Tampere University

Postdoctoral Researcher (Early modern disability history)

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Tampere University and Tampere University of Applied Sciences create a unique environment for multidisciplinary, inspirational and high-impact research and education. Our universities community has its competitive edges in technology, health and society. www.tuni.fi/en

The research project ‘Lived Religion and the Changing Meaning(s) of Disability from the Late Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution’’, affiliated with the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences (HEX), Faculty of Social Sciences, invites applications for the position of

Postdoctoral Researcher (History)

for a fixed term of two years.

The Academy of Finland funded research project ‘Lived Religion and the Changing Meaning(s) of Disability from the Late Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution’ runs till August 2025. The project analyses the ways religious life and religious understanding influenced the lived experience and everyday life of people with physical and mental disabilities in Europe from the Late Middle Ages to the industrial revolution. It will reveal the continuities and changes in the ways bodies and minds that were deemed different were viewed, and the role faith played in this. 

HEX is an international research centre that focuses on the theoretical and empirical study of experiences in history with three overlapping research teams, which are Lived Religion, Lived Nation, and Lived Welfare State. HEX represents the history of experiences as a fruitful new way of doing social and cultural history. Researchers at HEX combine the history of experiences with a variety of different approaches: e.g. the history of emotions; welfare and nationalism studies; history of religious and social movements; study of hagiography; gender and oral history; digital humanities; and the history of childhood and youth.

The Faculty of Social Sciences / History also hosts Trivium – Tampere Centre for Classical, Medieval and Early Modern Studies, which is a thriving network for scholars of pre-modern and early modern history.

Job Description

The postdoctoral researcher will focus on lived religion and disability in early modern (ca. 1500–1700) Central Europe (preferably German-speaking areas but other areas are considered as well). The research will examine the influence of the Protestant Reformation on perceptions and experiences of bodily and mental impairments to assess how the profound religious changes occurring during the period shaped emerging notions of ‘disability’. The research will analyze diverse sources from the Reformation to evaluate how far understandings and experiences of ‘disability’ differed from those found by scholars for the late medieval world. 

The postdoctoral researcher is expected to publish two peer-reviewed research articles, contribute to the joint project publications, and attend other activities of the research team. They are expected to present their research at seminars and academic conferences. HEX organizes regular seminars, where the postdoctoral researcher is also encouraged to present their work. A successful candidate is expected to show interest and enthusiasm towards working in a team.

The position will offer the successful applicant a chance to work in a thriving, international research environment and develop their professional skills. HEX and Tampere University offer possibilities to attend seminars and guest lectures, participate in international conferences, and network and form new contacts. 


The selected candidate must hold a doctoral degree in a relevant field, such as history or church history. The degree must be completed before the end of the application period.  

The selected candidate must have the ability to conduct independent, high-quality scientific research. The candidate should have excellent analytical and methodological skills and be able to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a research team. A successful candidate is expected to have experience and training in Early Modern and/or Late Medieval Central European history and the history of disability. 

Sufficient language and paleography skills are necessary to successfully complete the research and work in an international research team. Excellent skills in written and oral English are required. 

Please be prepared to provide proof of your merits when requested.

We offer

The position will be filled for a fixed-term period of two years (24 months). The planned (earliest) starting date is January 1, 2023, or as mutually agreed. A trial period of six months applies to all our new employees.

The salary will be based on both the job requirements and the employee's personal performance in accordance with the Finnish University Salary System. The position of a Postdoctoral Researcher is placed on the job demands levels 5-6 (teaching and research staff). A typical starting salary of Postdoctoral Researcher is around 3500 EUR/month.

We offer a wide range of staff benefits, such as occupational health care, flexible working hours, excellent sports facilities on campus and several restaurants and cafés on campus with staff discounts. Please read more about working at Tampere University.

We value equality and diversity, and Tampere University is committed to taking accessibility into consideration in all our activities. We therefore encourage disabled people, as well as people of different genders and from different cultural backgrounds and minority groups to apply. 

How to apply

Applications should be written in English and submitted electronically via the Tampere University’s electronic recruitment system (link below). The closing date for applications is September 30, 2022 (at 23:59/UCT +3:00). The interviews of the top candidates will be held in October.

The following documents should accompany your application: 

(1)    Curriculum Vitae (max. 3 pages) according to TENK guidelines and a list of publications according to Academy of Finland guidelines 

(2)    Short letters of reference from two referees

(3)    Preliminary research proposal (max. 4 pages) consisting of 

    i.    a description of previous research experience (such as PhD thesis);

    ii.    a research idea/vision where you tell why the project’s themes or approach interest you and how you would like to focus your own research in this context; please also specify the type of sources you would like to base your research on;

    iii.    motivation for the task with a statement on working as part of a research team.

(4)    Copy of the doctorate certificate

For more information

For further information on the position please contact the PI of the project, senior research fellow Jenni Kuuliala (jenni.kuuliala@tuni.fi). 


Postdoctoral Researcher (Early modern disability history)
Kalevantie 4 Tampere, Finlandia
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