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). 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.

Programme-specific additional instructions

The University of Helsinki Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences invites applications for five (5) funded doctoral candidate positions starting from 1.1.2023. Each position is for a four-year term.

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. Johanna Sumiala; 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. Anna-Maija Pirttilä-Backman; 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)

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.

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

The decisions will be announced on the doctoral programme’s web page in December 2022.

For further information on the doctoral student positions, please contact Mikko Mäntyniemi, Planning Officer, Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences, at mikko.mantyniemi@helsinki.fi, +358 562 8109.

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

In the autumn 2021 call, a salaried position was granted to the following doctoral researchers:

Varvara Kobyshcha, 4 years

Toni Nieminen, 4 years

Viljami Vaarala, 4 years

(name not published), 4 years

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