Employment as a doctoral researcher
Once a year, the doctoral programme opens a call for applications for university-funded doctoral researcher positions. The doctoral researchers selected for these positions complete their doctoral research employed by the university. Both current University of Helsinki doctoral researchers 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). These doctoral researcher positions are designated as full-time work. The aim is that doctoral researchers employed by the University will pursue a postgraduate doctoral degree, which should be completed within four years.

The next application period for salaried positions is open from August 29 to September 16, 2022 (23.59 PM EEST). Applications for a salaried position are submitted via the University of Helsinki recruitment system (see section “Application form”).

Both current University of Helsinki doctoral researcher and new applicants planning doctoral studies are eligible to apply for these positions. 

Please read the application instructions carefully before applying. You can find general instructions on these web pages, including frequently asked questions. Doctoral programme-specific instructions you can find on the bottom of this page.

If you are also planning to apply for the right to pursue a postgraduate doctoral degree, remember to read the instructions related to applying for a doctoral study right.

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.

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, provided you have not yet spent a total of four years with a UH funded doctoral researcher salary.

If you do not yet have the right to pursue a postgraduate doctoral degree, you may apply for a doctoral study right in the September call for doctoral study rights or in the spring at the latest. In this case, please read carefully the instructions for doctoral study right applicants.

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

If you already have the right to pursue a doctoral doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki and you are applying for a salaried position in your doctoral programme:  

  • Read the application instructions regarding salaried positions
  • Complete the electronic application form 

If you do not yet have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, you must 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 2023. According to the guidelines of the University of Helsinki, individuals recruited to salaried doctoral researcher positions must gain admittance to doctoral studies (doctoral study right) within the six-month trial period of the employment. 

If you already have the right to pursue a postgraduate doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, you may 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. Please note that you may need to reapply for postgraduate study rights if your faculty or target degree change in relation to an awarded salaried position. This application should be made in the spring at the latest, but 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.

Applications for a salaried position are submitted via the University of Helsinki recruitment system. You need to include the following attachments to your application: research plan, CV and copies of your degree diploma and transcript of records. Please notice that your doctoral programme might require other documents in addition to these (please see programme-specific instructions).

You can find the preliminary forms for the research plan and CV from below links. The final versions are available during the application period.

Research plan (preliminary)

CV (preliminary)

The research plan is the most important part of your application. Please prepare your research plan and CV according to above forms and follow the maximum number of characters including spaces for each section. If your research plan contains chemical equations or research photos, you can enclose those as a separate pdf attachment.

The application form (link coming later) is open during the application period.

Please notice 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.

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

BEFORE SUBMITTING: REMEMBER TO ATTACH THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS IN THE "MY DOCUMENTS" SECTION OF THE APPLICATION! See the doctoral programme application instructions for more instructions.

1. Previously acquired knowledge supporting the dissertation project and the study plan (CV).
2. Research plan. Please follow carefully the instructions of your doctoral programme.
3. If your research plan contains chemical equations or research photos, you can enclose those as a separate pdf attachment.
4. Approval of the supervisors and the coordinating academic.
5. Master's degree certificate, transcript of records, and information on master’s thesis (title, grade and abstract), all as one single file.
6. Optional: Bachelor’s degree certificate and transcript of records, all as one single pdf file.
7. Only for applicants for the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Research (KLTO): Letter of commitment.
8. Please notice that your doctoral programme might require other documents in addition to these (please see programme-specific instructions).

Salaried position applications are assessed based on the quality of the research and study plans, abilities and motivation of the applicant as demonstrated in conjunction with completing a previous degree or in another manner, as well as supervisory arrangements or their availability. The topic of the research plan must suit the profile of the doctoral programme. Interviews for short-listed applicants may be arranged. 

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. 

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

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

If you are unable to find an answer to a question in these instructions, please check the Frequently asked questions. Further information can be requested by writing to phd-positions(at)helsinki.fi.

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.

MBDP spe­cific ap­plic­a­tion in­struc­tions in 2022

Microbes have a major effect on the ecosystem and humans. Microbes run biogeochemical cycles of the elements, play a major role in the intestines of animals and biotechnology such as waste water treatment and food production, just to mention some. On the other hand, microbes cause diseases for plants, animals and humans.

The Doctoral Programme in Microbiology and Biotechnology covers the entire field of microbiology, i.e., bacteria, archaea, eukaryotic microorganisms and viruses in any environment where microbes can be found. In addition to basic research in microbiology, it includes applied microbiology which is reflected by including microbiologically relevant biotechnology in the program.

Focus area of the program include:

  • environmental microbiology
  • microbial biotechnology
  • genetics and genomics of microbes
  • food microbiology
  • human and animal microbiota
  • microbe evolution
  • microbe-host interactions
  • infection microbiology
  • virology

The researcher community formed around the program is nationally the most significant unit in its field and the only one in Finland in several sub-fields.

The Faculty of Agriculture & Forestry has main responsibility for the programme.

You can find MBDP degree structure on our webpage. For MBDP events, please visit the MBDP Profile and activities page.

Only students who have completed their Master’s degree by the end of the application period may apply for the salary positions. Please provide documentation in the application. Note that you must apply for the study right in the February 2023 or April 2023 call of the doctoral program and that you must receive the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki within the 6-month trial period of the employment.

MBDP offers salaried doctoral reseacher positions starting in January 2023. The salaried positions are for 1-4-years of full time work. Applicants must apply for full years (one, two, three or four years), corresponding to the length of time required to complete the PhD. The minimum period is 12 months starting in 2023.

The Confirmation of Supervision including the supervisor’s statement regarding the applicant must be completed by the primary supervisor in Aava by September 17, 2022 at 12.00 noon EEST. The Aava system will automatically send an email notification to the email address provided on the application form for the primary supervisor.

Only applications in English may be evaluated.

The Doctoral Programme in Microbiology and Biotechnology (MBDP) evaluates all applications in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Thematic suitability of the research topic to the doctoral program profile
  • The applicant must have a supervisor and a person in charge of studies at the application stage
  • Supervisory and follow-up of progress arrangements, quality of the research environment
  • Scientific relevance and ambition of the research topic, and the use of relevant methodology in the research plan
  • Feasibility of the thesis project within the intended four-year time frame (full-time work)
  • Motivation, previous work and research experience of the applicant
  • Success in previous studies (degree certificate, credit transcript, length of previous studies and the grades of Master thesis and studies)
  • Demonstration of adequate knowledge in the relevant fields and potential of the applicant to develop into an independent researcher
  • Realistic funding plan for research costs

The board will evaluate the written applications, and top applicants will be invited to an interview. The board and two external evaluators will interview and evaluate the top candidates. The interviews will be arranged on 1 November 2022 and the invitations will be sent by email one week before the interviews. The decisions are made within one week after the interviews.

De­cision on salary po­s­i­tions start­ing in 2022

De­scrip­tion of the eval­u­ation pro­cess

MBDP received altogether 28 applications. The MBDP board and two external (one international and one Finnish) evaluators evaluated all applications and top 3 applicants were invited for the interview that was arranged on November 3. The interviews were held by two external evaluators and the decision was made according to their suggestion. The final decisions were based on both written applications and interviews. Conflicts of interest were taken into account.

The po­s­i­tions were filled as fol­lows

Vy Anh Huynh (supervisor Per Saris), 3 years

Aditya Thiruvaiyaru (supervisor Tero Ahola), 4 years (The University of Helsinki Research Foundation)

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