Urbaria PostDoc Forum is an interdisciplinary co-creation program funded by the cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa. It aims to develop urban-themed research, information exchange and cooperation between universities and cities. Postdoctoral researchers are employed either by the University of Helsinki or by Aalto University but the research themes intersect the strategic plans of the cities. In practice, cities draft research themes and topics, while the University of Helsinki or Aalto University are responsible for recruiting the most suitable postdoctoral researchers. In addition to their own faculties, postdoctoral researchers work as part of the interdisciplinary Urbaria PostDoc forum.
The current contract period is five years from 2018 to 2023 and covers the funding of eight postdoctoral researchers. So far, the co-creation program has started by a kick-off meeting where postdoctoral researchers and city representatives discuss research topics. As the research progresses, postdoctoral researchers give presentations of their results and present other current research in their field. The cities, in turn, provide postdoctoral researchers with materials, cases and contacts, as well as present current urban policy and plans. The current postdoctoral researchers are Seona Candy, Lasse Tarkiainen, Isabel Ramos Lobato, Nilay Kilinc, Yu-Shan Tseng, Anna Zhelnina, Christina Bratu and Marco Lovati.