EDUCA Flagship Doctoral School Pilot Project

Here you can find the list of potential supervisors in EDUCA pilot who have registered to the doctoral pilot and given permission to publish their name. If you're interested in applying for a position in the thematic field of EDUCA, you should contact a possible supervisor as soon as possible.

Note: In the supplementary call, EDUCA Flagship Doctoral School Pilot Project has one (1) open position in the research area of economics of education.


This research focuses on four areas under the EDUCA Ecosystemic Platform for co-creation between multidisciplinary research groups and different stakeholders:

  1. Assessing the impacts of education policy reforms and interventions in ECEC and compulsory education. Research on sociology, administration, and economics of education in ECEC and compulsory education supporting the development of Finnish educational ecosystem.
  2. Research on variability in learning to create an understanding of the complex mechanisms and interactions of individual and contextual factors in learning.
  3. Research on scalable digital solutions for learning variability and to support individual learning needs in compulsory education. 
  4. Research on education, competences and occupational well-being of pre- and in-service teachers and principals, including views related to co-creation of learning environments and pedagogy, for future learning. 

We are looking for doctoral researchers for 3-year doctoral positions to work on the following themes:

  • educational policy reforms, implementation of policy and reliable impact evaluation,
  • educational transitions that are sensitive to the development of inequalities,
  • individual and contextual variability and consequences of this variability, identifying of optimal learning moments,
  • learning and interventions in early childhood education and compulsory education, 
  • learning and wellbeing of students from immigrant backgrounds, 
  • use of adaptive technologies and learning analytics, technology-enhanced learning, personalized learning, and assessment,
  • education and professional learning of teachers and principals, co-creation, learning environments, pedagogy, and technology-enhanced learning,
  • teachers’ and principals’ occupational wellbeing and intention to leave the profession,
  • sociology and economics of education, educational equality, agency, and guidance on education

Suitable candidates have a background for example in:

  • working in a research group and use of data, gathered by other researchers in the group,
  • statistics with expertise in the modeling and analysis of complex, longitudinal and register data,
  • randomized control trials, quasi-experiments,
  • educational design research,
  • use of digital tools, including AI, in education


  • Research plan needs to be focused on EDUCA research areas.
  • Study plan for doctoral studies in 3-4 years and participation to national EDUCA-Doc program activities.
  • Plan to collaborate with non-university partner. EDUCA-Doc collaborates with non-university partners who are already firmly committed to offer co-supervision, training events, and secondment positions to candidates. EDUCA-Doc nonuniversity partners present private sector (e.g., Education Finland with more than 100 companies, Eduten in over 50 countries), public sector (e.g., National Agency of Education, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland [KELA], FinCEED, big cities like Helsinki and Kuopio), nonprofit sector (e.g. ITLA Foundation) and research institutions (e.g., VATT Institute for Economic Research, Labore, ETLA).
  • Non-university career plan after the graduation.

Raisa Ahtiainen - Leadership and leading in educational organisations

  • We study leadership and its various forms in education, e.g., in schools, ECE centers. We use qualitative and quantitative methods to study the phenomenon. Our studies indicate that transparency in leadership and decision-making are crucial but hard to reach.

Maija Aksela - science education, modern learning environment

  • I am keen on promoting science education through modern learning environments.

Pirjo Aunio - Mathematical learning and learning difficulties - development, assessment and intervention

  • Our research group broadly investigates factors affecting mathematical learning and learning difficulties. Our aim is to produce novel multidisciplinary research knowledge, which lays the foundation for developing new assessment and intervention methods.

Kristiina Brunila - Education, Society and Culture

  • We focus on sociological, philosophical, cultural, historical and critical educational research.

Fred Dervin - Interculturality in education

  • As one of the world leaders in intercultural communication education and research, I have done and led research on internationalization, epistemic diversity and equality, the use of language in intercultural encounters and intercultural preparation.

Eeva Haataja - Co-constructing mathematics motivation in primary education - A longitudinal study in six European countries (MATHMot)

  • We study the development of elementary students' mathematics motivation, emotions, and math achievements in relation to teacher and parental support and students' family background. We use longitudinal questionnaire data as well as teacher interviews.

