NOVA University Network

The Nordic Forestry, Veterinary and Agricultural University Network (NOVA)
NOVA is a university cooperation aimed at supporting the understanding of major global challenges in a Nordic context. Together we provide high quality PhD-level courses in subjects related to agricultural, forestry and veterinary sciences, and support PhD- and post-graduate veterinarian specialisation students and NOVA’s scientists in building international scientific networks.
NOVA provides the opportunity for teachers to organise high quality PhD courses in collaboration with colleagues at other NOVA universities and with participants from NOVA universities and other international universities/organisations.
Participation in courses is free of charge for students from NOVA member universities. Travel and accommodation, however, is usually not covered.
Upcoming courses: registration timeline

12. October 2023

Sustainability transitions: theories, metholodigies and applications in urban and rural environments

Duration period:
31.10.- 5.12.2023
University of Helsinki:
8.-11. November 2023
31.October and 5.December 2023
Registration deadline: 12.10.2023
Registration for NOVA-students
More details

12. October 2023

21. August 2023

Digestion of colloidal systems

Duration period:
University of Helsinki and online:
4.-25.September 2023

Registration deadline:
NOVA students registration
Doctoral Programme
More details

15. June 2023

Understanding infectious diseases by fusing epidemiology, genetics and modelling

Duration period:
Location: Flen in Sweden and online
Sweden: 25. - 29. September 2023
Online: 10.October 2023
from 14:00-17:00 CET
Registration deadline: 15.06.2023
Registration for NOVA-students

15. June 2023

Attend a course

All courses listed on this webpage are classified as NOVA courses by the hosting institution. That implies that all PhD- and post-graduate veterinarian specialization students registered at NOVA and BOVA member institutions may attend these courses free of charge. Registration procedures may vary between courses, but are always outlined in the course descriptions.

Sustainability transitions: theories, methodologies and applications in urban and rural environments

Time: 31 October - 5 December 2023. Location: University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

The course provides a pluralist view on various theories, methodologies, and research practices of sustainability transitions. The course is centred on individual work assignments, 7 expert sessions held by renowned international experts in their field, and a joint seminar. Personal work focuses on theoretical and methodological knowledge and research skills, while group work emphasizes dialogues, mutual learning and interdisciplinarity. The course will be offered in a hybrid mode, but live presence in the session days is much encouraged since group work cannot be fully accommodated in hybrid mode, thus necessitating supplementary assignments. In order to make the live learning experience more powerful, the sessions will include lectures, panel discussions, and co-creative research. An excursion will be directed to sites that portray the advances and challenges in sustainability transitions in urban and regional contexts.

Understanding infectious diseases by fusing epidemiology, genetics and modelling

Time: 25 - 29 September and 10 October 2023.

The course is arranged by the Graduate School for Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science (GS-VMAS) at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and funded by the Nordic Forestry, Veterinary and Agricultural University Network (NOVA) and GS-VMAS.

The course focusses on the collection, curation, statistical & quantitative genetic analysis of experimental and field data of infectious diseases, and on dynamic prediction models. Infectious disease data are incomplete by its very nature and the course will clearly outline all the challenges related to handling these data and how to make meaningful inferences and prediction models.  The main focus of the course is on farmed animals, but the majority of theory and tools covered can be adapted to plant or human diseases.

The course will provide participants with an understanding of and the ability to apply basic principles of epidemiology, statistical and genetic analyses of infectious disease data and epidemiological modelling. Students will be able to assess the quality and scope of quantitative genetic and epidemiological analyses of disease data and interpret the results of diverse modelling studies.

Digestion of colloidal systems

Time: 4 - 25 September 2023. Location: University of Helsinki and online.

The attendees will learn the basics of digestion and absorption of Food, the gut barrier and its effect on oral bio accessibility and bioavailability of nutraceuticals, simulation of human gastrointestinal digestion (standardized INFOGEST protocol), interesting recent in vitro and in vivo studies and the trends in the future, the effect of colloidal delivery systems (e.g., micelles, emulsions, micro and nano emulsions, Pickering emulsions, multilayer emulsions, hydrogels, liposomes, phytotomies, solid-lipid nanoparticles, nanostructured lipid carriers, nanocrystals, oil bodies, and composite nanoparticles) on the oral bioavailability of nutraceuticals, how to enhance satiety and address noncommunicable diseases using colloidal science, oral tribology and its impact on satiety, and the future trend of colloidal aspects of digestion. The attendees will also participate in a short practical digestion simulation session (half an hour) using our laboratory's standardized static in vitro INFOGEST protocol.


Arrange a NOVA Course

All NOVA courses are arranged locally by each member university. Teachers who would like to arrange a NOVA course should consult the local regulations or focal points, please see below. Funds for teacher mobility can be supported through Erasmus+ or Nordplus, if courses do not have budget for incoming teachers. The local NOVA coordinators may advise on how to apply for this.
According to the NOVA agreement, a course shall have the following characteristics:
  • PhD students or specialising post graduate veterinarians from NOVA members are part of the target group.
  • The main teachers should be experts in their fields and at least one of them must be employed by the host university.
  • The host university guarantees the quality of the course by following their internal requirements for PhD-level or post-graduate veterinarian specialisation courses. The course quality can be subject to follow-up from web-based student evaluations using a NOVA template.
  • It is desirable that the course is planned and executed in collaboration between teachers from the host university and other universities, preferably another NOVA member.
  • The pedagogic approach builds upon active participation and engagement by all teachers and students during the course. Commonly, the courses contain a classroom/field/lab module combined with distance education modules, but courses can also be completely online.
  • If the number of seats is limited, visiting students from other NOVA members should be given priority to at least 25% of the seats, if possible.
  • NOVA students do not pay course fees. The hosting university is not obliged to cover expenses for accommodation, food, student travelling and similar expenses.

Other Networks

NOVA collaborates closely with The Baltic Forestry, Veterinary and Agricultural University Network (BOVA) and encourages course organisers from NOVA to jointly plan courses with colleagues from BOVA universities.

The NOVA Secretariat

The NOVA secretariat is responsible for the administration of NOVA and has secretarial functions for the Board. In 2023-2025, the secretarial functions are held at the Agricultural University of Iceland (LBHI).

Contact the NOVA Secretariat:

The NOVA Student Board

The NOVA Student Board (NSB) is a forum in which students from the NOVA member institutions can work together and carry out discussions.

Contact the Nova Student Board:


Knowledge in the field of sustainable use of resources, environment, planning and food production.


Hvanneyri - 311 Borgarbyggð
Phone 433-5000
Kt. 411204-3590
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