Doctoral Programme in Microbiology and Biotechnology (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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Programme

The Doctoral Programme in Microbiology and Biotechnology provides high quality education for students aiming for either academic or non-academic careers. The doctoral degree is based mainly on scientific research within one of the research groups of the Microbiology related research community. After obtaining a PhD from the MBDP the student will be able to

  • independently apply scientific research methods in the field of the programme
  • produce new scientific knowledge
  • critically evaluate the existing scientific knowledge
  • collaborate with people from different backgrounds
  • solve scientific, technical and practical problems in the field of the programme
  • follow high ethical principles in your work

All of the teaching and education in the Doctoral Programme in Microbiology and Biotechnology is carried out in English. In addition, the research results will be communicated in English orally or in writing,  and the doctoral theses are written in English

The program in Microbiology and Biotechnology covers the entire field of microbiology, i.e., bacteria, archaea, eukaryotic microorganisms and viruses in any environment where microbes can be found. In addition to basic research in microbiology, it includes applied microbiology which is reflected by including microbiologically relevant biotechnology in the programme. Microbiology research at University of Helsinki is distributed between different faculties, departments and institutes. The Doctoral Program in Microbiology and Biotechnology brings all researchers in the field together which provides synergistic effects that go beyond plain PhD education. The researcher community formed around the MBDP is nationally the most significant unit in its field and the only one in Finland in several sub-fields.

Short intensive courses on specific subject areas and methods in microbial science complement the research of the doctoral candidate carried out in the research laboratories. Courses are either laboratory or lecture based and are usually assessed by written assignments or oral presentation of results. International activities are strongly encouraged and supported by the program. The goal is that every student could participate annually in a congress, a course or a short-term research visit abroad. Participation in PhD courses abroad is supported. Longer visits abroad can also be included in the PhD degree.

In addition to the supervisors, the doctoral candidates in the MBDP are supported by a follow-up group.

The students can select either microbiology or biotechnology as their major.

The total workload of four years of studies leading to a doctoral degree will correspond to 240 credits. Doctoral degrees may be pursued either full-time or part-time. The degree requirements are:

  • a personal study plan
  • 30 study credits in the field/research area of the thesis (A & B in the table below)
  • 10 study credits of transferable skills, for example university pedagogy, management and leadership skills, negotiation and planning skills and scientific communication
  • international mobility and activities
  • a thesis
  A) In Depth MBDP thematic courses
Advanced studies in microbiology & biotechnology
Bacterial genomes
MBDP first manuscript course
Other relevant courses 
B) Studies supporting the scientific discipline

Research ethics

MBDP orientation

Follow-up/thesis committee meetings

Scientific seminar series

International conferences & meetings

Teaching/mentoring/supervision

Study visit

Research visit

Publications outside the thesis

Book exam

Other relevant courses 

MBDP Annual meeting
Transferable skills

University pedagogy, teaching, supervision

Presentation and academic writing
Management

 

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. In the majority of cases, the thesis is written in English. 

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 

PhD graduates from the program are employed in a wide variety of fields such as

  • Research and development (universities, research institutes, companies)
  • Surveillance/monitoring in healthcare, food and environment (food industry, drug and diagnostics industry, regulatory authority)
  • Administration, professional roles and consultancy (companies, ministries, supervision offices, EU)
  • Business and management (companies, ministries, supervisory offices, EU)
  • Teaching and education (universities, universities of applied sciences, vocational schools, high schools, comprehensive schools, organisations)

International activities are strongly encouraged and supported the program. The goal is that every student could participate annually in a congress, a course or a short-term research visit abroad. Participation in PhD courses abroad is supported. Longer visits abroad can also be included in the PhD degree.

The Doctoral Programme in Microbiology and biotechnology brings together researchers from several faculties, departments and institutes at the University of Helsinki.  The MBDP collaborates with many doctoral programmes at the University of Helsinki such as FoodHealth, DPPS, LUOVA, AGFOREE, DENVI and ILS. The partners include external research institutions such as VTT, EVIRA, SYKE, LUKE and also relevant private companies. The researcher community formed around the MBDP is nationally the most significant unit in its field and the only one in Finland in several sub-fields.

Focus areas of the program include

  • environmental microbiology
  • microbial biotechnology
  • genetics and genomics of microbes,
  • food microbiology
  • human and animal microbiota
  • microbe evolution
  • microbe-host interactions
  • infection microbiology
  • virology
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.
Faculties

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.

Find out more: www.helsinki.fi/en/research/doctoral-education