Doctoral Programme in Engineering and Natural Sciences
Scientific breakthroughs based on profound expertise in mathematical and natural sciences
Graduates from the Doctoral Programme in Engineering and Natural Sciences have great potential to achieve scientific and technological breakthroughs based on their in-depth knowledge and strong research skills.
The strategic profile of the programme consists of three research themes based on a profound knowledge of mathematical and natural sciences: light-based technologies, bioengineering and circular economics, and computational science. The goal of our research is to find solutions to current societal challenges related to, for example, sustainable development, energy and the environment. The research themes are connected to major subjects in biotechnology, energy technology, physics, chemistry, mathematics and environmental engineering.
Doctoral education is designed for students who are goal-oriented, motivated and committed to their projects. We offer our students opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary research, multidisciplinary networking with companies and the third sector as well as international research collaboration. Our graduates are ready to pursue research careers or take up demanding expert and development positions in business and society.
The objective of the Doctoral Programme in Engineering and Natural Sciences is to train goal-oriented professional researchers and versatile problem-solvers to serve businesses and other facets of society.
A student who completes the programme:
- become well-versed in their own field of research and its societal significance;
- gain the knowledge and skills required to apply scientific research methods independently and critically, to produce new scientific knowledge, and to apply new knowledge to practice and transfer it to industry;
- become conversant with the developments, basic problems and research methods in their own field of research and related fields;
- gain such knowledge of the general theory of science and of other disciplines related to their own field of research as to enable the students to follow developments in them;
- gain the necessary communication and language skills and other competencies to pursue challenging professional careers and international collaboration
- are aware of their future goals and the different routes into their desired career and know their strengths and weaknesses, which they are ready to improve.
The education provided and the research conducted by doctoral programme in Engineering and Natural Sciences are based on in-depth expertise in natural sciences and mathematics, which provides the basis for scientific breakthroughs and related technological applications for solving the challenges of the future. The strategic profile of the programme is built based on three thematic research areas: light-driven technologies, bio- and circular economy and computational science. The thematic research areas are linked with the major subjects available in the doctoral programme, which include
- Energy Technology
- Environmental Technology
Doctoral studies are intended for goal-oriented, persistent and motivated individuals. Doctoral students who enrol in the Doctoral Programme in Engineering and Natural Sciences are encouraged to pursue cross-disciplinary research and international collaboration. Many of the research fields have national doctoral education networks that students can join. The purpose of doctoral education networks is to organise educational collaboration in the form of seminars, courses, summer schools and events, network students with each other and provide them with peer support.
The programme provides doctoral students with the possibility to complete the postgraduate degrees of Doctor of Science (D.Sc. (Tech.)) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Our graduates possess excellent qualifications to embark on an academic career or take up challenging expert positions in industry, business or the broader society. The programme accepts new doctoral students all year round. The target completion time of the programme for full-time students is four years.
There are no tuition fees for doctoral programmes at TUNI. Thus TUNI does not have a scholarship system for international doctoral students. Doctoral studies can be financed in a variety of ways. Students are recommended to discuss their funding options with their supervisor before starting their doctoral studies.
The Faculty may have some salaried positions for doctoral students. These positions must be applied for separately and are announced on the TUNI Vacancies page.
Doctoral students are not eligible to the same student benefits as Bachelor and Master students. Thus living expenses, including lunches and travelling, are higher.
After the right to study has been granted, the Finnish Immigration Service expects all new students from non-EU/EEA countries to apply for a residence permit. At that stage, the students must be able to show to the Finnish Immigration Service that they have a minimum of c. 6 800 euros for the first year of studies or a scholarship to support themselves during the studies. Also a health insurance is needed.
In order to complete a doctoral degree, a student admitted for postgraduate studies must:
- complete the required postgraduate studies (40 credits);
- demonstrate independent and critical thinking in their field of research; and
- write a doctoral dissertation and defend it in public
Research groups of the doctoral programme conduct high-quality research in a wide range of areas. This is evident in the fact that the research groups produce a significant portion of the university's publications. The faculty's research teams host three ERC Advanced Grant Projects granted by the European Research Council, which represent the highest quality research in Europe. Furthermore research
- Centre of Excellence of Inverse Modelling and Imaging (2018–2025), coordinated by the University of Helsinki, TUT’s contact person is Mikko Kaasalainen
- Centre of Excellence in Biomembrane Research (2014–2019), coordinated by the University of Helsinki, TUT’s contact person is Ilpo Vattulainen
- ERC starting grant (2016-2021): assist.prof. Arri Priimägi: Tunable Photonic Structures via Photomechanical Actuation
- ERC Consolidator Grant (2017-2021): prof. Mircea Guina: Advanced III-V Materials and Processes Enabling Ultrahigh-efficiency ( 50%) Photovoltaics
- ERC starting grant (2019-2023): assist.prof. Humeyra Caglayan: quantum nanophotonics and epsilon near-zero (ENZ) metamaterials
The research in Light-driven technologies play a major role in all aspects of the human endeavor. Our synergistic activities in this area cover the whole chain from fundamental to applied research and the transfer of research results to industry. We conduct leading-edge research on nanostructured materials with tailorable optical properties, on the development of new types of light sources, and on the advanced manipulation of light. Our research results allow us to address scientific and societal challenges where photonics technology is central. These application areas include integrated and wave-guided photonics, the harvesting of solar energy, the monitoring of industrial and environmental processes, and biomedical tools. The research has also resulted in the establishment of a number of spin-off enterprises, which have successfully commercialised research findings.
