Profile and activities

Want to know what we're all about? On this page, we've gathered information on our research profile and the disciplines involved in the programme. Here, you will also find information on the studies and the type of activities and networks that await if you join the doctoral programme.

The doctoral programme in Materials Research and Nanosciences (MATRENA) offers a high-level PhD student education at the University of Helsinki one of the leading research universities in the world. It is a joint programme of the Department of Physics, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy and Helsinki Institute of Physics.

Within these institutions (all of which also have other doctoral programmes), it represents the PhD student education in materials physics, materials chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, nanosciences, molecular spectroscopy, biophysics, medical physics, computational physics and computational chemistry.

A doctoral degree in the programme comprises of a doctoral thesis and 40 credits of additional studies. The studies are divided into discipline-specific studies, aimed to support your research project, and transferable skills training.

Part of the studies are completed flexibly through means other than traditional coursework: conference presentations, essays, scientific and popular articles, editing work etc. Want to know more? Visit our study planning instructions for current doctoral students at the university's Instructions for Students -service.

Courses in research ethics and transferable skills are offered throughout the academic year by the Doctoral School in Natural Sciences.

To get started:

Almost all PhD level courses within the MATRENA fields are offered in English, and the main working language within the research groups is English. However, medical physics courses are taught in Finnish.

Students who wish to take exams and get guidance in the national languages, Finnish or Swedish, have an opportunity and right to do so.

MATRENA organizes regular university courses and intensive special courses in the fields it represents. MATRENA can also be a co-organizer and co-funder of summer schoolds, workshops and conferences for MATRENA students.

Courses, workshops, conferences and other events organized in 2020.
MATRENA-011 Ultrasound scan Fall 2020 Anne-Mari Vitikainen
MATRENA-006 Clinical physiology and neurophysiology Fall 2020 Jaana Perkola
MATRENA-010 Physics of Radiotherapy II 23.3.-11.5.2020 Mikko Tenhunen
Postponed to 2021

Workshop/Course: Microfluidics and nanotechnology for pharmaceutical applications


Tiina Sikanen

ASC Winter School: Advanced Spectroscopy in Chemistry


Sirkka-Liisa Maunu
Online event

14th Annual meeting of the pharmaceutical solid state research cluster


Tapani Viitala

Winter School in Theoretical Chemistry: Quantum Computing for Chemistry


Dage Sundholm



GPU programming with OpenACC

Fall 2020 Antti Kuronen
Postponed to 2021



Flyura Djurabekova

Laboratory-based X-ray Spectroscopy workshop

9.2020 Simo Huotari

Synchrotron Light Finland 2020

12.2020 Simo Huotari
Online event Finnish DUBBLE workshop 6.2020 Simo Huotari