Doctoral Programme in Mathematics and Statistics (4 years)

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Degree level
Doctoral degree
Start semester
2019 Spring
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

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The Doctoral Programme in Mathematics and Statistics educates doctors in mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics, with

  • a strong mathematician's or statistician's identity,
  • a deep understanding of mathematical/statistical concepts and methods and of their application and significance,
  • excellent abilities for independent research or expert work,
  • ability for critical and creative thinking.

The programme supports its doctoral candidates in building an international profile and creating a network of Finnish and foreign top researchers and experts. Another aim is to develop communication, leadership and negotiating skills and self direction. The graduates have good capabilities for a successful international research career or for expert work  within various research units, ministries and in industry.

All teaching in the programme is in English. On many courses test answers may also be written in Finnish or Swedish.

The doctoral programme in mathematics and statistics offers thesis subjects and supervision in analysis, inverse problems, mathematical and statistical physics, biomathematics, mathematical logic, stochastics and statistics. The research for the dissertation is usually carried out in the research groups of the department of mathematics and statistics, where the doctoral candidates receive personal guidance. All doctoral candidates are encouraged to make research visits and take part in summer and winter schools and conferences both in Finland and abroad.

The course work in the programme consists mainly of courses in mathematics and statistics as well as of courses and seminars in other areas supporting the candidate’s own research. The programme also arranges some short courses, often with international visitors as lecturers. Also courses offering training in general skills are offered, such as project management, scientific writing and university pedagogy.

The doctoral studies can be completed either by studying full-time or part time. When the work on the degree is carried out full time, the aim is that the degree is acquired within four years. The degree consists of

  • scientific studies (30 ECTS credits), including research ethics
  • general studies (10 ECTS credits), e.g., studies in university pedagogy, leadership skills, negotiating and project skills and scientific communication
  • creating international contacts, such as research visits and conference participation
  • writing and defending a doctoral dissertation.

In the Doctoral programme in mathematics and statistics a doctoral dissertation usually consists of peer-reviewed scholarly publications or manuscripts accepted for publication, as well as a summarizing report (an article-based dissertation). An article based dissertation can also contain manuscripts that have been sent for publication but not yet accepted. A dissertation can also be a scholarly work in the name of the doctoral candidate alone and based on previously unpublished research results (a monograph).

A doctoral dissertation

  • presents 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 programme in mathematics and statistics educates top experts with a good ground for a successful international research career. In addition the doctors from the programme have good opportunities to find work both in the public and private sector in Finland and abroad, e.g.,

  • in research and expert tasks in research units, ministries and private companies, and
  • in expert and administrative tasks in public expert organisations and ministries.

The work environment offered by the programme is very international, as one third of the doctoral candidates in the programme and a large part of the researchers of the research groups are foreign. In addition, the research groups keep up vivid international collaboration with research visits both to and from Finland. The doctoral candidates are encouraged to build an international network by presenting their results at international conferences, taking part in international summer and winter schools and by carrying out research visits, mainly to research groups abroad. For this purpose the programme offers financial support.

The articles contained in the theses are published in internationally esteemed  journals.

The most important collaboration partners of the programme are

  • the centers of excellence of the Finnish Academy: Center of Excellence in Analysis and Dynamics Research, Center of Excellence in Inverse Modelling and Imaging
  • the masters programmes in mathematics and statistics, computer science, theoretical and computational methods and Life Science Informatics
  • the other doctoral programmes of the doctoral school in natural sciences
  • the Finnish Doctoral Education Network in Stochastics and Statistics
  • companies, e.g., Ajat, KaVo Kerr Group, GE Healthcare, Vaisala

The research areas of the programme are analysis, inverse problems, mathematical and statistical physics, biomathematics, mathematical logic, stochastics and statistics.

How to apply

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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