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Senior Research Fellow Mika Kautonen awarded for doctoral education benefiting the Global South

Published on 25.10.2023
Tampere University
Lecturer speaks to doctoral students in a room where the students are sitting.Kautonen (left) spoke to doctoral students at a hackathon commissioned by the city of Tampere on internationalising the city. (Photograph: Jonne Renvall/Tampere University).
Mika Kautonen was awarded for the Globelics Academy PhD education programme that focuses on innovation and development research. Every other year, international doctoral students gather in Tampere for the Globelics Academy Summer School.

The global network for the economics of learning, innovation, and competence building systems, Globelics, has awarded Senior Research Fellow, D.Sc. (Admin.) Mika Kautonen for organising the network’s doctoral summer school in Tampere since 2008. 

The prize was awarded at Globelics’s 20th anniversary conference in Trivandrum, India, in October.  

The international summer school has educated more than 200 students from the Global South at Tampere University. 

“Organising the PhD summer school is one of the most important cornerstones of my career because, in that work, you are able to see a significant impact on research and practice,” Kautonen says. 

Kautonen works as Deputy Director of the Research Centre for Knowledge, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (TaSTI) at Tampere University. 

The Globelics Academy’s doctoral summer school focuses on doctoral education in innovation and development research. 

It is held alternately at Tampere University and the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. 

Scientific knowledge supports the development of Global South 

Globelics is prominent in the countries of the Global South, and the keynote speakers at its conferences are usually leaders from the target countries. In October, in Trivandrum, India, the opening speech was given by the Governor and Chief Minister of the state of Kerala. The state’s Minister of Finance also gave a speech at the conference and participated in a panel discussion. 

“Innovation activities and policies are just as important in the Global South as they are in the North. Perhaps even more important, because there are many problems to be solved in the South, on which the lives and well-being of thousands or even millions of people directly depend,” Kautonen points out. 

According to Kautonen, sustainable development can best be advanced by applying technological and social innovations in people’s everyday life. 

“Innovations should be developed on-site with or by local people and communities. This requires local and national expertise in the target countries. It is with the young people, who we train at the PhD Summer School, that the required expertise begins,” Kautonen says. 

Globelics Academy trains students in the field of innovation research 

The two-week summer school is attended by 25–30 doctoral students, most of whom come from the Global South. The Doctoral Summer School offers the selected participants accommodation, lunches and, upon application, also covers the travel costs of some participants, which Kautonen finds important for doctoral students from the most disadvantaged countries. 

During the two weeks, the students attend lectures given by leading researchers in their field, present a paper related to their doctoral dissertation and receive feedback on it. The programme also includes practical guest lectures, excursions, and some practical group work. 

Kautonen says that the student feedback has been very positive. The average overall grade has always been above four on the five-step scale. 

Over the years, the organising team at TaSTI has also included the retired Research Director Erkki Kaukonen, Mika Raunio who is currently working at the University of Turku and Nadja Nordling who is working at the Council of Tampere Region. 


Senior Research Fellow Mika Kautonen
tel. +358 50 318 6116
mika.kautonen [at] tuni.fitarget="_self"