Centre of Excellence, Game Culture Studies: 2-4 postdoctoral researcher or university researcher (senior researcher) posts

The Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies (CoE GameCult) has started in January 2018 its operation in the Academy of Finland’s Centres of Excellence (CoE 2018-2025) program.

There will be 2-4 researcher positions (postdoctoral researcher and university researcher) available in the CoE University of Tampere research team.

CoEs are the flagships of Finnish research, operating at the very cutting edge of science in their fields, seeking out new avenues for research, developing creative research environments and training new talented researchers. The CoE GameCult is joint centre established by the universities of Tampere, Jyväskylä and Turku, which have over 30 game researchers within their researcher communities. Bringing together three leading research teams, the CoE GameCult aims to integrate the multidisciplinary research carried out in game culture studies, and to develop original theoretical and empirical approaches that are crucial for understanding, anticipating and influencing the direction and impact games have on contemporary and future developments in culture and society.

Two overarching research questions will be examined in CoE GameCult are:
A) What are the key processes and characteristics of meaning making that are significant for understanding changing game cultures?
B) How is cultural agency being reshaped, redistributed and renegotiated in games and play, and in their associated societal contexts?

The interconnected dimensions of game cultures are addressed through four themes that organise the work carried out in the CoE: Theme 1: Meaning and Form of Games (coord. JYU, prof. Raine Koskimaa), Theme 2: Creation and Production of Games (coord. UTA, assoc.prof. Olli Sotamaa), Theme 3: Players and Player Communities (coord. UTA, prof. Frans Mäyrä), Theme 4: Societal Framing of Games (coord. UTU, prof. Jaakko Suominen).

A person appointed as a postdoctoral researcher must:

– hold an appropriate doctoral degree
– be able to pursue scientific research independently
– have the instructional skills needed in the post

A person apppointed as a university researcher (senior researcher) must:

– hold an appropriate doctoral degree and a track record of scientific research
– have the instructional skills needed in the post

Tasks, work descriptions

CoE GameCult will start its operation in the beginning of year 2018, and (subject to a successful mid-term evaluation) will continue up to the end of eight-year period, the end of year 2025. There are multiple positions that are opened for applications in the CoE. In this fall 2018 call 2-4 postdoctoral or senior researcher (‘university researcher’) positions are available in the University of Tampere Game Research Lab team.

Filling of researcher positions will be based on consideration of the overall skills profiles of CoE research teams, and the number and length of researcher service contracts will be subject for negotiation, typically initially planned for one to four years contracts.

The successful applicants will have both strong research profiles in games, player or game culture studies, well formulated individual research agendas, as well as evidence of capabilities for interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork.

The more specific skill profiles that CoE is particularly looking for are experts in:

1. game hermeneutics, and experts in game analysis method
2. game aesthetics, and player experience studies
3. game history, and specialists in the evolution of game genres and various game cultural forms
4. game development practices and experts in game design research
5. ludic work, focusing on the changing relations between play and work
6. gaming communities and various player subcultures and diverse player groups
7. player motivations and social play, or play in society
8. games as sites of identity politics and resistance
9. the institutionalization of (digital) game cultures, and public discourses on gaming
10. gamification in culture and society
11. statistical data analytics of games and play

Particular emphasis will be put on multidisciplinary skill profiles, and for candidates who show evidence or promise for bridge building between two or more, currently disconnected research fields related to games, play, game players, design and development of games and research of those societal and cultural contexts. Applicants are asked to specify in their application, which one, or which ones, of the above skill profiles they most closely identify with.

The minimum starting salary of a postdoctoral researcher will range between €3500 and €4500 and salary of an university researcher will range between €4000 and €5000 a month. Higher salaries maybe agreed dependent upon experience and/or performance.

These posts are subject to a six-month probationary period.

Applications should be written in English and submitted electronically via the University of Tampere’s electronic recruitment system by 15:00 pm. on 24 September 2018. (Link below)

The following documents should accompany your application:

– A CV (excluding publications, max 4 pages, recommended format: http://www.tenk.fi/en/template-researchers-curriculum-vitae).

– A list of publications compiled preferably according to the Academy of Finland guidelines (http://www.aka.fi/en/funding/how-to-apply/application-guidelines/guidelines-for-list-of-publications/guidelines-for-complete-list-of-publications/). Please indicate (by e.g. bold text) most important publications (max. 10).

– A letter of application (max 2 pages) in which you set out the reasons why you are applying for the post and why you are particularly suited to it.

– A research plan (max 3 pages), outlining your proposed research within the CoE research themes.

– The names, positions and contact details of two referees who can support your application

The CoE UTA team will hire at this point 2-4 researchers, to the levels of postdoctoral or senior research fellow (‘university researcher’), typically to periods ranging from one to four years (up to negotiation). The researchers will be placed in Tampere, and work closely with other CoE research teams at three participating universities, across institutional and disciplinary boundaries. The hired researchers would start their work in the CoE at the beginning of 2019, or as agreed.

Enquiries that concern these positions can be directed to the CoE director, prof. Frans Mäyrä (frans.mayra@uta.fi), and the University of Tampere team leader, prof. Olli Sotamaa (olli.sotamaa@uta.fi).

For queries related to the application process please contact Head of Admin, Kirsi Aalto, kirsi.m.aalto@uta.fi.

If deemed necessary, the University of Tampere reserves the right to leave the post unfilled and extend the application period.

Deadline for applications: 24 September 2018, at 15:00 hours (Finnish time).

Official job announcement:

Application submissions system: