Open position: Doctoral Researcher (Machine Understanding of Mother-Infant Interaction)

The 3D Media Group at the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences (ITC), Tampere University, Finland, currently has over 20 researchers. In the research group we investigate methods for capture, processing and display of 3D visual data based on extensive knowledge about the human perception of depth and 3D visual cues. By employing advanced signal processing methods, we tackle specific problems related to the huge amount of data to be processed and the optimal way of visualization using state-of-the-art 3D displays.

The research project Machine Understanding of Mother-Infant Interaction is a joint project of the faculties of Social Sciences (SOC) (psychology) and ITC (signal processing and machine learning). We utilize innovatively new technology in the analysis of early mother-infant interaction, and we have recorded in the Centre for Immersive Visual Technologies (CIVIT) laboratory play sessions of 60 voluntary mother-infant dyads from Tampere. Early interaction is analyzed using both standardized psychological interaction assessment methods and an automatic method to be developed.

Job description

We are seeking for a talented Doctoral Researcher (PhD student) with strong interest in signal processing and machine learning.

The main task of the Doctoral Researcher will be to work on the development of an automatic early interaction analysis method based on new technologies capturing high-fidelity and three-dimensional audio-visual data. The aim is to automatically analyze early interaction and obtain similar results to those of a trained psychologist with standardized psychological interaction assessment methods. To achieve this, the doctoral researcher is expected to apply modern signal processing tools to transform sensor measurements into psychologically meaningful high-level features and to develop machine learning algorithms to train the automatic system with the standardized interaction scores obtained from the psychological analysis.

Successful candidate will pursue a doctoral degree at Tampere University.


Enthusiastic candidates from the areas of Signal Processing, Machine Learning, Computer Vision and related fields are welcome to apply. The candidate is expected to conduct independent research and at the same time contribute to the topics listed above. Successful candidate will be furthermore given the opportunity to work with undergraduate and MSc students.

You need to have a master’s degree in an applicable field and have demonstrated (during your studies towards the master’s degree or otherwise) the competence and motivation to pursue postgraduate studies. Please be prepared to provide proof of your merits when requested.

Successful candidates must be pursuing or will be accepted to study towards a doctoral degree in the doctoral programme of the discipline. Please visit the admissions webpage for more information on eligibility requirements.

We appreciate the courses taken and prior knowledge in the following areas: Signal Processing, Machine Learning, Machine Vision, Computer Science and Applied Mathematics.

Programming experience in at least Matlab and Python environments is required and any additional programming experience is appreciated.

The position also requires:

  • Good English language skills (spoken and written)
  • Ability to conduct systematic scientific research
  • Ability to work in a team and communicate clearly in a multidisciplinary and international environment

Candidates are selected based on the level of promise that they show, and this will be evaluated on the basis of their motivation letter, previous success in studies, and other relevant merits e.g. in scientific publishing.

Tampere University is a unique, multidisciplinary and boldly forward-looking, evolving community. Our values are openness, diversity, responsibility, courage, critical thinking, erudition bildung, and learner-centredness. We hope that you can embrace these values and promote them in your work.

We offer

The position will be filled for a fixed-term period till the end of year 2024. The employment starts as soon as possible (preferably in March) based on mutually agreed start date. A trial period of six (6) 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. According to the criteria applied to teaching and research staff, the position of a Doctoral Researcher is placed on level 2—4 of the job requirements scale. A typical starting salary for Doctoral Researchers is approximately 2500 EUR/month. The salary increases based on experience and the progress of doctoral studies.

We are inviting you to be a part of a vibrant, active and truly international research community. We value interdisciplinarity, as it allows you to expand your research network and exposes you to new perspectives and ideas to solve complex research problems and pursue novel research findings. We are strongly committed to the highest level of scientific research and the provision of high-quality doctoral education.

As a member of staff at Tampere University, you will enjoy a range of competitive benefits, such as occupational health care services, flexible work schedule, versatile research infrastructure, modern teaching facilities and a safe and inviting campus area as well as a personal fund to spend on sports and cultural activities in your free time. Please read more about working at Tampere University. You can also find more information about us and working and living Tampere by watching our video: Tampere Higher Education Community – our academic playground.

Finland is among the most stable, free and safe countries in the world, based on prominent ratings by various agencies. Tampere is the largest inland city of Finland, and the city is counted among the major academic hubs in the Nordic countries. Tampere region is the most rapidly growing urban area in Finland and home to a vibrant knowledge-intensive entrepreneurial community. The city is an industrial powerhouse that enjoys a rich cultural scene and a reputation as a centre of Finland’s information society. Tampere is also surrounded by vivid nature with forests and lakes, providing countless opportunities for easy-to-access outdoor adventures and refreshment throughout the year.

Read more about Finland and Tampere:

How to apply

Please submit your application through our online recruitment system (link). The closing date for applications is 3 February 2023 (23:59 EET / UTC +2). Please write your application and all the accompanying documentation in English and attach them in PDF format.

Please attach only the following documents to your application:

  • A free-form motivation letter (max. 2 pages) describing why you are interested in the position and why you should be selected
  • Curriculum vitae (with a list of publications, if applicable, and including the contact details of two referees).
  • Pdf copy of your MSc and BSc degree certificates, including transcripts of all university records and their English translations (Finnish and Swedish certificates are also accepted).
  • other relevant documents that support your application (e.g. certificate of language proficiency, MSc thesis, the most relevant publications regarding the call (max. 2), examples of works you have done, etc.)

For further information, please contact:

University lecturer Sari Peltonen, sari.peltonen(at)