Chief Specialist, Design for Futures

Institute of Design and Fine Arts at the LAB University of Applied Sciences


Contact person

RDI Director Kristiina Soini-Salomaa

by phone at 13.6. from 12.00 to 14.00 or 17.6. from 13.00 to 15.00, tel. +358 44 708 1813. 

Join the Institute of Design and Fine Arts at the LAB University of Applied Sciences to conduct research and coordinate the Design for Futures research group. We seek an experienced researcher to develop internationally acknowledged, applied research and publishing, focusing on future thinking and value creation by design.

The LAB Institute of Design and Fine Arts offers BA and Master’s studies in design, visual communications, and fine arts to more than 1,300 students, aiming to connect work-life and academia. We also offer continuous studies and RDI services based on academic knowledge to help SMEs grow and internationalise. Our focus in design relies on a sustainable and human-centric design that impacts good growth, and we believe in solving some of the world’s biggest problems with design thinking.

Now, we are strengthening our research focus and capabilities by establishing a new research group in the field of Design for Futures. The group will conduct multidisciplinary, applied research as part of the LAB RDI entity, growing one of LAB’s three strategic themes, the intangible value creation.

Responsibilities of the research group leader will be

  • Ensuring growth according to the strategy
  • Fostering high scientific quality and competence in the Research Group
  • Coordinating and conducting research operations of the Research Group
  • Initiating and promoting science and industrial collaboration at the group level
  • Monitoring and identifying relevant funding instruments
  • Initiating and coordinating funding application processes

What do we expect from potential candidates? 

  • Strong knowledge of strategic design, future thinking, and value creation
  • Strong knowledge of theoretical frameworks within design thinking and future design and understanding of the design research fields and value added by design
  • Experience in the international RDI field and funding instruments 
  • Good skills in English and strong team play capabilities
  • PhD in a relevant field 

We expect you to have a future-oriented mindset, strong teamwork skills and the ability to build development projects with stakeholders, including financing. We offer purposeful work with highly skilled colleagues and a constantly growing network of companies and research entities. We support all our employees in maintaining and developing their capabilities.

The work is permanent and starts on 1 September 2024 or when agreed upon. LAB University of Applied Sciences has campuses in Lahti and Lappeenranta – you are based in Lahti. The position has a six-month trial period. The salary follows the TES, salary level being from 5200 – 5500 eur depending on the experience level. 

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact our RDI Director Kristiina Soini-Salomaa at or by phone at 13.6. from 12.00 to 14.00 or 17.6. from 13.00 to 15.00, tel. +358 44 708 1813. 

Please submit your application and CV by 4.8.2024 at 23:59 through our online system. 

The best of both worlds: studies and work. The LAB University of Applied Sciences operates in Lahti and Lappeenranta, Finland, and also online. We offer education in five fields: health care and social services, technology, business, hospitality, and design, fine arts and visual communication. We have 9800 students and 550 teachers and RDI experts.

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