News General

1. Nature Based Cultures in Vulnerable Communities

2. Green Economies and Ecosystem Services

We are seeking two highly motivated Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to undertake doctoral studies and participate in a broad range of scientific and professional training as part of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (MSCA ITN) in Resourceful and Resilient Community Environmental Practice (RECOMS).

Start Date: September 1st 2018

Duration: 36 months (fixed term)

Deadline for applications: 23:59 GMT March 1st 2018.


Funded by the European Commission (2018-2022), RECOMS is comprised of a transdisciplinary consortium of scientists, practitioners and change agents from eleven public (universities and government research centres), private and non-profit organisations, located in six European Union countries: Austria, Belgium, England, Finland, Germany and The Netherlands.  The purpose of RECOMS is to train 15 ESRs/ doctoral candidates in innovative, transdisciplinary and transformative approaches to promoting and facilitating resourceful and resilient community environmental practice. By delivering an advanced programme of training in both scientific and professional skills, RECOMS will enable ESRs to pursue an academic career or high-professional career in either the public, private or third sector (e.g. government, university, NGO, consultancy, business or charitable body). For further information on RECOMS and for a full list of the 15 ESR doctoral positions currently open for recruitment please see here:

Job descriptions

The recruited ESRs will be engaged in a series of collaborative research and training activities and will be supported in pursuing a doctoral study project. If you are highly motivated; inspired by learning and undertaking innovative research, thinking and knowledge exchange across disciplines, institutional boundaries and wider society; and wish to be part of an advanced, international, network of creative change agents specialising in resourceful and resilient community environmental practice; then one of these ESR/PhD vacancies could be the ideal appointment for you.

Co-supervised by academic and non-academic partners, the RECOMS ESRs will be encouraged to critically, practically, and creatively explore the contribution and relationships between their individual doctoral study projects across three interconnecting research themes:

  • Empowering and unlocking the potential of vulnerable communities to become more resourceful
  • Strengthening the adaptive and transformative capacity of local groups through resourceful environmental practice as critical to building community resilience
  • Encouraging a more just and inclusive approach to stimulating community resourcefulness by nurturing broader participation in resourceful environmental practices.

A core feature of the RECOMS programme – both with respect to informing the design and delivery of all the training, as well as enabling and maximising opportunities for knowledge exchange through research and associated outputs – will be the incorporation of a broad range of visual and creative research methods and modes of communication.

The following two positions are now open for application within Finland, hosted by the Natural Resources Institute Finland, Bioeconomy and Environment Unit:

1. Nature-based culture as an asset in vulnerable communities (ESR 8)


Local culture in all its possible meanings, ranging from cultural activities to cultural understandings of nature, can be a critical asset for building community resilience. This is often the case in particular in areas which are vulnerable environmentally, socially and culturally, due to e.g. climate, harsh natural conditions, sparse population. This project will undertake an in-depth study of resourcefulness and resilience from a cultural perspective, focusing in particular on adaptation and transformation processes in environmentally and socially vulnerable communities. A special emphasis will be given to the well-being that is constituted through human-nature relationships and issues of justice in the power relations between internal and external actors. (As a potential case: Kvarken Archipelago, listed on the UNESCO World Natural Heritage list)

Expected Results:

Knowledge of culture as an asset in building community resilience; Guidelines on innovative, empowering and just practices for co-producing resilience between internal and external actors in vulnerable communities; Assessment of potential of visualisation techniques to enable empowering and just practices.
Contact person: Katriina Soini (

2. Community resourcefulness in environmentally vulnerable communities: green economy and ecosystem services (ESR 9)


In Europe there are areas with substantial green infrastructure and resources, but few people. As well as being sparsely populated, these areas are also often difficult to access. This project will explore the ways in which communities within such spaces address the interdependence and coevolution of green and blue economies and ecosystem services through enterprising forms of collaborative and resourceful practice. Special attention will be paid to the actions and learning that take place in the multi-layered networks of citizens, their associations, private and public sector organisationss and political decision makers. This will include their identification of ways to safeguard the resilience of these places whilst simultaneously also utilizing the green and blue assets for local and wider societal returns. The research will investigate economic mechanisms which support community-led environmental action, especially social investment. (As a potential case: Kvarken Archipelago, listed on the UNESCO World Natural Heritage list)

Expected Results:

Mechanisms for dealing with contradictions arising from green asset utilisation and local (economic and environmental) resilience; Theorisation of resilient practices of green and blue asset utilisation; Economic mechanisms for transforming local resources into high-value community assets
Contact person: Hilkka Vihinen (

About the host institution

Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Bioeconomy and Environment Unit,

The ESRs will be recruited by the Bioeconomy and Environment Unit, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). Luke is a non-profitable public research and expert organisation that works to advance the bioeconomy and the sustainable use of natural resources. Luke’s strategic objectives are new bio-based products and new business activities; productivity through digital solutions; revitalising regions through the circular economy; wellbeing from immaterial values; healthy and profitable food production. This will be achieved by inter- and transdisciplinary approaches integrating natural, economic and political sciences and socio-cultural studies and in collaboration with non-academic expertise.

