Doctoral Programme in Drug Research (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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Doctoral programme in drug research (DPDR) in website.

Education leading to a PhD degree in DPDR will provide you very thorough specific skills in drug research and toxicology, i.e.:

  • competence for knowledge work to become an independent academic researcher and competent expert to engage in multiprofessional cooperation
  • a comprehensive understanding of theories, concepts and research methods used in drug research and toxicology
  • the relationship between theory and practice, the applicability of knowledge into practice, and the ability to generate new scientific knowledge
  • ability to engage in critical thought, argumentation and problem-solving
  • enhanced interaction, leadership and negotiation skills, self-direction, and creativity as well as skills related to research ethics and sustainable development
  • extensive competence in science communication to be able to work in demanding, multidisciplinary research and expert positions both in Finland and abroad.

Operative language and in principle all teaching in DPDR is in English.

The aim of DPDR is to educate experts having wide view of the whole life cycle of medicines and toxicology.

The main doctoral education is research, which is performed in the research groups under guidance of supervisor(s). During research work, also soft skills are learned. These skills can also be studied in the Doctoral school’s training events. Research expertise, other skills and career planning are followed in annual thesis committee meetings where outside scientific experts support the progress of doctoral candidates.

Doctoral education in DPDR includes national and international courses, congresses and work visits outside own working place.

Doctoral degree can be obtained in four years of full time work. Also, part time education is possible.

PhD degree consist of:

  • Thesis
  • Personal study plan
  • Annual follow-up meetings to support the progress of doctoral candidate
  • Scientific education (30 ECTS) including research ethics and research methods
  • Transferable skills education (10 ECTS), such as communication, teaching, management, entrepreneurship, legislation, career planning and development, basic research tools and skills
  • International and national mobility, i.e. research collaboration by working outside own working place, visits in courses and congresses

The doctoral thesis can be written as an article based dissertation consisting of peer-reviewed scientific publications or manuscripts accepted for publication and a summary, or as a monograph of scientific work issued under the name of the doctoral candidate alone and based on previously unpublished results of independent research. 

The dissertation should:

  • include new scientific knowledge
  • show the candidate's critical thinking
  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the field of research
  • demonstrate the ability to manage and apply methods
  • be scientifically convincing
  • contains justified results
  • be scientifically honest and ethical

All doctors graduated from DPDR are employed in expert positions in various fields in drug research and toxicology in academic, authority and industry as well as being independent entrepreneurs.

Doctoral candidates are free to travel to participate to suitable doctoral education events. DPDR provides travel grants by application for visits outside own working place, for participation to scientific courses, congresses and other events.

DPDR recommends that doctoral candidate participates at least in one international event every year and, if possible, and does scientific works outside own working place (more than two weeks) at least once during doctoral education.

In the University of Helsinki DPDR operates in several departments and institutes in three campuses: Viikki (biosciences), Meilahti (medical) and Kumpula (natural sciences). DPDR also collaborates with other doctoral programs at the University of Helsinki, other Universities, industry and authorities.

DPDR has wide network of experts representing several fields in drug research and toxicology. DPDR is one core unit in the national FinPharmaNet network, which covers seven universities, representatives from national authorities and drug industry. FinPharmaNet organises various educational national events.

In addition, cooperation with scientific societies and doctoral candidates' own activities (Student council) and peer support helps in networking.

DPDR is a multidisciplinary doctoral programme and its strong fields include:

  • drug design and synthesis
  • medicinal chemistry
  • bioactivity screening
  • pharmaceutical microbiology
  • drug formulation
  • industrial manufacturing
  • pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
  • analytics
  • drug interactions
  • pharmacogenetics
  • pharmacology and clinical pharmacology
  • clinical drug research
  • pharmacoepidemiology
  • clinical pharmacy
  • pharmacoeconomics
  • toxicology and clinical toxicology
  • veterinary drug research.
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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