Mission and values

Our mission is to take ambition to a new dimension and put the University at the forefront of the international competitiveness in life sciences. We foster high quality research, education and innovation from fundamental biology to human and ecosystem wellbeing, and stimulate collaboration across campuses and disciplines. Our values constitute our identity and are visible in everyday activities.
Core principles

Out­stand­ing re­search­ers

We believe that breakthroughs emerge by giving talented researchers sufficient resources and freedom to pursue their ambitions and expertise towards higher goals. Tenure track professorships provide scientists with strong track record clear career path across life sciences. With our educational programs we aim to launch careers of gifted scientists.

Ex­cel­lent in­ter­na­tional en­vir­on­ment

Here you will be part of an international team, using English as your working language. Our cutting edge infrastructures and services enable top science and education in an interdisciplinary, international environment. Not to mention that Finland is an outstanding country for families with young kids with world-class public day-care and education, and Helsinki as a city offers a range of foreign language schooling options.

In­nov­at­ive research

We encourage development and transfer of new knowledge for the good of society, and provide a clear path for technology transfer and innovation. Within the Health Capital Helsinki initiative we aim to foster a climate where collaboration with industry thrives.


All our community members are entitled to study and work in a safe, comfortable environment and we aim to make sure that everyone feels safe. Our staff adhere to a Code of Conduct, which upholds high ethical standards on both research and wellbeing. The Well workgroup aims to promote wellbeing and champion our diverse community. The goal is to identify current best practices, disseminate knowledge, and implement changes to our working culture. 

HiLIFE Code of Conduct

The ethical guidelines and principles of the University of Helsinki constitute a foundation for decision-making and operational development. The HiLIFE Code of Conduct is guided by the overarching principle of kindness, understood as acting in a way to promote and protect the well-being of others. The core idea of the Code of Conduct is to translate these values and principals into practical guidelines that everyone in HiLIFE can follow, in all our actions.  

HiLIFE Management Team leadership commits to refer to the Code of Conduct during decision-making and all activities, and all HiLIFE members, regardless of their background, experience, or tenure, have a responsibility to read, discuss and commit to the Code of Conduct.

In all our activities, we agree to our values: Truth, Bildung, Freedom and Inclusivity

  • We are all responsible for creating a compassionate community and a work culture that we are proud of  
  • We acknowledge that our freedom brings responsibility  
  • We strive for objective truth in our scientific and administrative work: everything we do is to be based on evidence with transparency 
  • We acknowledge our potential for unconscious biases and strive to overcome them 
  • We value a community where everyone is welcome, respected, and feels heard 
  • We commit to training to increase inclusivity and improve our work environment 
  • We aim to work in an ecologically, socially, economically and culturally sustainable manner. See University’s commitments to sustainability 
  • We lead by example through our own actions in all aspects of our study and work 

A more detailed version of the HiLIFE Code of Conduct can be seen in the Flamma intranet (requires UH account).

How we act

The goal of HiLIFE is to conduct world-class life science research, while taking good care of our staff. To achieve this, we recognize the need for collaboration, support, and accessible research infrastructure.

Guidelines for HiLIFE community:

HiLIFE aims to provide high-quality research-focused teaching across a wide array of life sciences, and general competency skills for all staff to facilitate life-long learning. HiLIFE is committed to providing support for teaching, promoting training events and courses, mentoring and an inclusive, safe learning environment.

Guidelines for HiLIFE community:

  • We see teaching as an integral part of research and vice versa. See the University’s Ethical Principles for combining teaching with research (pdf download)
  • We welcome opportunities to improve our teaching, inclusivity and communication skills
  • We aim to make knowledge accessible to everyone: we take individual differences into account when producing teaching material and use digital formats to make information widely available
  • We acknowledge that mentoring benefits everyone, so we offer and provide help to co-workers
  • We are transparent and fair in our contributions to teaching so that no one misses out on opportunities, or feels overburdened
  • We strive to take sustainability into account during all of our teaching activities
  • We respect the responsibility that comes with being a student and/or a teacher, and avoid situations that could lead to an abuse of power

We are all part of the HiLIFE community and have a part to play in making it the best place to study and work. During our social interactions we respect everyone, and we do not let hierarchy determine the importance of opinions and communication. We aim to be inclusive in all of our activities and bring HiLIFE members together across the life sciences.

Guidelines for HiLIFE community:

  • We acknowledge that the university operates in multiple languages. English is the working language of HiLIFE, but we strive to find solutions in official and social communications that improve inclusivity.
  • We celebrate and take pride in the success of our colleagues
  • We do not tolerate rumours or the spread of misinformation about others or their research
  • We aim for open channels of communication within HiLIFE Units, across HiLIFE staff, and with the HiLIFE Director and Management Team

HiLIFE members are encouraged to engage in a wide variety of external activities; we want to be active influencers and contribute to the University and society beyond our institute. Our aim is to provide timely and accurate information for society, engage with partners and stakeholders, and be ambassadors for HiLIFE in our interactions.

Guidelines for HiLIFE community:

  • We use University and HiLIFE networks to promote outreach and communication of our work
  • We strive to enable dialogue with wider society in a constructive and positive manner and counteract misinformation
  • We showcase the diversity of people and life sciences in our communications and interactions
  • We acknowledge that we continue to represent HiLIFE and the University of Helsinki when we are ‘off campus’ and conduct ourselves accordingly
  • We respect intellectual property rights of external collaborators and stakeholders and the confidentiality of private information

We perform all our external activities with integrity, and promote fair and honest practices. We are open about conflicts of interest.