VTT Summer of Changemakers: Research Trainee, Development of functional cellulose materials

Do you want to start changing the world for the better next summer? Are you all about science and technology? Would you like to develop your skills and use them to tackle the greatest challenges of our time? VTT might be just the place for you. Apply now for VTT Summer of Changemakers 2023 traineeships. Together, we can turn these challenges into a hopeful future.

VTT is one of the leading applied research organisations in Europe. What unites us are curiosity, a passion for learning and a purpose: to solve the biggest challenges of our time and turn them into sustainable growth and well-being. Our cross-disciplinary community of over 2100 brilliant minds from 50 different nationalities is focused on creating impact through science-based innovation. Now, we are looking for passionate changemakers – you – to join us as summer trainees.

Do you want to be our next summer trainee in our Functional Cellulose research team? Join us - and let’s make science work for hope next summer! 

As a summer trainee, your key goals are a synthesis of functionalized cellulose materials and their characterization in real applications on a laboratory scale. In this position, you will have an essential role in developing novel functional cellulose materials in collaboration with world-class scientists. The work includes chemical modifications of cellulose materials in a laboratory-scale reactor environment, as well as the preparation of coatings and films from the prepared materials.

Our team, Functional cellulose, works on developing novel biomass-based materials and applications. We are a future-oriented research team that aims to find new valorization opportunities for wood materials beyond the traditional pulp and paper industry. Our research supports solving the most urgent global challenges such as climate change and the littering of nature.

What would your responsibilities as a Research Trainee include?

  • Find relevant literature for the selected topics specified by our experts
  • Preparation of simple chemical treatments for lignocellulose materials under the supervision of the team’s experts
  • Preparation of demonstrator products from prepared materials
  • Characterization of prepared materials and demonstrators with scientific instruments
  • Reporting findings to colleagues and writing a research report.

Who we are looking for?

  • You have completed at least a Bachelor’s degree in chemical/process engineering, environmental engineering, materials science, or a similar discipline
  • You have some hands-on experience with working in materials/polymer science laboratory environment
  • You are familiar with the basic theoretical background on biopolymers, cellulose chemistry, cellulose nanomaterials (nanocellulose), and organic synthesis chemistry.

As a person, we hope that you are:

  • Curious and eager to learn about new multidisciplinary topics, in this case, a combination of natural materials science and functional cellulose materials
  • Able to conduct independent laboratory experimental work and perform data analysis, interpretation, and visualization
  • A team player who can work well in collaboration with other researchers.

The ideal VTT Changemaker is a curious mind, who is eager to develop and take on new challenges. We appreciate ambition and willingness to learn over having all the answers or skills ready when you start. You are also a team player with strong collaboration skills who wants to drive positive impact in the world.

What would we offer you?

  • Impactful work for the future. As a leading applied research organisation, we are on a mission to bring exponential hope to the world by joining together people, businesses, science and technology. We tackle the biggest challenges of our time – from climate change and resource sufficiency to industrial renewal and smart healthcare – and turn them into sustainable growth. Read more about our strategy – the path of exponential hope.
  • Career opportunities, top-level mentors. At VTT, your skills are appreciated and supported with the opportunity to learn from the top experts in their field. You’ll get to discover our community of over 2100 experts representing more than 50 nationalities working across cutting-edge fields of science and technology.
  • Meaningful projects, real responsibility. With us, you get to take on meaningful projects and create innovative scientific and technical solutions as part of our Functional Cellulose team. We treat all employees as equals and give you real responsibility from the start. VTT is a caring employer that supports your growth and work–life balance and offers a range of well-being services.

What is like to work with us solving the biggest challenges of our time? Check from the video what kind of experiences Aymara, Daniil, Eric and Isabella had from their summer traineeships and what kind of change did they drive.

Apply now and join our community of brilliant minds!

Come, curious minds and clever changemakers! Prepare your CV and cover letter, and send in your application with your transcript of records via our recruitment system as soon as possible but at the latest by 5 February 2023. Let’s change the world for the better next summer.

All VTT Summer of Changemakers traineeships are paid and the duration is usually between 3 and 6 months. The exact starting date and length of the traineeship can be discussed. We will process applications as they come in, and fill in the position as soon as we find the right candidate.

Please read more of VTT Summer of Changemakers from here: https://www.vttresearch.com/en/summer-changemakers

Interested and want to hear more?

For further information, please contact Research Team Leader Hannes Orelma, hannes.orelma@vtt.fi.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Location: Tietotie 4E, Espoo

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Employment type: Full-time, Fixed-term (Summer traineeship)


VTT is one of Europe's leading research organisations, a visionary innovation partner for businesses and society. We bring hope to the world by turning the greatest challenges of our time into sustainable growth with cutting-edge science and technology. We employ a community of over 2100 world-class problem-solvers across fields of science and business. You can familialise yourself with VTT's research infra from here.

VTT – beyond the obvious

Location: Otaniemi, Espoo

Currently, we have over 40 truly meaningful and versatile traineeship positions open! See other summer trainee position from VTT Summer of Changemakers 2023 pages.


VTT Summer of Changemakers: Research Trainee, Development of functional cellulose materials

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