Kaisa Hahl - Teaching and learning of foreign languages

  • My research focuses on teaching and learning foreign languages, with a special focus on early language learning and active language learning. Furthermore, my research deals with teacher identity development and intercultural education in language education.

Kai Hakkarainen - Digital practices of students and teachers

  • My research is focused on technology mediated learning, teaching and learning environments. I have studied primary and secondary students sociodigital participation in and out of school together with teachers' transformative professional agency and innovation.

Markku Hannula - Visual attention in teaching and learning

  • We use mobile eye-tracking to study the role of visual attention in collaborative learning and other social situation.

Lauri HietajärviTeacher and Principal Barometer

  • My studies have focused on academic well-being across various contexts. Within EDUCA I will mainly work on longitudinal teacher well-being study and principal barometer.


  • The project builds on the consortium’s previous project, in which we developed a ASR-based tool for assessing second language speaking. In addition to speech, we improve the tool to detect non-verbal interaction features in paired speaking tests.

Toyama Hiroyuki - Job/off-job crafting and occupational well-being

  • The focus of my research is to investigate whether and how school principals proactively craft their job and off-job lives to improve their occupational health and well-being.

Risto Hotulainen - Educational Assessment

  • Research of educational assessment focuses on development, learning, especially, on learning to learn, teaching and educational leadership in diverse environments. Societal impact of our research builds on evidence-based recommendations for improvements.

Minna Huotilainen - Learning neuroscience

  • We use neuroscientific and other quantitative methods to study learning, special education, use of music and other arts, language learning.

Markku Jahnukainen - Inclusive and special education

  • We investigate the outcomes and procedures related to organising special educational support in different placement options (inclusive vs special education placement).

Kalle Juuti - teaching and learning

  • How digital tools and digitalization change teaching and learning and how teaching and learning can be changed by digital tools. Engage in design-based research and research-practice partnership.

Mirjam Kalland - Diversity, multilingualism, minority issues and social justice in relation to pedagogy and teacher education

  • Early childhood social-emotional development, linking to language development and family background. Interventions promoting social-emotional and language development. Supporting children from different backgrounds in hopefulness and in pursuing education.

Arto Kallioniemi - Worldview education, education, human rights, leadership, diversity

  • I do and lead research in three different areas: worldview education, leadership in educational context (diversity, ethical leadership) and general education. I am senior researcher and have done research from very different approaches and methods.

Elina Ketonen - Educational Psychology

  • A passion for investigating the affective and motivational processes in learning using advanced statistical methods. Besides traditional quantitative datasets, keen on applying diverse process data in learning sciences (e.g. log data, physiological measures).

Mihail Kopotev - Applied Linguistics

  • Our goal is to create a technological solution that revolutionizes foreign language learning. The primary focus is on providing web-based tools that stimulate active, participatory learning.

Tiina Korhonen - Learning and teaching in digital society

  • Dr.Korhonen’s interests lie in the wide landscape of 21st century learning and development of school practice in the context of the digital society, with special focus on the practical and innovative opportunities available through digital tools and processes.

Antti Laherto - Teacher agency and futures thinking

  • Teachers should not only adapt and react to changes in school and society, but also be agents in that change. We analyse and develop teachers’ futures thinking and professional agency, using both qualitative and quantitative research approaches.

Anu Laine - Mathematical learning and teachning

  • I am interested in cognitive and affective factors connected to learning and teaching mathematics. I am a member of Active numeracy research group and PI in MathMot-project and have access to big longitudinal data sets.

Katja Lauri - Climate and sustainability education

  • We study impact of climate and sustainability education on different levels and learner groups, competencies needed in adapting to and mitigating climate change, and learning processes in multidisciplinary settings. We use qualitative and quantitative methods.

Jari Lavonen - Teaching, learning and artefacts as social and cultural phenomena

  • Research focuses on teaching and learning of science and technology, student interest and climate education. Qualitative and quantitative research methodologies are used and many of the current six research projects follow educational design research approach.

Kirsti Lonka - Educational Psychology

  • We study learning, motivation and emotion in different contexts and age groups. Innovative pedagogy and digital learning are in the focus. We use large-scale data sets and quantitative/mixed methods as well as contextual (ESM)  and physiological measures.

