Autumn kick-off for PhD students and postdocs at Gardener’s house (Puutarhurintalo) on 22nd September 2017

People arrived promptly and we were delighted to welcome so many participants from far and wide, some of which were familiar faces and some new acquaintances. We started with casual mingling, including drinks and snacks, which was then followed by the more official part of the program: an introduction of the Language Campus Postgrad group by Kati Dlaske.

In a nutshell, the purpose of the group is to provide Language Campus PhD students and postdocs with activities that promote research activities and enhance career prospects. Kati also introduced some of the activities arranged by the postgrad group. These include e.g. writing meetings, the Boot camp and the Spring school.


Photo: Päivi Iikkanen

After Kati’s talk, it was time for “speed dating”. The activity was organized in groups of three in which each member had two minutes to introduce themselves and their research interests. After every 6 minutes, as everyone had had their turn, new groups were formed. Participants were instructed to get into groups with people they didn’t know beforehand. This turned out to be a fun and engaging way to learn about other PhD students and postdocs.


Photo: Päivi Iikkanen

It was a pleasure to meet you all!


Päivi Iikkanen, Tuire Oittinen and Pauliina Sopanen

Writing meetings are hosted by PhD students and their purpose is to sit down together and write in the spirit of peer support and peer pressure. The sessions begin with a short round of introductions and each participant also states their goals for the session. At the end, there will be a wrap-up to see whether participants have been able to achieve the goals they had set for themselves. The time preserved for the sessions is primarily spent spent on writing, but participants are encouraged to continue discussions over lunch or coffee afterwards.

The boot camp is arranged once a year in the autumn term and it is an event that combines ”business and pleasure”. It’s held outside the university and the official part often includes talks or workshops on issues such as well-being and career opportunities. There is also a possibility for outdoor activities and sauna. Lunch, coffee and dinner as well as transportation to the Vesala activity center are provided free of charge for the participants.

The spring school is another annual event, which takes place in the spring term, usually in late April or early May. The purpose of the spring school is to provide especially early-stage PhD students with a supportive and friendly environment for practicing their presentation skills. University staff members are recruited to comment and give constructive feedback on the presentations. Depending on the annually changing theme, sometimes expert talks, workshops or panel discussions are also included in the program.  The Spring school is a great opportunity to connect with other PhD students and learn about their research.