Postdoctoral Researcher in Identity Construction in the Russian Prison System (3 Years) University of Helsinki, Aleksanteri Institute and Faculty of Arts Finland

The University of Helsinki is the oldest and largest institution of academic education in Finland, an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. In international university rankings, the University of Helsinki typically ranks among the top 100. The University of Helsinki seeks solutions for global challenges and creates new ways of thinking for the best of humanity.


The Aleksanteri Institute functions as a national centre of research, study and expertise pertaining to Russia and Eastern Europe, particularly in the social sciences and humanities. We offer our researchers an international and inspiring research environment in the centre of Helsinki, with excellent research infrastructure (including Integrum database, diverse electronic resources of the University of Helsinki and the world-famous Slavonic library). A visiting scholars programme and a wide network of scholars conducting research on Russia are also part of our dynamic research community. More information on the Aleksanteri Institute is available on the webpage


The Aleksanteri Institute and Faculty of Arts invites applications for the position of




The position is associated with the European Research Council Project, “Gulag Echoes in the multicultural prison: historical and geographical influences on the identity and politics of ethnic minority prisoners in the communist successor states of Russia Europe”, which is held by Professor Judith Pallot at the Aleksanteri Institute. The Post-doctoral researcher will be a member of the project team and will focus on the analysis of a variety of historical and contemporary texts relating to identity construction of ethnic minority groups in Soviet and Russian prisons, correctional colonies and special settlements in the 20th and 21st centuries. The texts will principally be gulag memoirs, testimonies and the transcripts of interviews with former prisoners and their families alive in the Russian Federation today, but may also include official and unofficial texts and print media. Precise research tasks will be defined in collaboration with the project leader. The project is described on the project website:



Candidates must hold a doctoral degree and be able to conduct independent scholarly work. They must have research experience anthropology, cultural studies or cultural geography and have engaged in research on identity construction. Preference will be shown for candidates who have prior experience, or a willingness to acquire skills, in qualitative data analysis using computer software packages designed for working with very rich text-based and/or multimedia information. The successful candidate will have excellent command of both Russian and English. Proficiency in Georgian would be an asset, but is not an essential criterion for selection. The appointee is expected to contribute minimum of 3 peer-reviewed papers (in any of the major European languages) and chapters for an edited English-language collection of essays. The appointee will be based in Helsinki for the appointment but with periods of research abroad, if necessary. The starting date is negotiable but the appointee will be in place by 1st September 2019.


Salary and trial period

Monthly gross salary for the position varies between 3200 and 3800 euros, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience. The contract will include a six-month trial period.


Health care services and standard Finnish pension benefits are provided for the University employees.


Application Instructions

Please submit your application, together with the required documents, through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the Apply for the position button below. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to submit their application via the SAP HR portal.


Applicants are requested to enclose with their applications the following documents as a single pdf file:
1) a curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages) with a separate list of publications,
2) a short description (max. 2 pages) of the applicant’s relevant methodological skills and how her or his research interests match the GULAGECHOES research project,
3) a writing sample of the applicant’s research (e.g. published article, of a chapter of doctoral dissertation),
4) the contact information of two referees,
5) and optionally other relevant documents.


The deadline for applications is 28th April 2019. Interviews will be held in early May.


Technical support for using the University’s electronic recruitment system or the SAP HR portal:



For further information, please contact project leader Professor Judith Pallot,, copying to Larisa Kangaspuro,

The decision will be communicated by May 17th.


Due date
28.04.2019 23:59 EEST

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