Erika Löfström - Ethics in supervision and education

  • Ethics is recognised as an increasingly important dimension in education and research. We study ethics in academic contexts, such as research (research ethics, integrity), supervision (e.g., doctoral supervision) and education (e.g., teaching/learning ethics).

Erika Maksniemi - Motivation, learning and well-being in digital era

  • I study digital media effects on psychological wellbeing and sleep focusing especially on adolescents. Dataset are longitudinal and enable investigating both long- and short-term digital media effects.

Petteri Muukkonen - Well-being, JustTransition, Planetary Health, and Education


Anna Parpala - Higher education teachers' teaching and well-being

  • Our research team carries out an intervention study on higher education teachers' teaching and well-being. We use videos, inventories, interviews, ESM and physiological measures. The initial results show a relation between teaching and well-being.

Jukka Pirttilä - public economics

  • Empirical analyses of publicly provided services and taxation.

Antti Rajala - Pedagogy of concrete utopias to promote just sustainability transformations

  • My research team researches utopian pedagogies with schools, young people and community partners. The aim is to research and support just sustainability transformations in the society, locally and globally.

Laura Riuttanen - Climate change education

  • We study climate change education in different contexts: higher education, compulsory education, teacher education, professional expert education, open online learning as well as societal context.

Taina Ruuskanen - Climate education in schools and professional specialisation education

  • Research focuses on sustainability & climate competences and learning of them. The research is done during formal as well as informal learning and methods range from use of qualitative surveys to quantitative analysis of answers to semi open-ended questions.

Katariina Salmela-Aro - Socio-emotional skills, optimal learning moments, principal and teacher barometer

  • We study using quantitative mostly longitudinal studies the role of socio-emotional skills in learning, well-being and optimal learning moments. Digital skills, learning and wellbeing. Annual Principal and teacher barometer using demands-resources model.

Janne Salovaara - Sustainability Science

  • My research focuses on different aspects of sustainability; on its education, practices and professionalism, but also of its philosophy and emerging discipline, through such themes as transformation, agency, democratic and critical sustainability (science).

Irina Savolainen - Group guidance practices and planning the goals for communication rehabilitation in the (pre-)school context

  • To explore 1)the interaction practices that support cooperation in group guidance, and 2) the process of planning the goals for communication rehabilitation with parents, school workers, and speech therapists. Qualitative methods.

Florencia Sortheix - Motivation and Wellbeing

  • My studies have focused on the development of motivation and its associations with career outcomes. At the moment, I´m studying socio-emotional skills and loneliness, with a focus on immigrant youth.

Xin Tang - Motivation, Curiosity, Social-emotional skills

  • We study students' motivation (particularly curiosity and persistence) and social-emotional skills using longitudinal/or large datasets with advanced quantitative methods.

Mari Tervaniemi - Learning in the human brain

  • We study behavioral and neural indices of learning, especially when it comes to language and music skills. In parallel, we study the effects of music learning can have in skills not directly related to music (e.g., memory and attention).

Katja Upadyaya - Well-being, educational and developmental   psychology

  • My research interest lie in educational and developmental psychology, transitions and well-being of the whole school community (students, teachers, parents, principals). Topics may include socio-emotional skills, parental burnout, strengths and difficulties.

Roope Uusitalo - economics of education

  • Impact of education policies and educational interventions on outcomes related to development of cognitive and non-cognitive skills and labor market success.

Janne Varjo - Sociology and Politics of Education

  • KUPOLI research themes cover a wide variety of issues and approaches on sociology and politics of education, especially problematics of policy, politics and governance in basic education.

Elisa Vilhunen - Educational psychology in the context of science education

  • We study student motivation, emotions and engagement in science learning, we use sophisticated statistical methods to analyze experience sampling data. Also, we work with teachers' professional learning.

Junlin Yu - Motivation, Belonging, Learning, and Identity in School Environments

  • I study the impact of student motivation on learning, and how motivation is shaped by students' identities and their interactions with teachers and peers using quantitative methods. My current project aims to foster growth mindset and intellectual humility.