Profile & activities

Want to know what we're all about? On this page, we've gathered information on our research profile and the research fields involved in the programme. Here, you will also find information on the studies and the type of activities and networks that await if you join the doctoral programme.
DPDR profile

The aim of DPDR is to educate experts that have a wide view of drugs and toxicology. DPDR is a multidisciplinary doctoral programme and research in DPDR covers the life cycle of medicines and toxicology.

Research groups in DPDR study diverse areas in drug research, such as: 

  • drug design and synthesis
  • bioactivity screening
  • pharmaceutical microbiology
  • drug formulation
  • nanomedicine
  • industrial manufacturing
  • pharmacokinetics
  • pharmacodynamics
  • analytics
  • drug interactions
  • pharmacogenetics
  • pharmacology and clinical pharmacology
  • clinical drug research
  • pharmacoepidemiology
  • clinical pharmacy
  • pharmacoeconomics
  • toxicology and clinical toxicology
  • veterinary drug research.
Doctoral candidates and supervisors

DPDR has approximately 125 Doctoral candidates. About 15 doctoral theses are published annually.

Supervisors in the DPDR work in the area of drug research and toxicological research. They are usually professors and principal investigators at the University of Helsinki. However, researchers at other research institutes may co-supervise a DPDR doctoral candiate. In addition, each student has a follow-up/thesis committee group.

Faculties and partners of DPDR

University of Helsinki

Local partners of DPDR include industrial companies, Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea), Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (NIHW), pharmacies and other organisations. DPDR is also a part of the national FinPharmaNet network which hosts weekly webinars.

Doctoral candidates in the DPDR are usually also members of a scientific society in their own field, for example, Finnish Pharmaceutical Society, Finnish Pharmacological Society, Finnish Society of Clinical Pharmacology and the Finnish Society of Physical Pharmacy.

International partners include

  • ULLA (European consortium for [Post Graduate] Training in the Field of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
  • The Paul Ehrlich European Medicinal Chemistry Ph.D. Network
  • GPEN (Globalization of Pharmaceutical Education Network)
  • Nordic POP
  • DSHealth and it’s doctoral programmes are members of NorDoc (Nordic Doctoral training in health sciences) network. Courses for doctoral candidates are free in the member universities.


Courses & studying

A doctoral degree in the programme comprises of a doctoral thesis and 40 credits of additional studies, including 10 credits of transferable skills training and 30 credits of scientific content studies. The studies are divided into discipline-specific studies (30 credits), aimed to support your research project, and transferable skills training (10 credits).

Studies are completed flexibly on courses and through means other than traditional coursework: conference presentations, scientific and popular articles etc.

Want to know more? Visit our study planning instructions for current doctoral students at the university's Instructions for Students.

Courses in research ethics and transferable skills are offered throughout the academic year by the Doctoral School in Health Sciences.

The date and time when registration for a particular course opens in Sisu is given in the course announcement. Once the call is opened a deadline for registrations is given. Usually the call for applications opens approximately one month and closes approximately two weeks before the course starts. These are only guidelines – always check the deadlines for the course you are interested in! Please follow your email and the doctoral programme homepages to stay up-to-date on courses.

Please see in more detail in the degree structure file below (short and long versions).

Follow this link to find the current degree structure of DPDR:

DPDR degree structure and course descriptions at the Instructions for students (choose DPDR in the drop-down menu)