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 Language Studies
P.O. Box 4
00014 University of Helsinki

University of Helsinki Doctoral School, Doctoral Programmes in Humanities and Social Sciences

Senior advisor
Raili Koivuniemi

Doctoral Student Services for the Faculty of Arts
(questions related to applying for doctoral study rights and the examination of doctoral theses)

In the below listing of steering committee members, each person’s name is a link to their profile in the university’s People finder.

Steering Committee

Professor Riho Grünthal (Director)

University Lecturer Ekaterina Gruzdeva

Professor Jan Lindström

Associate Professor Simo Määttä

Professor Sanna-Kaisa Tanskanen

Professor Anne Mäntynen

Associate Professor Pekka Posio

Bojana Damnjanovic, doctoral researcher

Eliisa Uotila, doctoral researcher

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

Ainiala, Terhi  (University Lecturer, Finnish Language)

Aunio, Lotta (University Lecturer, African Languages and Cultures)

Balode, Laimute (University Lecturer, Baltic Languages and Cultures)

Buchart, Mélanie, (University lecturer, French Language and Culture)

Carlson, Lauri (Professor, Language Theory and Translation)

Chesterman, Andrew (Professor Emeritus, Translation Studies)

Creutz, Mathias (University Lecturer, Language Technology)

Cruschina, Silvio (Associate professor, Italian Philology)

Garavelli, Enrico (University Lecturer, Italian Philology)

Gruzdeva, Ekaterina (University Lecturer, General Linguistics)

Grünthal, Riho (Professor, Finno-Ugrian Language Studies)

Haakana, Markku (University Lecturer, Finnish Language)

Halla-aho, Hilla (Researcher, Latin Language)

Harjunpää, Katariina (Academy Research Fellow, Finno-Ugrian Language Studies)

Hartama-Heinonen, Ritva (University Lecturer, Swedish Translation)

Havu, Eva (Docent, French Philology)

Helkkula, Mervi (Professor, French Philology)

Hiidenmaa, Pirjo (Professor, Finnish Language)

Hiippala, Tuomo (Assistant Professor, English Language and Digital Humanities)

Hiltunen, Turo (University Lecturer, English Philology)

Hippi, Kaarina (Docent, Finno-Ugrian Studies)

Honkanen, Suvi (University Lecturer, Finnish Language)

Huttunen, Tomi (Professor, Russian Language and Literature)

Hyvärinen, Irma (Professor, German Philology)

Hämäläinen, Taina (University Lecturer, Spanish Philology)

Härmä, Juhani (Professor, French Philology)

Jaakola, Minna (University Lecturer, Finnish Language)

Janhunen, Juha (Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures)

Juusola, Hannu (Professor, Semic Languages and Cultures)

Kahlas-Tarkka, Leena (Docent, English Philology)

Kajava, Mika (Professor, Greek and Greek Literature)

Kalliokoski, Jyrki (Professor, Finnish Language)

Kilpiö, Matti (Docent, English Philology)

Kinnunen, Tuija (University Lecturer, German Translation)

Kittilä, Seppo (University Lecturer, General Linguistics)

Komppa, Johanna (University Lecturer, Finnish Language)

Kopotev, Mikhail (University Lecturer, Russian Language and Literature)

Kotilainen, Lari (Docent, Finnish Language)

Kovács, Magdolna (University Lecturer, Finno-Ugrian Language Studies)

Kurhila, Salla (Professor, Interactional Linguistics)

Kärnä, Aino (University Lecturer, German Philology)

Lappalainen, Hanna (University Lecturer, Finnish Language)

Lassus, Jannika (University Lecturer, Scandinavian Languages)

Lauranto, Yrjö (University Lecturer, Finnish Language)

Laury, Ritva (Professor, Finnish Language)

Lautenbacher, Olli Philippe (University Lecturer, French Philology, Translation Studies)

Lehečková, Helena (University Lecturer, West and South Slavonic Languages and Cultures)

Lehti-Eklund, Hanna (Professor, Scandinavian Languages)

Leino, Jaakko (Professor, Finnish Language)

Leiwo, Martti (University Lecturer, Greek and Greek Literature)

Lenk, Hartmut (University Lecturer, German Philology)

Leppihalme, Ritva (Docent, English translation)

Lindén, Krister (Research Director, Language Technology)

Lindholm, Camilla (University Lecturer, Scandinavian Languages)

Lindström, Jan (Professor, Scandinavian Languages)

Lindström Tiedemann, Therese (University Lecturer, Swedish Language and  General Linguistics)

Luhtala, Anneli (University Lecturer, Latin Language and Roman Literature)

Länsisalmi, Riikka (University Lecturer, Japanese Language and Culture)

Mauranen, Anna (Professor Emerita, English Philology)

Melo e Abreu, Liisa (University Lecturer, Spanish Philology)

Miestamo, Matti (Professor, General Linguistics)

Mustajoki, Arto (Professor Emeritus, Russian Language)

Mäntynen, Anne (University Lecturer, Finnish Language)

Määttä, Simo (Assistant Professor, Translation Studies)

Nevala, Minna (University Lecturer, English Philology)

Nevalainen, Terttu (Professor, English Philology)

Nikunlassi, Ahti (Professor, Russian Language and Literature)

Nordlund, Taru (Professor, Finnish Language)

Nordman, Lieselott (University Lecturer, Scandinavian Languages)

Onikki-Rantajääskö, Tiina (Professor, Finnish Language)

Pakkala-Weckström, Mari (University Lecturer, English Translation)

Palander-Collin, Minna (Professor, English Philology)

Pasanen, Päivi (University Lecturer, Russian Translation)

Peterson, Elizabeth (University Lecturer, English Philology)

Protassova, Ekaterina (University Lecturer, Russian Language and Literature)

Saarikivi, Janne (Professor, Finno-Ugrian Language Studies)

Salomies, Olli (Professor, Latin Language and Roman Literature)

Sanromán, Begoña (University Lecturer, Spanish Philology)

Sarasti-Wilenius, Raija (University Lecturer, Classical Philology)

Šimko, Juraj (University Lecturer, Phonetics)

Sinnemäki, Kaius (Associate Professor, General Linguistics)

Sironen, Erkki (University Lecturer, Greek and Greek Literature)

Solin, Anna (University Lecturer, English Philology)

Sorjonen, Marja-Leena (Professor, Finnish Language)

Suomela-Härmä, Elina (Professor, Italian Philology)

Svärd, Saana (Assistant Professor, Ancient Middle-East)

Tiedemann, Jörg (Professor, Language Technology)

Tiittula, Liisa (Professor, German Language, Translation Studies)

Toivola, Minnaleena (University Lecturer, Phonetics)

Tuomarla, Ulla (University Lecturer, French Philology)

Vainio, Martti (Professor, Phonetics)

Vatanen, Anna (PhD, Docent, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies)

Vierros, Marja (Associate Professor, Classical Philology)

Virtanen, Mikko (PhD, Docent, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies)

Visapää, Laura (University Lecturer, Finnish Language)

Wahlström, Max (University Lecturer, Slavic Philology)

Wiklund, Mari (University Lecturer, French Philology)

Yli-Jyrä, Anssi (Academy Research Fellow, Language Technology)

Klippi, Anu (Professor Emerita, Speech Sciences)

Lehtonen, Heini (University Lecturer, University Pedagogy)

Vesalainen, Marjo (University Lecturer, University Pedagogy)

Peräkylä, Anssi (Professor, Sociology)