University of Vaasa opens 12 doctoral researcher positions in doctoral education pilot

Doctoral researchers at the University of Vaasa
Image: University of Vaasa
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The University of Vaasa is opening 12 doctoral researcher positions as part of a national pilot to reform doctoral education. These investments in doctoral researcher positions are part of the Ministry of Education and Culture’s pilot project on doctoral education, which aims to raise the level of doctoral education and research skills.

Five of the doctoral researcher positions now opened are in sustainable energy and business research. The funding of the pilot project will be allocated to social and health management science as well as to artificial intelligence research.

Investing in the highest level of research skills and expertise by developing doctoral education and providing funding for more doctoral students is linked to developing Finland’s competitiveness. In the implementation of the University of Vaasa pilot, local companies are closely involved in developing and providing future career options for future doctors.

“The RDI efforts aim to improve Finland’s competitiveness by improving the conditions for international business growth and closer cooperation between business and research. We now have a great opportunity to offer employment for doctoral students in interesting topics and important fields of the future,” says Mika Grundström, Vice Rector for Research and Director of the Graduate School at the University of Vaasa.

The Ministry of Education and Culture has allocated a total of €255 million to universities to pilot new practices in doctoral education between 2024 and 2027. The additional funding will be directed at 1,000 doctoral researchers who will be recruited to universities for fixed-term, three-year contracts to complete their doctoral degrees. The University of Vaasa is part of three consortia that will fund seven doctoral researchers.

Doctoral education with closer cooperation with companies

In recent years, the University of Vaasa has developed its doctoral training in a number of ways. Last autumn, a continuous application process for doctoral studies was introduced, and more than twenty new doctoral students have already been admitted. The first co-direction agreements with an international partner university were also signed during the autumn and spring. The number of applicants for doctoral studies has been on the rise for some time.

The University of Vaasa is determined to continue developing a more business-integrated doctoral education and closer cooperation between business and research. One good option for cooperation between companies and the university is the CoDoc Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Model, which was launched this spring. The model allows companies to access the latest research knowledge and innovations, while doctoral researchers can benefit from several years of funding and access to companies’ research and development activities.

“The research and education agreement signed with Wärtsilä in January provides a good basis for the CoDoc model and will further deepen research cooperation,” says Mika Grundström.

This spring, for the first time, the University of Vaasa has hired master’s degree students as research interns, giving them experience in research work. During the internship, students will work on the research plan for their doctoral thesis, which will help them to apply for doctoral studies more smoothly. The aim is to provide promising and talented students with a fast track to doctoral studies at the end of their master’s degree.

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