Andero Kalju

This spring, the University of Tartu will open 189 doctoral student places

New applicants are predominantly recruited to junior research fellow places, which gives doctoral students a better chance of devoting themselves to full-time research and studies.

Every year, more than a hundred doctoral students obtain their degree at the University of Tartu. According to Mari Moora, Vice Rector for Research at the university, doctoral studies are open to anyone interested in developing research skills and promoting their field both in Estonia and internationally.

"People with PhDs are valued experts in society. In Estonia, more than 85% of PhD graduates are in managerial or top professional positions. The state is aiming to increase the share of employees with a PhD in both the public and private sectors. They are also in high demand in universities, where there are concerns about the next generation of academics," said Moora.

Considering the proportion of young people in the Estonian population, we admit 100–150 fewer doctoral students each year than the European average. As a result, we are missing out on a significant number of future top professionals, which undermines the competitiveness of both the economy and science.

The University of Tartu offers the widest range of doctoral programmes in Estonia. You can apply for 50 specialisations, grouped under eight doctoral programmes.

Doctoral studies can be completed in several ways:

  • candidates accepted for a junior research fellow post sign an employment contract with the university and also have the student status. The university offers them the opportunity to work full-time, the doctoral candidate may request for a smaller workload;
  • few student places are offered without an employment contract;
  • it is possible to combine your daily work and doctoral studies in an industrial doctorate, for which a student place is set up following the conclusion of a cooperation agreement between the university and a partner institution.

You can find more information about the announced study places on the university website.

Admission to doctoral studies at the University of Tartu takes place four times a year. It is also possible to apply for an industrial doctorate outside the application periods, once a cooperation agreement has been signed. Depending on the chosen specialisation, candidates are required to submit a doctoral thesis project or a motivation letter together with their application and attend an interview.

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