Research in Tallinn University has become increasingly international. This is illustrated by an increasing number of international publications and international research projects and by the large percentage of international research and academic staff among the university personnel. Throughout the last decade, the university’s international research financing has increased steadily. In 2014, projects financed from international funds made up 18,3% of the university’s total research and development projects budget.
Research networks and EU Framework projects
Tallinn University has participated successfully in the EU Framework Programmes (FP), taking part in four FP5, ten FP6 and fourteen FP7 projects. Professor of Sociology Ellu Saar was the head of the FP6 project „Towards a Lifelong Learning Society in Europe: The Contribution of the Education System“, that united experts from 12 countries. Professor of Digital Ecosystems Tobias Ley is currently leading the FP7 project „Learning Layers - Scaling up Technologies for Informal Learning in SME Clusters“, that develops tools to promote technology-based learning strategies. This is the first large-scale ICT project (budget for 2012-2016 over 12M Euros) coordinated by an Estonian research institution.
The University takes part in 19 COST networks, and is Estonia’s coordinator for the European Research Area Joint Programming Initiative Water Challenges for a Changing World.
TU Estonian Institute for Population Studies is the leading institution for the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, for which the European Research Infrastructure Consortium SHARE-ERIC was called into action. SHARE-ERIC is also one of the objects for the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) roadmap.
Until recently, cooperation with neighbouring countries was a priority. Now the agenda to promote research cooperation with Southern and Northern America and Asia has been set, as well as continuing to build connections with universities and research institutions in Russia, Ukraine and the Caucasus region.
Regional cooperation in the Baltic Sea area
A strong orientation towards the Nordic and Baltic countries has prevailed. The university takes part in regional research and development programmes such as Euregio, Interreg, Nordforsk, Nordplus and EEA/Norway grants. The university is an active partner in the Bonus programme and has several bilateral cooperation projects with research institutions throughout the region.
Tallinn University is a renowned international centre of competence and has hosted several high-ranking international conferences. Some examples are ICWL 2014 (International Conference of Web‐Based Learning), PLE 2014 (The Personal Learning Environments), IFIP-OST’12 (Open and Social Technologies for Networked Learning), EECERA 2013 (European Early Childhood Education Research Association Annual Conference), EASA 2014 (Biennial Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologist). In 2014, the 20th Annual Conference for European Association of Research Managers and Administrators took place in Tallinn University.
During the last ten years, the university has advanced greatly in promoting international mobility. Programmes such as DoRa, Mobilitas, ERMOS, Erasmus and many others support this process. With the help of the above-mentioned programmes, Tallinn University has hosted four DoRa long-term professors, two Mobilitas researchers and seven postdocs as well as four ERMOS postdocs from different countries.
Cooperation in advancing doctoral studies
Tallinn University develops doctoral studies in close cooperation with several international research networks. On the European scale, the EUA Council for Doctoral Education is one of the key actors in the area. Tallinn University took part in the work of the EUA-CDE project FRINDOC test group. In addition, TU is a long time participant in trainings organized by the Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe (UNICA) and a partner in the European Commission Lifelong Learning Programme project PRIDE.