HR representatives. The doctoral positions are offered to the top 25 from the shortlisted candidates.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Content

How many calls for applications will there be? 

There will be only one call, opening November 1st, 2022 and closing on January 31st, 2023.

Can I send part of my application/or supporting documents by post or by e-mail? 

No, applications containing all relevant appendices must be submitted electronically through the SAIMA application portal

Should I contact possible supervisor(s) before sending my application?

You may contact supervisors when preparing your application. In case that you wish to apply with your own research topic or if there are ethics issues are raised by the self-assessment, you are encouraged to contact potential supervisors.

Can I apply with more than one topic?

Yes. In case you apply for more than one position, you will be required submit a separate application with different research plan for each position. 

Is a person who has resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Finland more than 12 months in the 36 months before the call deadline eligible to apply?

Yes, if the research is primarily carried out outside Finland. Research plan includes mandatory section: “description of the mobility complied with the MSCA rules”. A reliable description is requested. This preferably involves settled and communicated plans with the mobility, when necessarily. When the research is primarily intended to be carried outside Finland, a pre-agreed arrangement with partner organization would be a clear indicator of the reliable plans.

Is it necessary to take an English language test (e.g. IELTS or TOEFL) in order to apply for this programme?

No. There are different options to demonstrate English language skills (see section Who can apply? and more detailed in the Guide for Applicants).

Reseach themes

I4WORLD builds on combination of world leading novel imaging and characterisation methods excellence towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. I4WORLD benefits from the interdisciplinary expertise and wide intersectorality in selected themes within the UN’s SDGs, in focus for UOULU and Partner Organisations. 


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DEGREE REQUIRED

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