Our research in bio- and circular economy aims to provide solutions to some of the great challenges of humanity, such as climate change and other environmental issues, sustainable production, and the use of materials and energy. We conduct multidisciplinary research applying the natural sciences to produce scientific and technological solutions to these great challenges. Our high-level scientific and applied research focuses on aerosol science and technology, environmental technology, energy and biorefining, synthetic biology, and sustainable nanomaterials. We pursue active collaborations with forerunners in industry and the public sector.
Our research in Computational Science is one of the cornerstones of modern scientific research and is used everywhere: in mobile phones, cars, health care, transport logistics, and weather forecasts. Modelling and simulations have an increasing role in fundamental sciences, and they are pivotal in the analysis, interpretation and exploitation of Big Data in multidisciplinary challenges. We focus on mathematical and physical modelling, numerical simulations of materials and nanosystems, inverse problems, optimization, and advanced data analysis with logic methods and machine learning. The application areas are diverse, ranging from quantum devices to economics and health diagnostics.
Carefully read through the admissions requirements before applying. For additional questions on applying, application documents and application process, please contact us at ens.doc.tau(a)tuni.fi.
General eligibility for scientific doctoral studies is stipulated in the University Act (2009/558, Paragraph 37). The university can admit to a doctoral programme an applicant who has completed
- a relevant Master's degree awarded by a university,
- a relevant Master's degree awarded by a university of applied sciences, or
- a relevant applicable study programme abroad which in the awarding country gives eligibility for the corresponding level of higher education
- whom the university otherwise deems to possess sufficient knowledge and skills for doctoral education in the field of studies in question.
All the applicants whose native language is not English or Finnish must take an official language test. One of the following language tests is required: IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic, Cambridge Language Certificate (Proficiency CPE or Advanced CAE).
- IELTS Academic (min. score 6.5)
- TOEFL (min. score 92 in iBT and 580 in PBT)
- PTE Academic (min. score 62)
- Cambridge Language Certificate (Proficiency CPE or Advanced CAE) (min. score C)
A plain photocopy of the test score is enough regarding IELTS and Cambridge Language Certificate (Proficiency CPE or Advanced CAE) scores. For Cambridge Language Certificate (Proficiency CPE or Advanced CAE), please include your secret code. The PTE and TOEFL scores must arrive from the testing organisation. The TOEFL reporting number of Tampere University is 9871.
Exemption to the language requirements
The doctoral programme may consider exemptions from submitting a certificate of language proficiency if you have completed a degree taught in English at an institution of higher education located in the UK, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or in an EU/EAA member state. You must have resided in the country while studying.
The Doctoral Programme in Engineering and Natural Sciences assess all applicants based on following criterias:
- The research plan’s scientific quality, relevance and realism
- Suitability of MSc degree and research topic for doctoral studies
- Availability of qualified supervision
- Applicant’s knowledge and skills, the sufficient grade of MSc thesis and the required language skills
- Endorsement of the supervisor
- Under the guidance of the supervisor may be approx. five doctoral students
There are no specific application periods or starting times for the Doctoral Programme. The doctoral programme processes applications regularly every month apart from July. Applications and eclosures are submitted through an electronic application system at studyinfo.fi. A link to the application form is available during the application period. In autumn 2019 the application period is 1 August - 29 November.
The process for applying as a postgraduate student begins with a discussion on your topic, possible supervisor and your chances of completing the doctoral studies in the normative time-to-degree (four years studying full time) with a potential responsible supervisor. The programme supports that every PhD student has the supervisor and at least one co-supervisor. In case an appropriate supervisor is found, prepares a research plan and a postgraduate study plan with related schedules, asks the supervisor for a statement, fills in an application, and encloses any other required documents. Please note that there is no funding connected with being accepted to the doctoral programme.
Application and required enclosures
All requested enclosures must be submitted with the application in the electronic application system “Studyinfo.fi”. The copies of the degree certificate, transcript of records and their translations into English must be authenticated by a public notary, the Finnish Embassy/Consulate or the institution that issued the original document with an institutional stamp on the documents. For some countries, there are country-specific document requirements that must be followed.
1. Research plan, 2-3 page, includes the following sections and is confirmed and signed by the supervisor
- Abstract (max. 150 words)
- Introduction and theoretical framework
- Research objectives and expected results
- Research methods
- Research environment (research group and supervisor/supervisors) and collaboration partners (e.g. companies and other higher education institutions)
- Internationality (e.g. interntional partners) and concrete plan for internationalization (e.g. planned period of research exchange)
- Research schedule (detailed schedule that covers four years)
- Career plans after PhD degree: Why do you want to pursue a doctorate?
2. Scheduled study plan for postgraduate studies
Information about courses can be found from the course catalogue. Please notice that all courses need to be suitable for post-graduate studies. This information is usually given in the course description in part "Additional information".
Postgraduate studies shall comprise major subject studies and general scientific studies. The minimum scope of major subject studies shall be 25 credits and that of general scientific studies 5 credits. The total scope of postgraduate studies shall be no less than 40 credits.
The course LTT-90006 Orientation to Doctoral Studies, 3 cr is compulsory and it is a part of general scientific studies.
3. Statement by the supervisor
The supervisor’s statement must include assessments of the Applicant’s knowledge and skills to do a post graduate degree, scientific quality, relevance and realism of the postgraduate study plan, along with the availability of competent instruction and the planned funding.
By signing the student’s application for postgraduate studies and the statement, the supervisor commits him-/herself to supervising the student’s postgraduate studies and reserving sufficient resources for study instruction.
4. Certified copies of the bachelor’s and master’s degree certificates and the transcripts with official translations into English or Finnish (if the original documents are in a language other than Finnish, or English) Educational documents from certain countries must be submitted in a particular way. Please read the country-specific requirements.
5. Preliminary financial plan
6. Official academic language test report of sufficient language skills in Finnish or English
7. Curriculum Vitae
Non-Finnish applicants should also include
- Copy of international passport
More detailed instructions for applying to doctoral studies can be found on our web pages.
Officially certified educational documents
You must be able to prove your educational background by means of officially authenticated copies of your educational documents, if you have not completed your previous degrees in a Finnish university. If the documents are not in English, Finnish or Swedish, both the authenticated copies of the documents in their original language and an officially confirmed, complete and precise translation into one of the languages mentioned above are required.
In addition to the standard document requirements, educational documents issued in certain countries have more specific requirements for submission. Please go through the requirements carefully and check the country- specific requirements for your degree awarding country before applying. Please send your educational documents to Tampere University Admissions Office.
If selected, you will have to present your original educational documents upon arrival at Tampere University in order to be able to register at the university.
Guidelines for the preliminary study plan
The studies of postgraduate degrees must total at least 40 credits, including the major subject (at least 25 credits), and general scientific studies (at least 5 credits). The course LTT-90006 Orientation to Doctoral Studies (3 credits) has to be included in the general scientific studies. Information about courses can be found in the course catalogue. Please note that all courses need to be suitable for post-graduate studies. This information is usually given in the course description in part "Additional information".
The doctoral programme processes applications regularly every month apart from July. Applicants are notified of the decision by the end of the month. If the application or its enclosures are imcomplete, the processing of the application may be deferred to the following month.
An applicant who is dissatisfied with the student selection may submit a written request for reconsideration to the Faculty Council. Such requests must be submitted within 14 days of the declared announcement date. The request, together with the reasons, should be sent by email to tau (a) tuni.fi.
One study place per term provision
A person accepted at a Finnish university or a polytechnic may accept only one study place in a degree programme leading to a higher education degree during one academic term.
Confirmation of the right to enrol
To maintain your right to enrol in the doctoral programme, you must accept the study place electronically through the link in your email notification. If you cannot accept the study place electronically, you must fill in and deliver the confirmation form to Tampere University by email or by post.
The confirmation must reach Tampere University by the 15th of the following month at 15.00 pm local time, at the latest. If your confirmation has not arrived by the date indicated above, you will lose your right to enrol in the doctoral programme.
New doctoral students must enrol at the Student Affairs Office. More detailed instructions on enrollment are enclosed with the letter of acceptance. Before enrolling, a new doctoral student must present at the Admissions Office the original certificates and transcript for the degrees and studies he/she has referred to in his/her application and their authorised translations in English, if the originals are in another language. If the previous studies have been completed in Finnish university, Tampere University is able to confirm the degree electronically.
Doctoral students are required to re-enrol at the beginning of each academic year according to instructions given by the University. Only students enrolled as 'present' may pursue studies at the University.
Doctoral students who fail to enrol either as 'present' or 'absent' within the given deadline will lose their right to study and their right to use the computer services provided by the University. Should students later wish to continue their studies, they must make a written request to the Faculty requesting re-admission.