The University of Helsinki ( is an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. It is one of the leading multidisciplinary research universities in Europe and ranks among the top 100 universities in the world. The University of Helsinki seeks solutions for global challenges and creates new ways of thinking for the best of humanity.

The Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki is the leading Finnish institute of legal research and education. Some of the degrees awarded by the Faculty are completed at its bilingual (Finnish and Swedish) Vaasa Unit of Legal Studies. The Faculty’s mission is to train qualified, ethically responsible legal professionals for both the Finnish and international markets through high-quality international research and research-based teaching. The Faculty offers undergraduate degrees in Finnish, Swedish and English as well as a bilingual degree in Swedish and Finnish. The Faculty has a teaching and research staff of around 130 people and 2,400 undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The University has four doctoral schools, which offer a total of 32 doctoral programmes. The Doctoral Programme in Law is part of the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences (HYMY).

The Faculty of Law invites applications for


for a four-year period starting from January 1 2022 (or as agreed) onwards to contribute to the project Comparing Early Modern Colonial Laws: England, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain (CoCoLaw), led by Academy Professor Heikki Pihlajamäki. Successful candidates are expected to work full time and to complete their doctorates in four years. The duties may also include some teaching and other tasks. To fulfil the requirements of the position, the applicant chosen is awaited to reside in Finland while employed by the University of Helsinki

CoCoLaw will provide a comparative account of how early modern colonial laws of England, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal evolved. The Project sets the colonial laws in two important contexts: the historical continuation that links the colonial experience to the middle ages and the early modern context of continental European empires (Sweden, Germany, Russia). The Project will seek to understand how and why the legal strategies of the colonizing nations developed into different directions. In addition, CoCoLaw will systematically compare early modern overseas legal orders with each other, contributing to making legal history a truly global discipline. Culturally contextualizing and comparative methods best characterize the approach of the Project. We highly encourage applicants with linkages to these themes and an interest in comparative legal history of the early modern period to apply.

Applicants should hold a Master’s degree in a field that is relevant to the research topic and have a high quality research proposal. Relevant disciplines include but are not limited to legal history, history, and equivalent. Other requirements include proven ability and motivation, demonstrated through previous degree studies or otherwise, to pursue postgraduate studies and a doctoral degree according to a research proposal. Fluency in English is required.
The appointee must hold a study right in Law doctoral programme at the University of Helsinki. If the doctoral candidate does not yet have a study right at the University of Helsinki, the appointee must obtain the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki within six months of the start of the appointment.

The salary for the doctoral student position is based on levels 2–4 of the job requirement scheme for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee shall be paid a salary component based on personal work performance. Depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience, the salary is EUR 2350–3059 per month. A six-month trial period will be applied.

Following enclosures must be attached as single pdf-file to the application:
1. A curriculum vitae (max 2 pages).
2. A list of publications (please do not send copies of the publications themselves).
3. A research plan not exceeding 4 (four) pages including a statement outlining how the proposed topic fits the profile of the Project.
4. Contact information and recommendation from one referee.

Please submit your application through the University’s recruitment system by clicking the APPLY LINK below. Internal applicants (i.e., current employees of the University of Helsinki) must submit their applications through the SAP HR portal ( Before starting to fill in the application form, familiarize yourself with these general instructions for applying for UH-funded salaried positions, (including also instructions for attachments concerning degree certificates).

The deadline for applications is May 16, 2021.

For further information on the doctoral student positions, please contact Professor Heikki Pihlajamäki (heikki.pihlajamaki(at)

For further information on the recruitment process, please contact HR Specialist Minna Boström, hr-oiktdk(at)
Link to Faculty website:

Due date

16.05.2021 23:59 EEST