Salaried doctoral education at the University of Lapland: successful candidates appointed


At the turn of the year, the University of Lapland announced four paid doctoral education vacancies. The positions relate to the new, multidisciplinary doctoral education alternative ”The Arctic in a Changing World”. The successful candidates appointed to the positions are Auni Haapala, Krittika Singh, Heidi Konttinen and Salla Kalliojärvi.

The application process attracted a great deal of interest, and a total of 80 applications from both locally-based and international applicants were received by the deadline. The call for applications was circulated more widely also on international recruitment platforms for scientists such as EURAXESS.

– Our aim is to continue to announce salaried doctoral positions in international forums. Judging by the number of applications we received it seems that the University of Lapland is an appealing PhD research environment among first-rate applicants – both locally-based and international researchers keen on Arctic issues, says Osmo Rätti, the vice-rector responsible for research at the University of Lapland.

The new doctoral programme ”The Arctic in a Changing World” brings together the University of Lapland’s multidisciplinary thematic doctoral education underpinned by the strategy of the Lapland University Consortium.

The contract period of Haapala and Singh will begin on 2 August and that of Konttinen and Kalliojärvi on 1 April. Their multidisciplinary research projects bring Arctic perspectives to the disciplines of social sciences, law and educational sciences.

The recruitment process was conducted in accordance with the principles of good administration

The recruitment process was conducted in three stages. At the first stage, the applicants who fulfilled the criteria specified in the position announcement and whose proposed research thematically fit within the scope of the doctoral programme proceeded to the second stage. At the second stage, experts from the faculties and research units were consulted, and the second stage was concluded by shortlisting eight applicants for interview. At the third stage, the eight applicants were interviewed and four of them were selected for the positions.

– We received a number of high-quality applications and were faced with the task of selecting the applicants with the best overall qualifications that match the criteria specified for the position. We very much hope that those who were among the top applicants, even if they were not selected for the salaried positions this time, continue to pursue their doctoral projects, says Outi Rantala, the Chair of the recruitment committee.

Every individual engaged in the recruitment process as an expert was required to establish whether they are disqualified under sections 27–29 of the Administrative Procedure Act (434/2003).

– During the recruitment planning stage – that is prior to processing the applications – we consulted legal experts in order to ensure that the recruitment process will proceed in accordance with the principles of good administration, says Juha Himanka, the Chair of the doctoral programme.

In addition, the process has been appropriately documented and communications around the process have been implemented from an international perspective.

The candidates appointed to the positions

Auni Haapala completed her Master's degree at the University of Copenhagen in 2017. In her doctoral research Arctic Cities in the Makings of Global Extractivism Haapala draws from feminist studies, critical urban studies, and political ecology to investigate the roles of three Arctic cities – Rovaniemi, Tromso and Murmansk – in the exploitation of Arctic nature and natural resources. The results of the study will help to deepen understanding of the complex ways cities participate in the makings of extractivism, and the possibilities of local actors to resist the spread of extractivist practices from the urban grounds.

Krittika Singh has a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy degree, obtained in 2018 at Tufts University (Medford, USA). Her doctoral research A framework for regulating the environmental and social impacts of deep sea-mining contributes towards filling gaps that exist in the legal and policy framework for deep sea mining within and beyond areas of national jurisdiction. She will conduct her research through a multidisciplinary methodology, combining doctrinal study with cross-disciplinary research. In practice, she will examine the relationship between international and national rules, analyse the framework of environmental impacts, and devise strategies and a framework for addressing social impacts – not currently envisaged in the legal rules.

Heidi Konttinen holds two master’s degrees: one from Aalto University (2018) and the other from the University of Lapland (2016). In her transdisciplinary dissertation Arctic seal hunt, crafts and trade as a place of encounter for local and global sustainability discourses, Konttinen studies the impacts of the European Union’s regulations on the seal trade in two different seal hunting communities: in Himanka in Finland and among the Kalaallit in Greenland. The research participates in the discussion of the geopolitics of power and knowledge between global and local sustainabilities and it is conducted with research through design and Indigenous research methodologies.

Salla Kalliojärvi holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Lapland (2017). Her primary research interests centre around the relationship between climate change and security. In her current research for her doctoral thesis Security in the Age of Climate Change: The convergence of securities? she studies how the increasing significance of multinational corporations in global climate governance is impacting on the structures and governance of security. These impacts and their political and institutional effects are analyzed from a discourse theoretical point of view and studied in relation to the Arctic region and its interaction with the global systems.

Web page of the doctoral programme:

Web page for applicants:

Further information

Osmo Rätti, Vice-rector responsible for research, Director of the Graduate School

Outi Rantala, Chair of the recruitment committee

Juha Himanka, Chair of the doctoral programme