Application form

On this page you are guided on filling in an application for University of Helsinki doctoral programmes. Please note that you must fill a separate application for each programme.
Application form

The application form is in Studyinfo. The form is open only during the application period.

Filling in the application section by section

Start by providing your personal details and educational history. Remember, once you save the application, personal information cannot be edited.

Tell us about the degree that qualifies you for doctoral studies (e.g., master's degree, licentiate of medicine).

Write a brief summary of the thesis from your qualifying degree (max 1500 characters).

You can also include details about one additional relevant degree (e.g., bachelor's degree, second master's degree, specialized training).

Attach your transcript of records and degree certificate as PDF files. Keep in mind that these files might need to be accompanied by officially certified paper copies or electronic documents through a credential service for official consideration.

For more details, refer to the page about application enclosures.

University of Helsinki demands an indication of academic level language skills in either Finnish, Swedish or English of all applicants.

You can prove your language skills either with your educational background or a language test. First choose the language you want to prove your proficiency in, and then choose the method of proving your language skills from the list that opens below.

If you prove your language skills with the degree that gives you eligibility, you do not need to attach a separate proof of language proficiency to your application. In other cases, please attach a scanned proof of your language proficiency as a PDF file to your electronic application.

Please see more information on the page for proving your language skills.

In addition, you must choose the language of your dissertation.

You will write your reasearch plan in the application form's answer fields. You cannot write a free form reasearch plan. Note that the answer fields have character limits. Spaces count as characters.

You must answer the following questions on the application form:

  • Preliminary title of the doctoral thesis
  • Field of research (Please use Academy of Finland's Research field classification
  • Brief summary of the research plan (2000 characters)
  • Research plan contains mathematical special characters or chemical formulas. If your research plan contains mathematical special characters or chemical formulas, you can attach it here in PDF-format. The research plan must contain the same items as the electronic form, not exceeding the maximum number of characters per item. Please see the doctoral programme website for possible additional instructions.
  • (What is the clinical relevance of your research? (2000 characters) Question only for applicants to Doctoral programme in Clinical Research)
  • Motivation for conducting doctoral research (2000 characters) Describe your motivation for conducting doctoral research in general and for this topic in particular. Also explain why you have chosen the doctoral programme you are applying to.
  • Rationale for the research project (2000 characters) How is the project linked to previous research? What are the most significant theoretical and methodological premises of the project?
  • Objectives of the research and scientific impact of research results (2000 characters) What are the objectives of the project? Shortly present the hypotheses and the research questions. Describe the expected research result and their anticipated novelty value in terms of the research field and the current scientific discussion on the research topic. You may also shortly outline the reach, potential applications and utilization value of the research beyond the scientific community.
  • Research methods and materials to be used and its significance for the project (3500 characters) (except for Doctoral Programme in School, Education, Society and Culture, read the instructions below)* Outline the research methods, described so as to explain how they will contribute to answering the research questions/confirming the hypotheses, or how they will support the chosen approach.
  • Preliminary plan on the collection, usage and storage of the research material (1500 characters) (except for Doctoral Programme in School, Education, Society and Culture, read the instructions below)Briefly describe how you plan to collect the research material and use it. Are there any data protection or copyright issues related to data storage that need to be taken into account? Is it possible to make the data available for the use of other researchers?
  • Ethical issues (1000 characters) Are there ethical issues (e.g. ethical governance procedures, informed consent, and anonymity of subjects) that need to be taken into account when conducting the research? Does conducting the research require a research permit or a permit from the ethical board and/or the Animal Experiment Board?
  • The most important literature for the research plan (2500 characters) 
  • Form of the dissertation - article based dissertation or monograph: An article-based dissertation consists of peer-reviewed scholarly publications or manuscripts intended for publication, discussing a single group of issues, as well as a summarizing report describing the background and objectives of the research, the methods and materials used, as well as the results, discussion and conclusion of the research. The number of articles required depends on their a) scope, b) scientific quality and significance and c) publishing forum, as well as d) the author’s independent contribution. A monograph dissertation is a consistent scholarly work in the name of the doctoral candidate alone and based on independent research and previously unpublished research results. The maximum scope of a monograph is, as a rule, 250 pages.
  • Publication plan and timetable for the articles or Preliminary outline of the monograph (1500 characters)
  • Preliminary timetable for your research (2000 characters)
  • Planned funding for the research project including received and applied notable funding thus far (1000 characters)

*Doctoral Programme in School, Education, Society and Culture:

  • Preliminary plan on the collection, usage and storage of the research material; research methods (4000 characters) Briefly describe how you plan to collect the research material, use and store it. Outline the suitability of the research methods and analytical framework, described so as to explain how they will contribute to answering the research questions/confirming the hypotheses, or how they will support the chosen approach.

Check your programme's selection criteria if you should have a supervisor and do you need a signed supervision agreement.

Check your faculty's requirements for the coordinating academic.

Some programmes expect you to have a thesis committee already when you are applying. Check your programme's requirements from its selection criteria.

If your programme demands a written commitment from your supervisor, you must attach a signed supervision agreement to your application form.

  • Previously acquired research knowledge (1500 characters) Previous experience in research work, other scientific work and/or scientific merits, including possible academic awards and other academic acknowledgements.
  • Possible publications and conference presentations (1500 characters).
  • Possible international experience and other work experience relevant to your doctoral research (1500 characters).
  • Possible career breaks (1500 characters). 

Write your study plan in the next fields. Please see the university's Studies service for information on the doctoral degree's scope and structure. 

List the courses that you are interested in:

  • Discipline-specific studies (30 ECTS) (1500 characters)
  • Transferable skills (10 ECTS) (1500 characters)

At the end of the form you must name your contact language, give consent to electronic communication and affirm that all given information is correct. 

The application cannot be saved as a draft. To avoid losing unsaved data it is advisable to prepare your answers in a separate file so you can easily copy your answers to the application form. 

The saved application can be edited until the end of the application round.

You will receive an email after you have successfully saved the form. Remember to submit your possible paper enclosures and keep an eye on your email for possible requests to supplement your application.