Open positions for two doctoral student candidates in Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture Aalto University, Department of Design Finland

Open positions for two doctoral student candidates in Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture


Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto has six schools with nearly 11 000 students and a staff of more than 4000, of which 400 are professors. Our campuses are located in Espoo and Helsinki, Finland.


Open positions for two doctoral student candidates in Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture


As part of the wider call for doctoral students, Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture  opens two fully funded positions for doctoral students in the area of interdisciplinary experience research. Depending on the scope of the interdisciplinary topic, the applicants will be supervised by two professors from different disciplines, potentially from two different Aalto schools.


Experiences extend to all areas of human life and make life meaningful. Consumers and organizations increasingly invest in experiences that enhance subjective pleasure and wellbeing. Design practices will advance from problem-solving to human-experience-driven, which requires a radical change in industry.


As part of the recent Profi4 funding from Academy of Finland, Aalto University profiles and invests in experience design. With this support and the Aalto Experience Platform, Aalto University has the ambition, infrastructure, and resources to become a leading institution in interdisciplinary experience research. The research supports the Creative Economy initiative of the Finnish Government. The aim is to understand experience as a socio-cultural and bodily phenomenon and to study its manifestations. This knowledge will allow development of new experience design approaches to make citizens, businesses and the society not only work efficiently but flourish.


To address the above goals, Aalto University opens six fully funded positions for skilled and passionate doctoral students in this area. The students will be based in different schools of Aalto, but will form a community for knowledge sharing and collaboration in the spirit of multidisciplinary research. This application considers applicants who will be hired to Department of Design in Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture.


The deadline for applications is January 10, 2019. The application process to Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture consist of two phases. First, applicants will apply for a project employee position as described in Submission of applications section below. A set of short-listed applicants are then selected and hired (when the applicant so wishes) to further develop their research plan with the relevant Aalto professors. In the second phase, the short-listed candidates will apply for the doctoral student position in the spring 2019 call of Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture Doctoral Programme. The project worker positions are filled as soon as possible during spring 2019. The applicants who are accepted in the second stage are provided funding until the end of year 2022. The salary is determined based on applicant's experience and qualifications according to the salary system of Aalto University, minimum of 2300€/month. The positions are located in the quickly developing Otaniemi campus of Aalto University in Espoo.


The research plan of each doctoral thesis should address an intersection of two or more disciplines. Two professors from two different disciplines will supervise the work, and the supervisors will be decided depending on the specific research topic proposed by the applicant. The main contact person will help you to locate the right professor for inquiries, please contact us well in advance before applying.



By following the instructions in this call, you can apply for the following topics. For the full list of topics, see


5. Integrating Experience-Driven Design into industrial development processes

6. Physical materials in experience design

7. Digital materials in experience design


Submission of applications

The applications for the above topics should be submitted to Aalto University School of Arts, Design, and Architecture by January 10, 2019. Please contact prof. Virpi Roto well in advance before submitting your application. In application phase 1, the application consists of


1. Application form
2. Scanned degree certificates from each university attended, including official register list of study courses taken for the latest degrees (transcripts of records).
3. Research plan: includes a schedule for the studies to be completed (study plan), schedule for dissertation and possible work plan & schedule for artistic components. 
4. Curriculum Vitae (CV)
5. Copy of passport or other official document of identification
6. Letters of recommendation and certificates of employment (optional)
7. In the field of art and design a portfolio if the research plan contains work plan for art productions or product development projects
8. Proof of language proficiency, (obligatory for the 2nd stage only)


To prepare these materials, please follow the Spring 2018 instructions at The two deviations from the Spring 2018 instructions are that no funding plan is required, and the degree certificates do not have to be translated in English. However, the transcript of records has to be in English and the grading system be explained.


The second stage of the process, the admission of the short-listed candidates to the Aalto Doctoral Programme in Arts, Design and Architecture, follows the admission instructions of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, to be published in December 2018. The application period for the second stage is 1-29 March 2019. The study right will be in force only after this process.


Aalto University reserves the right, for justified reasons, to leave the position open, to extend the application period, and to consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.

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