The Scientist’s survey: postdocs like it at the University of Helsinki

The best places to work for post-doctoral researchers were identified in an online survey.

The Scientist’s survey: postdocs like it at the University of Helsinki The University of Helsinki was placed 13th overall in The Scientist’s survey “Best Places to Work for PostDocs”. The purpose of the survey was to identify the research institutes and universities worldwide that post-doctoral researchers consider the best workplaces and the criteria for their job satisfaction.

Targeted at researchers of the life sciences and published in print and online, The Scientist conducts the survey annually. Last year Helsinki was placed 46th.

The invitation to participate in the survey was sent to 40,000 readers of The Scientist who work as researchers of the life sciences but do not hold permanent offices. Approximately 3,000 postdocs eventually answered the call, including six researchers from the University of Helsinki.

Financing and the good communications in the researcher community were regarded as the strengths of the University of Helsinki. The weaker aspects included the salary and the benefit of research work later in the career.

The survey concluded that the experience gained during research and access to resources rated highly among the priorities, which also included a good mentoring relationship.

“The University of Helsinki provides a good setting for research in life sciences, particularly at the new Viikki Campus. We certainly hope that the news has spread internationally,” says Sipo Vanhanen, senior planning officer at the Research Affairs of the University of Helsinki.

Nordic universities ranking higher than Helsinki were the University of Bergen (third place) in Norway and Umeå Plant Science Centre (sixth place) in Sweden. Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Switzerland was regarded as the best European place to work for postdocs.

The Scientist's article about the survey is available to subscribers at

Text: Salla Laaksonen
Photo: Veikko Somerpuro

Translation: Valtasana Oy

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