Universities receive additional funding for training a thousand new doctoral graduates

The Ministry of Education and Culture will allocate EUR 255 million to universities for piloting new practices in doctoral education in 2024–2027. This additional funding will be allocated to 1,000 doctoral researchers who will have a three-year employment contract to complete their doctoral degree.

“Finland needs more top talent, more people with doctorates in the labour force. With the help of this new doctoral education pilot, we will improve our international competitiveness and create the right conditions for innovation drawing on research-based data. I am very pleased with the high quality of applications,” says Minister of Science and Culture Sari Multala.

The appropriation will be used to implement 15 pilots for field-specific doctoral education, nine in flagship fields and six in other fields that can be selected freely. Of the doctoral researchers, 800 will focus on flagship fields and 200 on other fields. Consortia designed by universities will implement the pilots in each field with extensive cooperation with research institutes and businesses.

“We don't just train doctoral graduates to work for universities. Our aim is to increase the number of people with a doctorate working in the private sector, for businesses. Other European countries make more extensive use of the expertise of employees with doctoral education. We're lagging behind and wasting potential,” says Multala.

Pilots are funded across a wide range of sectors and regions in fields such as cancer medicine, artificial intelligence and social services. For example, a pilot in Finland's flagship field of education and training will have 78 doctoral researchers at nine universities. The consortium will include 31 public and private sector partners.

For the freely selected fields, the largest pilot to receive funding concerns doctoral education in software development, with 49 doctoral researchers across nine consortium universities.

The pilots were selected based on an international review carried out by the Research Council of Finland. The applicants can access the Council's online services to view the review panel's opinion.

How pilot projects develop doctoral education

Universities will work together to improve doctoral education and reinvent practices. The pilots aim to increase the mobility of doctoral graduates between universities, businesses, research institutes and other organisations, develop direction and guidance, and promote the employment of doctoral graduates in different sectors of society.

The field-specific pilots will employ the first doctoral researchers in August 2024. The Ministry of Education and Culture will set up a monitoring group and a research evaluation project for the pilots.

The doctoral education pilots are part of the initiative to increase Finland's research and development funding to four per cent of gross domestic product by 2030.

The pilot will increase the number of doctoral students in universities in addition to those currently studying for a doctoral degree. In 2022, the Parliamentary RDI working group found in its final report that more than 2,000 doctoral graduates will be needed in R&D each year between 2024 and 2030. In 2022, 1,623 persons completed a doctoral degree in Finland.


  • Sirkku Linna, Director General, tel. +358 295 330 515
  • Emmi Venäläinen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 50 453 2773
  • Paavo-Petri Ahonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 330 247
  • Saara Vihko, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 330 005