Profile & activities
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.
Courses and studying

A doctoral degree in the programme comprises of a doctoral thesis and 40 credits of doctoral studies. The studies are divided into discipline-specific and transferable skills.

We also organise research seminars, where you get to present your own work, receive feedback and get to know your fellow doctoral researchers.

Courses in research ethics and transferable skills are offered throughout the academic year by the Doctoral School in Environmental, Food and Biologiacal Sciences (YEB).

MBDP of­fers sup­port to at­tend MOOC

MBDP offers the opportunity to complete the in depth MBDP thematic courses by attending MOOCs.

You may include a MOOC in your degree if you find a suitable course. In order to get the credits, you must obtain a course certificate. To obtain the certificate, you usually need to pay a fee. MBDP supports its doctoral researchers’ participation in field-specific MOOCs with approximately 50 Euro.

The financial support can be applied using this online application form. Before applying, please discuss with your supervisor about the course you are planning to take, to make sure it fits your study plan. The planning officer Mia will review the application and decide on the funding. You should first pay the course certificate fee yourself and MBDP will then reimburse the cost to you.

Here is a collection of links for you where you can find interesting courses that can be included in your degree.
MOOC courses at the university of Helsinki
ClassCentral MOOCs

If you have any questions about the funding, please contact the planning officer by emailing to mbdp-office(a)

Events and activities

Fridays at 9.15


18 February 2022        
Dr. Jonna Teikari, Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Helsinki: Essential role of the associated microbiome for the symbiotic Nostoc sp. cyanobacteria

25 March 2022        
Assistant  Professor Silvan Scheller, Aalto University: Metabolic engineering of methanogens for biotechnology

8 April 2022
Doctoral researcher Reetta Sihvonen, Department of Clinical Microbiology, HUSLAB, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, HUS Diagnostic Center: Antimicrobial susceptibility of Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Aerococcus urinae

13 May 2022        
Dr. Sannakajsa Velmala, the Natural Resources Institute Finland: Linking management and crop plant diversity to soil microbial diversity and carbon in Finnish croplands

Organiser: Miia Mäkelä, miia.r.makela(at)

10 attendances = 1 ECTS, own presentation = 1 ECTS
Maximum Microbiology Seminar credits = 3 ECTS

To demonstrate their attendance, students are requested to write a short summary (5-10 sentences) of the talks in each of the sessions they chose to attend, and to submit these using Microbiology seminar's Moodle page (course key for self-enrolment is: 2021MS).

Thursdays at 14:30

Thu 10 February at 14:30-16:00 in Zoom
Lauri Pulkkinen
PhD student (University of Helsinki, Finland): “Membrane interactions of the Tick-borne encephalitis virus capsid protein”

Sarah Barass PhD student (University of Helsinki, Finland): “Interactions between tick-borne encephalitis virus and cell surface associated proteins”

Thu 10 March at 14:30-16:00
Dr. Giuseppe Ballistreri (University of Helsinki, Finland): “How SARS-CoV-2 enters our cells and how can we stop it”

Thu 07 April at 14:30-16:00 
Dr. Jussi Hepojoki
(University of Helsinki, Finland): “Discovery and characterization of viruses associated to Boid Inclusion Body Disease”

Thu 19 May at 14:30-16:00
Dr. Marta Bally
(Umeå University, Sweden): TBA

Organisers: Ausra Domanska, Alesia Levanova and Ilona Rissanen, e-mail: mbdp-office(at)
10 attendances = 1 ECTS, own presentation = 1 ECTS
Maximum Virus Club credits = 3 ECTS

To demonstrate their attendance, students are requested to write a short summary (5-10 sentences) of the talks in each of the sessions they chose to attend, and to submit these using Virus Club's Moodle page (course key for self-enrolment is: 2021VC).

MBDP annual meeting takes place every year during spring. The event consists of inspiring speakers and relaxed get-together. The annual meeting aims to gather MBDP students, supervisors and board members to meet in relaxed atmosphere once a year. Annual meeting participants are rewarded with one study credit.

The programme also organises annually First manuscript writing course. The course gives guidance on the academic writing process and enables during the course to write all the sections of a scientific manuscript. Participants will receive critical assessment by the course teacher and peers.

Other sem­inars in Viikki

Events taking place at the Viikki campus are listed in this calendar (however, most info is not up-to-date)

Courses and work­shops else­where

Many courses relevant for MBDP doctoral researchers are organised all over the world.

You may find interesting and useful courses among these:

  • PhD courses organised by the NOVA network
    The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine are members of the NOVA (The Nordic Forestry, Veterinary and Agricultural University Network). Students of member faculties may participate on NOVA courses free of charge (travel and accommodation not included). Please find more information on Nova network here.
  • NorDoc – Nordic Doctoral Training in Health Sciences network provides doctoral training courses in health offered by the NorDoc partner organisations
  • PhD courses organised by other doctoral programmes and schools
  • Information skills courses by the Helsinki University Library
  • You may also find relevant courses in the Master’s Programmes of the University of Helsinki.
  • Or you can search from all University of Helsinki courses in English.
  • CSC – IT center for science arranges many kinds of courses and workshops
  • See national course list, for example, in FinBioNet (Finnish Doctoral Programme Network in Life Sciences) page → FinBioNet course calendar