Aalto granted 178 positions in doctoral education pilot

Most of the positions are in Finnish flagship programme areas
Henkilö tekemässä kokeellista tutkimusta.
Photo: Aalto University / Unto Rautio.

Aalto University was granted 178 additional positions in the new doctoral education pilot funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. The majority of the positions are in the flagship programme areas of the Research Council of Finland. At Aalto, flagships in the areas of quantum technology, materials bioeconomy and artificial intelligence received the largest number of positions.

‘The result is excellent for us, and the number of positions is large relative to our size. Now, we’re rolling up our sleeves to face the exciting challenge of finding the right doctoral students and supporting them so they can complete their degree in time,’ says Jyri Hämäläinen, Aalto University Vice President for Research.

Aalto will start recruiting new doctoral students as soon as possible, and the first ones will start this August.

The ministry is providing funding for 1000 doctoral researchers in Finland, 800 of whom will focus on areas in the flagship programmes of the Research Council of Finland, while 200 will be in other research fields. 

In 2023, 230 doctoral degrees were completed at Aalto. These 178 new positions will thus be a significant increase in the number of doctorates at the university. 

The positions granted to Aalto University are:

Finnish flagship areas 

  • Quantum, 40 positions
  • Circular Materials Bioeconomy Network: From bio-based resources to advanced materials (FinnCERES flagship), 35 positions
  • Finnish Doctoral Program Network in Artificial Intelligence (FCAI flagship), 30 positions
  • Doctoral Education Pilot for Mathematics of Sensing, Imaging and Modelling (FAME flagship), 14 positions
  • Digital Waters Doctoral Education Pilot (DIWA flagship), 14 positions
  • PREIN Doctoral education pilot, 14 positions
  • EDUCA Flagship doctoral school pilot project, 4 positions

Other research fields

  • MIcroELectronics doctoral school pilot, 10 positions
  • Intelligent Work Machines, 8 positions
  • Doctoral pilot in software engineering, 5 positions
  • Sustainability Transformations, 4 positions

The Ministry of Education and Culture will allocate EUR 255 million to universities for piloting new practices in doctoral education in 2024–2027. This additional funding will be allocated to 1000 doctoral researchers who will have an employment contract.

The pilot is a major effort to strengthen research activities and the impact of research and expertise in society at large. The project aims to increase the number of doctors and to reform doctoral education and strengthen its social impact.

The growing need for researchers was identified in the report of the Finnish Parliamentary Working Group on Research, Development and Innovation. The doctoral education pilot will enable universities to respond to the ever-increasing talent shortage and supply the workforce with researcher training across sectors without compromising the quality of education.

Read more
Universities receive additional funding for training a thousand new doctoral graduates - OKM - Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland

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Research Council of Finland Flagship programme funding

A flagship is an effective mix of cutting-edge research, impact in support of economic growth or society, close connections to the business sector and society at large, adaptability, and a strong commitment from host organisations. Flagships are high-quality, high-impact competence clusters.

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