Satu Helske profile picture
Senior Researcher, Sociology

Areas of expertise

life course
social mobility
intergenerational transmission of education
work and family
quantitative research
social statistics
longitudinal research
social sequence analysis, event history analysis, Markovian models
R programming

Research topic

PI, PREDLIFE consortium


I started at the University of Turku in 2019 to work as a senior researcher in the Inequalities, Interventions and New Welfare State (INVEST) Flagship. I am the primary investigator of a consortium project Towards well-informed decisions: Predicting long-term effects of policy reforms on life trajectories (PREDLIFE), funded by the Academy of Finland (2020–2024).

I completed my PhD in statistics at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, in 2016. Following my PhD I worked as a postdoctoral researcher first in the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford and then in the Institute for Analytical Sociology at Linköping University.


I teach statistical methods in social sciences.

Teaching in 2020–2021:
INWS0016 Longitudinal and Multilevel Modelling


I work at the crossroads of sociology and statistics, working on both methodological development as well as sociological problems. My main interests lie in multigenerational and life course research, analysis of employment and family events over the life course, parental leave, and longitudinal research methods, especially sequence analysis and related methods.

I am the primary investigator of a consortium project Towards well-informed decisions: Predicting long-term effects of policy reforms on life trajectories (PREDLIFE). The goal of our project is to understand how life paths unfold over time and how these trajectories are shaped by policy interventions and reforms. In the statistics subproject we will develop a methodological framework for modelling, predicting, and visualizing how policy interventions affect complex social processes. In the sociology subproject we will use high-quality register data covering the full populations of Finland and Sweden to better understand the interplay of work and family over the life course and the impacts of parental leave policies on couples’ life trajectories. The starting point for the project will be the unique register data covering full populations in Finland and Sweden. A careful analysis of these data will make it possible for us to gain understanding on the long-term impacts of parental leave reforms and at the same time guide us in the development of the tool. We use an approach known as “Bayesian” modelling, which allows us to combine previous knowledge, data, and statistical analysis in a coherent way.


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seqHMM (R package) (2015)

Jouni Helske, Satu Helske
(I2 Tieto- ja viestintätekniset ohjelma tai ohjelmisto)