University of Helsinki allocates funding to doctoral programmes for salaried doctoral candidate positions. The doctoral candidates selected for the positions shall be hired for full-time employment for the duration of 1-4 years, with the aim that the doctoral degree shall be completed within the duration of the employment. 

The UH-funded salaried positions are announced once a year in September. This year, the application period opened on 14 September and ended on 27 September 2018 at 3 pm (EEST). The call for the positions will be published at the University of Helsinki web page for Open positions. There you can also find announcements for other open positions for doctoral candidates throughout the year, such as those announced by research groups.

To be able to begin your employment as a doctoral candidate, you will need to obtain the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki. In other words, you can apply for the salaried position before obtaining the right to pursue the degree, but your employment can only begin after this right has been obtained. 

Instructions on how to apply the University of Helsinki funded doctoral candidate positions in 2018

Programme-specific application instructions

The Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind (B&M) is based on a multidisciplinary network of leading neuroscience research groups at the University of Helsinki and Aalto University. The doctoral candidates have a background in medicine, biosciences, psychology, cognitive sciences, humanities, technology or physics and chemistry.

Research and doctoral training in the B&M includes the following fields of science:

  • Developmental neuroscience
  • Excitability, synaptic transmission, and neuronal networks
  • Disorders of the nervous system
  • Sensory and motor systems
  • Neuroimmunology, neuroendocrine systems and sleep
  • Cognition and behavior
  • Systems and computational neuroscience


You can apply for the salaried positions of the B&M if 

  1. You have the doctoral study right at the University of Helsinki, or
  2. You have an MSc, MD or equivalent degree and apply for the doctoral study right simultaneously with the salaried position on the same form, or
  3. You have not graduated yet, but have all the studies and thesis completed for the MSc, MD or equivalent degree, and apply for the doctoral study right simultaneously with the salaried position on the same form. In this case, the degree should be completed and obtained before the starting date of the employment and the relevant certificates/diplomas submitted to the University of Helsinki no later than 14.2.2019.

Su­per­visor con­sent

The 'Confirmation of Supervision' form must be completed by the primary supervisor in the Aava application system by October 1st. The Aava system will automatically send an email notification to the email address provided in the application form for the primary supervisor. 

Lan­guage of the ap­plic­a­tion

Prefarably, please use the English application form. However, if you choose to complete the application form in Finnish or Swedish, please note that the research proposal must be written in English.

Eval­u­ation pro­cess

The applicants are evaluated based on their written applications by an external evaluation panel. Shortlisted applicants are invited to an interview. B&M board makes the final decisions based on grades from both written applications and interviews. 

B&M-spe­cific eval­u­ation cri­teria

External panel will use the following criteria when evaluating the applications:

  • Motivation and CV of the applicant, success in previous studies
  • Demonstration of adequate knowledge in relevant fields and potential of the applicant to develop into an independent researcher
  • Scientific relevance and ambition of the research plan, use of relevant methodology
  • Thematic fit of the research plan with the doctoral programme profile
  • Feasibility of the thesis project within the intended timeframe (net time 4 years)
  • Supervisory arrangements, quality of the research environment


Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed. The interviews will be arranged on November 14th in Helsinki or through Skype. The invitations to interviews will be sent by November 5th. The language used in the interviews is English.

Length of employment

The length of the salaried positions is 1-4-years of full time work, depending on the stage of the doctoral candidate.

Exception for doctoral candidates enrolled in specialist training in medicine or dentistry
Applicants pursuing for specialist degree in medicine or dentistry can apply for positions of 6-48 months , where the applicant is expected to commit to full time doctoral training for a six months period and to specialist clinical training for the remaining six months of the same calendar year. These applicants are requested to fill in the 'Letter of Commitment' (template below) indicating how the doctoral training period will be integrated with clinical work. Collect the requested information and signatures, scan and attach the letter as a pdf file to your Aava application by September 27, 2018 at 15:00 (UTC+3).



Please note that an applicant may apply for a UH-funded doctoral candidate position from a maximum of two doctoral programmes within DSHealth (desicion by DSHealth board 23.3.2015). If an applicant has submitted more than two applications, the two latest will be considered and reviewed.

Other ways of funding a PhD project are:

  1. a salary/grant paid by the supervisor through his/her research project funding. Many research groups have project funding from e.g. Academy of Finland, Tekes, ERC, foundations, etc. and can hire doctoral candidates.
  2. a personal grant from a private foundation applied by the doctoral candidate him/herself. You can apply for funding from several Finnish or foreign foundations:
  3. Doctoral candidates may also fund their studies themselves or pursue their degree in tandem with work.

More information about funding at the Instructions for students website.


More information and instruction about University of Helsinki and DSHealth travel grants are available at the Instructions for students website.