Two-year doctoral research  grant  available in the project  “Climate Sustainability in the Kitchen” at Gender Studies unit of University of Helsinki

The University of Helsinki (UH) is the oldest and largest university in Finland, with over 40  000 students and researchers. It is among the top 100 multidisciplinary research universities in the world. The Faculty of Arts at UH is Finland’s most diverse faculty in terms of the organisation and selection of its disciplines. The Gender Studies unit at UH carries out multidisciplinary critical research. 

The  project  “Climate Sustainability in the Kitchen – Everyday Food Cultures in Transition” is funded by Kone Foundation and carried out in Gender Studies unit at University of Helsinki in 2018-2020, directed by Dr. Kuura Irni. The project examines cultural change where more climate sustainable plant-based foods are emerging in everyday diets also in the Northern European contexts. Thus far, project researchers have focused on Finland and Estonia. The project is interdisciplinary, exploring the topic from the perspectives of gender studies, sociology, critical animal studies and environmental social science and in a variety of contexts, including lunch canteens, households, media discussions and policy making. In addition to conducting research, in cooperation with various food sector players and NGOs, the project develops 30 climate sustainable vegan recipes for lunch restaurants. 

The project accepts applications for:


 a fixed-term 2-year scholarship of 2400 euros per month

Please note that this is not a salary-based employment contract but a scholarship (apuraha in Finnish).  You are responsible for acquiring a MYEL insurance. You will be able to use (limited) travel funding for participating in conferences.


  • The main duties of the researcher include full-time research – working on your own (prospective) PhD project that aligns with the themes of our project.
  • The position requires scholarly publishing independently as well as in collaboration with members of the project team.
  • We are particularly looking for a researcher who is willing to develop decolonial or indigenous feminist perspectives and/or critical analysis of race and racism in combination with critical animal studies and/or critical analysis of current normative, animal-based food cultures and food production.  This is to enable other than Western queer and transgender theory-based analyses of sexual and gender variety.  An interest in environmental or animal advocacy activisms is an asset.
  • The researcher is expected to participate in other activities of the project, for example organising events, seminars and communication to the general public.
  • This project follows the equality and accessibility instructions of UH, and operates a safer working spaces policy.  The food served in all  project team meetings and other project events is plant-based.
  • It is strongly preferred that you live in Helsinki (or in the vicinity) for the duration of the scholarship, for you to fully participate in the project work.


  • Master’s degree in a field relevant to the project (for example, in humanities, social sciences or environmental social science) needs to be finished before you start in the project.
  • Familiarity with Gender Studies.
  • Interest and willingness to apply to the UH Doctoral Programme in Gender, Culture and Society and to conduct your PhD in this Programme.
  • Ability to conduct research independently and in collaboration with other scholars in the project.
  • Fluency in English (spoken and written). Knowledge of Finnish language is of use in the  project but is not mandatory. Our project team meetings and communication are conducted in English. 


Please send the following documents by email to climatekitchen(at)  by February 15, 2019:

  1. Curriculum vitae, including list of publications 
  2. Sample of your academic writing (for example, an article manuscript or a thesis chapter) 
  3. Research plan for 2 years 
  4. Letter of motivation 

The research plan and a sample of your scientific writing can be in English, Finnish or Swedish, and the other documents need to be in English.  

Please explain in the Letter of motivation how your background, previous experience and your (prospective) PhD project  relate  to the themes of our project, why you would be motivated to work with us, and what kind of research you would like to conduct during the two years you will participate in  the  project. 

Please prepare to participate in an interview either in person (preferred) or via Skype. The  interviews will be conducted in February 2019.  The chosen applicant is expected to start in the project as soon as possible.  


 For any inquiries about the position and about the “Climate Kitchen” project, please contact project researchers:

Kuura Irni (kuura.irni(at) (Finnish and English)

Saara Kupsala (saara.kupsala(at) (Finnish and English) 

Kadri Aavik (kadri.aavik(at) (in English)

We look forward to  hearing from you!  

The “Climate Sustainability in the Kitchen” project team


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