Employment as a doctoral researcher

Once a year, the doctoral programme opens a call for applications for university-funded doctoral candidate positions. The doctoral candidates selected for these positions complete their doctoral research employed by the university. Both current University of Helsinki doctoral candidates and new applicants planning on doctoral studies are eligible to apply for these positions.
Instructions for applicants

The University of Helsinki (UH) annually allocates funding to doctoral programmes for salaried positions (employment contract).  

The next application period for salaried positions will be on 29.08.-14.09.2023.  

Salaried doctoral researcher positions are aimed at enabling full-time work on doctoral dissertations and doctoral studies, with the goal of completing a doctoral degree in four years. The exact duration of employment, its’ start and end dates are determined in the employment contract.  

The salary and other further details concerning the employment relationship are available in the call for applications (available when the call is open). 

You can apply for a salaried position in a doctoral programme if you are currently a doctoral student at the University of Helsinki or are planning to pursue a doctoral degree.  

If you already have a doctoral study right at the University of Helsinki, you can apply for a salaried position, if you have not yet spent a total of four years with a UH funded doctoral researcher salary. 

Please read your doctoral programme’s instructions below. 

Applications for a salaried position in a doctoral programme are submitted by completing the application form and enclosing the required attachments.  

If you do not yet have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, you can apply for the right in the September study right call or in the spring at the latest. Please note that this may result in your employment beginning later than 1 January 2024.  

If you are offered a salaried position, you must apply and be awarded the right to pursue a doctoral degree in your doctoral programme within the six-month trial period.  

Please note that you may apply for a UH-funded doctoral candidate position from a maximum of two doctoral programmes. If an applicant has submitted more than two applications, the two most recently dated will be considered and reviewed. 

If you already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, you may also apply for a salaried position from another doctoral programme that suits your research profile.  

 If you receive a salaried position from another doctoral programme, you will need to change your doctoral programme. This means that you may need to reapply for study right if your faculty or target degree changes. This application should be made in the spring at the latest. Please note that this may affect the start date of your potential employment. If you are applying for a salaried position in more than one doctoral programme, please complete a separate application form for each one.  

You will find more instructions on applying from the doctoral programme specific instructions below. 

On these pages you will find information on how to use the recruitment system.  

Further information can be requested by writing to phd-positions(at)helsinki.fi 

Programme-specific additional instructions

The University of Helsinki Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences invites applications for four (4) funded doctoral candidate positions starting from 1.1.2024. Each position is for a four-year term.

In addition to doctoral programme-specific positions, University of Helsinki Doctoral School allocates 10 strategically targeted doctoral researcher positions for the four-year period 2024-2027 in a thematic call. Theme of the call is Multidisciplinary research on One Health including a global dimension and the appointees in this call are selected among the high-scoring 4-year applicants in all doctoral programmes by a separate multidisciplinary thematic evaluation panel. If you want to apply for these positions, please fill out the ‘Thematic call’ section in the application form. 

In the evaluation, One Health is understood in its widest scope referring to an integrated, unifying approach to balance and optimize the health of people, animals, and the environment. The global dimension may be evident in the research proposals in the spirit of global responsibility, with a special focus on Africa. Groundbreaking basic research, open minded curiosity and cooperation that transcends boundaries are supported. The projects are expected to increase our knowledge towards building a sustainable future by finding solutions to both local and global issues and thereby benefiting the global community.

In addition, University of Helsinki Research Foundation allocates 10 positions to high-scoring 4-year applicants in all doctoral programmes. The Foundation emphasizes multidisciplinarity and the applicant's ability to explain which societal problems or questions the research aims to answer.

The Doctoral Programme in the Social Sciences covers the following disciplines: social psychology, social work, social and cultural anthropology, sociology, social data science, media and communication studies, criminology and social and public policy. Applicants must clearly state which of these disciplines is their primary discipline in their application. The Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences is the largest doctoral programme in Finland.

Thematic teaching is provided both at disciplinary level and multi-disciplinary levels. Candidates should study these areas before writing their applications. These are organized around theoretically and substantially relevant research areas and are currently organized as follows (contact persons and main discipline are marked in parentheses:

  1. Action, Interaction and Social Relationships (Prof. Ilkka Arminen; Sociology)
  2. Comparative Study of Social Change (Profs. Lena Näre and Sirpa Wrede; Sociology)
  3. Consumer Society Research – (Associate Professor Minna Ruckenstein)
  4. Cultural and Social Diversities and Intergroup Relations (Prof. Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti; Social Psychology)
  5. Cultural Sociology (Prof. David Inglis; Sociology)
  6. Criminology and Legal Policy (Profs. Janne Kivivuori and Matti Näsi; Criminology)
  7. Knowledge, Technology and Environment (Profs. Janne Hukkinen and Petri Ylikoski; Sociology)
  8. Media and Global Communication (Prof. Mervi Pantti; Media and Communication)
  9. Population, Health and Living Conditions (Prof. Pekka Martikainen; Sociology)
  10. Social and Cultural Anthropology (Prof. Sarah Green; Social and Cultural Anthropology)
  11. Social Psychology (Prof. Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti; Social Psychology)
  12. Social Work and Welfare Policies (Profs. Ilse Julkunen and Kris Clarke; Social Work)
  13. Political and Urban Sociology (Profs. Veikko Eranti and Eeva Luhtakallio; Sociology)
  14. Social Data Science and Statistical Demography (For potential list of supervisors, please see the Centre for Social Data Science website)
  15. Social Policy (Profs. Anne Kouvonen and Heikki Hiilamo; Social Policy)

Please contact uhds-office@helsinki.fi, if you would like to write your research plan and CV in Swedish.

