Junior Researcher (Doctoral Student) in Global Communication Sciences

The LUT School of Engineering Sciences, the  academic discipline of global communication sciences, is looking for a junior researcher (doctoral student) in global communication sciences to strengthen its global communicationssoft power and strategic narratives area. Specifically, we are looking for a curious mind who is aiming for an academic career and is passionate about constant learning and making the world a better place to live in through science.

LUT University will launch degree programmes in social sciences and communication sciences in autumn 2023. The university’s research in social sciences and communication sciences will also be further strengthened. With a significant public donation, LUT University is building a school of social sciences of a thousand students and a hundred researchers by the 2030s. Thus, you can contribute by joining in to create a new faculty. LUT’s research in social sciences and communication sciences is based on understanding society and human activities in relation to global sustainability problems. We believe that, by engaging people and communities more strongly at the very start of problem-solving, we will bring about changes more quickly.

What we expect

  • You must have a master’s degree (M.Sc. or equivalent) in a relevant field (preferably communication studies, media and communications studies, news media and journalism studies or communications and AI). Alternatively, you may hold a degree in another social science field, such as sociology, political science, social psychology or international relations and want to use that knowledge to contribute to communication sciences, particularly to soft power, disinformation and strategic narratives research. You might also hold two degrees, with the other one in computer or data science, and be interested in applying that to the field of communication sciences.
  • You must have the ability and motivation to complete doctoral studies within their expected duration (i.e. four years).
  • You must be fluent in English (both written and spoken). Knowledge of other languages is seen as a plus.
  • You want to write an article-based doctoral thesis (in English) and publish in international top-tier academic journals in the field of media and communication studies (such as Communication Theory; Journal of Communication; Media, Culture & Society; New Media & Society; International Journal of Cultural Studies; International Journal of Press/Politics; Political Communication; Big Data & Society).
  • Knowledge of research ethics is a must, as are good computer skills. Practical knowledge of using social media and of designing webpages for a project is a merit.

A global perspective is seen as a strong merit, and applicants with international academic experience are especially encouraged to apply.  The ideal candidate has excellent knowledge on scientific writing, research methods and strong research ethics. Previous scientific publications in the field are a strong plus.

The ideal candidate for the position

LUT Communication Sciences takes a global, interdisciplinary social science approach to the study of communication and media; therefore, we are looking for a candidate with an interest in global communication approaches to soft power, strategic narratives, propaganda and AI, democracy, news industry, technological platforms and social media. The research interests of the ideal candidate for the position would focus on topics related to global communications, and the candidate would be interested in writing a dissertation on any of the following areas of research or on their creative combination/s:

  • Global communications and new forms of influence, power and soft power
  • Ideology and propaganda; ideology and soft power; strategic narratives; disinformation and propaganda
  • AI, news, democracy, disinformation and propaganda
  • AI, news and strategic narratives; AI, soft power and media
  • News, disinformation and democracy; democracy and soft power
  • Foucault; production of ‘truth’ and governmentality; CMS
  • Global communications, media and green transition; soft power and green transition; strategic narratives and green transition
  • Global communications, soft power and strategic narratives around clean air, clean water and clean energy
  • Crisis management and communications; crisis, sustainable HR & innovation; crisis, social innovations and cross-sectoral partnerships
  • Global communications, media industry, geopolitics and soft power: soft power and Asia, particularly soft power and South Korea

Job description

  • Completion of the article-based doctoral degree within four years
  • Active member of a research group
  • Participation in research projects (various tasks)
  • Teaching and assisting in teaching
  • Assisting in project/research group administration and media presence (e.g., project’s webpages)

What we offer

  • An opportunity to launch a successful academic career and become an expert in the field of the dissertation
  • A four-year (1+3 years) contract for completing the doctoral degree
    • An employment contract can be concluded only if the candidate obtains the right to pursue postgraduate studies at LUT University
    • The contract will initially be made for one year and can be extended by three years provided that the studies and research have progressed successfully
  • Encouraging and supportive supervision by and research collaboration with the professor and research network

The job is based in Lappeenranta, Finland, but part of the work can be conducted remotely. The position starts with a six-month trial period, as is typical in the Finnish system. The employment start date is negoatiable.

The salary is based on the current collective agreement for Finnish universities. The typical starting gross salary for a junior researcher is approximately 30 800 euros a year. In addition to a competitive salary, the wide range of benefits that come with this job include a holiday bonus, a generous holiday entitlement, research incentive scheme with personal rewards for high-quality publications, flexible working hours, occupational health care, a collegial faculty environment and continued commitment for your support, learning, training and development.

How to apply

The deadline for application is Sunday 17 September 2023 at midnight, Finnish local time (UTC +3h). 

Please submit your application by filling out the online form and attaching the following: 

  • A cover letter (max 2 pages)
  • Your curriculum vitae (max 3 pages)
  • A research statement describing dissertation project, work in progress, plans for publication and academic goals (max 4 pages)
  • A copy of your degree certificate; if the original documents are not in English, Finnish or Swedish, each document must be accompanied by an official certified translation into English or Finnish
  • A tentative dissertation research plan (5–8 pages) related to one of the research areas above or their combination. The plan should be organised as follows:
    1. Introduction: background for research, research gap, research objectives and rationale and research questions/hypotheses
    2. Theory/literature review: the main theoretical concepts and theoretical framework for your dissertation or relevant literature streams related to your topic
    3. Methodology: unless a theoretical study, data collection and data analysis methods to explore and investigate the topic and their justification and limitations, along with consideration of research ethics
    4. Results and contributions: relevance, novelty and contributions to theory development and a detailed publication plan
  • If you have prior publications, please include them; they are not obligatory but are a strong merit. In addition, teaching qualification certificate/s or a teaching portfolio (max 10 pages) can be included, but those are not required attachments.

The possible start date of the work must be mentioned in the application. Please submit all the application materials in English. Please also note that using conversational AI-systems in writing the application, or any part of it, is forbidden and will result in rejection of the application.

More information

For further information, please contact Professor of communication sciences Hannele Seeck,hannele.seeck@lut.fi, +358 46 851 0784 (available by phone after 15 August 2023). 

Read more about: LUT as an employer and LUT Doctoral School (Social sciences)

LUT University | Clean energy, water and air are life-giving resources for which we at LUT University seek new solutions with our expertise in technology, business and social sciences. We help society and businesses in their sustainable renewal. Our international community consists of nearly 8,000 members. Our campuses are in Lappeenranta and Lahti, Finland. We’re one of the best universities in the world for climate action. lut.fi/en

Technical support for using the recruitment system: recruitment@lut.fi.


Application period starts: 2023-08-02 08:00 Application period ends: 2023-09-17 23:59