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Senior Researcher in Sociology


Senior researcher in the research project INDIRECT for a fixed term from 1 October 2017 to 31 March 2019.

The research project "INDIRECT – Intergenerational Cumulative Disadvantage and Resource Compensation" funded by the European Research Council (ERC) is recruiting a Senior Researcher (a recent postdoc or equivalent). The position will be located at the Unit of Sociology in the Department of Social Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Turku. The key areas of research and teaching at the department are welfare research, the study of cultural interaction and social inequality, and comparative research.

The project studies intergenerational inheritance of socioeconomic attainment, with a focus on the idea of resource compensation. Previous research has not been able to successfully explain why the loss of certain parental resources does not lead to poorer attainment. Neither do country differences in socioeconomic inheritance seem to reflect the institutional differences between them. We argue that these problems are due to a lack of attention on resource compensation. Resource compensation can be seen to come into play when families lose resources and attempt to compensate for these losses either through the use of other resources, which have not been lost, or with the resources of other family members or neighbours. Moreover, we expect there to be country differences in the way that resource compensation occurs. We study resource compensation in three contexts: 1) as life-course changes following losses, 2) as period changes creating losses, and 3) as structural disadvantages associated with lost resources. The findings from high-quality Finnish register data are compared to results from the German Socioeconomic Panel and the US-based Panel Study on Income Dynamics. Other country comparisons are conducted using the European Social Survey. The project combines three novel analytic approaches: sibling correlation methods, conditional multinomial (event history) models and sequence analysis.

The person chosen for the position will work with the PI, the Senior Research Fellow and a PhD student. The position is intended for a researcher who has defended her or his doctoral thesis relatively recently on a topic related to the project or is expected to do so within approximately six months of the application deadline. The tasks include conducting research on topics specified in the project plan.

The person chosen for the position is expected to have a) a PhD in sociology or in a field related to the topic (or close to acquiring such a degree, associated with strong practical research expertise in the field shown otherwise) and the ability to do independent scholarly work, b) publications on the topics related to the project, and c) previous experience in analysing register data, the Panel Study on Income Dynamics or the German Socioeconomic Panel.

The person chosen for the position is expected to begin working in the project at the beginning of October 2017 at the earliest and at the beginning of January 2018 at the latest. The contract is until the end of March 2019.

The salary is in accordance with the University salary system for teaching and research personnel levels 4 – 5 where the work-specific salary component is between 2,475.31 – 2,865.30 €/month. The component based on personal performance adds a maximum of 46.3 % to this salary. The eligibility criteria for a Senior Researcher are defined in the rules of procedure of the University of Turku

There will be a trial period of 4 months.

The application should include a motivation letter describing the applicant’s own research interests in the field and how they relate to the project, an academic portfolio, a CV, a list of publications, a copy of the PhD thesis (or if not yet defended, the manuscript and a statement from the supervisor on the expected date of defending the thesis) and two writing samples (articles or manuscripts) on topics related to the project. The appendices should follow the guidelines of the faculty, see The electronic database allows the applicant to submit only one application file to each application section. Information on the file forms to be used can be found in the additional information of each application. Please note that the database only allows the publications to be submitted in a packaged form (.zip). One .zip-file may include several individual files.

Applications must be submitted by 15 August 2017 via the electronic application form of the University of Turku.

A link to the application form can be found under the information of this position in

More information
University of Turku

Further details are available upon request from Professor Jani Erola, +358 29 450 2157,, and Senior Research Fellow Elina Kilpi-Jakonen, +358 29 450 2335, Inquiries will be answered by Senior Development Advisor Erika Lilja,