The doctoral programme in Materials Research and Nanosciences (MATRENA) offers a high-level PhD student education at the University of Helsinki one of the leading research universities in the world. It is a joint programme of the Department of Physics, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy and Helsinki Institute of Physics.

Within these institutions (all of which also have other doctoral programmes), it represents the PhD student education in materials physics, materials chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, nanosciences, molecular spectroscopy, biophysics, medical physics, computational physics and computational chemistry.

Within these fields, MATRENA is formed by several world-class research groups with major activities and project funding in these fields.

MATRENA was formed in 2013, and its activities start officially on 1.1.2014.

Students in MATRENA

All of the University of Helsinki PhD students with an active study right in one of the MATRENA research areas will from 2014 on be enlisted in MATRENA. In 2014 the number of students in MATRENA will be about 120.

New students are selected via the general University of Helsinki application procedure. The first call was arranged in Oct 2013.

Also individual research groups working in the MATRENA field who have project funding can hire students directly, and they can be accepted to MATRENA. Only students with a secured form of funding from one of the participating groups and sufficiently high merits in their MSc studies are accepted to MATRENA.

International character and language

MATRENA welcomes students of all nationalities. The main working language within MATRENA is English. Almost all PhD level courses within the MATRENA fields are offered in English, and the main working language within the participating groups is English.

Students with Finnish citizenship, who wish to take exams and get guidance in the national languages, Finnish or Swedish, have an opportunity and right to do so.


MATRENA organizes regular university courses and intensive special courses in the fields it represents. It can also be a co-organizer and co-funder of summer schoolds, workshops and conferences for MATRENA students.