P.O. Box 56 (Viikinkaari 9)
00014 University of Helsinki
fax +358-(0)9-191 57561
Faculty office open
International affairs, undergraduate studies and admission, Master's degree programmes:
bio-sci (at) helsinki.fi
PhD studies and admission:
biojatko-neuvonta (at) helsinki.fi
bio-diploma (at) helsinki.fi
bio-hallinto (at) helsinki.fi
Doctoral schools and programs
The doctoral school system aims to improve the quality of research and researcher training. A goal is to provide young Master’s degree holders planning to pursue a career in research with an opportunity to make interesting and encouraging careers as professional researchers.
In the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences about one third of Master’s degree holders continue their studies towards a doctoral degree. Doctoral schools and programs operating within the Faculty offer significant support for students in their doctoral studies.
Up to date information about courses organized by the programs is available on their own websites.
Doctoral education system 2014 onwards
The University of Helsinki has established four doctoral schools and 32 doctoral programs operating under them. One of the biggest changes is that all the University’s doctoral students will belong to a doctoral program. A doctoral student may belong only a one program at a time.
Each Faculty coordinates a selection of Doctoral programs, but the doctoral students of the faculties are not limited to these and they may belong to a program coordinated by some other faculty as well.
The Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences coordinates five different doctoral programs (below), but our doctoral students may belong to any of the nime programs the faculty participates (below).
The Faculties at the Viikki Campus had an information session for their students and supervisors in October. Some answers to frequently asked questions can be found below. Materials of the doctoral education reform in the University of Helsinki can be found from intranet Flamma.
- Health sciences
- Biological, environmental and food sciences (contact coordinator Dr Päivi Tikka)
- Humanities and social sciences (contact coordinator Dr Sami Syrjämäki)
- Natural sciences
The Doctoral Programmes coordinated by the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences belong to two Doctoral Schools:Doctoral school in health sciences
- Integrative Life Science Doctoral Program (ILS) (former GPBM and VGSB)
- Doctoral Program Brain & Mind (B&M)
- Doctoral Program in Plant Sciences (DPPS)
- The Doctoral Programme in Wildlife Biology Research (LUOVA)
- Doctoral Program in interdisciplinary Environmental sciences (DENVI)
The Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences also participates in the following doctoral programmes coordinated by other Faculties within University of Helsinki:Doctoral school in biological, environmental and food sciences
- Doctoral Program in Sustainable use of renewable natural resources (AGFOREE)
- Doctoral Program in Microbiology and Biotechnology (MBDP)
New doctoral students apply for a doctoral program at the same time they apply for the right to pursue doctoral degree, but also those students who have been granted the PhD study right before year 2014 will be transferred into newly established doctoral programs.
This is done in a centralized manner and the Student Register has already sent a request to enroll into one of the doctoral programs for all doctoral students registered as attending or non-attending for the academic year 2013-14.
The request has been sent also to those PhD students who have previously belonged into any of the former or continuing doctoral programs. Such student should also enroll into a program following the instructions in the request letter. Doctoral student formerly belonging to GPBM or VGSB are mostly expected to enroll into ILS, former FDPPS student to DPPS and former FGSN students to B&M doctoral program. However, the selection of possible programs for the PhD students registered in the Faculty of biological and environmental sciences is wider (see above)
If a student has a paid doctoral student position in one of the old doctoral programs and the employment contract continues in year 2014, the funding of the student continues normally. However, even such students are asked to enroll into a doctoral program in order to update the student record information. This applies also to those students who have acquired a paid doctoral student position in fall 2013 call in one of the new or continuing programs.
The faculty will go through the enrolments together with the doctoral programs before making the decision. The student and the supervisor will be contacted in case of any unclear issues. After the faculty has checked the enrolments the dean decides about the doctoral program and the student will be informed about the decision. This may take a while after the enrollment has ended.
In any questions concerning the employment contract, please contact the coordinator of your doctoral program.
OBS! The Faculty of biological and environmental sciences decided about joining in the Doctoral programme in atmospheric sciences (ATM-DP) in February 11, 2014, after the enrollment into the programs had started. Consequently, ATM-DP does not appear in the selection of doctoral programs for our students in the e-form. If you wish to enroll into ATM-DP, please, print the paper form and fill in your details, write ATM-DP program under the Faculty and return the form following the instructions by the Student Register.
Q: When and how can I sign in to a Doctoral program? If I already belong to one of the older programs will I automatically be signed in to its successor?
A: PhD students are requested to enroll into the doctoral programs by the end of February 2014 (see above). The Student Register has sent every PhD attending and non-attending student a letter enquiring which program they wish to join. No-one will be signed into any of the programs automatically. The enquiry has been sent also to those students who have previously belonged to some doctoral program and to those who were granted a payed doctoral student position in one of the programs in the fall 2013 call.
Q: I am applyin for a salary position from one of the doctoral programs. If I get the position, will I automatically also get the right to pursue a doctoral degree?
A: No, the doctoral programs do not grant the study rights. You need to separately apply for a right to pursue a doctoral degree from one of the Faculties participating in the program in question.
Q: Does belonging to a doctoral program mean that everybody gets salary now?
A: No. All doctoral students will belong to one of the doctoral programs independently from where they get their funding. The University of Helsinki has some doctoral student positions with salary that are separately announced in the university's recruitment pages and in the web sites of the doctoral programs.
Q: Can I apply for a position with salary from a program that my Faculty does not participate in?
A: Yes, but if you get the position you need to apply for the right to pursue a doctoral degree from one of the Faculties participating in the program in question.
Q: Which major subjects belong to which doctoral programs?
A: Many of the doctoral programs are suitable for students from various majors, and belonging to a doctoral program does not depend on your major subject. You should discuss with your supervisor about which program is best suited for you.
More information about the doctoral education reform in the University of Helsinki: