Doctoral Programme on Learning, Teaching and Learning Environments Research (OPPI)

The Doctoral Programme on Learning, Teaching and Learning Environments Research (OPPI) trains internationally oriented, professional researchers and experts in learning, teaching and learning environments, who promote scientific evidence-based development in different fields of education.

OPPI provides an international, multidisciplinary research atmosphere with leading researchers of learning, teaching and learning environment as the supervisors of doctoral candidates’ dissertations. The Doctoral Programme organises high quality courses and seminars for doctoral candidates, also in co-operation with the international and national partners. The research on learning and education is recognised as one of the areas of strength in research at the University of Turku.

The Doctoral Programme is linked to the research conducted at the Department of Teacher Education and the Centre for Learning Research (CERLI). In addition to the research themes related to learning and learning environments, central research themes of the doctoral programme are teaching and teacher education.  OPPI is part of the Finnish Multidisciplinary Doctoral Training Network on Educational Sciences (FinEd).

OPPI Contact Information


Director of OPPI:
Professor Sara Routarinne

Coordinator of OPPI:
Coordinator Jenni Kankaanpää

UTUGS Funded Doctoral Candidate Positions

PERIOD 2020-2023

  • Heinimäki, Olli-Pekka (Funded period: 6 months in 2020; Supervisors: Marja Vauras, Simone Volet (Murdoch University) and Tuike Iiskala)
  • Pamela-Zoe Topalli (Funded period: 6 kk vuonna 2020; Supervisors: Marja Vauras, Niina Junttila ja Marjaana Veermans)
  • Maikki Pouta (Funded period: 6 kk vuonna 2021; Supervisors: Erno Lehtinen ja Tuire Palonen)
  • Salmento, Heidi (Funded period: 6 kk vuonna 2021 ja 1.1.-31.12.2022; Supervisors: Mari Murtonen, Tuike Iiskala and Marjaana Veermans)
  • Heikkilä, Mirva (Funded period: 1.1.2021–30.6.2022; Supervisors: Mirjamaija Mikkilä-Erdmann, Tuike Iiskala and Anu Warinowski)
  • Määttä, Saku (Funded period: 1.1.–31.12.2022; Supervisors: Jake McMullen and Minna Hannula-Sormunen)
  • Holmström, Anni (Funded period: 1.1.2022–31.12.2023; Supervisors: Marjaana Veermans, Heta Tuominen and Miia Tuominen)

According to the decision of the OPPI steering group, 12 months' funding for year 2023 will be saved for the following application round.

PERIOD 2019-2022

  • Bui, Phuong (Funded period: 6 months in year 2020 and 1.1.–31.12.2021; Supervisors: Minna Hannula-Sormunen, Jake McMullen, Erno Lehtinen)
  • Chitalkina, Natalia (Funded period: 1.10.–31.12.2019 ja 1.1.–31.7.2021; Supervisors: Hans Gruber, Marjaana Puurtinen, Roman Bednarik (UEF))
  • Korpinen, Kaisa (Funded period: 1.1.2019–31.12.2020; Supervisors: Heini-Marja Pakula, Eeva Anttila (Taideyliopisto))
  • Korventausta, Miikka (Funded period: 1.1.2020–30.6.2022; Supervisors: Marjaana Veermans, Tomi Jaakkola, Tero Järvinen)
  • Repo, Elisa (Funded period: 1.8.2019–30.6.2020; Supervisors: Sara Routarinne, Jenni Alisaari, Anneli Sarhimaa (Johannes Gutenberg -Universität Mainz, Saksa))
  • Salo, Anne-Elina (Funded period: 1.1.–31.12.2020; Supervisors: Marja Vauras, Niina Junttila, Anu Kajamies)
  • Zhelezovskaia, Julia (Funded period: 1.1.–31.12.2019 ja 1.1.–30.6.2021; Supervisors: Mirjamaija Mikkilä-Erdmann, Heini-Marja Pakula)

One year and six months' for 2022 will be decided upon later.

PERIOD 2018-2021

  • Olli-Pekka Heinimäki (Funded period: 1.1.2018-31.12.2019; Supervisors: Marja Vauras, Simone Volet)
  • Tarja Pietarinen (Funded period: 1.1.2019-31.12.2019; Supervisors: Marja Vauras, Simone Volet)
  • Erika Österholm (Funded period: 1.1.2020-31.12.2021; Supervisors: Mari Murtonen, Tuike Iiskala,  Outi Kortekangas-Savolainen)
  • Iuliia Zhelezovskaia (Funded period: 1.1.2020-31.12.2020; Supervisors: Mirjamaija Mikkilä-Erdmann)
  • Natalia Chitalkina (Funded period: 1.1.2020-31.12.2020; Supervisors: Hans Gruber, Marjaana Puurtinen)

One doctoral candidate (funding period: 1.1.-31.12.2018) did not wish to have his or her name published. Two one-year positions for 2020 and one one-year position for 2021 will be decided upon later.

PERIOD 2017-2020

  • Iina Männikkö (Funding period: 1.1.2017-31.12.2017; supervisors: Jukka Husu, Janne Lepola)
  • Venla Panula (Funding period: 1.5.2017-31.12.2017; supervisors: Niina Junttila, Marja Vauras)
  • Anne Sorariutta (Funding period: 1.1.2017-31.8.2017; supervisors: Maarit Silven, Minna Hannula-Sormunen)
  • Anne-Elina Salo (1.5.2017-31.12.2019; supervisors: Marja Vauras, Niina Junttila)
  • Maikki Jaatinen (1.1.2018-31.12.2019; supervisors: Minna Hannula-Sormunen, Erno Lehtinen, Jake McMullen)

One doctoral candidate (funding period: 1.1.2018-31.12.2019) did not wish to have his or her name published.Three one-year positions for 2020 will be decided upon later.

PERIOD 2016-2019

  • Mikko Tiilikainen (Funded period: 1.1.2017–31.12.2018; Supervisors: Jukka Husu, Janne Lepola, Auli Toom)
  • Venla Panula (Funded period: 1.1.2018–31.12.2019; Supervisors: Niina Junttila, Marja Vauras)

In addition one person did not want his name to be mentioned on the webpage of the faculty (funded period 1.1.2016-31.12.2017).

The Steering Committee of OPPI Doctoral Programme, period 1.1.2020-31.7.2021

The Steering Committee of OPPI Doctoral Programme for the period 1.1.2020-31.7.2021

​Professor Erno Lehtinen (Director, chair)
Professor Sara Routarinne (vice-director) (director, chair from 1st of August, 2020))
Professor Marja Vauras
Professor Maarit Silvén
Professor Eila Lindfors
Docent Johanna Kaakinen (Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology)
Professor Janne Lepola
Associate Professor Jan Löfström
University Lecturer Marjaana Puurtinen
University Research Fellow Tuike Iiskala
University Research Fellow Laura Helle
Doctoral Candidate Anne-Elina Salo
Doctoral Candidate Mikko Tiilikainen

Specialist: Professor, Vice Dean Piia Seppänen (Department of Education)


Chief Academic Officer Anne Niemimäki
Coordinator Sanna Niukko (substitute Jenni Kankaanpää on 1.8.2020-31.7.2021)

Sitaatti PhD Oppi Zhelezovskaia 1
Fruitful interaction with colleagues and supervisors, and participation in seminars and lectures are crucial in my studies in the OPPI Doctoral Programme. They open up great opportunities to gain broad understanding of educational research and to learn to think critically on different problems, all the way from local to global level.
Julia Zhelezovskaia, Doctoral Candidate