Contacts & supervision

Need help? Looking for a supervisor? From this page, you'll find the contact information for the administrative personnel in the doctoral programme, as well as information on the steering group of the programme and the supervisors in the different disciplines represented in the programme.
Senior Advisor (primary contact)

The Brain & Mind Steering Group is in charge of the strategic planning of the doctoral programme and reviewing doctoral study right applications submitted to the doctoral program. The Steering Committee also selects new students for the 4-year doctoral candidate positions funded by the University of Helsinki.

B&M Director

Tomi Rantamäki, Professor, Division of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, Drug Research Program, Faculty of Pharmacy (Neuropharmacology)

B&M Steering Group Members representing research and teaching staff (2022-2025)
  • Annette Horstmann, Associate Professor of Behavioural and Brain Sciences, Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Faculty of Medicine (Psychology)
  • Thomas McWilliams, Assistant Professor of Mitochondrial Medicine, Stem Cells and Metabolism Research Program, Faculty of Medicine (Molecular neuroscience)
  • Riikka Möttönen, Professor, Department of Digital Humanities (Cognitive science)
  • Olli Pietiläinen, Group leader, HiLIFE, Neuroscience Center (Nervous system diseases)
  • Leena Kämppi Clinical instructor, Clinicum, Department of Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine & HUS Neurocenter
  • Juha Voipio, B&M Vice Director, Professor, Molecular and Integrative Biosciences Research Program, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences (Neurophysiology, neurobiophysics)
Doctoral researcher representatives (2024-2025)



Former directors of the Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind
  • Kai Kaila (1995-2016)
  • Iiris Hovatta (2016-2023)

Faculty / Campus Academic Affairs Officers

Doctoral student services

In matters related to preliminary examination of the doctoral dissertation, please contact the following, according to the Faculty of your doctoral study right:

Viikki Campus (Faculties of Biological and Env. Sciences, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine)

Meilahti Campus (Faculty of Medicine)

Contact information for

Admission Services

Questions about applying and application process:


Research units & supervision

Finding supervisors willing to guide you through your thesis project is one of the most important steps when preparing your application. Here are a few tips on how to go about it:

  • Start early. And when we say early, we’re talking about months rather than weeks. Finding the right match can be a time-consuming business.
  • Do your research. You are more likely to get a positive response if the researchers you approach actually share your research interests. Think of approaching the prospective supervisors in a sense like you would applying for a job – sending the same generic message to various recipients is unlikely to provide the hoped-for results. Acquaint yourself with the supervisors' research profiles, and try to pick the people you approach based on actual mutual research interests.
  • Pay attention to detail. One of your supervisors (or at least the coordinating academician) should be in a permanent or long-term employment to the Faculty awarding your prospective target degree, and at least one supervisor 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 in the further discussions that at least one of them fills these conditions.
  • Be precise. Supervisors get a lot of email. 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 such that they would be interested in supervising it and whether if 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 or your background degree is simply not a good match for the person you approached, and sometimes the supervisors have their quota of new students already full. If you get a negative response, move on. Be also aware that, especially if your research interest is of a field that’s not widely represented here, it’s also possible that you will not find a supervisor. In that case, your only option is to continue your search and apply later – or set your sights to a different university with better prospects.

From the Research Groups page of the University of Helsinki you can find a list of hundreds of teams working on all disciplines in the university.

From the Research Portal, you can also look up individual researcher 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 students, who should not be considered as prospective supervisors. If the person is employed, you will see their job title on their profile page.

Available below is a listing of the Faculties and research institutes with links to research groups working in the fields of Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind. 

Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the Viikki Campus hosts internationally prominent neurobiology research teams which use a wide variety of methods, often combining electrophysiological and molecular biological techniques. 

The research strategies are based on an integrative approach by addressing questions at different levels of organization (from molecules to behaviour) and at different stages of development, under normal and pathophysiological states, etc. Affiliated lipidomics group investigates the role of lipids and fatty acids in the functions of cells, individuals and ecological communities of interacting species. Research is also done on developmental biology.

More information: 

The spearheads of research of the Faculty of Medicine at the Meilahti Campus include clinical research, cancer, inflammation, genetic research, and research on the mind.

More information: Faculty of Medicine


Research Programs Unit (RPU) of the Faculty of Medicine consolidates demonstrated research excellence, with focused research programs addressing the greatest challenges in human health.

More information: Research Program Unit

SLEEPWELL is a multidisciplinary, translational and future-oriented research network bringing together expertise from clinical medicine, psychology, genetics, neurobiology and neuropharmacology. Researchers from different stages of career are assembled around the core scientific idea: the importance of sleep in resilience to stress and in recovery processes.

SLEEPWELL Research Program

Translational Stem Cell Biology and Metabolism (STEMM) program brings together eleven research groups and four associated clinical researchers interested in cellular metabolism as a driving force in tissue homeostasis, cellular differentiation and degenerative diseases. Many of the groups take advantage of the possibilities of stem cell and genome editing technologies to understand molecular disease mechanisms in order to develop innovative treatments. Close ties to pediatric and neurology clinics enable efficient use of our research findings for diagnosis, patient care and counseling.

Stem Cells and Metabolism Research Program


Minerva Foundation Institute for Medical Research is a private institute in biomedicine that is located at Biomedicum Helsinki in close association with Helsinki University. General theme of the research is the study of basic cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying important human diseases, including heart and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and neurological disorders.

More information: Minerva Foundation Institute for Medical Research


At the Psychology unit of the Faculty of Medicine, research operations in the discipline of psychology are focused on developmental psychology, health psychology and cognitive brain research. In addition, discipline-specific research is conducted also in perceptual psychology, cognitive psychology, the psychology of values and clinical neuropsychology. 

Research in the field of logopedics is centred on the development, disorders and rehabilitation of speech, language, voice and communication. 

More information: Psychology and logopedics

Cognitive Brain Research Unit (CBRU) studies human auditory and crossmodal cognition, as well as their impairments and plasticity. The main research areas are human language and music processes, their plasticity, and the development of auditory functions. They utilize modern brain research methods in our interdisciplinary work, which is carried out with an international and national collaboration network.

More information: Cognitive Brain Research Unit


Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE) is a new life science institute enhancing high quality research, and integrating life science strengths across our campuses. HiLIFE forms an attractive international environment for researchers, and facilitates national and international partnerships in areas of research, infrastructures, and innovations.

The mission of the Neuroscience Center (NC) is to carry out excellent and multidisciplinary research on the development, normal functions and disorders of the nervous systems. Research and the teaching in the NC focus on the following four areas: molecular and cellular neuroscience, developmental neuroscience, cognitive and systems neuroscience, and basic research of the nervous system diseases. 

The objectives of the research done at the Faculty of Pharmacy are to identify new drug targets, create and develop new drugs, establish new drug administration methods, examine the pharmacokinetic and pharmacological properties of drugs, develop new technologies, explore social and economic issues involving drug therapy, and educate leading professionals in the field.

More information: Faculty of Pharmacy

The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has a strong profile in animal health care and wellbeing as well as food safety. 

More information: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

The University of Helsinki research groups and study programs (MSc Programme in Neuroscience and Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind) collaborate with the Aalto University's Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering (NBE).  

More information: Aalto University, Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering

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

Researchers (supervisors and doctoral students) of the Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind in the Research Portal.