Doctoral education

Discover your research topic and find a professor

A key aspect of considering doctoral studies is exploring the research topics that interest you. It is an advantage to be familiar with recent research, as well as being aware of the professors and researchers who are active in the field.

Research and researchers at Aalto University

Research activities at the departments of Aalto University are usually arranged under research groups. If your research interest aligns with one of the research groups, it will be easier to find a doctoral study place.

Use Aalto University's research portal for finding the professors who are researching the area in which you want to do your doctoral research. Before applying for doctoral studies you should be aware of the research done and researchers working in the field of your interest.

Aalto University's research portal for finding our researchers and research projects

More information of research activities at the pages of the departments

Read about the key research areas of Aalto University

Black and blue illustration of quantum world

Research & Art

Our research focuses on seven key areas combining four core competences in the fields of ICT, materials, arts, design and business together with three grand challenges related to energy, living environment, and health.

Three researchers using a device on the surface of the ice at Aalto ice tank

Research and learning infrastructures

Our research and teaching infrastructures are a prerequisite for world-class, cutting edge research. They offer opportunities for collaboration and foster the local innovation ecosystem growth. The large infrastructures are open for all Aalto and external users.

Research plan

Discovering an area or topic you want to research is a key aspect of applying to doctoral studies. You will need to present a research plan with your application. In the School of Business, instead of a full research plan, some majors only require a preliminary idea of a potential research topic.  

Research plan presents a new or different focus on your chosen research topic, is well-defined and realistic to pull through, and demonstrates your knowledge of the research area.

Familiarizing yourself with the research fields, research groups and potential supervising professors at Aalto University can help you to direct your research interests. Knowledge of the research done in the area will help you to formulate your ideas. 

Read more about writing your research plan in the application instructions  of the doctoral programme you wish to apply to. 

Supervising professor

One of the professors of the research field you are applying to will act as your supervising professor if you are admitted to the programme. Your research topic needs to fit the field of your supervising professor. 

Each doctoral programme has their own instructions about whether you can contact a potential supervising professor directly, or if there is a specific professor to contact for the whole research field or department. 

Research field

Before you can apply for doctoral studies, you will need to know in which research field you want to do research. At the School of Business the research fields are called majors. In some of our Schools the research fields are rather broad and do not change from year to year, and in others they actively reflect the changes in the field. But which ever the case, the name of the research field is much broader than your research topic will be.

Research fields of doctoral education and supervising professors at Aalto University

How to apply for doctoral studies?

Find out what is required of applicants and what can our doctoral studies offer!

Read more
A man with a doctor's hat on celebrating his promotion as a doctor with other doctors
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