Doctoral Programme in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences (4 years)

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Degree level
Doctoral degree
Start semester
2019 Autumn
Scope of studies and length
--- ECTS credits, 4 years
Language of instruction
English, Finnish, Swedish
Tuition fee per year (only non-EU/EEA citizens)
0 €
Application period
2.4.2019 - 15.4.2019

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The students admitted to the Doctoral Programme in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences aim to acquire profound knowledge in a field of chemistry or molecular sciences as well as the ability to generate new scientific insights in that field. The doctoral studies also enhance students’ identity as independent researchers and experts. The discipline-specific competence acquired during the doctoral programme includes an in-depth understanding of the nature of chemistry, command of any key concepts and research methods, an understanding of the relationship between theory and practice, as well as the ability to generate new scientific knowledge. Over the course of the doctoral programme, students improve their critical thinking, argumentation and problem-solving skills. They also develop their interaction, leadership and negotiation skills; self-direction; creativity; and understanding of scientific ethics.

Graduates from the Doctoral Programme in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences have extensive scientific communication skills. The programme improves doctoral students’ communication skills to help them engage in demanding, multidisciplinary research and serve as experts in Finland and internationally. During their doctoral studies, students build the competence required of responsible, independent researchers and experts. The programme prepares students for job opportunities as researchers and experts as well as in other positions both in universities and the business sector.

The teaching language in the Doctoral Programme in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences is English.

The Doctoral Programme in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences focuses on the basic research and application of experimental, theoretical and computational chemistry. Research topics include chemical synthesis, catalysis, the definition of structures, analytical techniques and spectroscopy. The size of the molecules studied varies from small to macro.

The students admitted to the doctoral programme complete general specialist studies and attend courses and seminars in chemistry or other disciplines which support their research. The doctoral programme organises seminars intended for all doctoral students. The programme may also include one-time intensive courses, seminars and guest lectures (typically by international guests). Moreover, the programme participates in organising different workshops and summer school activities together with partner networks and other parties active in the field. All doctoral students are encouraged to make research visits and participate in international summer and winter schools and conferences in Finland and abroad.

The scope of the four-year doctoral programme is 240 credits. Students can complete their doctoral degree through full-time or part-time study.

The doctoral programme comprises

  • A personal study plan
  • At least 30 credits of field-specific studies in the relevant area of research as well as supporting studies (incl. research ethics studies)
  • A total of 10 cr of general transferable skill studies
  • A doctoral dissertation

A doctoral dissertation consists of peer-reviewed scholarly publications or manuscripts accepted for publication, as well as a summarising report (an article-based dissertation); or, a doctoral dissertation is a scholarly work in the name of the doctoral candidate alone and based on previously unpublished research results (a monograph).

A dissertation

  • Includes new scientific knowledge
  • Demonstrates the doctoral candidate’s skills in critical thinking
  • Demonstrates profound knowledge of the field of research
  • Demonstrates a good command of research methods and the ability to apply them
  • Is scientifically convincing
  • Includes justified results
  • Demonstrates scientific integrity and adheres to the norms of ethical research

The doctoral degree prepares students for a wide range of job opportunities. In addition to purely academic duties (e.g., as a postdoctoral researcher or in similar positions), the doctoral degree prepares graduates to work in both the public and private sector in Finland and abroad. Graduates may, for example, serve as scientific experts in ministries, government institutions, research institutes and patent offices; perform administrative duties in different higher education organisations or related to scientific publishing and communications; or work for private businesses or start-up companies

The students admitted to the Doctoral Programme in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences enter a truly international research environment. Approximately a quarter of the doctoral students admitted to the programme are from abroad, and the research groups included in the programme have extensive international networks.

The programme encourages international mobility and provides related financial aid for doctoral students. Grants may be allocated for, for example, research visits, conference trips and intensive courses abroad. The articles included in students’ dissertations are released in internationally prestigious publications.

Dissertation research often involves cooperation with parties from outside one’s research group, such as the other research groups of the relevant department, the other departments of the University, other universities in Finland and abroad, Finnish research institutes (e.g., the Finnish Meteorological Institute, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland), Finnish and foreign businesses, and the CSC – IT Centre for Science.

The research areas of the Doctoral Programme in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences include

  • Inorganic and organic synthetic chemistry
  • Organometallic chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Functional polymers
  • Biomaterials
  • Analytical techniques
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computational and quantum chemistry
  • Reaction kinetics
  • Radionuclides in the environment
  • Radiopharmaceutical chemistry
  • Pharmacy
How to apply
Below you’ll find a link to the entry requirements for this programme. The application period to our international programmes is in December every year.

Doctoral programmes

The doctoral candidates at the University of Helsinki are supervised by top-class researchers, and carry out their research as part of an international academic community. The University of Helsinki is the only Finnish university in the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and a member of the EUA Council for Doctoral Education.

Doctoral education is offered in research- and researcher-oriented doctoral programmes. Each of the 32 doctoral programmes belong to one of the University’s four doctoral schools. The doctoral schools are in charge of coordinating the totality of doctoral programmes in their field as well as developing the overall quality of doctoral education. In addition, they are responsible for the offerings in transferable skills courses.

Most of the doctoral programmes are joined programmes offered by different Faculties. In these programmes the doctoral candidates can pursue a doctoral degree offered by any of the participating Faculties.

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