Why should doctoral students aim at internationalisation, and how is their internationalisation supported?

Benefits of internationalisation

It is recommended that all doctoral students gain experience in international research cooperation. Internationality is often part of full-time doctoral students’ daily work: faculties employ international teaching and research staff, and an increasing number of doctoral students come from outside of Finland. Dissertation work is often carried out in an international research group. Experience in international cooperation gained at home is ideally complemented by visits abroad supporting research / dissertation work / postgraduate studies. International mobility is worth considering already when devising your postgraduate study plan. The forms of international mobility recommended for doctoral students include:

Work abroad / visit to a foreign research group

Working abroad provides you, among other things, with valuable knowledge of the destination country’s working culture and methods. A visit to a foreign research group or laboratory may allow you to learn new methods or use devices that are not available in your own country. It is most beneficial to choose the destination carefully, in collaboration with your supervisor. A visit can be designed, for instance, so that it will allow you to work simultaneously on an international co-publication (or its research plan) included in your dissertation. Visits should last for at least two weeks. Instructions of the University Services for the research, teaching and staff visits abroad and for working abroad are available in the Help Centre (intranet).

Conference trips

Participation in scientific conferences provides you with valuable presentation experience and the opportunity to introduce yourself and your research to international experts in your field. Preparing and presenting a talk or a poster as well as feedback on the presentation, contribute to the progress of your research. Conference journeys are also excellent opportunities to create international contacts and even map postdoctoral opportunities. It is useful to reflect on the objectives of the conference trip in advance and compile a list of interesting presentations and participants whom you would like to meet and discuss with. The Language Centre offers training modules in conference skills for doctoral students.

Participation in doctoral training courses and summer schools outside of Finland

You can complement your postgraduate study plan with the doctoral training courses and programmes provided by foreign universities, doctoral programmes or research institutes. Dissertation topics are often very narrow, and the educational offerings related to them may be insufficient in Finland. You may find additional training opportunities abroad that will advance your dissertation work, as well as offer special expertise that will distinguish you from other doctors in the field.

Further advantages of internationalisation include:

  • Improved language skills
  • Improved interaction skills
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Increased professional competence and ambition
  • Increased maturity and merits
  • Learning new work methods and approaches
  • Experience in working in a multinational environment
  • Improved employment prospects: employers appreciate international experience

Opportunities for funding international mobility

  • JYU Research and Innovation Services updates Research Funding Calls page that contains information about research funding calls including funding for mobility
  • JYU International Office supports the internationalisation of the JYU staff and students. The international Office coordinates staff mobility for example the Erasmus staff training mobility. Most study exchange programmes are aimed at undergraduate and graduate students. Some places are available for post-graduate students within the Erasmus programme and bilateral agreements.
  • Jyväskylä University Foundation's Aino Sallinen fund grant aims at supporting the career of young researchers. Researchers employed by the University of Jyväskylä may apply for the grant for funding postdoc work in a foreign university or research institution.
  • The Finnish Fulbright Center awards grants for the Finnish citizens to the U.S. An exception is the Fulbright Center Travel Grants for Research Collaboration which has no citizenship requirement. If you wish to apply for the Fulbright program to the U.S. and you are not a Finnish citizen, please find information on further Fulbright opportunities by contacting the Fulbright Commission or U.S.
  • On Aurora database you can search for Finnish funding opportunities in sciences and arts, for both project funding and personal grants including mobility grants
  • The Foundations' Post Doc Pool is a grant resource set up by Finnish foundations, all members of the Council of Finnish Foundations, and intended for post-doctoral research abroad. The grants are intended for at least one academic year for scholars, who have recently completed their doctoral degree and wish to conduct research abroad. Grants are also available for non-Finnish nationals.
  • The Osk. Huttunen Foundation offers grants to young Finns for postdoctoral research work at universities outside Finland. The Foundation serves as the main source of funding for an average of one year’s work at a university or research institute outside Finland.  

Contact persons on international affairs

Each faculty or a department  has contact person on international affairs. Their contact information is available at the International Office web site.