Candidates must gain the agreement of at least one member of staff to act as a supervisor for the research project prior to applying.  Any applications without at least one named supervisor will be rejected.

See the list of potential supervisors in these research areas and their research profiles in Contacts & supervision.

The reason for this requirement is that doctoral research demands the highest levels of research skill and knowledge of the research topic, both on the part of the candidate and on the part of the supervisor: in addition to requiring the candidate to be of the highest academic quality, we can only accept candidates if we are certain that we have sufficient expertise to supervise the candidate on the research topic specified.

Candidates are strongly advised to be fully aware of the research expertise of potential supervisors before contacting them. Candidates should include a research plan and CV in the request and provide clear research-related reasons for requesting the supervision of a member of staff that is directly related the staff member’s research expertise. Candidates are also advised to have read some of the research work of the potential supervisor before contacting them. Any requests for supervision that have not been properly prepared and do not provide this kind of information are unlikely to be successful.

  1. The appointee must have obtained the agreement of at least one supervisor from the Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences at University of Helsinki prior to applying. See above “Requirement to secure a supervisor before applying” for more details. Candidates are strongly advised to be aware of potential supervisors’ research expertise and prepare requests for supervision carefully before contacting members of staff.
  2. The appointee must hold a study right in SOS doctoral programme at the University of Helsinki. In case the appointee does not yet have a study right, they need to apply for it: the appointee must obtain the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki within six months of the beginning of the appointment.
  3. The appointee must hold a high quality second-cycle degree (e.g. master’s degree or equivalent) and have a high-quality research proposal, which shows the links between the planned dissertation research and the research expertise within the doctoral programme.

Other requirements include proven ability and motivation, demonstrated through previous degree studies or otherwise to pursue postgraduate studies. Fluency in English is required.

Please submit your application preferably in English. Applications in Finnish and Swedish, however, are also welcomed.

Applications for a salaried position are submitted via the University of Helsinki recruitment system.  
You need to include the following attachments in this order to your application for Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences:

•    Research plan
o    To ensure the equal treatment of applicants, you must use research plan structure presented in the template and follow the maximum number of characters including spaces indicated in the template. The application may be rejected if the instructions are not followed.
o    LINK to research plan template

•    CV  
o    To ensure the equal treatment of applicants, CV must follow the template of the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity TENK. The application may be rejected if the instructions are not followed.
o    LINK to CV template  
o    Layout: Font Arial/Calibri size 11 or similar if not using Word
o    Row min 1,15
o    Maximum length of CV: 2 pages

•    Copies of your degree diploma and transcript of studies (or transcript of studies only, if you have not graduated yet)  

•    All attachments need to be combined as one pdf file and attached to the ‘CV/Ansioluettelo’ section of the application. The maximum size of the combined file is 5 MB.

The application form is open during the application period. You will find the application form for each doctoral programme during the open call period (29.08.-14.09.2023) from the University of Helsinki Open positions webpages. (available during the call period). 

Please note that you may apply for a UH-funded doctoral candidate position from a maximum of two doctoral programmes. If an applicant has submitted more than two applications, the two most recently dated will be considered and reviewed. 

Please note that even though the application closes at midnight, we advise you to submit your application earlier. We will not answer your question about the application, or the application form, after 16.00 EEST on the day the application closes.

Short-listed candidates will be invited to an online interview organised in 10 November.

The board of the doctoral programme makes a proposal regarding appointment of salaried doctoral researcher positions. The director of the relevant employment unit makes the final decision on the appointments.  

All applicants will be personally notified of the decisions by the end of November. The names of the applicants selected for the positions will be published on the doctoral programme’s web pages (if the applicant has given permission).  

Please note that applications for the right to pursue a doctoral degree are processed according to a different schedule by the responsible Faculty. The relevant faculty makes decisions regarding study rights and applicants are personally notified in a separate notification to salary positions. If you are applying also for the study right, please read carefully the instructions for doctoral study right applicants from your doctoral programme webpage.

The decisions will be announced on the doctoral programme’s web page in December 2023.

For further information on the doctoral researcher positions, please contact Maiju Raassina, Planning Officer, at citycentre-dp@helsinki.fi.

General questions regarding the application: phd-positions@helsinki.fi
 

In the autumn 2023 call, a salaried position was granted to the following doctoral researchers:

Erfan Fatehi, 4 years
Ira Frejborg, 4 years
Emilia Laine, 4 years
Eemi Nordström (One Health), 4 years
Priscilla Osei, 4 years

The programme congratulates the successful candidates and wishes to thank all applicants!

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