Luke is Finland´s second largest public research organisation with staff of 1300 experts that works to advance the bioeconomy and the sustainable use of natural resources. Luke operates in 20 different locations across the country. The headquarters is located in Helsinki. The recruited ESRs will be working in the unit of Bioeconomy and Environment, mainly in Helsinki. More information:

Candidate spesification


  • Applicants MUST – at the start date of the employment contract [1st September 2018] – be an ‘early stage researcher’: they must have completed a Master’s degree be in the first four years of their research career and NOT have a doctoral degree.
  • At the time of appointment by Luke applicants MUST NOT have resided in or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Finland for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.

Applicants who are not eligible for the positions hosted by Luke are encouraged to consider applying for positions hosted by the other participating institutions. For further information on the full network of 15 ESR doctoral positions currently open for recruitment and the associated list of participating countries/ host institutions, please see here


  • A Masters degree in a relevant discipline
  • Excellent English language proficiency both orally and in writing to derive the full benefit from the network training.

Knowledge and experience

  • Degree level knowledge on contemporary issues and theories in human geography, sociology, politics, planning, or related social science discipline
  • Research experience in the field of the specific ESR position
  • Knowledge and/or experience of collaborative approaches to sustainable resource management
  • Knowledge and experience of qualitative research methods.


  • In accordance with the mobility goals of MSCA Innovative Training Networks, appointed candidates will be required to visit other network partners for secondments, and attend research and training events for the network. Whilst the individual training events will require one-two weeks travel only, the secondments (which will be hosted by the consortium institutions) will each require a residence of three months. All eligible costs will be fully funded by the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions programme.
  • Candidates should possess a strong affinity with the RECOMS topic, be motivated to practice multi- and transdisciplinary forms of research inquiry and action-learning, and wish to gain a broad and advanced range of scientific and professional skills.
  • Candidates should understand the aims, rules and procedures of MSCA Innovative Training Networks.
  • Candidates should have an interest in engaging with, applying and receiving training in visual and creative methods and forms of communication. Whilst evidence of direct prior experience is desirable, it is not essential.
  • The ability to work as part of a team and the ambition to engage in participatory and collaborative forms of research and learning are essential.
  • Candidates will be expected to mainly work under supervision but also taking full delivery responsibility for individual tasks.

Conditions of employment

Benefits and salary
The ESRs will be employed as full members of staff at Luke and will receive all the benefits available to Luke staff members as standard. They will also receive all the benefits provided for in the Marie Skłodowska Curie ITN fellowships regulations, including a highly competitive remuneration of living allowance and mobility expenses.

The gross salary will be approximately 3 300 euros per month without family allowance (subject to income tax of Finland). Subject to eligibility an additional family allowance (6,000 euros total, divided across three years) may also be available.

In addition to being enrolled for doctoral study, appointed candidates will benefit from research collaboration within the RECOMS network, extensive joint training opportunities, and collaboration with non-academic organizations.

How to apply

Deadline for applications

23:59 GMT March 1st 2018. Please ensure your application is submitted to the host institution before this deadline. Late applications will not be considered.

Application process

Applicants are permitted to apply for a maximum of three positions from across the total 15 RECOMS ESR vacancies. For information on the ESR positions hosted elsewhere in Europe (Austria, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands and UK) please see here.

Applicants are required to submit, via the Luke recruitment portal

  • a full CV,
  • a motivation letter (maximum 2 pages)
  • the names of two referees (to be called upon should you be shortlisted)
  • proof of eligibility as an annex where relevant, including a) proof that you have no more experience than 4 years as a researcher, b) proof that you did not spend more than 12 months in the last 3 years in Finland, and c) further information on English language proficiency.

Please make a separate application for each position to which you are applying*. Multiple applications will not influence the selection chance in any particular project. Please mention on every application all ESR projects to which an application is being submitted.

Please submit your application in English.

Additional information: Short-listed candidates will be invited for an interview during April/May 2018. Where candidates are shortlisted for an interview they will be required to prepare a short doctoral study project research plan. Further information will be provided at the point of announcement of short-listing.

If you are shortlisted for interview, please note the interview panel will consist of the host and non-host institution RECOMS partners. Your application will be available to all panel members from submission for the purpose of assessing your suitability for the post.

Start Date: September 1st 2018

Duration: 36 months (fixed term)


For further information on the above advertised positions, please contact: Prof Hilkka Vihinen or Dr Katriina Soini

More information can also be found via the following links:

For any other queries please contact: Dr Alex Franklin