Practical instructions for the exceptional situation at HiLIFE

On this page you will find the latest practical guidance from HiLIFE for staff and students in the coronavirus situation. This guidance is updated as needed.

This website has been updated on 27 May 2020 at 15.50 (recruitments)

Note that this does not replace the University's general emergency guidelines and you should follow latest information on the coronavirus situation here: 

Staff and students may send questions to helpdesk address coronavirus(-at-) However, consult the website(s) beforehand in order to avoid unnecessary load.

It is important to act responsibly and contribute to the efforts of the Finnish society to curb the epidemic whilst also ensuring the continuity of research and studies under these exceptional circumstances. PIs/supervisors are responsible for implementing the UH and HiLIFE instructions at the level of their own research group and/or core facility. All individuals are responsible for following the hygiene instructions and social distancing.


  • When working at the University’s premises all possible precautions following the UH general guidelines should be taken to prevent virus from spreading! 
  • Follow hygiene instructions for conducting essential work on site (including labs and common spaces)
  • Instructions by the University regarding the corona virus situation will be updated with further information, details and guidance whenever these are available

  • PIs/supervisors are responsible identifying and reporting to their Unit Directors their research activities that are necessary to be performed at this very moment at the UH premises to ensure continuity of research and cannot be done by telecommuting (e.g., experimental research which cannot be postponed). Instructions to those whose research has been approved for conducting in the premises have been sent by their Unit Directors.

  • Research not approved by the Covid-19 Management Team at HiLIFE must not be conducted within the premises, any new research must be first approved by this group and be notified to the University in advance of any projects being started.

  • Please contact your Unit Director for information should you think it should be necessary for you to start a new project. Only time-critical projects can be considered during the current phase.

  • The University has published a 4-stage Recovery Plan from the coronavirus situation. 

  • Stage 1 continues from 6 May until 31 May 2020. More detailed instructions will be supplied regarding stage 2 when available. They will be published on the main University coronavirus page given above. During stage 1 research staff should work remotely whenever possible. Agree on this with your supervisor first. If carrying out research tasks remotely is not possible, it is also possible to consider other tasks, leave (e.g., balance breaks, annual vacation days) and other arrangements such as temporary part-time work. When uncertain consult HiLIFE HR services about these possibilities. When applicable, supervisors may also consider assigning staff some virtual training as remote work (e.g., language training, computer skills training).

  • The University premises are locked during the period of exceptional situation but remain available to staff, and normal access rights will apply. No visitors from outside the University of Helsinki are allowed (this includes family members of staff). If you need to let in e.g. repair personnel, please contact hilife-covid-team(-at-) first.

  • Laboratory animal center (LAC) restricts its activities to ensure the finalization of ongoing crucial experiments and maintenance of the rodent lines. No new experiments should be started unless approved by HiLIFE Covid-19 Management Team. Follow the Provet or LAC-specific information and contact the LAC personnel with specific questions concerning your rodent lines and experiments.

External competed research funding

  • Many funding agencies are flexible regarding the use and reporting of the grants during this exceptional situation. Follow the websites of funding agencies for their specific instructions and policies.
  • Note that host units are not able to provide funding to cover potential gaps caused by extensions and it is PIs responsibility to make sure he/she has other funding to cover gaps.
  • Contact your project accountant and inform your Unit before applying for a no cost extension for your project.
  • Contact Research Support Services for further information


Recruitment at the University of Helsinki (UH) and HiLIFE is possible, however UH has introduced changes to the recruitment permission procedure. Further information is available in Flamma.

  • Employment contract proposals and recruitment proposals that are sent by supervisors or project leaders to HR Coordinators will be reviewed by the Director of HiLIFE on a weekly basis. Under the new procedure, as a rule, no new employees will be hired for terms lasting less than six months, while those lasting under one year are also on an exception-only basis. The Director of HiLIFE can however grant a recruitment permission for a short-term employment contract if he receives reasonable grounds for this from a supervisor or a project leader.

Studying, teaching and supervision 

HiLIFE Covid-19 team 

HiLIFE has established a Covid-19 Management Team that monitors the situation, communicates with the University-level Crisis Management Team, and makes decisions regarding special instructions at HiLIFE during the epidemic. Proposals for special HiLIFE instructions can be sent to hilife-covid-team(-at-) to be discussed by the Team. However, this email address is not a coronavirus helpdesk, and general questions should be sent to coronavirus(-at-)

HiLIFE Covid-19 team members are: 

  • Chair, Olli Silvennoinen 
  • Deputy Chair, Juha Huiskonen 
  • Marja Mikkola 
  • Eero Castren 
  • Mark Daly 
  • Pirjo Laakkonen 
  • Rose Thorogood 
  • Jonna Katajisto 
  • Katja Kivinen 
  • Campus heads of development: Kirsi Rauhala, Leo Pyymäki 
  • HR: Tiina Kärki 
  • Communications: Liina Nelimarkka, Anu Korhonen, Mari Kaunisto