The Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (HCAS) welcomes candidates of the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki to the HCAS Winter School on February 8-10, 2023. Registration (via the Sisu system) closes on January 15, 2023, at midnight.

The HCAS Winter School 2023 addresses the topic of academic career building. We will discuss themes such as: 

  • Creating a research profile  

  • Managing risks in your career 

  • Planning an effective publication strategy 

  • Preparing for the academic job market 

  • Navigating academic cultures and university systems in different countries 

  • The importance of networking and finding mentors  

  • Coping with the emotional side of academic work 


Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies is an independent research institute within the University of Helsinki. Our intensive Winter Schools are organized annually and give doctoral candidates affiliated to the University of Helsinki a chance to learn essential skills and practices related to academic research and career and to discuss their work with more experienced researchers in an interdisciplinary and international setting. The 2023 Winter School takes place in the Collegium building at Fabianinkatu 24 A, 3rd floor. 

The Winter School is organized and taught by Collegium fellows. The fellows are experts in different fields of the humanities and social sciences, including law, behavioral sciences, and theology. The Collegium promotes high-quality research in these disciplines, fosters dialogue between different academic orientations, encourages the integration of approaches from different disciplines, and supports international academic collaboration. 

The Winter School consists of plenaries and workshops.  In the thematic plenaries, current Collegium Fellows and experts from outside the Collegium share their knowledge of different facets of academic career-building. The workshops offer doctoral candidates the opportunity to receive personal feedback from HCAS Fellows and other doctoral candidates in a relaxed environment. The Winter School sessions begin at 9:15 am or later and end by 4:30 pm; in addition, the Collegium hosts a social event in the evening.  

The workload of the Winter School is 3 ECTS. The registration of the credits will be administered by the doctoral schools, which means that you should speak to your supervisors about this beforehand. The language of the Winter School is English. A detailed program will be sent to the registered participants before the Winter School.  



Doctoral candidates wishing to participate in the Winter School are requested to register on Sisu by January 15, 2023. The registration opens on December 12, 2022. The maximum number of participants at the Winter School is 40, and the slots will be filled in the order of registration. Upon registration, participants are asked to answer a few questions about their PhD studies. 

Please note that the course is open only to doctoral students affiliated with the University of Helsinki.



All participants should prepare to submit their pre-assignment by January 29, 2023. This text will serve as a basis for assignments and discussions in small groups during the Winter School.  

Instructions: Submit a short paragraph (max. 150 words) in which you provide an answer to the questions: “What do you work on? Why does your research matter?” 

Please prepare to answer these questions also orally during the meetings of your workshop group. You should also read the paragraphs submitted by the other members of your group before the beginning of the winter school.  

Registered course participants will receive an email with instructions on submitting the pre-assignment and accessing the submissions of their group members. 



Adrian Blau, Core Fellow, HCAS  

Kristin Ferebee, Core Fellow, HCAS  

Walter Rech, Core Fellow, HCAS

Mona Siddiqui, Jane and Aatos Erkko Visiting Professor, HCAS 

Liubov Vetoshkina, Core Fellow, HCAS 

Mariëlle Wijermars, Core Fellow, HCAS  

Hanne Appelqvist, Deputy Director, HCAS  

Kaisa Kaakinen, Research Coordinator, HCAS  


Contact: Kaisa Kaakinen (kaisa.kaakinen@helsinki.fi), Research Coordinator, HCAS




Wednesday February 8 




  • Introduction to the Collegium by Director Tuomas Forsberg (HCAS)  

  • Introduction to the Winter School’s theme by Jane and Aatos Erkko Professor Mona Siddiqui

  • Program overview by Research Coordinator Kaisa Kaakinen (HCAS)  

  • Introduction of participants 

(short break) 



PLENARY 1: What Is a Research Profile and How to Create One?  

Moderator: Hanne Appelqvist (HCAS) 


  • Mariëlle Wijermars (HCAS/Maastricht University): Who is your research profile for? 

  • Antti Kauppinen (University of Helsinki): The Fox and the Hedgehog Find a Job 

  • Pekka Aula (Finnish Academy of Science and Letters): Researcher's reputation: What it is, and should you care about it? 



12:00-13:15 LUNCH (at Cafe Portaali, Vuorikatu 3) 



PLENARY 2: Taking Risks in Your Career 

Moderator: Liubov Vetoshkina 


  • Mona Siddiqui (HCAS/University of Edinburgh): Certainty kills creativity: take a chance! 

  • Charles Kurth (HCAS/Western Michigan University): Making a career: Opportunities, off-ramps and speedbumps 

  • Ole Waever (University of Copenhagen/HCAS): Crazy side projects, bad senior advice, unintended school building and troubled politics of theorizing: Lessons mostly of indirect relevance 



14:45-15:15 COFFEE




Discussion over drinks and snacks



Thursday February 9 



PLENARY 3: Knowing Your Context: Differences between University Systems and Job Markets 


Moderator: Adrian Blau 


  • Kristin Ferebee (HCAS): Around the World in 80 Cover Letters: Crafting Academic Profiles for a Global Market  

  • Walter Rech (HCAS): Adapting to different university systems while pursuing your career goals  

  • Jari Eloranta (University of Helsinki): How to Navigate the International Academic Job Market as a Finn  





12:00-13:00 LUNCH



PLENARY 4: Publication Strategy and Tactics 

Moderator: Kristin Ferebee 


  • Adrian Blau (HCAS/King’s College London): Tips on Publication Strategy and Tactics 

  • Charlotte Epstein (HCAS/University of Sydney): Books or articles: how should I disseminate my research? 

  • Venla Oikkonen (Tampere University): Interdisciplinary research careers and publishing strategies 



14:30-15:15 COFFEE





Friday February 10 



PLENARY 5: Navigating Workplace Environments in Academia 


Moderator: Mona Siddiqui 


  • Lilian O´Brien (HCAS): Life after your defense 

  • Maria Vaalavuo (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare): At the crossroads between research and public service  

  • Florencia Quesada Avendaño (University of Helsinki): Building an academic career across continents 







12:30-13:45 LUNCH



PLENARY 6: Letters to a Young Academic: Advice We Wish We’d Had – Q & A with HCAS Fellows 


Moderator: Kaisa Kaakinen 


HCAS Core Fellows Adrian Blau, Kristin Ferebee, Liubov Vetoshkina and HCAS Director Tuomas Forsberg 



WRAP-UP: Final comments and feedback