Contacts & supervision

Are you looking for a supervisor or a contact person for the programme? From this page, you'll find the contact information for the administrative personnel, as well as information on the board and supervisors of the programme.

Dr. Karen Sims-Huopaniemi

The senior advisor for doctoral education of the programme

  • Is responsible for supporting the management of doctoral education
  • Supports the preparatory work on curricula, teaching programmes and timetables for the doctoral programme
  • Administers the application processes for salaried positions, and implements decisions related to these matters
  • Is responsible for the coordination and development of services for doctoral researchers in cooperation with Teaching and Learning Services

Professor Fred Stoddard

The director of the doctoral programme

  • Is responsible for the management of the doctoral programme, the achievement of its objectives and its quality
  • Oversees the curriculum design for the doctoral programme
  • Is responsible for the planning of the pedagogical aspects and content of teaching in the doctoral programme
  • Is responsible for organising cooperation between the units, other degree programmes and the doctoral school
  • Decides on the allocation and appropriate use of the doctoral programme’s resources
  • Is accountable for the operations of the doctoral programme to the vice-dean of the coordinating faculty and cooperates with the coordinating faculty and the doctoral school

The doctoral programme board

  • Assesses the applications for the right to pursue a doctoral degree and prepares selection proposals to the faculty granting the right to pursue a degree
  • Is responsible for preparing the curriculum and admissions criteria for the doctoral programme
  • Decides on the curriculum of the doctoral programme and is responsible for teaching preparation
  • Organises doctoral researcher supervision
How to find a suitable supervisor

Finding supervisors willing to guide you through your thesis project is one of the most important steps when preparing your application. Here's a few tips to help you succeed:

  • Start early. This means months in advance rather than weeks. Finding the right match can be time-consuming.
  • Do your research. You are more likely to get a positive response if the researchers you approach share your research interests. Approach prospective supervisors as if you were applying for a job – sending the same generic message to various recipients is unlikely to provide the hoped-for results. Familiarise yourself with the supervisors' research profiles, and try to select the people you approach based on mutual research interests.
  • Pay attention to detail. At least one of your supervisors must be employed (permanent or long-term) by the faculty awarding your prospective target degree, and at least one needs to hold the title of docent or similar scientific qualifications – i.e. be a senior researcher in your field. When you find potential supervisors, make sure that at least one of them fulfills these requirements.
  • Be precise. Supervisors receive a lot of emails. When you approach a prospective supervisor, present your topic and motivation in a clear, succinct manner to allow them to easily estimate whether your topic is something they would be interested in supervising and whether it seems feasible.
  • Be patient and prepare for disappointments. In the process of finding a supervisor, you are likely to receive several negative responses – or, sometimes, no response at all. Sometimes your topic is simply not a good match for the person you approached, and sometimes supervisors do not have room for new students in their research groups. If you get a negative response, move on. Also be aware that you may not find a supervisor if your research topic is not widely represented at the University of Helsinki.

From the the University of Helsinki Research Portal you can search for individual research profiles as well as by using keywords related to your research. Keep in mind that the research portal lists all researchers affiliated with the University of Helsinki – including current doctoral researchers, who should not be considered as prospective supervisors. If the person is employed, you will see their job title on their profile page.


All group leaders who act as supervisors of doctoral researchers can be found from the University of Helsinki research database.

Other affiliations are listed on the left.