Career Conference

Under the leadership of TalTech, the second career conference will be held, where all Estonian doctoral candidates and those interested in doctoral studies are invited. This year’s conference will be held in cooperation with all Estonian universities within the framework of the Estonian Doctoral School .

The purpose of the conference is to highlight the value of a PhD degree and introduce endless career opportunities for those with a passion for new knowledge and excellence. The skills, knowledge and a wide horizon acquired during the doctoral studies, opens up new career opportunities.
From academia to industry, government to business, this conference will help you understand the prospects of Ph.D. on the way to an impactful and rewarding career. Join us and discover how a Ph.D. can shape not only your career, but all of our future!

Doctors and current doctoral students will give inspiring presentations at the conference. There are discussions about how the skills and knowledge acquired during doctoral studies are useful in different areas of life and in various fields, including the advantages in the labour market.
Panel discussions provide participants with practical knowledge and experience related to the Ph.D. about career opportunities in the public sector, business or elsewhere.

The conference day is led and panel sessions are moderated by journalist, presenter and editor Joonas Hellerma.
The conference will be held in Estonian with simultaneous English translation.

Conference programme

9:00 – 9:30 Registration, coffee and breakfast
9:30 – 9:40Welcome!          
TalTech Vice-Rector for Research, Tiit Lukk
University of Tartu, Head of the Centre of Doctoral Studies at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Research Fellow at the Department of Zoology / Representative of the Doctoral School, Maris Hindrikson
9:40 – 10:00Opening words
Renno Veinthal, Ministry of Education and Research, Deputy Secretary General (Higher Education, Research and Adult Education)
10:00 – 11:00Presentations on „Opportunities and challenges during the doctoral studies and beyond“ / “The beauty and the pain of a Ph.D”
The presentations focus on the challenges and opportunities of taking part in doctoral studies and investigates the possibility of applying these experiences after completing the degree. Whether and to what extent does pursuing a Ph.D impact your personal and professional growth? How will the skills and knowledge gained during the doctoral studies transfer to your future career? What can a Ph.D offer you: competencies, resources, the support of supervisors, research possibilities, conferences, networks? What sorts of challenges does one face: time management, stress, issues with motivation, balancing your work and studies? How to deal with challenges? Different career opportunities after obtaining a Ph.D? Is there a demand in Estonia for specialists with a Ph.D?
10:00 – 10:30 Senior Researcher at National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics, Els Heinsalu
10:30 – 11:00 Senior Lecturer at the TalTech Tartu College; City architect at the City Council of Tartu, Jiri Tintera
11:00 – 11:20Networking pause with snacks and coffee
11:20 – 12:50Panel discussion – „The career paths of the doctoral alumni
The panel is joined by outstanding speakers with a Ph.D from the academia, industry, and the public sector. The panelists will reveal how the knowledge and the competencies gained during the pursuit of a doctorate have been beneficial for different areas of life as well as the advantage they give in a competitive job market. What are the expectations for workers holding a Ph.D in various sectors? The panel will also share their experiences in transitioning from academia to entrepreneurship: how to find a suitable space for yourself and contribute to your field outside of academia?
Ardo Hansson, Government Office, Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister
Martin Järvekülg, Click&Grow, Head of Research and Development
Tõnn Talpsepp, TalTech Department of Economics and Finance, Associate Professor and Programme Director for Doctoral Studies
Allan Hani, , R8 Technologies, Chief Operating Officer
Maarja Merivoo Parro, , Estonian Public Broadcasting, Editor
12:50 – 13:30Lunch and networking
13:30 – 14:30Poster presentations by doctoral candidates, where they introduce their research and its real-world impact to a wider audience)
Doctoral candidates’ comics on: “My every-day life as a doctorate researcher”
14:30 – 15:30Interactive session – „Success stories“
Doctoral graduates and current doctoral candidates share their personal stories on how they have applied their knowledge and skills in various fields and how they have or are shaping their careers with their aims and interests in mind. What sorts of challenges do they face on their way out of academia after obtaining a doctoral degree? The panel gives practical advice and shares their experiences for current and future doctoral researchers, who are weighing their career options after doctoral studies and are looking to gain knowledge and inspiration from past success stories.
Kertu Liis Krigul , University of Tartu, Institute of Genomics / Estonian Genome Centre, Junior Research Fellow
Riin Tamm Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, Head of Department of Youth and Talent Policy
Kristiina Urb , Creativity Lab, Consultant and Project Manager, Doctorate from the Estonian Business School
Ott Lumi – META Advisory kaasasutaja ja valitsussuhete erinõustaja
Katriin Kristmann – TalTech early stage researcher
15:30 – 16:00Award ceremony for best poster presentations and closing words
16:00 – 17:00Informal ending to the conference with refershments



Els Heinsalu

Els (PhD in theoretical physics, University of Tartu, 2008) works at the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics as a Senior Researcher. Her current research has to do with complex systems; she is most interested in linguistics, bio- and ecosystems as well as econophysics . She has worked in various science institutions in Germany, Italy, Spain, and Denmark. She is renowned as a scientist and a science communicator.

