University of Oulu launches a unique, EU-funded doctoral programme aimed at sustainable development
“At the moment, themes related to sustainable development are one of the most important areas of research. We need to tackle a number of future challenges, such as the transition to the production and use of green energy, people’s lifelong health and the creation of a sustainable digital future. That’s why we also need education for new experts”, says Marko Huttula, coordinator of the doctoral programme at the University of Oulu.
The I4WORLD doctoral programme combines the UN’s sustainable development themes with the use and utilisation of latest research methods. Imaging and characterisation methods can be used to research a wide variety of subjects from materials and medical applications to the surface of the earth.
The programme focuses particularly on the UN goals on sustainable industrial production, clean energy, clean water, biodiversity and the environment as well as health and well-being. These goals will form the basis of the research themes and projects for the students in the doctoral programme. A total of 25 doctoral researchers will be selected for the programme.
“Another key objective is to bring together top research and top equipment and to strengthen multidisciplinary cooperation internationally. Research facilities involved in the programme, such as the MAXIV synchrotron radiation laboratory in Sweden, create unique possibilities for conducting research”, Huttula continues, saying that this programme is the first of its kind.
The doctoral programme will be implemented in an extensive international network with 18 universities and research institutes, ten companies and seven other organisations.
From the University of Oulu, 24 research units from six faculties are participating in the programme. Experts from these faculties will carry out teaching and research work for the programme.
I4WORLD has received significant funding, EUR 3.34 million, from the highly competitive Marie-Sklodowska-Curie-Action COFUND of the EU funding programme Horizon Europe. The EU will cover 49% of the costs, and 51% will be covered by the University of Oulu.
Marko Huttula has previously implemented the I4FUTURE doctoral programme with 20 doctoral researchers. It also focused on imaging and characterisation methods.
“We had good experiences from the I4FUTURE programme, and some of the doctoral researchers were subsequently employed by the participating companies. It also strengthened the role of the University of Oulu as an internationally renowned educator of researchers”, says Huttula.
Photo: Characterisation reactor to study the function of photocatalysts.