The University of Tartu will open 179 student places in doctoral studies this spring. Most of these are linked to the junior research fellow’s position, so doctoral students can commit to research and studies.
According to Vice Rector for Research Kristjan Vassil, the University of Tartu is a top international university offering the largest range of disciplines in Estonia. “We are the only Baltic university to be ranked in the top 1% of the world’s best universities as well as in the top 1% of the world’s most cited research institutions in 15 fields of research. We carry out high-level research, paying attention to international cooperation, the importance of having Estonian-speaking scholars in the future, and providing science-based solutions to socially important issues,” said Vassil, pointing out the university’s strengths. “Doctoral studies offer an excellent opportunity to enrich one’s studies and career path, especially if they want to pursue research and development after graduation either in or outside the university or work for a research-intensive private company,” he added.
The programmes opened in 2022 allow doctoral students to dedicate themselves to research and choose from a wide range of professional development opportunities. A junior research fellow is a student and a staff member who completes the programme based on an employment contract. Junior research fellows generally work full-time, but it is possible to agree upon a smaller workload if it is necessary to combine doctoral studies with work in another position. Based on an agreement with the institute, it is also possible to complete doctoral studies in student status, and without making an employment contract.
The university pays special attention to industrial doctorate, which allows private companies and public sector institutions to open a doctoral student place tailored to their specific needs. The vice rector for research urged people to make the most of this new opportunity. “Companies and public sector institutions should consider supporting their employees’ or suitable applicants’ doctoral studies in the relevant fields to increase their R&D potential,” Vassil explained. Industrial doctorate means that doctoral students usually work in a company or institution; the university provides high-quality supervising of their research and opportunities to develop the skills they need for their future career. Industrial doctorates can be funded from the upcoming action of structural funds.
For the second year, doctoral students are admitted to 50 specialisations under eight doctoral programmes. Depending on the programme and specialisation, it is possible to apply for the announced research projects or submit your own research topic. In the first case, the doctoral student joins a research group, and the doctoral thesis is closely connected with the themes of the group. In the second case, it is advisable to check with the institute managing the specialisation to see if it has a supervisor with the necessary competence to research the theme.
Admission to doctoral student places in the Faculty of Science and Technology is open from 1 to 15 May. To other faculties, there are 2 application periods: from 1 to 15 May for international applicants and from 1 to 15 June for Estonian applicants and international applicants who received their master´s degree in Estonia. Depending on the specialisation, the applicants must submit a draft doctoral thesis or a motivational letter and do an entrance interview. Further information is available on the university’s website.
Admission to doctoral studies at the University of Tartu takes place four times a year. The next application periods are in September and November. To apply for the industrial doctorate, a cooperation agreement with the partner organisation is required.