The call for doctoral candidate positions with university funding will open on this page.

Other ways of funding a PhD project is a salary paid by the supervisor or a personal grant from a private foundation applied by the doctoral candidate him/herself. Doctoral candidates may also fund their studies themselves or pursue their degree in tandem with work.

More information about funding at

Salary position starting 2019 have now been filled

Description of the evaluation process

MBDP received altogether 23 applications. The MBDP board evaluated all applications and top 9 applicants were invited for the interview that was arranged on November 15. The final decisions were based on both written applications and interviews. Conflicts of interest were taken into account.

The positions were filled as follows

Agate Auzane (Kirk Overmyer), 4 years
Rafael Vicentini Popin (Kaarina Sivonen), 3 years
Muhammad N. Ahmed (supervisor David Fewer), 2 years


Programme-specific additions to the common call text

Microbes have a major effect on the ecosystem and humans. Microbes run biogeochemical cycles of the elements, play a major role in the intestines of animals and biotechnology such as waste water treatment and food production, just to mention some. On the other hand, microbes cause diseases for plants, animals and humans.

The Doctoral Programme in Microbiology and Biotechnology covers the entire field of microbiology, i.e., bacteria, archaea, eukaryotic microorganisms and viruses in any environment where microbes can be found. In addition to basic research in microbiology, it includes applied microbiology which is reflected by including microbiologically relevant biotechnology in the program.

Focus area of the program include:

  • environmental microbiology
  • microbial biotechnology
  • genetics and genomics of microbes
  • food microbiology
  • human and animal microbiota
  • microbe evolution
  • microbe-host interactions
  • infection microbiology
  • virology

The researcher community formed around the program is nationally the most significant unit in its field and the only one in Finland in several sub-fields.

The Faculty of Agriculture & Forestry has main responsibility for the programme.


Students who have completed all their Master’s level studies and whose Master’s thesis has been graded and approved may apply for the salary positions. Please provide documentation in the application. Note that the doctoral candidate position cannot initiate prior to obtaining the second cycle degree.

Helsinki University Future Fund positions

Applications to the Doctoral Programme in Microbiology and Biotechnology can additionally be addressed to a position funded by the income of the Helsinki University Future Fund allocated to the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry on the following two thematic subjects:

* Human and animal nutrition (one 1-year position)
* Improving and developing agriculture, primary production, and related economics (one 1-year position)

NB! The applicant must have a right to pursue a doctoral degree in the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry. Should you wish to have your application assessed under one these thematic subjects*, you can indicate this in the application form by filling in the subject in question for the field “Specification or additional information on the field of research” (under Research Plan). Your application will then be evaluated in the usual manner by the board of the doctoral programme but also taken into account in the evaluation of applications for the positions funded by the University of Helsinki Future Fund.

Supervisor consent

Note! The 'Confirmation of Supervision' must be completed by the primary supervisor in Aava by October 1, 2018, at 16:00 (UTC+3). The Aava system will automatically send an email notification to the email address provided on the application form for the primary supervisor. 

Language of the application

Only applications in English may be evaluated.

Evaluation process and interviews

The board will evaluate the written applications and top applicants will be interviewed. The interviews will be arranged on November 15, 2018.

Travel grants are intended to support doctoral candidates’ foreign and domestic travel for academic purposes (doctoral courses, learning in other research groups or participating in scientific conferences, seminars or workshops).  All doctoral candidates belonging to a doctoral programme at the YEB doctoral school may apply for travel grants.

More information at