Children's Hospital (HUS)

The Children’s Hospital is responsible for basic education in paediatrics, paediatric surgery, paediatric neurology, child psychiatry, adolescent psychiatry and paediatric infectious diseases, as well as specialist training and postgraduate research education in paediatrics at the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Medicine. A doctoral programme operates at the Children’s Hospital. The Swedish-language teaching unit in paediatrics has national responsibility for the education of Swedish-speaking paediatricians.

The Children’s Hospital is one of the largest units in the Nordic countries specialised in education and research on children’s and adolescents’ diseases. The Helsinki University Hospital is responsible for specialist care in the hospital district under which it operates. In addition, the hospital has national responsibilities in paediatric cardiac surgery and organ transplantation.

Teaching is provided at the New Children’s Hospital, the Park Hospital, the Jorvi Hospital and, for brief teaching periods, in central hospitals.

The Child Health course is organised in the fifth year of studies, and its scope is 12.5 credits. The studies include study modules in paediatrics, paediatric neurology, paediatric surgery, paediatric infectious diseases and child psychiatry.

Advanced studies are part of basic education in medicine. They can be completed in the form of a research project or a written thesis. Research projects can be supervised by any doctor working at the Children’s Hospital. For many students, embarking on an advanced study project has been the start of work that results in a doctoral thesis. Further information on research projects is available on the website of the Pediatric Research Center.

Contact person for advanced studies
Associate professor Emmi Helle, 


The Children’s Hospital has strong traditions in research. Today, the study of childhood diseases is innovative and cross-disciplinary, based on combining several approaches. The use of data lakes, big data, biobanks and registers is transforming research and enabling the setting of entirely new research questions.

The research community of the Pediatric Research Center includes some 30 research groups representing all fields of paediatrics. Every year, the community produces roughly 10 doctoral theses and 300 refereed scholarly publications. On average, our researchers are granted 70 research permits annually. The goal is to continually raise the level of research and support its high quality.

Most of the research is conducted in doctoral thesis projects in research groups. Students can already apply for a place in doctoral education in research groups during their basic education.

Most of the basic research is conducted in Biomedicum’s facilities, while applied clinical research takes place in hospital settings.


Pediatric Research Center

Doctoral programme

The doctoral programme of the Children’s Hospital guides and supports junior researchers. Each research project is evaluated by an evaluation committee composed of senior researchers and is assigned a thesis committee.

The doctoral programme organises training sessions for researchers and awards travel grants. Funding for research projects is arranged by the relevant research group. The doctoral programme also organises a research afternoon seminar, research meetings and journal clubs as well as other joint training sessions at the Children’s Hospital.


Kim Vettenranta, professor,

Other members of the steering group

Kaija-Leena Kolho, professor

Mikko Pakarinen, professor

Samppa Ryhänen, docent

Heljä Lång, MD

Doctoral thesis evaluation sessions are held on a monthly basis. One evaluation session is organised for each project. The evaluation committee, which convenes at the beginning of projects, comprises the professors of the Children’s Hospital, the chair of the ethics committee, a statistics specialist and the project’s thesis committee. In addition to the researcher, the supervisor of the doctoral thesis attends the evaluation session.

At the session, the researcher presents their project. The presentation is followed by an evaluation discussion, which lasts approximately 30 minutes. Researchers can present their project in Finnish, Swedish or English.

Content of the research plan: summary (max. half a page), introduction (max. 2 pages), goals and significance of the project (including grounds for conducting the study in Finland), question formulation/hypotheses listed by numbers or bullet points, researcher’s role in the project, methods (including references and without excessive detail), a critical assessment of the pitfalls associated with the project, project schedule, an assessment of the ethical viewpoints relating to the project's implementation and a brief description of funding. Figures and tables enhance readability. The plan is drawn up in English.

Evaluation sessions

Spring 2024: by appointment 

Evaluation sessions are booked by contacting Secretary Julija Häyrinen, Research plans are submitted in electronic form no later than two weeks before the evaluation session.

Further information: Kim Vettenranta, professor,

Travel grants can be applied for from the doctoral programme for scientific conferences or training relevant to the doctoral thesis plan (no more than €1,000 per year). Giving a presentation at a conference is not a prerequisite for receiving a travel grant.


  • Travel grants cannot be applied for afterwards.
  • Please complete the training application form of the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa.
  • Attach to the application the training course programme, grounds for your participation and an itemised list of expenses.
  • Send the application in electronic form to Secretary Marjaana Peussa: (cc:

Send the completed travel expense report with original receipts for approval to

Marjaana Peussa

Biomedicum 2 C

Tukholmankatu 8 c

00029 HUS

Travel reports

Travel grant recipients must give a 5- to 10-minute presentation at the doctoral programme’s Christmas meeting on the conference/training they attended.


  • Research afternoon seminar


  • Doctoral programme summer training


  • Submission of annual reports to the doctoral programme (by 15 November)


  • Travel reports presentations
Contact details

Head of De­part­ment

professor Mikko Pakarinen 

Children's Hospital

PO BOX 22 (Stenbäckinkatu 11)

00014 University of Helsinki

Deputy Head of De­part­ment

professor Kim Vettenranta 

Education co­ordin­ator

Oona Lumatjärvi


Julija Häyrinen 


Children's Hospital

PO BOX 22 (Stenbäckinkatu 11)

00014 University of Helsinki