Postdoctoral Researcher/Doctoral Student (Ethnographic Research Within Social Sciences OR Computational Big Data Mining And Analysis, Especially With Visual Data)

Country: Finland;

City: Tampere

Vacancy added: 08.03.2019


Vacancy type: PostDoc vacancy;

Resumes due: 08.04.2019


Project: Imagi(ni)ng Democracy: European youth becoming citizens by visual participation (ImagiDem).

Location: Tampere University, Tampere, Finland.

The ImagiDem-project (2019–2024) is led by Associate Professor Eeva Luhtakallio, and funded by the European Research Council Starting Grant. ImagiDem studies visual politicization and democratic practices among young citizens in the European context in order to formulate a model of democratic practices in the 2020s.

The public sphere of today’s youth is increasingly dominated by social media visual content. Therefore, the current youth’s understanding of political action – building arguments, mobilizing, and participating – is also likely to be increasingly anchored in repertoires of visual participation.

To understand how young Europeans participate politically by visual means, ImagiDem combines visual, online, offline, and snap-along ethnography with computational methods – supervised and unsupervised machine learning (eg. TensorFlow). With these methods, the project analyses images posted on social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter), and follows young people’s visual participation as part of their day-to-day activities (e.g. taking, sharing and commenting on photos). The aim of the analysis is to grasp prevalent frames of participation among young people, and in particular, the visual practices they employ to act politically in different European contexts.

ImagiDem deploys this combination of methods to a comparative research setting in four countries of comparison: Finland, France, Germany, and Portugal. The theoretical challenge ImagiDem takes is to develop pragmatist theorizing of visual justification and engagements on the one hand, and visual cultural toolkits and frames, on the other. The project has an ambitious methodological innovation objective in developing AI-based analysis of large image data sets, and connecting the results thereof with ethnographically produced knowledge of everyday political practices.


The duties of the Postdoctoral Researcher / Doctoral Student in ImagiDem include the following:

  • Doing research work in the project with particular responsibility over the applicant’s own subproject. The chosen applicants will be responsible for either an ethnographic subproject OR a subproject in Computational Big Data mining and analysis on visual participation.
  • Contributing to the project’s joint analysis and theory-building
  • Reporting on the applicant’s research for the ERC together with the research team
  • The duties of the Doctoral Candidate also include completing required Doctoral Studies at Tampere University.


The applicant for a Postdoctoral position must hold a Doctoral Degree in a relevant field obtained in the past five years.

The applicant for a Doctoral Candidate position must hold a Master’s Degree in a relevant field and either hold or be committed to apply for study rights for doctoral studies at Tampere University. If a candidate already holds study rights at another university, a cotutelle agreement may be negotiated for international applicants.

The applicants should be fluent in English, and enjoy working as a team.


The positions are fulltime and will be filled for a fixed-term period of 3 years. The appointment is expected to start on 1 May 2019 or as mutually agreed. Trial period of six (6) months applies to all new employees. For the ethnographic subproject position(s), hiring in place is an option for international applicants.

The salary will be based on both the job requirements and the employee's personal performance in accordance with the Finnish University Salary System. According to the criteria applied to teaching and research staff, for a Postdoctoral Researcher, an approximate salary of is 3300-3600 EUR/month, and for a Doctoral Student 2440 EUR/month.

We offer a wide range of staff benefits, such as occupational health care, flexible working hours, excellent sports facilities on campus and several restaurants and cafés on campus with staff discounts. Please read more about working at Tampere University.


Applications from diverse academic backgrounds are encouraged; yet understanding a social science based conceptual design is essential.

Please submit your application through our online recruitment system. The closing date for applications is April 8th, 2019 (at 23.59 EEST / 20.59 UTC). Applications and all accompanying documentation should be written in English. All attached documents should preferably be in PDF format. Please also specify whether you are applying for a Postdoctoral or a Doctoral Candidate position.

Application should include the following documents:

Postdoctoral Researcher

  • Max. 2-page research proposal on either an ethnographic or a computational subproject you would conduct as part of the project
  • Curriculum vitae
  • List of publications

Doctoral Student

  • Max. 2-page research proposal on either an ethnographic or a computational subproject you would conduct as part of the project
  • Curriculum vitae
  • For the applicants applying for study rights for Doctoral Studies, a Copy of Master’s degree or a Transcript of study records
  • Recommendation letter can be included, but is not required

For further information please contact Project Coordinator Taina Meriluoto at taina.meriluoto (at) or +358 445239839.

Where to send resume: