The University of Helsinki invites applications for the position of Di­rec­tor for HEL­SUS

The University of Helsinki is a community founded on research, learning and courageous thought, where groundbreaking basic research, open-minded curiosity and cooperation engender opportunities for solving global challenges. Our everyday work and interaction are guided by the University’s strategic plan as well as shared values: truth, Bildung, freedom and inclusivity.

Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science is a cross-faculty research unit in sustainability science within the University of Helsinki.

The mission of the institute is to contribute to sustainability transformations of societies by means of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and education. The research focuses in particular on Urban Studies, Consumption and Production, the Global South, Arctic, and Theory and Methodology. There are around 50 professors and more than 490 researchers associated to the institute in the eight HELSUS faculties. HELSUS forms an attractive international and interdisciplinary research community for professors and researchers working with sustainability topics. Tasks of the Institute:

1. Conduct high quality scientific research in the field of sustainability science via new tenure tracks and inter- and transdisciplinary research programs
2. Develop methodological and theoretical excellence in Sustainability Science in collaboration with the experts at the University of Helsinki and national and international partners
3. Co-produce solutions and pathways towards sustainability together with non-academic partners, policy makers and businesses – emergence of novel entrepreneurships
4. Educate a new generation of researchers and experts in Sustainability Science both in master’s and doctorate levels.
5. Promote sustainable operations at the campus of University of Helsinki and in Helsinki district
Read more about HELSUS activities and get to know our researchers:….

The University of Helsinki invites applications for the position of


of the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS) for a term of up to 4 – 5 years as of 1 January 2022 or as agreed. The position is part-time (a minimum of 50%).

Position overview

We are looking for a director with strong experience in academic leadership as well as the ability to lead and develop the activities of the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, taking its regulated duties into account. The appointee must hold a doctorate and have a proven record of conducting diverse, high-quality research related to sustainability science.

If the appointee is currently employed by the University of Helsinki, they can devote 50% of their working hours to the completion of their basic duties, and will receive an administrative fee for the institute’s leadership in addition to their basic salary. If the appointee is not currently employed by the University of Helsinki, their duties and salary will be agreed separately.

The director will be responsible for leading and developing the institute and will promote research and education in the field together with faculties and stakeholders. The director will prepare and present an annual action plan for the institute’s steering group. The director will share responsibility for the institute’s cooperation with stakeholders within and outside the University of Helsinki and will develop multidisciplinary research cooperation within the institute. The director’s duties will include the scientific leadership of the institute, the acquisition of funding and financial responsibility. We expect the director to secure and develop the financial base of the institute by attracting external funds from various sources. The work will be supported by the steering group and its chair.

What we expect

To successfully attend to the duties of director of the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), the appointee must have

• Experience in multidisciplinary research and its leadership
• Experience in studies, doctoral education and the development of education in the field of sustainability science
• Experience in academic leadership and the leadership of academic networks
• Experience in working at an international research institute or in international research collaboration
• Proven track record of attracting external funding from various sources to promote sustainability science and collaboration
• Good cooperation and negotiation skills
• An inspiring, target-oriented and encouraging leadership style

Success in leading multidisciplinary research in sustainability science and managing change within an academic environment will be considered an asset. The director’s position requires a strategic and future-oriented vision for the development of the institute. Successful cooperation with the faculties, the University community, the University’s senior leadership and stakeholders is based on interaction, openness, collegiality and objective-setting.

The director must have financial and HR management skills as well as leadership and supervisory skills, and be willing to develop in their role. The director must have an understanding of the academic world and experience in the academic management and leadership of a sustainability science discipline. When selecting the appointee, additional merit will be accorded for active national and international cooperation in the field of the institute. We value a strong vision for the collaborative development of the institute within the international operating environment as an equal and fair work community. If the successful applicant is not proficient in Finnish or Swedish, we expect the candidate to acquire sufficient proficiency because the director is also expected to integrate as fully as possible into the workplace and Finnish society.

How to apply

Applicants are requested to attach the following documents to their applications as a single PDF file:
1) CV
2) List of publications
3) Description of leadership and management experience and insight relevant for the position as well as cooperation and negotiation skills (max. 2 pages)
4) Vision for the development of the institute (max. 2 pages)

Please submit your application using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the link “Apply for the position”. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to leave their application by signing to

The dead line for applications is 1 November, 2021.

Futher information about the position may be obtained: professor Kai Kokko, kai.kokko(at), tel +358294122820 Enquiries regarding the recruitment process: Head of HR Ville Honkanen,, tel +358294122375

Best regards,