Admissions to doctoral studies

Planning to apply for a doctoral study right at the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Veterinary Medicine? Good choice! We admit new doctoral students four times a year, so pay attention to the application deadlines, start preparations in good time, and make sure you've acquainted yourself with the selection criteria before you apply.
Admissions periods

The programme admits new doctoral students four times a year: twice in the spring and twice in the autumn.

The application periods in fall 2023

The first application period is from September 1, 2023 09:00 AM EEST until September 14, 2023 03:00 PM EEST.

  • Admission results for the September application period will be released by November 23, 2023.
  • Offered study places must be accepted by December 8, 2023.
  • Granted study rights will start on January 1, 2024.

The second application period is from November 1, 2023 09:00 AM EEST until November 14, 2023 03:00 PM EEST.       

  • Admission results for the November application period will be released by January 27, 2024.
  • Offered study places must be accepted by February 9, 2024.
  • Granted study rights will start on March 1, 2024.

The application periods in spring 2024

The first application period is from January 17, 2024 09:00 AM EEST until January 31, 2024 03:00 PM EEST.

  • Admission results for the January application period will be released by March 15, 2024.
  • Offered study places must be accepted by April 2, 2024.
  • Granted study rights will start on May 1, 2024.

The second application period is from April 3, 2024 09:00 AM EEST until April 16, 2024 03:00 PM EEST

  • Admission results for the April application period will be released by June 6, 2024.
  • Offered study places must be accepted by June 19, 2024.
  • Granted study rights will start on August 1, 2024.

A doctoral study right can only be gained through the admissions process. Applying to the programme outside the set admission periods is not possible.

Who can apply?

In addition to the university's general requirements for doctoral applicants on eligibility and language proficiency, the doctoral programme has set the following additional criteria for eligibility:

Previous degree

Your previous degree must be relevant to the planned research topic and discipline. A degree is regarded as relevant if it includes sufficient studies in a discipline which, given the topic of the proposed doctoral dissertation, can be regarded as a suitable basis for doctoral studies.

Applicants to the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Veterinary Medicine must have completed:

  • An applicable second-cycle university degree
  • An applicable second-cycle degree from a university of applied sciences, or
  • An applicable education at an institution abroad providing eligibility for equivalent higher education in the country in question

In addition, applicants who have been admitted to pursue a licentiate degree in veterinary medicine at a Finnish university or at a university from EU/EEA country.

Furthermore, applicants licensed as a healthcare professional by the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health or veterinarians licensed by the Finnish Food Authority who have completed applicable education abroad in their home country equivalent to a second-cycle university degree or a second-cycle degree from a university of applied sciences can be admitted.

Supervisory arrangements

Applications must meet the minimum requirements set for supervisory arrangements (see selection criteria). The application must include information on the following:

  • Supervisors (1–3)
  • Coordinating academic
  • The thesis committee members

If the applicant’s first supervisor is also the applicant’s academic coordinator, the applicant must have a second supervisor.

Attach to your application a signed supporting statement / commitment (pdf) stating the planned supervision arrangements. You find the pdf form below in Doctoral programme's selection criteria, subtitle "Supervision".

Ethical permissions

Please confirm in the application that you have or you have applied for all needed ethical permissions: a permit by an Ethical Review Board and/or by the National Animal Experiment Board, if required by the research arrangement. The permission documents need not to be attached to the application.

 

Only applications meeting the formal criteria for eligibility continue to scientific evaluation in the doctoral programmes.

The target degrees available within the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Veterinary Medicine are:

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
  • Doctor of Philosophy

Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry

  • Doctor of Science (Agriculture and Forestry)
  • Doctor of Food Sciences
  • Doctor of Philosophy

Please check which degree is available in the chosen faculty with your background studies. Both the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry have specific instructions about some of the degrees.

The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine may admit the following persons to pursue the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

  • Holders of the Licentiate of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (formerly the College of Veterinary Medicine) at the University of Helsinki
  • Holders of an equivalent degree from a foreign university
  • Persons who have been admitted to pursue a licentiate degree in veterinary medicine at a Finnish university or at a university from EU/EEA country
  • veterinarians licensed by the Finnish Food Authority who have completed applicable education abroad in their home country equivalent to a second-cycle university degree or a second-cycle degree from a university of applied sciences

The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry may admit the following persons to pursue the degrees of

Doctor of Science (Agriculture and Forestry)

  • Persons who have completed the degree of M.Sc. (Agriculture and Forestry) in University of Helsinki
  • Persons who the coordinating academic estimates to have sufficient field-specific background included in the previous degree. A minimum of 100 ETCS of the field-specific studies in the previous degree are required. 

Doctor of Food Sciences

  • Persons who have completed the degree of Master of Food Sciences in University of Helsinki or University of Eastern Finland
  • Persons who the coordinating academic estimates to have sufficient field-specific background included in the previous degree. A minimum of 100 ETCS of the field-specific studies in the previous degree are required. 
Doctoral programme's selection criteria

Supervisory arrangements and the quality of the research environment are an important part of the selection criteria. The doctoral programme requires that each applicant must have a supervisor/supervisors when submitting the application. It is the responsibility of the applicant to find a supervisor and discuss and agree on the research and study plans with him/ her. A good starting point for finding a potential supervisor is the University of Helsinki is Research portal.

