Open positions

Doctoral candidate and/or postdoctoral researcher (2 positions in Methodology for HCI evaluations of possible futures)

Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto has six schools with nearly 11,000 students and a staff of more than 4000, of which 400 are professors. Our main campus is located in Espoo, Finland. Read more about Aalto as a working environment

The School of Arts, Design and Architecture (ARTS) is an institution of higher education for design, media, architecture, motion picture, art education and art. The current key areas of research are design, digital media, audiovisual representation, art, visual culture, welfare architecture and emerging technologies as well as urban planning and design. The school produces specialists and innovators of art, design and architecture with strong artistic and technical skills.

Department of Design is an academic community of approximately 850 students, 70 doctoral students and 70 faculty members. The department conducts research and provides education in bachelor, master and doctoral programmes across a broad range of subjects and themes. The Department of Design is part of School of Arts, Design and Architecture (Aalto ARTS), located on the Otaniemi campus. The QS Rankings put Aalto ARTS to 7th place in the world (2020). Additional information about the department can be found online:


We are looking for a:

Doctoral candidate and/or postdoctoral researcher (2 positions)

for a project on:


Methodology for HCI evaluations of possible futures

In this multidisciplinary project, the recruited persons will use scenario-based foresight methods to identify relevant possible futures, for which we build interactive wearable prototypes, in order to understand and study those futures in action. This goal requires competence in HCI research methodology, prototyping, wearable computing, and scenario-based methods. The work will be carried out in a 4-year research project funded by the Academy of Finland (2020–2024).

Who we are looking for

Qualified candidates are required to have:

  • A degree (PhD for post doc applications, MA/M.Sc. for doctoral candidate applications) in HCI, design, engineering, or equivalent discipline.
  • Proven experience in arrangement of field trials using interactive prototypes.
  • Proven experience in scenario methods, speculative design and/or research through design methodology.
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English.

Candidates with the following additional expertise are strongly preferred:

  • Programming skills using Arduino, Raspberry Pi and other microcontrollers
  • Prototyping of wearable computing
  • Clothing and textile design
  • Doing research in a multidisciplinary team


Employment periods and contracts

We prefer to fill the two positions with long-term contracts, initially 09/2020-12/2021 and with a possibility for an extension. The starting salary levels will follow the university salary model, with 3630 eur/month for a starting post doc and 2420 eur/month for a doctoral candidate. The salary levels will be matched with the candidate’s experience.

We welcome also applications where the researcher would be working part-time in the beginning or during the project. Awareness of these possibilities will help us find a recruitment solution that is optimal both for the project and a researcher. We will also consider applications from more senior doctoral candidates who could continue as postdoctoral researchers in the project after successfully obtaining their Doctoral degrees.


Abstract of the project

In this project, our starting point is HCI’s unique but rarely considered ability to enact possible futures “in action” by building interactive prototypes and investigating these possible futures with empirically through user studies. With suitable temporally, digitally and physically arrangements, this allows HCI researchers to “time-travel” to these futures and evaluate them in situ. However, HCI methodology has rarely considered such futures in a holistic, systemic fashion. Instead, technologies have played a dominant role in such scenarios and user studies.

On the other hand, future studies and foresight research have decades of accumulated experience on studying possible futures with rigorous scenario-based forecasting and backcasting methods. By integrating this research into prototype studies in HCI, our project will develop a more systemic methodology for taking the possible futures into account. We will develop these methods within a scope of wearable computing prototyping and global warming by analysing possible futures involving e.g. extreme weather conditions and societal changes.


How to apply

The application should include:

  • A motivation letter that in at most 2 pages outlines your past research activities and explains why you would be the ideal candidate for this position. Please also describe if you applying for a doctoral candidate or a post doc position, and how soon you will be able to start in the project, part time or full time.
  • A short CV (at most 2 pages).
  • Publication list.
  • Contact details for two referees.

Please submit your application through our recruiting system by using "Apply now!" link below. The deadline for applications is August 7, 2020. Further information may be obtained from:

Antti Salovaara, Senior University Lecturer

Department of Design, Aalto ARTS 


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