Åbo Akademi

Postdoctoral Researcher in Systematic Theology

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Åbo Akademi University is an internationally acknowledged research university with an extensive responsibility for providing education in Swedish in Finland. With its international research community and its strong Nordic ties, Åbo Akademi University has an acclaimed and recognized position within research and education both nationally and internationally. The Faculty of Arts, Psychology and Theology, located in Åbo/Turku, constitutes a dynamic and cross-border research environment. The faculty staff comprises about 130 persons with tasks in teaching and research. The number of degree students amounts to 1150, of which over 200 are doctoral students. The Inez and Julius Polin Institute for Theological Research is part of the faculty. 

The Polin Institute at Åbo Akademi University invites applications for a fixed-term position as Postdoctoral Researcher in Systematic Theology. The position is placed in the discipline Systematic Theology at the Faculty of Art, Psychology and Theology (FHPT) in Turku, Finland. This position is full time for a period of three years, starting from 1st January 2023 or as agreed.

Systematic Theology at Åbo Akademi University consists of two major dimensions, on one hand, dogmatics and on the other hand, theological ethics and philosophy of religion. Research in dogmatics is focused on historical themes in patristics, Reformation theology and 20th century theology, but also on contemporary phenomena related to ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, cultural life and the current challenges faced by the church. Within theological ethics and philosophy of religion, important areas of interest include contemporary worldviews, morals, health, society, cultural life, and religion. Particular focus is given to issues concerning the role of religions and worldviews in modern society in the light of theories of secularisation and post-secularisation. There are several interdisciplinary projects underway in co-operation with subjects in the fields of humanities and natural sciences.

The Inez and Julius Polin Institute for Theological Research was founded by the Board of Åbo Akademi University in 2018 with the aim of supporting theological research and education: www.polininstitutet.fi.  The institute promotes and finances research projects, arranges seminars, symposia, and conferences and brings together researchers from various theological fields and specializations that have developed in close collaboration with each other. The institute conducts internationally high-quality research. Researchers affiliated with the Polin Institute participate in the theological undergraduate and postgraduate education within the Study Programme for Theology at the faculty. The Polin Institute has currently three research projects with 15 researchers in theology, three postdoctoral researchers and seven doctoral students in various theological disciplines. The institute is led by a head of research and a coordinator also works at the institute.

The primary tasks of the postdoctoral researcher are

  • Carrying out research of high international standard as outlined in the research plan attached to the application
  • Actively pursuing publications of research findings
  • Seeking external research funding as well as participating in other researchers’ project proposals
  • Active participation in the research community of the Polin Institute and the faculty including teaching and administrational duties up to a maximum of 30% of the working time

Basic eligibility criteria

  • Doctoral degree in Systematic Theology, or a doctorate in another theological or related discipline, with a doctoral thesis preparing the applicant for the planned research and for active participation in the theological research community at Åbo Akademi University.  As a rule, the time elapsed since completing the doctoral degree should not exceed four years in accordance with the Regulations for Personnel of the university (a copy of the diploma of a doctoral degree should be submitted in the application).
  • Strong English skill is required. Additionally, as Swedish is the language of teaching and administration at Åbo Akademi University, knowledge of Swedish or another Scandinavian language is regarded as an asset for foreign applicants. For Finnish citizens, section 78 in the Universities Act (558/2009) and 1–2 § in Instruktion om de kunskaper i svenska och finska som krävs av lärare vid Åbo Akademi (25.2.2010) (In Swedish only) apply.

Meriting qualifications 

  • Outstanding potential and established excellence in research in relation to current career stage
  • Ability to combine theological theories and methods in innovative ways
  • Strong collaborative and organizational skills
  • Strong communication skills, including strong written and spoken communication skills in English

Desirable qualifications

  • International research experience
  • Other academic achievements in addition to the doctoral degree

The applications will be assessed as follows:

  • Research competence (60%) measured through research plan, relevant academic publications, participation in research- and other academic projects and other research related experience. The research plan must be relevant for Systematic Theology.
  • Pedagogical competence (20%) including experience in teaching and supervision as well as planning and development of teaching and studies in university pedagogics or equivalent.
  • Interactive competence (20%) that covers ability to cooperate in collegial manner and administrative ability and experience which may have been acquired also in activities outside the academia.

The appointment will be based on an overall assessment of the applicant’s potential for development and competences and in relation to the necessary qualities to successfully carry out the tasks for the position. The applicants may be invited to an interview.

The salary for a postdoctoral researcher follows the requirement level 5-6 for teaching and research staff in accordance with the general collective agreement for the universities. In addition, an individual salary based on work performance is added to the salary. 

The postdoctoral researcher position belongs to the system of total working hours of 1,612 hours per year. The work tasks will be defined in detail in an annual work plan.

The employed postdoctoral researcher is expected to spend at least half of the monthly working time (or by agreement) at the workplace at Åbo Akademi University and participate in the activities of the institute and the research community. 

In the case of new employment, a trial period of 6 months is applied.

The application is submitted through the electronic application form below no later than 15.8.2022, at 3 p.m. (Finnish time). See Instructions on electronic applications and their appendices

The following appendices are attached to the application in Swedish or English:

  • Application letter with a description of your scientific background, your research interests, and your motivation for the assignment (max 2 pages)
  • Research plan (max 1500 words)
  • CV (according to the recommendations of the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity, TENK: https://tenk.fi/en/advice-and-materials/template-researchers-curriculum-vitae) including a full list of publications with links to the publications or to a file sharing system where the publications are stored
  • Copy of the doctoral dissertation and a maximum of five publications relevant to the application. The publications must be provided electronically, either attached to the application or with a link to an online version or file sharing system transfer where the publications can be downloaded.
  • Teaching portfolio: https://web.abo.fi/befattningar/Pedagogical_portfolio2021.pdf
  • Degree certificate(s), possible language competence and pedagogical studies certificates
  • Names and contact details of at least two reference persons

For further information, contact Professor Mika Vähäkangas, mika.vahakangas@abo.fi or regarding the recruitment process HR specialist Jenni Kronqvist, jenni.kronqvist@abo.fi. 

Åbo Akademi University works actively for an even gender distribution and increased diversity in all staff groups.

Lisätietoa työpaikasta

Postdoctoral Researcher in Systematic Theology
Tuokiokirkontori 3 Turku, Suomi
Viimeinen hakupäivä
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