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.

Doctoral Programme in Gender, Culture and Society

P.O. Box 4

00014 University of Helsinki

Planning Officer

Lauri Turpeinen

Doctoral Student Services for the Faculty of Arts

(questions related to applying for doctoral study rights, doctoral study rights and the examination of doctoral theses)

How to find a supervisor?

Finding supervisors willing to guide you through your thesis project is one of the most important steps when preparing your application. But it’s not always an easy feat. 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. At least one of your supervisors has to be in a permanent or long-term employment to 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 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 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 topic 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 current supervisors in the doctoral programme. The list is by no means definitive, and is only there to help you get started. The name of each supervisor has been linked to their individual research profile in the University of Helsinki Research Portal to help you find out more about their research interests.

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.

Current supervisors

Applicants: please note that the Swedish School of Social Science is an independent unit without the right to grant doctoral degrees. The teaching staff of the school can act as primary (employed) supervisors for applicants applying to complete a degree at the Faculty of Social Sciences. If you apply to another faculty, you must always also have at least one supervisor who is in a permanent or long-term employment to the that faculty.

SKY doctoral researchers may also have additional, external supervisors from other universities. Currently acting external supervisors for individual SKY doctoral researchers are the following professors:

  • Da Costa Custódio, Leonardo, Åbo Akademi, migration studies
  • Harrison, Klisala, Ethnomusicology, University of Aarhus
  • Holm, Solve Marie-Louise (senior lecturer, Karlstad University), gender studies
  • Husso, Marita, University of Tampere, social policy
  • Hoegaerts, Josephine, University of Amsterdam, history
  • Kondakov, Alexander, University College Dublin, Russian studies
  • Kähkönen, Lottamari, University of Turku, gender studies
  • Lappalainen, Sirpa, University of Eastern Finland, educational sciences
  • Leinonen, Johanna, University of Turku, sociology
  • Leppänen, Taru, University of Turku, gender studies
  • Mehrabi, Tara, Karlstad University, gender studies
  • Meretoja, Hanna, University of Turku, literature
  • Peake, Rose-Marie, University of Tampere, history
  • Pucetaite, Raminta, Kaunas University of Technology/University of Jyväskylä, organization studies
  • Raino, Päivi, Silta-Valmennusyhdistys
  • Storm Bjørner, Sølve, Karlstadt University, gender studies
  • Tiainen, Milla, University of Turku, musicology
  • Vaahtera, Touko, University of Eastern Finland, gender studies
  • Vuolajärvi, Nina, London School of Economics and Political Science, European studies
  • Westinen, Elina, University of Jyväskylä, cultural studies

Is your name missing from the list? To have it added, please contact the programme's planning officer Lauri Turpeinen (lauri.turpeinen(at) Supervisors added to the list must either be employed by the University of Helsinki or be someone who, for example, is actively carrying out research on a personal research funding in the University of Helsinki and is willing to take on new doctoral students. If you are no longer a supervisor in the Doctoral Programme, please inform Lauri Turpeinen.