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)

Faculty / Campus Academic Affairs Officers

Contact information for

Admission Services


The DPHuB 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 Group also selects new doctoral researchers for the 4-year salaried positions funded by the University of Helsinki.

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.

Available below is a listing of research units with researchers working in the fields of Doctoral Programme in Human Behaviour. 

From the research portal, you can also look up people for example 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.

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


At the University of Helsinki, the discipline of psychology conducts multidisciplinary basic and applied research of a high international standard on human behaviour, as well as provides teaching based on this research. The subjects of the research encompass the entire course of human life from individual and collective perspectives. Research is aimed at understanding human growth, development and learning, as well as promoting human wellbeing and the development of communities by employing a range of research-based methods and means. At the University of Helsinki, the profile of the discipline of psychology is nationally oriented towards behavioural life science. Strong research focus areas include developmental psychology, health psychology and cognitive brain research. In addition, the discipline conducts research in, for example, observational psychology, cognitive psychology and clinical neuropsychology.

Research groups:

Attention and Memory Networks of the Human Brain

The group investigates brain activity related to perception, memory and attention using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), as well as electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG).

Clinical Neuropsychology Research Group

The group investigates both acquired and developmental cognitive disorders in children and adults, the development of cognition from childhood to adulthood, neuropsychological methods for assessing cognition, as well as multidisciplinary and multi-professional rehabilitation methods.

Cognitive Brain Research Unit (CBRU)

The group investigates perceptual and cognitive processes in humans, and their development, disorders and plasticity particularly in functions related to language and music.

Developmental Psychology Research Group (DEPSY)

The group investigates themes related to the development of the human psyche throughout the life-span. Its interests include foetal programming, maternal health and wellbeing during pregnancy, mental health, neurocognitive development, cardiovascular risk factors, sleep and aging. The group works with various follow-up datasets, conducts wide-ranging cooperation in Finland and abroad, and utilises several different methods to study the development of the human mind.

Emotional Interaction and eHealth (EIeH) Research Group

The group explores emotions, health and well-being in the era of virtual reality and digital health apps. The group's research combines social psychology, human-computer interaction and cognitive neuroscience.

Mind and Brain in the Sys­temic Con­text

We are interested in characterizing how mental phenomena and the physiology of the human body interact, and discovering new ways to modulate the observed interactions. Our goals are to identify systemic mechanisms for common mental disorders such as depression and to utilize the generated knowledge to develop or optimize new treatment applications. We are seeking to achieve our goals by working with different populations ranging from healthy volunteers to individuals affected by mental disorders.

The Neurogenomics Laboratory 

We investigate the genetic and neurobiological basis of anxiety disorders


The O’BRAIN Lab is a group of researchers investigating the interplay between obesity and the brain.

Overweight and obesity rates have risen steadily in recent decades. Although many of us share similar environments, only a few people become obese. How come? In our search for the cause, we are confronted with a complex interplay of many factors: In addition to the environment, behaviour, brain function, and genetic influences determine the decisions we make and thus ultimately also our body weight.

Perception, Action and Cognition (PAC)

We use methods of psychophysics, eye movement recordings, EEG, fMRI, and computational modelling to investigate how human brain receive, process, store and interpret information to control behavior. Our research topics include color and brightness processing, perception of shapes, motor control and coordination of hand movements, audiovisual speech perception, multisensory and perceptual learning, short term memory and face perception.

Population Mental Health

We investigate how individual characteristics and social circumstances are related to people’s mental health. Our research combines perspectives from clinical psychology, personality psychology, social epidemiology, and public health. Most of our research is based on longitudinal cohort studies from different countries, and the methodological emphasis is on epidemiological methods and individual-participant meta-analysis of multiple studies.

Psychological treatment, etiology, and mental health (PsyTEAM) 

The group investigates psychotherapies, psychosocial treatments, mental health, and epidemiology and aetiology of psychopathology. The group uses a wide range of methods, including register-based research, statistical modelling, machine learning, and theoretical modelling, with members being occasionally involved in analysis of randomized trials too.

The Psychosocial Factors & Health Research Group

The group investigates the mental, social, behavioural and biological processes underlying mental and physical health that may be related, among other things, to early childhood environment, work, social relations in old age or cross-generational factors.

Research on Everyday Thinking

The group investigates everyday thinking, particularly intuitive, analytical, mentalistic and mechanistic cognition, as well as everyday beliefs and cognitive bias (e.g., supernatural beliefs and beliefs related to food and health). Research methods include questionnaires (primarily with scales and cognitive tasks), experimental research and brain research.

Sleep & Mind Research Group

The group investigates sleep, cognition, learning and mental health in a multidisciplinary manner by combining methods and approaches from psychology, medicine and brain research. The group conducts both longitudinal follow-up studies and experimental studies with children and adolescents as the most common target group. Special attention is given to circadian rhythm regulation and sleep microstructures.

Visual Cognition Research Group

The group investigates visual cognition from the perspectives of basic and technological research.

Research areas in the discipline of logopedics at the University of Helsinki include

  • Observation of speech in different patient groups (autistic spectrum disorders, children with cochlear implants), as well as the brain mechanisms of speech and language
  • Characteristics of interaction with defective language, as well as supporting interaction
  • Typical and atypical early language development, as well as the predictive value of language development in different groups (e.g., subjects with healthy, normal development or subjects who were born extremely prematurely)
  • The symptoms of specific language impairment and its impact on school selection and subjective quality of life in young adults
  • Language acquisition and the recovery of speech and language abilities in aphasic individuals
  • Changes in speech, language and communication related to normal ageing and memory disorders in individuals communicating with speech and sign language

Research groups:

Aphasia Research Group

The group is investigating language disorders in adults caused by damage to or a functional disorder of the cerebral cortex. The group studies the manifestations of aphasia in language use and human-to-human interaction, the practices of aphasia therapy and its effectiveness, as well as the knock-on effects on an individual’s life caused by aphasia.

Interaction and Intervention Group

Interaction and Intervention Research Group focuses on the study of everyday communication in connection with human communication disorders, as well as the study of speech-language therapy interaction and the effect of speech-language interventions.

Dementia and Communication Research Group

Early Language Development (ELD) Group

The group investigates the early development of language and communication taking place during the first two years in an individual’s life, its assessment and the predictive value of early language development in relation to later language development.

Pragmatic Issues in Alternative Communication

The alternative communication research group focuses its observations on non-speaking people and their speaking partners. These people may use un-aided or aided communication forms for various and multifaceted functions, such as having conversations and narrating, as well as interaction based on developmentally very early means of expression and interpretation.

Human communication disorders research unit (DIS-CO)

Research Unit for Disorders of Human Communication (DIS-CO) at UH focuses on both basic research and clinically relevant investigations related to the disorders of communication, including language, speech, and swallowing, across the lifespan.

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.