Doctoral Researcher in Fashion and Clothing Design

 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. Diversity is part of who we are, and we actively work to ensure our community’s diversity and inclusiveness. This is why we warmly encourage qualified candidates from all backgrounds to join our community.

The Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture (ARTS) is a Nordic leader in higher education for design, fashion, games, media, architecture, film, art education and fine art. We produce world-class research e.g. in design, digital media and visual culture, art education, urban planning and architecture. Our graduates innovate in and beyond their fields, drawing on over a century of tradition of our institution, a humane and forward-looking approach, and the latest technologies.

The Department of Design is a community of creative and responsible researchers and design experts. We educate front-line design professionals and visionaries for established, changing and emerging fields of design. (

We are looking for a:

Doctoral Researcher in Fashion and Clothing Design

funded position for one year

The doctoral researcher will work at the Department of Design. The study time is estimated for 4 years, and the applicants are expected to create their research plan accordingly. The starting date is negotiable, but preferably in September 2023.

Note: Before hired, the candidate must pass the general selection of doctoral students in the department of design. Thus, applicants to this position must also apply to the ARTS Doctoral Programme via our general call. Please state your interest in this position (Doctoral Researcher in Fashion and Clothing Design) on the header of your letter of motivation. You can find more information about the ARTS Doctoral Programme following the link below: 

Aalto Doctoral Programme in Arts, Design and Architecture | Aalto University

Your Role and Goals

We are looking for a doctoral researcher working in the field of fashion and clothing design with a strong practice background.

There is great concern towards fashion and clothing industry today as they largely impact our planetary boundaries. However, fashion’s ability to affect practices and lifestyles is seen as a major opportunity to investigate fashion and clothing design as enablers of change towards responsible futures. While research is being carried at a fast pace on alternative processes and materials, the experiential dimension of clothing and its potential to enable change is still underexplored. We welcome novel and experimental approaches in carrying research informed design to further discussions in this space of interest.

We invite research proposals in – but not limited to – the following topics:

  • Wardrobe studies
  • Wearing experience and sensorial design
  • Ancestral knowledge systems and industry-light processes

In this position, consolidated experience in fashion design practice is highly appreciated. The hired doctoral researcher will mainly work on their own research project but may contribute to other projects and is expected to actively contribute to the research community.

Your Experience and Ambitions

  • Background in fashion and/or clothing design practice or another relevant field
  • Excellent design skills
  • Experience in carrying research informed design
  • Conceptual skills in carrying critical and innovative enquiry
  • Ability to work independently and complete the study in 4 years
  • Knowledge and experience in academic skills
  • Proficiency in English

Your network and Team

You will be working in an exciting multidisciplinary environment, especially within Fashion & Textile Futures and Empirica research groups and be part of a high profile, international group of researchers in the broader field of Design.

What we offer

The position is fixed term for one year, and for conducting full time doctoral studies. Funding continuation might be possible after one year.

During the studies, the researcher will have access to the workshops and studios within Aalto University. The doctoral researcher’s main focus will be in conducting own research but also a small contribution to education is expected.

Aalto University offers occupational health care services and a good opportunity for different learning options. Salary will be determined following the salary system of Finnish universities. The starting salary for doctoral researcher is approximately 2550 euros.

More about working at Aalto here.

Ready to apply?

Please send your application as PDF files through our online recruitment system. Your application should include the following documents:

  • a letter of motivation (max 2 pages)
  • a doctoral research plan (max. 5 pages),
  • CV and list of publication (if available),
  • a design portfolio (max. 5 projects),
  • contact information of two references, one of which is your Master Studies’ advisor

Research proposal

Research plan needs to include following parts in max. 5 pages, excluding references.

  • Introduction
  • Theoretical and conceptual background
  • Hypothesis and/or research questions and/or aims and objectives
  • Research method(s) with rationale for these
  • Expected outcomes
  • Plan for 4 years timeline
  • References

Please note: Aalto University’s employees and visitors should apply for this position via our internal system Workday -> find jobs by using their existing Workday user account.

The deadline for applications is March 9th 2023

For additional information on the position, please contact Assistant Professor Julia Valle (

For information about the recruitment process, please contact HR Partner Katju Helminen (

All material should be submitted in English. The application materials will not be returned.

The evaluation is based on the total assessment of the candidate in respect to the fit for the call. Short listed candidates will be invited for an interview.

Aalto University reserves the right to leave the position open and to extend the application period.

Finland is known for high quality of life, great work-life balance, clean nature, and family-friendly policies such as affordable high-quality daycare and free schools. Helsinki is a vibrant international city with a metropolitan area population of over 1.1 million people. Aalto University is an equal opportunity employer dedicated to attracting, retaining and developing our people regardless of gender identity, ethnicity, disability, and age. We encourage applications from all suitably qualified individuals from all sectors of the community.



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