Profile and activities

A doctoral degree in the programme comprises of a doctoral thesis and 40 credits of doctoral studies. The studies are divided into discipline-specific and transferable skills.

We also organise research seminars, where you get to present your own work, receive feedback and get to know your fellow doctoral researchers.

Courses in research ethics and transferable skills are offered throughout the academic year by the Doctoral School in Environmental, Food and Biologiacal Sciences (YEB).

To get started:

MBDP offers support to attend MOOC

MBDP offers the opportunity to complete the in depth MBDP thematic courses by attending MOOCs.

You may include a MOOC in your degree if you find a suitable course. In order to get the credits, you must obtain a course certificate. To obtain the certificate, you usually need to pay a fee. MBDP supports its doctoral candidates’ participation in field-specific MOOCs with approximately 50 Euro.

The financial support can be applied using this online application form. Before applying, please discuss with your supervisor about the course you are planning to take, to make sure it fits your study plan. The planning officer Mia will review the application and decide on the funding. You should first pay the course certificate fee yourself and MBDP will then reimburse the cost to you.

Here is a collection of links for you where you can find interesting courses that can be included in your degree.

If you have any questions about the funding, please contact the planning officer by emailing to mbdp-office(a)

Upcoming courses:

MBDP-002 MBDP/​YEB ori­ent­a­tion Au­tumn 2020
Tue  September 2020 14:00 - 16:00 Biocenter 1, room 1401, Viikinkaari 9

MBDP-107 Introduction to LINUX
19-30 October 2020

More information: Mia Vehkaoja
Organised as distance learning
Registration in WebOodi 21.09.-05.10.2020

MBDP-109 Statistical analysis with R
16-17 November 2020 at 9-17 (two full days)
More information:
Mia Vehkaoja
Organised as distance learning
Registration in WebOodi 12.-26.10.2020

MBDP-110 Learning to visualize data
30 November and 1 December at 9-17

Registration in WebOodi 02.-16.11.2020
Organised as distance learning

MBDP-108 Advanced LINUX
14-18 December 2020
More information:
Mia Vehkaoja
Organised as distance learning
Registration in WebOodi 16.-30.11.2020

MBDP-106 MBDP first manuscript
December 2020 - March 2021
More information: Mia Vehkaoja
Registration in WebOodi in November 2020

Seminar series

Fridays at 9.15
30 October 2020

Heli Juottonen, University of Jyväskylä, Microbial ecology of Arctic biological soil crusts

13 November 2020
Susanna Mäkinen, Roal Oy

11 December 2020
Yagut Allahverdiyeva-Rinne , University of Turku, Cyanobacteria: wonderful microbes for basic and applied research

Organiser: Miia Mäkelä, miia.r.makela(at)
10 attendances = 1 ECTS, own presentation = 1 ECTS
Maximum Microbiology Seminar credits = 3 ECTS

Thursdays at 14:30
Thu 17 September 2020
PhD student Shreya Saha
(Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki) Function of the eIF4E-binding motif YXXXXLΦ in viral protein VPg for potato virus A infection
PhD student Xiuqi Han (Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki) Prevalence of Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus in Ixodes Ricinus Ticks in Finland

Thu 8 October 2020
Professor Konstantin Severinov (Waksman Institute of Microbiology, Rutgers University, USA; Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Russian Federation) TBA

Thu 5 November 2020
Dr. Varpu Marjomäki
(Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä) TBA
PhD student Visa Ruokolainen (Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä) Development of functionalized SYBR green II related cyanine dyes for viral RNA detection

Thu 3 December 2020
Dr. Philipp Ilinykh
(Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, USA) Characterization of human antibody response to filovirus infection
Dr. Elina Laanto (Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki) ssDNA prophage with a lipid membrane

Organisers: Ausra Domanska, Alesia Levanova and Ilona Rissanen, e-mail: mbdp-office(at)
10 attendances = 1 ECTS, own presentation = 1 ECTS
Maximum Virus Club credits = 3 ECTS

Annual meeting

MBDP annual meeting takes place every year during spring. The event consists of inspiring speakers and relaxed get-together. The annual meeting aims to gather MBDP students, supervisors and board members to meet in relaxed atmosphere once a year. Annual meeting participants are rewarded with one study credit.

Annual First manuscript writing course

The programme also organises annually First manuscript writing course. The course gives guidance on the academic writing process and enables during the course to write all the sections of a scientific manuscript. Participants will receive critical assessment by the course teacher and peers.

Many courses relevant for MBDP doctoral candidates are organised all over the world.

You may find interesting and useful courses among these:

  • PhD courses organised by the NOVA network
    The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine are members of the NOVA (The Nordic Forestry, Veterinary and Agricultural University Network). Students of member faculties may participate on NOVA courses free of charge (travel and accommodation not included).
  • NorDoc – Nordic Doctoral Training in Health Sciences network provides doctoral training courses in health offered by the NorDoc partner organisations
  • PhD courses organised by other doctoral programmes and schools
  • Information skills courses by the Helsinki University Library
  • You may also find relevant courses in the Master’s Programmes of the University of Helsinki.
  • Or you can search from all University of Helsinki courses in English.
  • CSC – IT center for science arranges many kinds of courses and workshops
  • See national course list, for example, in FinBioNet (Finnish Doctoral Programme Network in Life Sciences) page → FinBioNet course calendar