School of Marketing and Communication, Communication studies

Position, location

The Tenure track position in Digital Communication is located in the School of Marketing and Communication. The research will be undertaken as a part of the multidisciplinary research platform Digital economy. The position is located in Vaasa, Finland.

The position will primarily be filled for a fixed term as Assistant Professor or Associate Professor. The level is determined based on the applicant's merits. A person fulfilling all qualification requirements and demonstrating particular merits may be appointed directly to the position of Professor on a permanent employment contract. This presupposes that all statements by the external experts find the applicant eligible for the position of Professor. The  process for nominating a person to the position of Professor is specified in Section 33 of the Universities Act (558/2009) and the University of Vaasa's regulations.

The Tenure Track procedure permits the University to offer the recruited person a path that enables them to progress through regular evaluations to the position of Professor in the discipline in question. A person selected for the Tenure Track position will have their work monitored and evaluated on the criteria defined when the employment relationship is formed. Depending on the career stage of the selected person, successful evaluations can lead to a new tenure track term or to tenure as a Professor via the invitation procedure.

Please see “Areas of assessment” below for more information about the evaluation criteria.

Scope and task definition

The tenure track position is situated in Communication Studies. The research focus associated with this position is on digital agency and digitalization in the broad sense. The expected areas of interest ideally include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • social media and platform economy
  • usability and user experience
  • data visualization and datafication
  • digitalization from the perspectives of individuals, society, community, culture and/or economy.

In addition, publications in the fields of user-centered design, sustainability, and business research are considered as merits.

Applicants are required to have an applicable doctoral degree together with, excellent academic merit as well as evidence of the potential to produce high quality research. We are particularly interested in applicants with interdisciplinary interests and strong records of, or potential for, excellence in teaching.

The tenure track task is research-oriented, but it also includes teaching, thesis supervision, seeking external funding for research projects, and university administrative assignments qualifying the applicant for the position of professor. The duities in teaching and supervision are related to study programmes in communication sciences.

General job description for career path levels

The duties of the Assistant Professor include independent post-doctoral research as well as duties within teaching and university administration. The Assistant Professor may also supervise students writing their bachelor's or master's theses and act as a second supervisor for doctoral theses.

The duties of the Associate Professor include independent scientific research and responsible research-oriented organization tasks. Within the discipline, the Associate Professor will participate extensively in teaching and theses supervision. The Associate Professor is also required to participate actively in planning research and development projects, acquiring external funding and international collaboration. The Associate Professor carries an overall responsibility of duties within research, education, and university administration within his/her special field.

The Professor leads research together with other Professors within the same discipline and provides research-based teaching. The Professor's responsibilities have emphasis on developing and managing the research group. The Professor defines the orientation of research in the research group, taking into account the general development in the discipline and the University's strategic lines, and guides younger colleagues towards this orientation. The Professor manages and develops education of the discipline. The Professor is also responsible for the quality of research and teaching, builds and maintains research and education networks nationally and internationally as well as participates in societal interaction. The Professor develops and initiates research projects and acquires external funding for them.

The working time has been agreed upon in the collective bargaining agreement for universities. Working duties are annually agreed upon in the work plan.


The salary level is determined based on the job requirements for teaching and research personnel in accordance with the Finnish University Salary System (YPJ). A Professor's salary level is based on demand levels 8-10. The demand levels for an Associate Professor’s position are 6-7 and an Assistant Professor's 5-6. An additional personal salary component is paid based on work performance.

Areas of assessment

The University of Vaasa adheres to the principles of responsible research evaluation and the DORA Declaration.

The common illustrative merit requirements connected to different career stages are as follows:

Assistant Professor

To hold sufficient merit for the position of Assistant Professor in the Tenure Track system, the applicant must have had at least 3 peer-reviewed scientific publications or manuscripts approved for publication in his/her academic career in addition to the doctoral dissertation or its included publications. lt is considered beneficial if research has been published by a prestigious journal or publisher. ln addition, the applicant must have a research plan for the Tenure Track period with relevance to the University's specified research platforms, as well as the required teaching skills.

Associate Professor

To hold sufficient merit for the position of Associate Professor, the applicant or member of staff applying for promotion within the career system must have had at least 6 peer-reviewed scientific publications or manuscripts approved for publication in addition to the doctoral dissertation or its included publications. lt is considered beneficial if research has been published by a prestigious journal or publisher. ln addition, experience in supervising theses (being named as at least the second supervisor on theses) is required, along with demonstrations of successful teaching and teaching development and management. Associate Professors are also required to have the ability to lead a research group and manage research projects. Furthermore, applicants for the position of Associate Professor must have demonstrated their ability to acquire external research funding. Evaluations will also take note of how well the applicant has been able to realise his/her research plan for the period. ln addition, the applicant must have a research plan for the next Tenure Track period with relevance to the University's specified research platforms. Scientific work conducted abroad and demonstrations of international cooperation are beneficial for this position.


To hold sufficient merit for the position of Professor, the applicant or member of staff applying for promotion within the career system must have had at least 8 peer-reviewed scientific publications or manuscripts approved for publication in addition to the doctoral dissertation or its included publications. At least two of the publications must have been published by a prestigious journal or publisher. Further prerequisites for the position of Professor are strong demonstrations of the implementation, management and development of academic education. ln addition, demonstrations of research leadership are required, including supervisory work on theses, successful acquisition of external funding, active work in scientific associations and demonstrations of international collaboration in research. Evaluations of publishing activities will also take note of how well the applicant has been able to realise his/her research plan for the period.

ln the position of Professor, practical non-academic experience in the field is not required but can be considered beneficial.