  • A doctoral candidate must have 1–3 thesis supervisors with doctorate degrees.
  • At least one of the supervisors must in addition hold the title of docent or have equivalent academic qualifications.
  • In case where the first supervisor is also the coordinating academic, another supervisor is required.
  • More information about potential supervisors can be found from contacts & supervision.

You must attach to your application a supporting statement form (pdf) signed by your supervisors, coordinating academic, and thesis committee members stating the planned supervision arrangements.

You will be assigned a coordinating academic employed by the same Faculty as you are applying for. The coordinating academic is familiar with the instructions concerning doctoral education and doctoral degrees at the University of Helsinki. Your supervisor may be appointed also as the coordinating academic, provided he or she fulfills the criteria. The coordinating academic will be appointed at the same time as the supervisors.

Provide the required information on your coordinating academic on the application form and supporting statement although your main supervisor would be appointed to the coordinating academic. 

The coordinating academic’s role is

  • to ensure the continuity of the supervision arrangements,
  • to assist you in acquainting yourself with the rules of doctoral education and the dissertation examination process,
  • to make the faculty a formal proposal on the pre-examiners and opponent to be named,

In the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine professors and associate professors, and also a few other persons appointed by the faculty may act as the coordinating academics for doctoral candidates. See further information on coordinating academics on the Faculty's doctoral education web site.

In the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry professors and associate professors may act as the coordinating academics for doctoral candidates. See further information on coordinating academics on the Faculty's doctoral education web site.

Please note, that you must have a thesis committee upon applying a doctoral study right.

  • The thesis committee consists of at least two experts who are able to assess the progress of the dissertation.
  • At least one must hold the qualifications of a docent or equivalent academic qualifications.

Thesis committee members cannot be close collaborators (e.g. shared research projects or grants within the last 3 years, no family connections or manager/employee relationship) of the thesis supervisors.

It should also be taken into account when assembling the committee that members of the thesis committee cannot later be appointed as preliminary examiners or opponents for the doctoral dissertation in question. See further information on the duties of thesis committee in the university's Instructions for Students.

Your research plan will be evaluated with the following criteria:

  • Demonstration of adequate knowledge in relevant fields and potential of the applicant to develop into an independent researcher
  • Scientific relevance and ambition of the research plan, use of relevant methodology
  • Thematic fit of the research plan with the doctoral programme profile.
  • Funding plan and feasibility of the thesis project within the intended timeframe (net time 4 years)
  • PLEASE NOTE the following CVM-specific instructions:
    • The rationale of the research project should be motivated based on previous knowledge and include references to previous research when applicable. This part needs to be more than just a general description of the topic.
    • The plan should be as concrete as possible. The research questions should be clearly stated and should not be unrealistically broad. Hypotheses should be stated clearly.  
    • The section on research methods should include a description of the methods to be used and those who will be conducting the work in practice. The experiments, experimental settings, measures, and analysis should be described in enough detail to allow for assessment of feasibility and validity. Please pay attention to the connection between hypotheses and research methods/experiments: does the plan justify how the chosen methods can be used to assess hypotheses?
    • All relevant co-operators should be named in the plan.
    • Please pay attention that the plan a) clearly states the sample size, b) justifies the sample size, c) has a sufficiently large sample size, d) clearly states the control group, and e) clearly states the inclusion/exclusion criteria. If sample size calculation is not performed, this decision should also be justified. The research material field should include information on how and where the animals/samples are obtained.
    • Please make sure that the plan states clearly the relevant ethical issues and how they are taken into account. Please also pay attention that all relevant ethical permits are stated in the plan.
    • Please make sure that the timetable is realistic.
    • The plan should state how the applicant aims to cover both personal salary and material costs.

Your motivation and previous knowledge (e.g. CV or equivalent) are an important part of the evaluation criteria.

Your study plan must be included with your application. Please acquaint yourself with the doctoral programme’s degree requirements available in the Instructions for students.

NB! Choose the doctoral programme from the site's degree programme menu:

  • Doctoral Programme in Clinical Veterinary Medicine (CVM)
How to apply?

Acquainted with the selection criteria and all set to apply? Great! Now go back to the university's general instructions for doctoral applicants, where you will find all the information you need to prepare and submit your application and the needed enclosures. Good luck!

Decision-making

Decisions on admissions for doctoral studies in the programme are made based on the university’s general criteria for doctoral admissions as well as the programme-specific complementary selection criteria, presented on this page.

The final decision on admission is made by the faculty awarding the applicant’s target degree, based on a proposal from the steering group of the doctoral programme.

Before making the proposal, the doctoral programme will ask for a statement from the relevant discipline. The decision-making of the faculty and the steering group are not bound by the recommendations received from the disciplines.

A timetable for decisions is available in the university's general instructions for doctoral applicants.