“We are looking for top talent and good ideas” – INVEST continues to grow with new researcher recruitment

The INVEST flagship continues to grow. During the spring and early summer, several job positions have opened up for sociology researchers.

In May and June, vacancies include 3–6 fixed-term senior researcher positions. These are available for four years during which researchers can work on their own research for at least half of the time.

– Contracts this long are rarely available in the early stages of an independent research career. These positions also include time reserved for working on one’s own research plan, alongside the project research itself. We want to combine the benefits of high-quality project cooperation with the opportunity to carry out one’s own research plan over a relatively long period of time, explains Jani Erola, Director of the INVEST Research Flagship Center.

INVEST aims to provide a new model for welfare states that is more equal, better targeted to problem groups, more anticipatory as well as economically and socially sustainable. The multidisciplinary project is implemented in cooperation with the University of Turku and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.

The project combines the study fields of sociology, social policy, psychology and child psychiatry. The broad research area means that a significant proportion of all sociological research that relates in some way to inequality can fit under the INVEST umbrella.

INVEST provides an opportunity to follow one’s own research plans which, by fitting within the INVEST themes, also supports the objectives of the project as a whole.

– There is a particular need for research into socio-biological phenomena and research comparing different countries. However, I would not exclude any other themes. We are also therefore hoping to receive independent and credible research plans. We have themes that emphasise certain areas, but good ideas are always welcome. We are looking for top talent and good ideas. We are also looking for people to work in our affiliate projects, many of which are already ongoing, Erola says.

“The goals here are set high”

More than 200 researchers are already linked with INVEST and some 40 projects are ongoing. The flagship carries out extensive research and recent publications have examined areas such as mental health problems related to bullying, the link between female-biased sex ratios and reproduction, the impact of the state of emergency on studying, and the effectiveness of app-based mindfulness training.

The interventions developed through the project impact more than 500,000 children. Currently, INVEST collaborates with various research organisations, companies and public administrative and civil society actors. In addition to these, INVEST collaborates with over 900 Finnish schools and over 100 municipalities.

For the researcher, INVEST provides an opportunity for independent work as part of a top-quality network.

– The goals here are set high, so if you want to carry out research in this field at the highest possible level, it’s hard to take it much further than this. We also have very good resources to support research. We are often asked, for example, about funding limits for travel and research, but there are no fixed amounts for these. So right now we are simply looking for really good ideas – and really good researchers who can implement them.

Senior researcher positions include a small proportion of teaching responsibility in the PhD and Master’s programmes of the flagship.  However, the extent of the teaching is limited to a maximum of five percent of working time, so the focus is clearly on research work.

INVEST vacancies can be viewed on the flagship website and on the University of Turku recruitment website.

Researchers can also become INVEST affiliated by filling out an online form.