Jiri Tintera

Jiri Tintera, a chartered architect, works at the Tartu city hall as the city architect as well as at the TalTech Tartu College as a Senior Lecturer. He acquired his master’s degree in 2007 at the Czech Technical University in Prague and in 2019 he defended his PhD thesis titled “Urban Regeneration Strategies for Shrinking Post-Soviet European Communities: A Case Study of Valga, Estonia” at TalTech.  


Riin Tamm

I have a PhD in genetics. I am currently employed by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research Head of Department of Youth and Talent Policy. Our department oversees the national youth policy, youth work, interest-based learning and talent policy. Before working at the ministry, I was the Director of the Youth Academy at the University of Tartu and a researcher at the University of Tartu for over 10 years before that. Supporting and empowering the youth has always been a constant in my life, which is why it is a pleasure to lead processes in their interest on a national scale.

Allan Hani

I'm Chief Operating Officer of R8 Technologies and have over 20 years of experience in commercial real estate development and management field. My knowledge comes mostly from applying innovative technologies into practice. More precise expertise field is in the HVAC, Energy Efficiency, and Building Automation industries. My passion is implementing cutting-edge technologies to improve our planet's future.

Kertu Liis Krigul

Kertu Liis Krigul is a 4th year early-stage doctoral researcher at the University of Tartu Institute of Genomics in the field of microbiomics. Her research centers on the role that the microorganisms that live in our bodies play in shaping our well-being. As she has almost reached the end of her doctoral journey, it is the perfect time to reflect on the experiences gained as well as the job market that awaits her.

Kristiina Urb

Kristiina is an expert in creative industries and a publishing scientist with an over 15 year experience in the field and a background in creative entrepreneurship. Kristiina has a PhD from Estonian Business School and her research focuses on developing creative entrepreneurship. She has helped to prepare and lead numerous projects in Estonia as well as abroad.

Maarja Merivoo-Parro

Maarja leads an international lifestyle as a scientist, media figure and a creative. She is the head of a research project in the field of public diplomacy at the University of Jyväskylä, is one of the curators at the Estonian diaspora museum VEMU in Toronto, and just recently began working on a series of documentaries that will begin airing this September on ETV (Estonian Television). Maarja is a nationally recognized patron of science and will soon publish her first textbook through Koolibri publishing house.

Martin Järvekülg

Martin obtained a doctorate in materials science at the University of Tartu in 2011. He already leaned towards practical themes and projects at the time of his studies. He has worked as a project lead and scientist in technology research and development centers, launched start-ups, advised students in entrepreneurship and been interested in knowledge transfer in the fields of nano-, space-, bio-, and bio-based technologies. For the last 4 years Martin has led research and development at Click & Grow.

Ardo Hansson

Ardo is an Estonian economist, who is currently working as an advisor for the Estonian Prime Minister’s Office. From 2012 to 2019 he was the Governor of Eesti Pank and with that a member of the European Central Bank Governing Board. He has a PhD in economics from Harvard University. Previously he has worked as a lecturer or a researcher in different universities and institutes in Canada, Finland, Sweden as well as sporadic work in different Estonian institutions. From 1998 to 2012 he worked in the World Bank.

Tõnn Talpsepa

Tõnn is an Associate Professor of financial technology at the Department of Economics and Finance of TalTech. He has previously held academic positions also at the School of Information Technology at Taltech, Aalto University and University of Zurich and worked in the financial sector. His research focuses on behavioral finance and using big data in economics, mostly connected with financial markets. He is the author of three popular Estonian personal finance and investment textbooks. A doctoral thesis supervised by him has been named the best student thesis in Estonia.

Ott Lumi

Ott, a former Estonian politician and current Public Affairs Special Advisor and political scientist, was born in Tallinn on the 1st of December 1978. He has worked as a political secretary and a secretary-general for the Res Publica party as well as co-secretary-general for the Isamaa ja Res Publica Liit party, and as an advisor for the Prime Minister’s Office. At the 2007 parliamentary elections Lumi was elected to the XI Estonian Parliament, however he left the parliament in 2009 and focussed on entrepreneurship. He was a co-founder of the public affairs enterprise META Advisory, where he currently holds the position of Public Affairs Special Advisor. Lumi has defended a doctoral thesis in Tallinn University titled Sources of Estonian democratic institutions and possible crisis factors- interpretations through the prism of theories of post-democracy and institutionalism. He is working as a guest lecturer at Tallinn University and is a member of the research council for Biblioteca Politica at the Tallinn University Press.

CONFERENCE VENUE (Tallinn University of Technology)

Founded in 1918, TalTech is the flagship in engineering and IT science and education in Estonia, providing higher education at all levels in engineering and technology, information technology, economics, science, architecture and maritime. TalTech’s mission is to be a promoter of science, technology, and innovation and a leading provider of engineering and economic education in Estonia. TalTech is also becoming a modern digital campus that offers wide opportunities for smart city development and is a testing ground for Estonian companies to test their solutions.

With its scenic location in Mustamäe, TalTech is the only campus-type university in the Baltic countries and one of the most compact university campuses in Europe. Campus is the scene of many communal activities, with a large number of students, cultural and sports events. The campus of TalTech includes the Mektory Innovation and Business Centre and the Tehnopol Tallinn Science Park, where scientists, students and entrepreneurs meet to solve practical product development problems and generate new ideas for the future.

Virtual Tour of TalTech campus


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