HIIT coordinates the Helsinki Doctoral Education Network in Information and Communications Technology (HICT). HICT is hosted jointly by Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, the two leading universities within this area in Finland. The network serves as a collaboration platform for doctoral education combining all the relevant subfields of computer science and information technology at Aalto University and the University of Helsinki. It involves at present 65 professors and almost 300 doctoral students, and the participating units produce altogether more than 40 new doctors each year.
HICT organises two open calls for doctoral student positions each year. The calls include a complete evaluation of the applicants, which means that Aalto University and University of Helsinki professors cross-check each university’s applicants. In 2017, the Spring call attracted 147 applications and the Autumn call 130 applications.
An important activity of HICT is to provide courses and training that support the development and career goals of the doctoral students. In December 2017, HICT organised a workshop on science communication. The workshop covered a set of topics focusing especially on pitching and presentation skills, and included tasks that the students completed together with two teachers from Kaskas Media.
HICT supported doctoral students’ research visits to other research groups and trips to conferences, workshops, and summer schools. HICT students and supervisors were also involved in many events of Aalto University and University of Helsinki. For example, the Digi Matchmaking event arranged by Aalto Digi Platform in March 2017 attracted over 100 company representatives. HICT was also visible at the Computer Science Research Day event in October 2017, where HICT doctoral students, among other researchers, presented their work to each other.