Doctoral Researcher in Theoretical Evolutionary Biology

The Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Helsinki invites applications for the position of a Doctoral Researcher in theoretical evolutionary biology. The field of research is modelling the evolution of ageing.


The Doctoral researcher will be appointed for a fixed-term 4-year contract (Start date: 1 September 2024 or as agreed). The position will be supervised by Dr. Piret Avila.


The Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Academy Research Fellow Dr. Piret Avila are seeking a highly motivated PhD student to develop theoretical work on the evolution of ageing and life history theory. This planned PhD project will focus on understanding the diversity of ageing patterns across the tree of life, investigating why some organisms exhibit negligible ageing and exploring sex-specific differences in ageing. The work has significant implications for ageing research, reproductive health and life history theory more broadly. We utilize various methods from theoretical evolutionary biology, including evolutionary game theory, adaptive dynamics, population genetics, and optimization theory.




  • A fully-funded 4-year PhD student position at the University of Helsinki (the Viikki campus) with a flexible start date, starting from 01.09.2024.
  • An exciting opportunity to conduct impactful research in a supportive and stimulating environment.
  • Exceptional scope for collaboration, with a planned research visits with leading research groups in the field.
  • Plenty of opportunities to attend international conferences to build your scientific network.
  • Access to top-notch resources and excellent support to further learning and professional development.





  • A highly motivated student with a Master's degree in biology, mathematics, physics, economics, or a related field.
  • Strong analytical and quantitative skills.
  • Curiosity and aptitude for learning are more important than specific background.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.
  • Strong interest in evolutionary biology if from a background other than biology.


We value a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for the position, without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, origin, genetics, disability, or age.


The appointee should either already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki by the start of the appointment or apply for the right and obtain it within the probationary period of six months of their appointment. If the appointee does not already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, it must be applied for separately, please see:


The starting salary of the Doctoral researcher will be based on level 2 of the requirement level chart for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal performance. The starting salary of the Doctoral researcher will be ca. 2400-2600 euros/month, depending on the appointees’ qualifications and experience. A six-month trial period will be applied.


The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, unemployment and pension fund, a generous holiday package, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development (



  1. A cover letter (max 1 page) detailing their experience and research interests


  1. Curriculum vitae showing the applicant's education, completed qualifications, work experience, possible list of publications and contact information of 2 persons for references (up to 3 pages).


  1. Copies of Master's, and Bachelor's degree certificates and official transcripts of the records, and their translations, if the originals are not in Finnish, Swedish or English.


External applicants, please submit your application using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the Apply Now button.


Applicants who have a username and a valid employment contract, a grant researcher's contract or a visiting researcher's contract at the University of Helsinki are requested to leave their application by using the Employee Login button.


The closing date for applications is 19th August 2024 at 23:59 EEST.


We will process applications already during the application period and the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is found.


Further information

Do you have a username and a valid employment contract, a grant researcher's contract, a visiting researcher's or visiting professor's contract at the University of Helsinki? Log in here to apply to our open positions.

Open position

Due Date:  19.8.2024
Unit:  Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Sub-unit:  Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Progr
ID:  3330

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