Tampere3 gets its own Doctoral School


Tampere3 will get its own Doctoral School when the doctoral school model of the University of Tampere (UTA) expands to the entire university community. Officially, the joint Doctoral School will start operations from the beginning of 2019, but already next autumn the doctoral researchers of Tampere University of Technology (TUT) will be able to attend courses organised for UTA’s doctoral researchers.

A significant element of a research university

Since the beginning of 2011, the University of Tampere has had exceptionally strong research training in the Finnish context.

“Our model has been very functional and it is widely regarded as excellent and of high quality. Doctoral education is an important part of a research university,” says Research Director Pirjo Nikander from UTA.

The training focuses on research ethics and methods as well as on other professional and transferrable skills. For example, research ethics is a compulsory course for all doctoral researchers at UTA and it is likely to become compulsory also at TUT.

Continuous development of skills

At UTA, the Doctoral School cooperates with all the Faculties, Doctoral Programmes, Library and the Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD), as well as research, HR, and career services, and the international office. The starting point is to organise multidisciplinary and wide-ranging training. The training is developed according to needs that arise from the research community and research environment.

“One of our tasks is to teach doctoral researchers to talk about their research to other than their own tribe, i.e. experts in their own field. In addition, training is focused on how to work in a multidisciplinary team,” Nikander explains.

Although the Doctoral School’s training is primarily aimed for doctoral researchers, it will also be offered to postdoctoral researchers in the new university community.

“For example, learning methodological skills does not end with earning one’s doctorate. I am sure researchers also need continuous training. Organising training for researchers more widely is still in the planning stages,” Nikander says.

Coordinating quality

One of the tasks of the Doctoral School is to coordinate and monitor the quality and transparency of research training at the University. Doctoral Programmes also offer their own training whose importance grows the closer the researchers get to their own substance areas and specific skills.

“We must always look at the division of labour when we decide which training should be organised by the Doctoral School and which is more naturally organised by the Faculties and Doctoral Programmes,” Nikander points out.

The next step is to start developing common practices for doctoral training at the university community level. At the new Tampere University, the aim is to get all Faculties to apply the same policies and to have a similar understanding about the various processes involved from the recruitment of doctoral researchers to their dissertation defence.

For further information, please visit the University of Tampere Doctoral School homepage.

Text: Hanna Hyvärinen
Photo: Jonne Renvall