Call for Applications: PhD Position in Borders, Mobilities, and Identities

A fully-funded 4 year PhD position will give a promising doctoral student a chance to work with the Mobilities, Borders, and Identity Research Group in the Department of Geography at the University of Oulu. This research group was formed to strengthen current research in both the University’s focus area of “Culture, interaction and identity” and the work carried out in the Research Group on Regional Transformation (RGTG). The RGTG has been working on political geographic issues, tourism geographies, region-building processes, borders, identities at various scales, regional development, and mobilities for two decades.

Current members of the Borders, Mobilities, and Identity Research Group explore:
  • Detention, US immigration law, and bordering practices (Dr. Lauren Martin)
  • Borders, culture and identity, tourism, and geopolitics (Dr. Eeva-Kaisa Prokkola)
  • Tourism mobilities, local cultures and identities, environmental sustainability (Dr. Jarkko Saarinen).
  • Borders, globalization, regions, and regional identity (Dr. Anssi Paasi).
  • Regional policy, European integration, and Arctic environmental change and geopolitics (Dr. Sami Moisio).

The PhD position is part of a university initiative to expand the research group’s theoretical, methodological, and site-based perspectives on these themes. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated background in related topics, and will be able to contribute original, cutting-edge work to the research group.

Applicants from any country may apply.

Position Description:

The student will be supervised by Dr. Lauren Martin and Dr. Eeva-Kaisa Prokkola and have the opportunity to contribute to a research project, “Technologies of Apprehension” led by Dr. Martin. The doctoral student will bring masters-level research experience to the project and contribute to research, international conference presentations, and publications. The PhD student will be given the  opportunity to collaborate on research design and writing projects, and will develop her/his own original research project.

The PhD student’s salary will start at levels 1-2 according to the university salary system, or from 1700-2500€, depending on qualifications and experience. Additionally, the doctoral students are entitled to health care benefits.


Candidates must have a Masters in human geography (or closely related disciplines) and demonstrate research experience with at least one of the following themes:
  • borders.
  • nationalism and/or regional identity.
  • immigration, citizenship.
  • postcoloniality, race, intimacy, queer theory.
  • securitization.
  • biopolitics/biopower.
  • inclusion/exclusion of marginalized communities.
  • transnational mobility/migration.
  • law, rights, and justice.
  • imprisonment, detention, or confinement.
  • political party, social movement and advocacy responses to border, immigration, and
  • security practices (and/or perceived crises).
  • privatization, devolution, and neoliberal governance.

The University of Oulu Graduate School requires applicants to demonstrate English language competency, if the student’s MA or MSc is not in English.  In addition, Finnish students must have an MA thesis grade of at least 3/5.

Interested students are encouraged to contact Lauren Martin with  questions and informal expressions of interest. 

More information on graduate study and the Geography Department at the University of Oulu can be found at:

Application Process:

Please send the following materials to kirjaamo (at) by September 30, 2011 before 3.00 pm local time in Finland. Alternatively, you can mail your application to: University of Oulu, Kirjaamo/Office of Registrar, PO Box 8000, FI-90014 University of Oulu, Finland. Applications will not be returned.

1. Research Interest Statement: This should describe the student’s preliminary research plan for doctoral research, and may include a conceptual overview, background on the topic, potential research questions, and any research completed to date (if applicable). Where possible, applicants should link future research interests to their previous work, and demonstrate interest and experience in the research group’s themes (2-4 pages, 12 pt.


2. A Curriculum Vitae (CV). Please include language proficiency beyond English, any NGO or advocacy experience, paid employment, technological skills, etc. in addition to your academic experience.

3. Master’s thesis abstract and Master’s thesis statement (for Finnish students).

4. Recommendations from 2-4 previous teachers, supervisors or mentors able to speak to  your academic ability.

5. OPTIONAL: Writing sample, such as a publications or thesis chapter best demonstrating the applicant’s scholarly ability.

Applications will be reviewed by the Mobilities, Borders, and Identity research group faculty on the basis of the following criteria:

1. Demonstration of high-level academic performance.

2. Ability to complement and diversify expertise, previous research, special knowledge, or

skills of the research team.

3. Knowledge of relevant substantive literatures.

When the top candidate has been selected and has agreed to join the research group, the Geography Department will work with the student to file an application to the Graduate School and register.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s