University of Helsinki Doctoral School and Research Foundation grant €22 million for new salaried doctoral researcher roles

This year, the funding will be used to appoint 128 salaried doctoral researchers from among a total of 1,350 applicants.

Each year, the University of Helsinki and its doctoral school fund over 100 salaried doctoral researcher roles. In 2024 the University will appoint 128 persons to such positions.

The doctoral school allocated 108 of the positions to be decided by the University doctoral programmes (link). One such position, in historical research, was established in honour of Professor Matti Klinge.

Interest in One Health and decisions on Research Foundation positions

The doctoral school annually funds about 10 salaried doctoral researcher positions targeted at a separately selected strategic theme; the theme for 2023 was multidisciplinary One Health research.

The regular application process too could be used to pursue these roles. A total of 281 persons applied for the 10 positions, making a success rate of roughly 3.5%.

Established in 1990, the University of Helsinki Research Foundation appoints applicants to its own doctoral researcher positions once every two years. The latest application process for these positions was linked to that organised by the doctoral school and concluded with the foundation board selecting 10 appointees this year.

Huge increase in total application numbers

The number of applications submitted as part of the regular process, the process associated with the strategic theme and the Research Foundation process totalled 1,350, up almost 40% from 2022. International candidates accounted for just under 60% of applicants. Of all applicants, 50% had completed a master’s degree in Finland.

Of the successful applicants, 40% were international and almost 70% had completed a master’s degree in Finland.

“Although the final number of applications was somewhat unexpected, the rise in their number came as no surprise. The popularity of the salaried roles has increased in tandem with the number of applicants for doctoral studies. The aim of the University and its doctoral school for this strategy period is to increase the number of salaried doctoral research roles each year,” notes the school’s director Minna Palander-Collin.


The application period for salaried doctoral research positions ran from 29 August to 14 September 2023. Appointments are mostly for four years. The positions enable researchers to concentrate on their doctoral thesis and studies. Doctoral programmes independently assess both the applications received, including their scholarly quality, and the feasibility of research proposals.

Doctoral education in the University of Helsinki

Doctoral education is an integral part of the University of Helsinki operations and strategic plan. The University conducts both high-quality basic research and applied research with an open-minded approach.

The University and its doctoral school are committed to developing and supporting the career progress of young researchers. Accordingly, the school funds over 100 doctoral researcher positions each year. The University of Helsinki aims to annually increase the number of salaried positions.