Tampereen yliopisto

Doctoral Researcher (Game Culture Research and Data Science) / Väitöskirjatutkija (Pelikulttuuritu

  • Sijainti Tampere
  • Julkaistu 13.02.2024, 14:54
  • Haku päättyy 05.03.2024, 23:59
  • 05.03.2024, 23:59
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Doctoral Researcher (Game Culture Research and Data Science) / Väitöskirjatutkija (Pelikulttuuritu

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

The Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies, at the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences (ITC) in Tampere University is looking for a Doctoral Researcher. The position will be full-time and filled for a fixed-term period of two years. The workplace is located at City Centre Campus, Tampere University and the work also involves meetings at the close-by Hervanta campus.

The Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences (ITC) is dedicated to pursuing world-class research and delivering high-quality education in the fields of computer science, engineering, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science. The Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies (CoE-GameCult) is based on a consortium of game research teams of three universities (Tampere, Jyväskylä and Turku), and is funded by the Academy of Finland.

Gaming is a global phenomenon with major cultural and economic impact. Game cultures today intersect multiple domains, including art, leisure, entertainment, e-sport, and diverse forms of social interaction. Game cultures are widespread in multiple societies, and game production and support of game cultures are prominent domains of industry and technology. Modern gaming features rich thematic content often tackling also difficult issues such as inequality, trauma, and mental health, and game cultures are equally complex. From the multidisciplinary research perspective, game cultures are also data-rich domains. Accessible data sources of game cultures include reviews, player profiles, and discussions on online storefronts like Steam, and discussion in social media including Reddit, Twitter/X, YouTube, and Twitch, professional reviews, development articles, opinion pieces, and more. The complex and data-rich nature of game culture makes it a perfect domain for data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence-based analyses.

In this doctoral research project, we will gather and analyse collections of game culture data with machine learning methods, and also develop novel analysis methods. The aim is to discover underlying trends and topics in game culture, player interactions, networks and communities, their differences in different subpopulations, and their changes over time including rising new trends. The data are typically analysed with a combination of machine learning based computational analysis and human analysis guided by the computational results. Methodological themes of interest include methods of natural language processing and large language models (LLMs), as well as recommendation systems, information visualization, and statistical and neural network-based modelling. Novel methods developed in the work will be designed to provide new and improved insights to analysts. The methods will be demonstrated in case studies and will be shown to outperform baseline methods. The analyses to be done and methods to be developed will be planned based on the interests and skills of the student. 

Job description

As a doctoral researcher, you will gather game culture data sets such as social media conversations and player profiles and analyse their contents using methods of big data analytics. You will also design new analysis methods and implement them as software. You will have opportunities to collaborate with multidisciplinary researchers including GameCult researchers with expertise in several areas of game culture. You will participate in all aspects of the research process including idea development, methods development, data gathering, empirical validation and publication in high-quality international venues.

In addition to the doctoral dissertation, the duties of a doctoral researcher may include participation in education or other faculty tasks that support your studies.

The selected candidate must, later on, be accepted into a doctoral program of our faculty. During the Doctoral researcher position application phase, you do not yet need a study right within the faculty’s doctoral program, neither approved study nor detailed research plan, but they are required before starting in the position. Please visit the admissions webpage for more information on eligibility requirements, in particular for the Doctoral Programme of Computing and Electrical Engineering. 

The doctoral research will be supervised by Professor Jaakko Peltonen and the line supervisor will be the Director of the CoE-GameCult, Professor Frans Mäyrä.


The position requires:

  • A suitable master’s degree (such as in computer science, statistics, or in another related field).
  • Ability to perform independent scientific research.
  • Demonstrated competence and motivation to pursue postgraduate studies.
  • Good skills in programming; programming skills in Python, R or Matlab are seen as an advantage.
  • Good written and spoken communication skills in English; ability to communicate also in Finnish language is seen as an advantage.
  • Good cooperation ability.

We appreciate evidence of research expertise and activity in areas such as data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and their applications in game culture research and social media analysis.

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

We offer

The doctoral researcher position will be filled from 1 April 2024 or as mutually agreed. The position is a fixed-term period of two years. A trial period of 6 months applies to all our new employees.

The salary will be based on both the job demands and the employee’s personal performance in accordance with the University Salary System. According to the criteria applied to teaching and research staff, the position of a Doctoral researcher is placed on the job requirement levels 2-4. A typical starting salary for a Doctoral Researcher is approximately 2600 € per month. The salary increases are based on the progression of doctoral research and studies.

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

We offer you high-quality supervision and the freedom to develop your ideas in a supportive and inspirational research environment. We invite you to be a part of a vibrant, active and truly international research community. Interdisciplinarity is highly encouraged, 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. The university has a strong commitment to the highest level of scientific research and the provision of high-quality doctoral education. Through rigorous research within your field, you will have the opportunity to make an impact on science, advancement of technology, and economic and societal change. Doctoral studies provide an excellent theoretical and technical foundation upon which you can build your future career at the highest national and international levels.

Tampere is one of the major academic hubs in the Nordic countries and offers a dynamic living environment. Tampere region is one of the three most rapidly growing urban areas 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.

Read more about Finland and Tampere: 

How to apply

Please submit your application through our online recruitment system. The closing date for applications is 5th of March  2024 (23:59 EET / UTC+2). Please submit your application and all the accompanying documentation in English and attach them in PDF format only.

Please attach the following documents to your application:

  • A letter of intent (max 1-2 pages) with a motivation statement. A research plan is not required, but the motivation letter can include preliminary research statement of research interests related to the CoE-GameCult setting. 
  • Curriculum vitae according to the TENK template, including a list of publications and the contact details of two referees.
  • Copy of your bachelor’s and master’s degree certificates including transcripts of all university records and their English translations (Finnish certificates are accepted) and Diploma Supplement.
  • Any other documents supporting the application.

The selection procedure may be supplemented by a (remote) interview. 

For more information

Should you have any questions about this position and the research work, please contact: 

Professor Jaakko Peltonen, jaakko.peltonen@tuni.fi, tel +358 (0)50 362 3628.

Should you have any questions about the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies, please contact:

Professor Frans Mäyrä, frans.mayra@tuni.fi, tel. +358 (0)50 336 7650.


Tampereen yliopisto ja Tampereen ammattikorkeakoulu muodostavat yhdessä Suomen toiseksi suurimman monitieteisen, innostavan ja vaikuttavan tutkimus- ja oppimisyhteisön. Korkeakouluyhteisömme osaamiskärjet ovat tekniikka, terveys ja yhteiskunta. Lue lisää: www.tuni.fi

Informaatioteknologian ja viestinnän tiedekunnan Pelikulttuurien tutkimuksen huippuyksikkö (Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies – GameCult etsii väitöskirjatutkijaa aiheena Pelikulttuuritutkimus ja Datatiede.

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