Arktis doctoral programme, hosted by the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland, is celebrating its tenth functioning year. On Thursday and Friday Arktis is having its tenth annual seminar with theme “Science – Policy Interface – Societal Impacts of Arctic Research”.
|“This has from the very beginning had a clear need and mission. Arktis is still the only doctoral programme in Finland which is training specialists on Arctic questions”, says the programme coordinator Päivi Soppela.
She underlines the multidisciplinary and wide scientific concept of the programme. One example is the annual research seminar where students are discussing each other’s papers as a dialogue across scientific borderlines.
In year 2003 Arktis got from the Ministry of Education and Culture a status as one of the national graduate schools in Finland. Arctic Centre has hosted the programme from the very beginning and it is led by Professor Paula Kankaanpää, director of the Arctic Centre. Partner universities have been Oulu, Helsinki and the University of Eastern Finland (formerly Joensuu).
The roots of the programme can be found from the obvious need to which Kankaanpää and Soppela wanted to find an answer. Soppela had acted five years as a coordinator in UArctic Circumpolar PhD Network in Arctic Environmental Studies and had noticed an enormous interest in the network. Now it was turn for a network programme that trains Arctic experts in Finland and has a joint research theme “Social and Environmental Impacts of Modernization and Global Change in the Arctic”.
The amount of doctoral students has been around 20 annually. During its activity Arktis has received 14 four-year doctoral posts. In addition it has recruited students with their own funding. 11 doctoral dissertations have been defended and more is coming.
Annual seminars have been a major meeting place for students who are often coming from different parts of Finland. Themes have dealt topical research questions such as global change, Barents Euro-Arctic cooperation, local knowledge and participatory research, among others. In addition Arktis has organized a wide variety of PhD courses, lectures, workshops and theme days. Travel grants have supported about 70 conference trips, most recently to the International Polar Year IPY 2012 conference in Montreal.
“Our activity has always been very much international”, says Päivi Soppela. “About one quarter of students have been foreigners and scientific advisors come from a variety of countries.”
Arktis started as Arctic Graduate School but changed its name last year to Arctic Doctoral Programme, according to new recommendations from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. Since then Arktis has been one of the network doctoral programmess of the University of Lapland’s Graduate School.
Arktis home page
Päivi Soppela, Coordinator of Arktis Doctoral Programme, tel. +358 400 138 805, paivi.soppela (at) ulapland.fi