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 research fields in biotechnology, energy technology, physics, chemistry, 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, research, 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.
You can find the programme curriculum at the Student's Guide.
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 1 000€/month 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
The Doctoral Programme in Engineering and Natural Sciences is built on scientific research at the highest international level. In Physics Unit, both basic and applied research is carried out in three focus areas: aerosol physics, computational physics and photonics. In Materials Science and Environmental Engineering Unit, the programme includes the research areas of chemistry, bioengineering, energy technology and environmental technology. In addition, applied mathematics is one of the research areas in the programme.
The European Research Council (ERC) has granted five projects to the research groups associated with the doctoral programme:
- ERC Starting Grant (2016-2021): 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 Photovoltaics
- ERC Starting Grant (2019-2023): Assoc. Prof. Humeyra Caglayan: Quantum Nanophotonics and Epsilon Near-Zero (ENZ) Metamaterials
- ERC Starting Grant (2021-2025): Assist. Prof. Matti Rissanen: Autoxidation of Anthropogenic Volatile Organic Compounds as a Source of Urban Air Pollution
- ERC Consolidator Grant (2021-2025): Prof. Timo Laaksonen: Photoactivatable Drug Releasing Implants
The research of the programme is also associated with two flagship projects of the Academy of Finland: Photonics Research and Innovation (PREIN, 2019-2022) and Atmosphere and Climate Competence Center (ACCC, 2020-2024). In addition, the research groups have numerous research and innovation projects funded by, e.g., the European Commission, Academy of Finland and Business Finland.
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.
Doctoral Programme in Engineering and Natural Sciences
Continuous doctoral admission, spring 2021
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 applicants must submit evidence on a good command of English for academic purposes. There are two ways of indicating English language proficiency: language tests and previous studies.The minimum English language test result requirements
*The previous CAE and CPE have been renamed as C1 Advanced and C2 ProficiencyExemptions to the language requirements
It is possible to be exempted from submitting a language test score if you have completed a higher education degree in English in certain countries. If you apply without a valid language test result, carefully examine the exemptions that your studies fulfil the requirements.Faculty-specific exemptions to the language requirements
In some rare cases the faculty may consider the applicant to be exempted from the language test result if:
- he/she has already enrolled at some university in Finland as an exchange student or
- he/she has experience in speaking and writing in English during research work, or
- he/she has demonstrated the English proficiency by other credible means approved by the Dean.
The Doctoral Programme in Engineering and Natural Sciences assess all applicants based on following criterias:
- The scientific quality and realism of the research plan
- The relevance and realism of the study plan
- 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 responsible supervisor
- Under the guidance of the responsible 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 once or twice 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 spring 2021 the application period is 4 January- 28 May. The application period ends at 15.00 (Finnish time).
The process for applying as a postgraduate student begins with a discussion on your topic, supervising your studies and your chances of completing the doctoral studies in the normative time-to-degree (four years studying full time) with a potential responsible supervisor. Every PhD student needs to have the responsible supervisor and at least one co-supervisor named already when applying for the study right. In case an appropriate responsible supervisor is found, the applicant prepares a research plan and a postgraduate study plan with related schedules, asks the responsible 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.
* Please notice that this may mean requesting the home institution(s) to send certified copies of the bachelor's and master's degree certificates and transcript of records with official translations into English in a specified way by mail to Tampere University. Please begin submitting the educational documents to Tampere University in the beginning of the applying process, since it may take time.
1. Research plan
The research plan is written in English and it needs to be favoured by the responsible supervisor. The length of the research plan is 2-3 pages, and it can be divided into sections as follows:
- Abstract (max. 150 words)
- Introduction and research objectives
- Research methods
- Research group, supervisors, collaboration partners and internationality of the research
- Preliminary research schedule
- Funding of postgraduate studies
2. Scheduled study plan for postgraduate studies
Information about courses can be found from the curriculum. Doctoral programme's instructions for composing the postgraduate studies (pdf)
Please notice that all courses need to be suitable for postgraduate studies. Finnish language courses arranged for international students can be studied, but are not normally counted towards a doctoral degree.
Postgraduate studies shall comprise discipline- and field-specific studies and general academic competences. The minimum scope of discipline- and field-specific studies shall be 25 credits and that of general academic competences 10 credits. The total scope of postgraduate studies shall be no less than 40 credits.
The courses TAUJ041b Orientation to Doctoral Studies, 4 cr and either course TAUJ12a Research Ethics I, 1 cr or TAUJ12ab Research Ethics I (online), 1 cr are compulsory and part of the general academic competences. The courses need to be completed at an early stage of studies.
3. Statement by the responsible supervisor
The responsible supervisor’s statement must include assessments of the applicant’s knowledge and skills to do a post graduate degree, scientific quality and realism of the research plan and relevance and realism of the study plan, along with the availability of competent instruction and the planned funding.
By signing the responsible supervisor's statement, the responsible 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
Please see more instructions on how to apply on the page How to apply for doctoral programmes at Tampere University.
Officially certified educational documents
In addition to uploading electronic copies of your educational documents to your application, you must submit 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.
The doctoral programme processes applications regularly once or twice a 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, please contact Tampere University Admissions Office.
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.