Developing the psychological well-being and expertise of doctoral researchers in Northern Finland

Maturing into an expert is supported by helping to develop diverse skills and strengths. In addition, the networking of doctoral researchers with companies and organizations in the region will be promoted.


Project information

Project duration


Funded by

European Structural and Investment Funds - ESF

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Contact information

Project leader

Project description

This project builds an ExpertZones model that provides a structured way to support doctoral researchers' psychological well-being, career path development, and networking. The model helps doctoral researchers and other academics alike understand the various dimensions of expertise and become aware of their strengths and development needs related to their growth into a specialist in their research field.

The project establishes support groups and a well-being team at the University of Oulu to maintain doctoral researchers’ well-being. In addition, the project integrates support for career development and networking, together with related skills training, into the doctoral research process. As a result of this project, we expect an increase in the doctoral researchers' well-being and the broadening of their expertise beyond the subject of their research.

Project actions

Throughout the project, we organise various activities, such as peer group meetings, seminars, networking events and education, and courses. The topics are related to the three main themes: psychological well-being, career development and networking.

Every Oulu university doctoral researcher is welcome to join all our activities!

Ongoing and upcoming activities

Bullet Train to finish PhD

Guided group, the purpose of which is to help complete the dissertation. Intended for doctoral researchers whose dissertation is in the final stages and who need support to get the dissertation ready for pre-examination.

The group is facilitated by an expert with knowledge in the doctoral training process, resource and time management, and creating a safe and supportive group with a common goal.

There will be both online group and on-campus group

Coming in August 2023. More information updated soon!


Coping with difficult emotions using Buddhist practices -seminar

On-campus seminar/workshop to learn about useful means to cope with difficult emotions

When: autumn 2023. More information updated soon!


How to Network Like a Pro

Do you find it difficult to connect with fellow researchers at conferences and other events?

Networking skills are crucial to tap the hidden job market and find collaboration partners for research projects!

Join the workshop to learn the important skills and to network!

When: Tue 29th August 2023

Where: Linnanmaa Campus, Tellus Stage

More information updated soon


Tackling Perfectionism with Excellence

Do you find yourself perfecting the same page of your journal article obsessing over every small detail? Do you do that with your day-to-day email or while creating course materials in your teaching responsibilities? It's not just you! We are right there with you.

While all the tasks we do require a certain level of excellence, perfectionism could be harmful for growth, task completion and mental health. In this event we will familiarize ourselves with some short-hand frameworks to tackle these problems and also have a discussion and activities around these shared experiences.

Join us and lets tackle this together!

No registration needed

When: Thursday 27. April 2023 from 12.30 to 13.30
Where: Timjami, Foodoo Garden


Peer group meetings

Regular meetings on campus to chat and meet other doctoral researchers over a cup of coffee

We don't usually have a specific topic for the meetings, but the topics come naturally through the discussions. The topics can be anything from funding, challenges with supervisors, publication strategies, and current world situation to how to cope during winter or just about how each is doing.

You don't need to prepare anything or share anything you don't want to!

Peer-group meetings are part of the ExpertZones project, which aims to support doctoral researchers' well-being, expertise, and networking. Peer-group meetings are held monthly during the spring of 2023. You can flexibly join the meeting that suits you. The ExpertZones project team facilitates these meetings.   

Next meeting:      


You can still join the meeting although you haven’t registered beforehand. 

Recruitment events

Meet possible employers or collaboration partners at Career Centre's recruitment events! Introduce yourself and present your skills to let the companies know about you. 

Check regularly the Career Centre's calendar to not miss the interesting companies!

Winner's Pitch -events

Learn how to make an effective pitch!

Learn how to make an effective elevator pitch!

to share your expertise and strengths quickly and effectively
to introduce yourself for hiring companies or in networking events

You will get instructions, feedback, and get to rehearse your pitch with professionals to make it perfect

Choose the date best suited to your schedule:

  • Tue 21.2.2023 @ 14-16
  • Thu 16.3.2023 @ 14-16
  • Tue 4.4.2023 @ 14-16

Register here:  

Workshops for preparing for the work market

Improve your crucial job-hunting skills step by step by taking part in a variety of workshops. 

The workshops are held at the Linnanmaa campus and are organized several times per academic year simultaneously in English and Finnish.

You can attend the workshops best suited to your needs and schedule.

Workshop themes, times, and places as well as the registration link can be found on from Career Centre's website. By changing the language to Suomeksi you'll find the Finnish version of the workshops.

Mock Interview & Elevator Pitch

Career Centre organizes online mock interviews for students to practice their elevator pitch or job interview situation with a career coach every Wednesday and Friday from 9 to 10 online and on campus. 

What is a mock interview? A practice interview with a career counsellor will help you prepare for an actual employment interview. The focus of the interview is to practice and articulate your skills/strengths and past experiences. 

What is an elevator pitch? An elevator pitch is a brief way of introducing yourself, getting across a key point or two, and making a connection with someone. 

Read more and register at Career Centre's web page

Psychological resilience -group

Autumn 2022. Registration closed

The group will have 5 meetings at the campus facilitated and coached by work supervisor Anu Autio (Voima Valmennus Oy).  The content will be adjusted according to the group's needs. Each participant gets to create their own goals related to psychological resilience.

The coach will support and follow each participant in their progress towards their goal. Various practical methods will be used during the coaching. The group offers also peer support and functions as a safe place to discuss topics relevant to many doctoral researchers.

Project activities