The Tenure Track evaluation criteria for recruitment and progression on the career path are as follows:

1. Scientific research

Scientific output and the scientific influence of research

  • Peer-reviewed publications
  • Scientific citations (taking into consideration the practices prevailing within the discipline)
  • Other research publications

2. Research plan for the Tenure Track period

The University of Vaasa is directing research in its focal areas through three multidisciplinary research platforms. For this reason, applicants for Tenure Track positions or staff transitioning from one career stage to another are requested to append to their applications a research plan of no more than 5 pages in length, detailing the ways in which they would direct their research from the perspective of their own discipline towards the research platform's programme as described in the call for applications. The plan must include a description of the phenomena concerned, the perspective on the applicant's own subject and the added-value to be realised from analysing the phenomena as well as possible partners. lt is beneficial if the plan also includes potential sources of external financing (programmes or similar) and a publication plan. When progressing to the next Tenure Track stage, note is also taken of how well the candidate has been able to realise his/her research plan for the period.

3. Education

  • Teaching experience (including supervising theses)
  • Teaching and learning material (including digital and online content)
  • Pedagogical training

4. Activities in scientific communities and societal influence

  • Scientific collaboration and academic networks
  • lnternational activity
  • Activity in the operations of scientific communities
  • Leading research and education
  • Acquiring external financing
  • Societal influence and working with stakeholders

The aim is to identify the most capable applicant in terms of the subject and the applicant with the greatest potential from the University's perspective in terms of the future direction.

lf applicants do not meet the requirements set for the career stage, the recruitment cannot be carried out or an additional period cannot be granted.

Language skills

The administrative language of the University of Vaasa is Finnish. The teaching languages are Finnish and English, meaning that the position also requires fluency in written and spoken English. lf the candidate is a foreigner or a Finnish citizen who is not a native or has not been educated in Finnish, they may be granted an exemption from the language proficiency requirement without separate application. The selected candidate is expected to acquire the necessary language skills needed in the position in accordance with the language policy of the University of Vaasa.

Applying for the position

Applications are submitted using the University of Vaasa's electronic recruitment system. The application period ends 17.8.2020.

Applicants are asked to fill in the application form and using the online recruitment system attach the following for the evaluation of their competence:

1. Attachments in English:

2. In addition, numbered according to the above publication categories:

  • Copies of no more than 10 publications that the applicant wishes to be taken into account when evaluating their competence and qualifications. The publications can, if needed, be merged into a maximum of 7 pdf-files.

Applicants must indicate which level of Tenure Track position they are primarily applying for in their applications.

Appointment procedure

External experts

When the deadline for applications has passed, the Dean responsible prepares for the Appointment Committee a proposal on the selection of the best applicants for the assessment process. The Appointment Committee conducts a preliminary assessment of the applicants and sends the applications of the applicants that it considers to be the best to the experts for assessment.

In addition to the Chair and Secretary, the Appointment Committee includes the Dean of the School concerned and the Director of the research platform related to the discipline in which the appointee will work. Further members include a Dean from another School and 1-2 Professors representing the field in question.

The Appointment Committee selects two external experts with relevance to the position to give statements as proposed by the dean responsible. The experts are requested to provide a written assessment of the applicants' scientific qualifications and other merits within two months, as well as to give their views on which Tenure Track level the applicant should be recruited to. The disqualification of an expert is subject to sections 27-29 of the Finnish Administrative Procedure Act (434/2003).

After receiving the expert statements, the Appointment Committee processes the statements.

Teaching demonstration, interview and suitability assessment

After receiving the expert statements, the Appointment Committee invites the applicants that it deems best for an interview. The Appointment Committee also decides whether the applicants are required to give a teaching demonstration and evaluates such a demonstration as part of the overall assessment of the applicant's teaching skills.

The Appointment Committee also decides whether to evaluate language skills and, if required, whether to invite applicants for a suitability assessment. A suitability assessment is an evaluation provided by an external service provider regarding the applicant's suitability for the position in question.

Filling the position

The Appointment Committee will make an overall assessment on the eligibility and suitability of the candidate. At the same time, the Appointment Committee decides which level in the career path each of the best ranked applicants have reached. As a result of the overall assessment, the Appointment Committee will prepare a detailed proposal to the University's Rector that the position be filled or that the initiative to fill the position be dropped.

The appointment is subject to the satisfactory completion of a six-month trial period. The employment relationship will begin as agreed.

Further information

Pirjo Laaksonen, Dean,  School of Marketing and Communication, tel. +358 29 449 8460, email: pirjo.laaksonen(a)

Tanja Sihvonen, Professor, Communication Studies, tel. +358 29 449 8269, email: tanja.sihvonen(a)

Kaisu Piirainen, Vice-Director, Faculty and Management Services, tel. +358 29 449 8428, email: kaisu.piirainen(a)


The position will be filled in compliance with the appointment procedure specified in the Finnish Universities Act (558/2009), Administrative procedure Act (434/2003) and the regulations of the University of Vaasa.

ln the event of inconsistency or discrepancy between the Finnish and English versions of this document, the Finnish language version shall prevail.