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Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Artificial Intelligence and Spatial Analysis in the Arctic context

Department of Law




  • Type of employment Temporary position
  • Extent 100%
  • Place Umeå

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest higher education institutions with over 37,000 students and about 4,700 employees. The University offers a diversity of high-quality education and world-leading research in several fields. Notably, the groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was made here. At Umeå University, everything is close. Our cohesive campuses make it easy to meet, work together and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture.

The ongoing societal transformation and large green investments in northern Sweden create enormous opportunities and complex challenges. For Umeå University, conducting research about – and in the middle of – a society in transition is key. We also take pride in delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. In fact, the future is made here.

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The Centre for Transdisciplinary AI (TAIGA) at Umeå University, together with the  UmArts Research Centre, the Department of Law and Umeå School of Architecture is looking for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Artificial Intelligence and Spatial Analysis in the Arctic context. 

The postdoc will work in a transdisciplinary research environment and do research on how AI can be used in the analysis of spatial environments and events, investigating breaches of social and climate justice. The postdoc will be placed at the Department of Law at Umeå University in partnership with Umeå School of Architecture, with access to research environments at TAIGA and UmArts. The position is a full-time, fixed-term employment for two years starting 2025-01-02 or by agreement. Application deadline is 2024-03-15

The appointment is supported by the TAIGA Focus Areas in: Art & AI led by UmArts, and CELS Critical, Ethical, Legal and Social aspects of AI. UmArts is also leading the WASP-HS supported Art & AI programme which includes Guest Professor Sarah Cook and two current postdoctoral researchers in Architecture, Art, Design and AI.  

TAIGA is a cross-faculty center at Umeå University, dedicated to advancing the field of artificial intelligence through transdisciplinary collaboration for the betterment of society. Taiga provides venues, activities, and support to inspire and guide researchers, educators, and students in AI research. Our objective is to establish a platform and community for AI research at Umeå University that prioritizes - AI for The Good of All. 

Scope of Research

In this research project AI can be used as a research tool or as a subject of study. For example, AI methods and tools can be used to study the social or climate justice dimensions of materials, geographies or events. Or you can study how AI and machine learning systems impact upon social and climate justice questions. We are seeking projects that will demonstrate how the abstractions of law and politics can be articulated through an artistic research practice. We encourage proposals that use spatial analysis to investigate materials, events and geographies, in the context of northern Sweden and/or comparisons with other relevant sites and contexts. We’re particularly looking for critically-informed projects where the research proposal incorporates a defined critical framework into the research methods, structure and analysis of the research questions for a realizable outcome. 

The project could, for example, align with one or more of the following research questions: 

  1. How does AI enable new investigative methodologies that aid in using data to produce insights into complex social, legal and technical realities? For example, including the use of facial recognition systems, mapping tools, or imaging data within the material environment.
  2. How can AI be used to understand or track events or geographies taking place in real time? And how can a forensic analysis of these events or geographies produce new visual evidence? 
  3. What is the knowledge base needed for spatial, geographic, material or event data gathering using AI methods or systems in order for that data or visual evidence to be used as an advocacy tool or in legal processes, or both?
  4. How might AI-assisted design or spatial analysis in Architecture produce new insights into critical social, legal and technical processes and practices? For example, how does AI-assisted design open up new opportunities for architectural research to address climate or social justice initiatives?

The research should critically investigate how socio-political transformation processes can be analysed through arts and humanities. 

Research Proposal

The postdoc is expected to propose a specific and self-contained research project within the scope of the research, including suggested methodologies, approaches and potential outputs.  Participation and development of the activities within TAIGA and UmArts, writing of scientific articles based on findings, and presentation of practice based research will also be a part of the postdoc position. 

The position is held at the Department of Law. The place of employment is Umeå. Active participation in the research networks and activities of the partner departments of Law and Architecture is expected. 


To be eligible for the position, you must have a PhD in a field relevant for the position (see below) awarded no later than the time the employment decision is made. You must not have previously been employed as a postdoc for more than one year in the same or related subject area within Umeå University to be eligible for the position. 

Since employment as a postdoc constitutes a career development position for junior researchers, we are primarily looking for applicants who have a doctoral degree that is not older than three years from the application deadline. If there are special reasons, a person may be considered if they have obtained a doctoral degree earlier. Special circumstances refer to leave due to illness, parental leave, positions of trust in trade unions, military service or other similar circumstances. 

Assesment Criteria

In the assessment of applicants, research expertise as well as documented knowledge and research merits in relevant fields are key criteria. 

The position requires very good English language skills, both verbally and in writing. Applicants should have doctoral degree in a related area such as: media arts, visual cultures, architecture, design, law, sociology, cultural anthropology, and cultural geography. 

We are looking for a committed, responsible, and creative person that is highly motivated for research. The position as a postdoc requires a good ability to work as a part of a team and the ability to work independently. Emphasis will be placed on personal suitability and collaborative skills conducive to a transdisciplinary research environment. Work tasks may be requested during the recruitment process. 


The position is a full-time, fixed-term employment for two years. The position includes own research for at least 80% of the working hours. Teaching and supervision at undergraduate, advanced, and possibly doctoral level may be included to a maximum of 20%. 

A complpete aplication should include:

  • A cover letter with a description (about 5-10 pages including images) of your proposed project related to the overall theme described above, and how your expertise fits the call.
  • Curriculum vitae (CV), with a complete list of publications.
  • Doctoral degree certificates and other relevant diplomas and transcripts of records.
  • Your doctoral thesis, as well as a maximum of five relevant scientific publications.
  • Documented teaching experience, where available.
  • Other information relevant to your application. 

Documents submitted must be in PDF format. Application deadline is 2024-03-15.  

For further information, please contact prof. Markus Naarttijärvi, markus.naarttijarvi@umu.se or prof. Sarah Cook, sarah.cook@umu.se

Information box


2025-01-02 or by agreement


monthly salary

Application deadline


Registration number

AN 2.2.1-2073-23

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Umeå University wants to offer an equal environment where open dialogue between people with different backgrounds and perspectives lay the foundation for learning, creativity and development. We welcome people with different backgrounds and experiences to apply for the current employment. We kindly decline offers of recruitment and advertising help.