Doctoral programme in Chemical and Physical Sciences

From the academic year 2022/2023 starting a doctoral programme in Chemical and Physical Sciences, which includes three specialities:

1. Physics (coordinating Institute of Physics)
2. Chemistry (coordinating Institute of Chemistry)
3. Space research and technology (coordinating Tartu Observatory)

The doctoral studies focus on the doctoral thesis and research-related activities. The doctoral student can make individual and purposeful choices in their study plan in collaboration with their supervisor(s).
The programme includes courses and training for 30 ETCS. The study module includes speciality-specific courses (18 ECTS) and transferrable skills training (12 ECTS).
The progress review committee assesses doctoral students' advancement about their study plan, the programme's learning outcomes, and required activities within the programme. In addition, specialities can have specific requirements and suggestions for their doctoral students.

Transferable skills training

Programme aims and requirements

The overall goal of the programme is to bring the doctoral student’s knowledge and skills to that of a recognised high-level professional in the international research scene. The doctoral student is prepared for employment as a lecturer or researcher in a university or other research institution, or as a leading specialist outside the academic sphere, for example in business or the public sector. A specialist with a doctoral degree has achieved excellence in their speciality, and has acquired internationally-recognised research and development skills, an open, scientific worldview, and management and pedagogical competencies. A specialist with a doctorate is an independent researcher who is able to analyse and solve any problems put before them, working independently, in a team and/or leading a working group, depending on the situation.

The doctoral student who has completed the programme:

1. will have the knowledge and skills suitable for a leading specialist in their research field, and will be up to date with the latest development trends and experimental and theoretical methodologies;

2. will be able to critically evaluate the achieved research results, and will be able to reassess them, reformulate them and/or expand on them;

3. will be able to predict the evolution of real processes on the basis of theory, independently pose hypotheses, and validate these predictions and hypotheses experimentally;

4. will possess a scientific concept of the world and be able to pass on their knowledge through teaching, academic supervision or other means, both in an educational and scientific context as well as on a broader societal level;

5. will be able to correctly document their research results and present them both orally and in writing to different types of audience;

6. will be able to evaluate their own needs for self-improvement and plan it accordingly;

7. will have a good understanding of the organization of modern scientific research, and will know and be able to apply effective project management principles and be able to work in a working group (including internationally);

8. will be ethical in their conduct, and observe good research practice and other best practices put forth by the university, including data management good practices, intellectual property rights and data protection policies.

Research, Development and Creative Activities (RDC) Module

The aim of the doctoral student’s research and development work is for them to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to plan, implement, and present the results of research work. As the result of their research and development work, the doctoral student will complete an independent study in which a reasoned, original solution is presented to an important problem or problems in their specific research field. This should be published in leading international journals for their speciality (or applied publications which have been recognised as being of similar importance in an appraisal). The doctoral student will acquire experience in scientific communication as well as work experience teaching at a higher education institution.

On successful completion of the module, the doctoral student:

On successful completion of the module, the doctoral student:

1. will be able to apply their knowledge and their speciality’s research methodology in the implementation of specialised research work;

2. will be able to analyse and critically evaluate hypotheses specific to their speciality;

3. will be able to formulate specialised research questions and initiate and plan research and development work in order to solve them;

4. will be able to predict and critically evaluate the potential outcome of research and development work in their speciality;

5. will be able to critically evaluate the achieved research results , and can reassess them if necessary, reformulate them, or expand on them;

6. will participate in discussions related to their speciality, and be able to debate both in Estonian and in English, verbally and in writing;

7. will publish their original research results in international peer-reviewed journals;

8. will possess the ability to work in a team and be able to make strategic decisions;

9. will have experience of working independently in an international work or study environment;

10. will be able to prepare and conduct classroom teaching at a university or supervise a bachelor’s or master’s thesis;

11. will understand the operation principles of their specialist field, society in general and the interconnections between these, which supports the presentation of research to the general public;

12. will be able to evaluate their own need for continuing training and plan it according to this need.

The doctoral student shall:

  1. Write a doctoral thesis that complies with the requirements set in the Doctoral Studies Regulations, and comply with the progress review regulations set at their faculty.
  2. Give at least one presentation at an international event of a high scientific standard; participate in international discussions regarding their research.
  3. Actively participate in their speciality’s doctoral seminars.
  4. Participate in research and development activities at their institute or faculty, contribute to organising research and development activities and participate in events organised by the Doctoral Centre.
  5. Be involved in outreach activities, and pass on their knowledge through teaching or supervising.
  6. Analyse their progress and professional development in collaboration with their supervisor(s) (supervision diary), and report on their academic progress during progress reviews.

Study Module

The aim of the module is to complement and strengthen speciality-specific and field-specific research-based knowledge and skill. The doctoral student shall acquire the competence of conducting research, and transferable skills through courses, trainings and other activities.  

The volume of this module is 780 hours (corresponding to 30 ECTS).

On successful completion of the module, the doctoral student:

  1. will be able to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of their speciality and research field, and be able to critically evaluate and generalise ideas specific to their speciality;
  1. will be able to evaluate their own need for training to develop the transferable skills mentioned in the learning outcomes of the programme and plan accordingly.

Transferrable Skills Training Sub-module

“Introduction to Doctoral Studies at the Faculty of Science and Technology" during the 1st year (3 ECTS). Complete a course or workshop on research ethics during the 1st year. In the remaining volume of the sub-module, the doctoral student in collaboration with their supervisor(s) choose courses, events, trainings, local or international events etc., that best contribute to their thesis and professional development.

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