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.

Please make sure you read both the general instructions and those specific to the DPPS.

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.

DPPS specific instructions for the salaried doctoral researcher positions

The DPPS offers salaried doctoral researcher positions starting from 1.1.2023.

The positions are for 1-4-years of full-time research.

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 DPPS welcomes applications from researchers whose doctoral thesis research focus and research questions are relevant to plant science.

Applicants must have completed their Master's degree by the end of the application period AND either have active post-graduate study rights at the University of Helsinki OR are applying for post-graduate study rights in either the September 2022 or January 2023 admissions call.

Applications must be submitted in English.

Please note that before applying for a salaried doctoral researcher position the applicant is required to find an appropriate research group and supervisor(s). The applicant is expected to contact prospective supervisor(s) independently and agree on the details of the thesis project before applying for the salaried doctoral researcher position. All applicants must have at least two supervisors and two thesis committee members.

An excellent application should:

  • Demonstrate that the applicant is motivated and driven with the potential to develop into an independent researcher in the field of plant science
  • Propose thesis supervisors that can provide adequate supervision, research project funding, mentoring and scientific training of the doctoral researcher
  • Contain a scientifically sound and well planned thesis project which thematically fits in the scope of the doctoral programme
  • Demonstrate that the research project can be completed within the intended timeframe (i.e. the results achieved are relative to the stage of the project)

In order to be eligible for evaluation, the application form must be completed in English and submitted by the deadline for the application to be valid. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Please indicate how your personal laboratory/field work/other research costs will be covered in addition to salary costs.

1. Applications received in time and fulfilling the both the general and DPPS application criteria will be evaluated and scored by an external evaluation panel.

The evaluation panel consists of international experts in the field of plant science.

The evaluation of the applications is based on the following criteria:

  • Previous success at either master's or doctoral level
  • Motivation and relevant experience for the PhD project
  • Scientific relevance, methodology and ambition of the research plan
  • Feasibility of the thesis project (in relation to the amount of funding applied for)
  • Suitability for the doctoral programme

2. Based on the evaluation panel scores, the top applicants will be invited for interview.

3. The interview panel consists of both DPPS board members and members of the external evaluation panel.

Applicants will be evaluated and scored on their ability to discuss their research project in detail, their understanding of the relevance of their project and their motivation.

Interviews for selected applicants will be held on Thursday 10th November from 0900-1400.

Interviews may be held in person or online via Zoom.

Interview invitations will be sent via email approximately 10 days before the interviews.

Final decisions will be announced in late November.

Salary position decisions starting in 2022

Eval­u­ation pro­cess

The DPPS received 13 complete and eligible applications, which were evaluated by a six member evaluation panel. Four applicants were invited for interview.

The position was awarded to:

Jasmin Kemppinen, 4 years, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, supervisor Maija Sierla

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