Postdoctoral Researcher – Law and the Uses of the Past

The University of Helsinki ( is an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. It is one of the leading multidisciplinary research universities in Europe and ranks among the top 100 international universities in the world. The University of Helsinki seeks solutions for global challenges and creates new ways of thinking for the best of humanity.

The Faculty of Social Sciences is Finland’s leading research and education institution in the social sciences and also the most diverse in terms of its disciplines. In several research fields the Faculty belongs to the top 50 in the international rankings. The Faculty has a strong international profile both in research and teaching programmes. The number of academic staff stands at 500. Each year the faculty awards some 350 Bachelor’s degrees, 400 Master’s degrees, and more than 40 doctoral degrees. For more information on the Faculty of Social Sciences, please visit

The Faculty of Social Sciences invites applications for the position of

Postdoctoral Researcher, Law and the Uses of the Past

for a four-year fixed term period from 1 January 2022 onwards (or as agreed) to contribute to the subproject Law and the Uses of the Past of the Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Law, Identity and the European Narratives (EuroStorie,

The CoE is a part of the interdisciplinary Centre of European Studies. The purpose of the CoE is to launch a new, third generation inquiry that critically explores the emergence of narratives of Europe as responses to the crises of the twentieth century and how these narratives have shaped the ideas of justice and community in Europe. It studies the foundational stories that underlie the contested idea of a shared European heritage in law and culture, such as the ideas of rule of law, equality, tolerance, pluralism and the rejection of totalitarianism, and their relevance for current debates on identity and history. The CoE is divided into three subprojects. For descriptions of the subprojects and their aims, please see

The subproject Law and the Uses of the Past studies the emergence of the idea of a shared legal past in Europe. Its emphasis is on the history of legal and political thought and concepts central to the idea of Europe such as community and belonging, subsidiarity and federalism, centre and periphery, structure and agency as well as memory and tradition. It utilizes methods from scientific fields as diverse as legal history, Roman law, political science, legal anthropology, the history of philosophy, intellectual history, the history of ideas, and historiographical theory. We invite unconventional projects that combine legal, historical and theoretical angles, as well as historical narratives from antiquity to the twentieth century. Projects with linkages with and relevance in other subprojects of the CoE are highly encouraged. We welcome applicants with a multidisciplinary academic background and experience in conducting high-level research in interdisciplinary groups. We offer an exciting and stimulating multidisciplinary research community.


An appointee to the position must hold a doctoral degree in a relevant field of legal history, history, political science, or equivalent. Moreover, he or she is expected to have the ability to conduct independent scientific research and possess the teaching skills required for the position. The position of postdoctoral researcher is typically held for three to five years after the completion of a doctoral degree. The aim of the position is to encourage the appointee to further their skills and gain more experience to prepare them for an academic career.

An appointee must be able to provide a clear contribution to the theme of the CoE and to its general development, together with full-time researchers, postdocs, visiting faculty, Ph.D. students, and graduate students working as research assistants. To fulfil the research requirements of the position, the applicant chosen is awaited to reside in Finland while employed by the University of Helsinki, and actively participate in the research and teaching activities of the CoE. The Faculty of Social Sciences provides assistance in relocation. An appointee is expected to contribute 2 months of the annual work time to joint projects at the CoE, develop her/his own and our common research agenda, and contribute to collective academic tasks such as teaching, seminars and joint academic papers. The teaching requirement is 5% of working time.

What we offer

We are an equal opportunity employer and offer an attractive and diverse workplace in an inspiring environment with a variety of development opportunities and benefits. The annual gross salary range will be approx. 41,000 – 50,000 euros, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience. In addition, University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and opportunities for professional development. Further information at The employment contract will include a probationary period of six months.

How to apply

Please submit your application through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the link Apply for job. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to submit their application via the SAP HR portal. The deadline for applications is 23 April, 2021.

Applicants are requested to enclose with their applications the following documents as a single pdf file:
1) A curriculum vitae (max 4 pages).
2) A numbered list of publications on which the applicant has marked in bold her or his five key publications to be considered during the review. (You do not need to send copies of the publications themselves.)
3) A statement (max 2 pages) outlining how the applicant’s expertise could contribute both to research conducted at the CoE and to cross-disciplinary collaboration between the subprojects of the CoE.
4) A research plan (max 6 pages) with an outline of how the study would contribute to the SP1 aims.

For instructions, please see

Further information

Further information about the position, and about the research theme Law and the Uses of the Past, may be obtained (in English and Finnish) from Dr. Kaius Tuori ( and from the team leader Dr. Jacob Giltaij (, in English).


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