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I-DEEP – Innovative Doctoral Education Ecosystem for Photonics

The rapid growth of photonics research and development activities in Finland highlights the need for a highly educated workforce with advanced knowledge and technical skills: a recent survey from the national industry has highlighted the need for 5000 new professionals in the next 5 years in the sector. This imperative emphasizes the strategic significance of investing in the education and development of doctoral students in photonics-related fields. To address the need of the industry for new high-level experts, the (I-DEEP) consortium was established based on the activities of the Flagship for Photonics Research and Innovation PREIN, the photonics national research infrastructure FinnLight and Photonics Finland.

The doctoral pilot programme Innovative Doctoral Education Ecosystem for Photonics –  I-DEEP is coordinated by Tampere University and extends its reach to all Finnish universities with research activities in light-based technologies. Besides Tampere University, University of Eastern Finland, Aalto University, Åbo Akademi, University of Oulu, University of Jyväskylä, and University of Turku are part of the programme. Photonics Finland and VTT are I-DEEP associate members that willoffer possibilities for collaboration with the industry. The overall rationale of I-DEEP is to educate a new generation of doctoral students through innovative approaches that accelerate graduation time without compromising the quality of education. The doctoral program curriculum is designed to evolve in tandem with the rapidly changing needs of the photonics sector, ensuring that the doctoral students are adapted to the development of the field.


I-DEEP is committed to the following strategic pillars:

  • Accelerated graduation time: accelerated curriculum and more intensive supervision to ensure that the graduates enter the workforce rapidly.
  • Innovative approaches to PhD studies: doctoral studies include mobility periods, soft skill development initiatives, nurturing a culture of innovation, mentoring, workshops and collaborative projects with industry.
  • Skilled workforce for R&D in industry: research projects are closely aligned with the real-world needs of the photonics industry allowing for students to gain practical insights and industry-specific skills and ensure that the graduating PhDs are well-prepared for roles in research and development.

A call for applications for doctoral researcher positions was opened in March 2024. The selected PhD students are expected to start in August 1, 2024 or in January 1, 2025. More information on the call see here. Follow our channels for updates: