Children’s Hospital (HUS)

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The Children’s Hospital is among the largest units in the Nordic countries focused on teaching and studying medical conditions in children and adolescents. It is responsible for basic education and specialist training at the Faculty of Medicine in pediatrics, pediatric surgery and neurology, pediatric and adolescent psychiatry, as well as pediatric infectious diseases. The hospital conducts active research operations and is responsible for postgraduate research education in the field of children and adolescents. A doctoral programme also operates within the purview of the Children’s Hospital.

The Children’s Hospital operates in facilities provided by the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, primarily at the Hospital for Children and Adolescents and at the Children’s Castle. In pediatric psychiatry, the unit also has facilities elsewhere in Helsinki. The hospital conducts close and seamless cooperation with the hospital district. In addition to treating people living within the actual confines of the district, the hospital district carries the nationwide responsibility for treating pediatric patients that require demanding cardiac surgery and other surgery procedures, as well as pediatric oncology and organ transplantation patients.

The Swedish-language teaching unit in pediatrics has a nationwide responsibility in basic education to educate physicians and pediatricians capable of conducting their work in Swedish.

The Children’s Hospital is responsible for basic education at the Faculty of Medicine in pediatrics, pediatric surgery and neurology, pediatric psychiatry, as well as pediatric infectious diseases.

Pediatric studies are organised during the fifth year of studies with a scope of 12.15 credits. This includes a study module on pediatrics, pediatric surgery and neurology, as well as pediatric infectious diseases. Pediatric psychiatry is organised under a separate module.

Basic education in medicine includes advanced studies, which can be completed at the Children’s Hospital in the form of a research project or a study project. Presentations on research projects are given annually. To many students, the commencement of an advanced research project has served as an impetus to writing their doctoral dissertation.

Advanced studies completed as a study project consist of a one-term seminar with weekly meetings where various pediatric fields are examined. Both alternatives include a written piece of scholarly work. Advanced studies organised by the Children’s Hospital have enjoyed great popularity, which, unfortunately, makes it impossible to offer positions to all applicants every year.

Contact person
Clinical instructor Risto Lapatto,

Further information on specialist education can be found on the Faculty of Medicine website.

The Children’s Hospital has a long-standing research tradition with active operations in all specialisations. On average, some 250 medical papers completed at the hospital have been published each year, most of them in international journals of a high standard.

Most of the research is conducted by research groups in projects aiming for the completion of doctoral dissertations. The groups also accept undergraduate students as members. In addition to research careers, a research education is a solid foundation for physicians and other professionals in the service of both society and the private sector.

Basic research is primarily conducted at Biomedicum (the University of Helsinki), and applied clinical research at the hospital.

If you have a general interest in research, please contact Professor Markku Heikinheimo, the research coordinator, or the research project contact persons directly. The following links give a glimpse of current research activities at the Children’s Hospital.


Research groups

Research operations at the Children’s Hospital have traditionally been very active, from basic research to translational and clinical research. On average, researchers working at the hospital have completed 200 original articles and several other publications and textbooks every year.

Pediatric Research Center

The doctoral programme at the Children’s Hospital aims to supervise and support junior researchers specialised in pediatrics and closely related fields. The programme was established in 2001 as a pilot project by the Institute of Clinical Medicine (previously the Clinical Departments) of the Faculty of Medicine, after which its operations have been consolidated. The programme is headed by professor Kim Vettenranta. All new research projects entering the programme are evaluated by an evaluation committee made up of senior researchers, in addition to which a monitoring group will be established for each project. On average, six to seven doctoral dissertations are completed in the programme each year. The programme organises educational events for researchers and can also award travel grants. Financing for research projects must be arranged from external sources. This, however, is the responsibility of the project coordinators.

Programme director
Professor Kim Vettenranta,

Other members of the steering group:
Professor Markku Heikinheimo
Professor Taneli Raivio
Professor Mikko Pakarinen
docent Samppa Ryhänen
M.D Lilli Leimi

The primary elements in the doctoral programme at the Children’s Hospital are

  • Project evaluation at the commencement stage
  • The establishment of monitoring groups
  • Annual reporting
  • Educational events
  • Travel grants

All researchers completing their doctoral dissertation at the Children’s Hospital will be entered into the programme. Each new research project will be evaluated in a meeting held with the researcher and his/her supervisors, as well as the monitoring group and the evaluation committee. Dissertation evaluations will be arranged as per agreement, usually once a month during terms. Two experienced researchers will be asked to join the monitoring group (which convenes with the researcher at least once a year), one of whom preferably comes from outside the hospital. The evaluation committee (convenes only at the beginning of the project) consists of the professors of the Children’s Hospital, the chair of the Ethics Committee, an expert on statistics and the relevant monitoring group. In addition to the researcher, the evaluation meeting will be attended by the dissertation supervisor. Only one evaluation meeting will be arranged for each project.

Evaluation appointments are made with the programme secretary by email at A research proposal must be submitted in electronic format to the secretary for distribution no later than two weeks before the evaluation meeting. At the evaluation meeting, the researcher presents the project, after which the evaluation discussion will take approximately half an hour.

Evaluation meetings

Evaluation meetings in 2019 at 15.00–16.30 in the Children’s Hospital (2nd floor, E wing):

26 september, 10 october, 14 november and 19 december.

The doctoral programme includes annually organised research afternoons at the Children’s Hospital, researcher meetings and Journal Clubs, as well as other joint educational events.

Further information concerning the doctoral programme at the Children’s Hospital is provided by Professor Kim Vettenranta by email at

The following documents must be submitted to the programme annually by email at

  1.  The annual report for the doctoral programme (in Finnish only; to be submitted no later than 15 November). The form will be completed by the researcher and the monitoring group together.
  2.  A summary (instructions partly in Finnish only) for the research afternoon (to be submitted no later than 15 January)
  3. Notification of registering the doctoral dissertation at the Faculty (once)


Applying for travel grants

Travel grants in the doctoral programme are awarded for scientific conferences and education related to research proposals for doctoral dissertations. Applicants need not give presentations at the conferences for which travel grants are awarded. No more than €1000 will be granted annually per researcher.


Submit the completed expense report form (in Finnish only) with original receipts enclosed for approval to the following address:

Marjaana Peussa
Biomedicum 2 C
PO Box 705 (Tukholmankatu 8 C)
FI-00029 HUSC

Have an interesting journey!

Kim Vettenranta
Markku Heikinheimo
Sampo Kallio

Travel report

Travel grant recipients must give a travel report on the conference/training they attended (a presentation of five to ten minutes) at the Christmas get-together of the doctoral programme.

Annual calendar

* Research afternoon

* Doctoral programme summer training

* Submission deadline for annual reports (15 November)

* Travel report presentations