The doctoral education system of the University of Helsinki consists of four doctoral schools and 32 doctoral programmes. New doctoral candidates apply doctoral programme membership at the same time as they apply postgraduate study right at the doctoral programme.

New doctoral candidates apply for the right to pursue a doctoral degree from their chosen doctoral programme. Make sure you are eligible for doctoral studies before applying! Applications are submitted via an electronic application form, please see more below.

The next round of applications will be held from September 14th to September 27th, 2018 (closes at 15:00).

During the academic year 2018-2019 the application periods are as follows for Doctoral Programme:

  • 14 - 27 September, 2018
  • 1 - 14 November, 2018
  • 1 - 14 February, 2019
  • 2 - 15 April, 2019

The autumn application period is from September 14, 2018 09:00 AM EEST until September 27, 2018 03:00 PM EEST.
Applicants will be informed of the decisions by November 30th, 2018. Those granted a study right must accept it by December 14th. Study rights granted in the autumn round of applications will begin on January 1st, 2019.

General information on University webpages:

Apply for doctoral education, including information regarding language requirements


Please read carefully all the criteria before applying. All the applications, which do not fulfill the guidelines and criteria, will be rejected.

General guidelines on doctoral admissions in the University of Helsinki:

According to the Universities Act (558/2009) section 37 eligible applicants for studies leading to a postgraduate research degree have completed

  • An applicable second-cycle university degree,
  • An applicable second-cycle degree from a university of applied sciences, or
  • An applicable education at an institution abroad providing eligibility for equivalent higher education in the country in question.

In addition, applicants who have been accepted to complete a Licenciate of Veterinary Medicine, Licenciate of Medicine or Licenciate of Dentistry degree in the University of Helsinki, are eligible to apply.

The purpose of student selection is to assess the motivation, commitment and aptitude of the applicants for studies. The right to complete a doctoral degree is granted on the basis of diplomas, certificates and other documents. The admission criteria include previous academic performance, the applicable content of previous studies to the prospective doctoral programme, the study plan and the research proposal.

Doctoral Programme selection criteria:

Before applying, you must have a research topic and supervisor for your PhD studies. A list of supervisors who are affiliated with the FOODHEALTH can be found HERE. After familiarising yourself with the application details you should contact a potential supervisor to discuss a suitable research topic, and your study and funding plans. These will need to be confirmed at the time of applying for study rights.



Applications are submitted via an electronic application form. The application form can be completed in Finnish, Swedish or English.

Follow the link - links are open when the call is open:

Finnish application form
Swedish application form
English application form

Prepare your application carefully, concentrating on the following sections below and all the required attachments to support your application.

  • Find a supervisor: In many ways, the most important person in the whole process of obtaining a doctoral degree is your supervisor. He or she will supervise your research and guide you through your studies. Applications to FOODHEALTH require that you have a supervisor when you submit your application. Please, use this form.  An extensive list of Doctoral Programme supervisors can be found HERE. After finding a potential supervisor, contact him or her to discuss your research ideas and plans. Please note that professors and principal investigators get dozens of emails from potential doctoral candidates. If you want to get your email noticed, you must give the professor/ principal investigator the information they need, quickly, clearly and professionally.
  • Find a responsible professor for your doctoral studies and thesis.
  • Write a research plan, it should be written directly to the electronic application form in Finnish, in Swedish or in English. Please see some guidelines for the research plan and the required documents. The following fields related to the research plan are included in the electronic application form (the number in parentheses indicates the maximum number of characters per field, spaces included):

    - Preliminary title of the doctoral thesis
    - Field of research
    - Brief summary of the research plan (2000)
    - Motivation for conducting doctoral research (2000)
    - Baselines of the doctoral research (2000)
    - Objectives of the research and scientific impact of research results (2000)
    - Research methods (2000)
    - Research material to be used and its significance for the research project (1500)
    - Preliminary plan on the collection, usage and storage of the research material.  (1500)
    - Ethical issues (1000)
    - The most important research literature and/or sources (2500)
    - Form of the dissertation (an article-based dissertation or a monograph)
    - Publication plan (1000)
    - Preliminary timetable and funding plan of your research (2000)
    - Grants and/or funded doctoral candidate positions applied / received thus far. (500)
    - Estimated year of graduation

  • Compose a study plan: consult the Doctoral Programme degree structure to plan your doctoral studies. LINK to more info on degree structures.

Documents to be attached to your electronic application form:

  • Copies of your previous degree certificate(s) (Master's degree or equivalent and potential Bachelor's degree)
  • Transcript of records for your previous degree(s) (Master's degree or equivalent and potential Bachelor's degree)
  • Certificate of language proficiency from a language test rather than through your educational background. NOTE! This document must also be sent in paper form to Admissions Services AND must arrive by the application deadline. Instructions for English, Finnish or Swedish language proficiency.
  • A permit by an Ethical Review Board and/or by the National Animal Experiment Board, if required by the research arrangement
  • A signed letter of commitment from your supervisor(s) and the responsible professor. Please note that you don't need a signature from the thesis committee members.

Additional documents to be sent by post (NOTE: Only applicants whose previous degree is not from the University of Helsinki):

  • An officially certified copy of your previous degree certificate (Master's degree or equivalent)
  • An official transcript of studies included in the Master's degree (or equivalent)
  • Certificate of language proficiency from a language test

Please see more instructions here, please check also if the country-specific requirements apply to you. NOTE: The copies that are not certified as required will be invalid for the application process and the application will be rejected.

Sub­mit­ting the ap­plic­a­tion

The applications, along with the required additional documents, must be submitted by the end of the application period. Applications are submitted using an electronic application form, which closes at 3 PM (Helsinki time) on the last day of the round of applications. Those applicants who are required to send certified copies of the additional documents by post must make sure that these documents arrive by the end of the application period.

Applications and additional documents sent by email are not accepted. Incomplete applications are not considered.

The certified copies of additional documents must be delivered to the Admissions Services of the University of Helsinki. For instructions on how to submit your documents, please see here. For further information, please contact admissions[at]


The doctoral programme's board assesses all applications to the programme that meet the formal requirements. The board draws up an admission proposal indicating the names of the admitted and rejected applicants, together with the reasons for each decision. The final decision is made by the degree-awarding faculty.

All applicants are informed about the decision by e-mail. The offered study right has to be accepted within a set time limit after the decision has been sent. Those who fail to report whether they accept the offer or to submit the requested documents by the deadline will lose their place.

Timetable for the decisions (academic year 2018-2019):

  • 14 - 27 September, 2018
  • 1 - 14 November, 2018
  • 1 - 14 February, 2019
  • 2 - 15 April, 2019

Application period

  Letters of acceptance to be sent by

  Deadline for accepting the offer

 Study right begins

14-27 September 2018


14.12.2018 1.1.2019

1-14 November 2018




1-14 February 2019


15.4.2019 1.5.2019

2-15 April 2019


28.6.2019 1.8.2019

The so-called one place rule has extended to cover all education leading to a university degree, including doctoral and licentiate degrees. The rule of one study place per term concerns all degree programme application options.

Applicants dissatisfied with admissions decisions may appeal in writing to the faculty council or a body appointed by it within 14 days of the announcement of the admission results. Should you receive a decision rejecting your application, it will be accompanied by information on the appeals procedure.


For further information, please contact the University of Helsinki Admission Services,