ILS invites applications for competitive travel grants from registered doctoral candidates in the program. Grants can be applied for scientific meetings, thesis-related lab visits and postdoctoral interviews. The grants are available for trips taking place during the year 2018 (02/18 – 01/19) to cover travel costs such as registration fees, travel and accommodation.

The Next Deadline for applications is February 21st, 2018 at 15.45. Application form opens February 1st at 8.00.



Travel grant for a conference or practical course abroad

  • In the case of conferences either an oral or poster (1st author) presentation is required
  • The grants are allocated on the basis of the relevance of the course or meeting for the applicant
  • The maximum amount of the grant is 800€ for travels in Europe and 1500€ overseas (US, Asia)

Travel grant for a research visit to collaborating laboratory abroad

  • For lab visits an emphasis is given to the benefit of the lab visit for the progress of the thesis work.
  • After closing the call, potential grantees will be contacted by e-mail and asked for the invitation letter of the hosting laboratory, and a short recommendation letter from the supervisor
  • The maximum amount of the grant is 1500 € world wide

Travel grant for visiting potential post doc laboratories abroad

  • It is highly recommended that the applicant is planning to visit more than one potential post doc laboratory during the same trip
  • After closing the call, potential grantees will be contacted by e-mail and asked for the invitation letter of the hosting laboratory
  • The maximum amount of the grant is 800 € for travels in Europe and 1500 € overseas (US, Asia)

General instructions:

  • Maximum of one travel grant per year per doctoral candidate
  • The grant cannot be applied for a trip that has already been completed.
  • The travels are made following the University of Helsinki instructions for travel.
  • The grant can be awarded only to applicants of the doctoral programme who have registered at UH for the academic year valid for the trip dates.
  • If there are no special grounds, the travel grant has to be used for the travel for which it has been applied, and for which it based on a certain application has been awarded. If necessary, the doctoral programme can approve the use of the travel grant to another travel abroad similar to the original one.
  • Successful completion of the previous year’s thesis committee meeting is a prerequisite for application eligibility (not applicable for first year students),
  • Payment instructions



  • All applications for one call period will be reviewed after the deadline
  • The relevance of the meeting, type of participation, and possible previous ILS travel support will be considered.
  • Late submissions will not be considered
  • Applications must be submitted prior to the thesis defense

If you have any questions about the travel grants please contact



The ILS board has today decided to propose 6 applicants to be selected for the funded doctoral candidate positions starting in January 2018. The doctoral candidates were selected from the applicants in the open call organized during September 2017. The competition for the positions was tough. ILS received altogether 72 eligible applications. 5 applicants were selected for the University of Helsinki-funded doctoral candidate positions based on the evaluation. In addition, one applicant was selected for a University of Helsinki Science Foundation funded position. 

The selected students in alphabetical order (List updated 7.12.2017)

Brief description of the selection procedure
The applications were evaluated independently in their submitted form by a 7-member evaluation panel invited by the ILS board. The members of the panel were selected to represent different research areas of ILS. Six of the members are group leaders in the University of Helsinki equally representing Viikki and Meilahti campuses. None of the members had students from their own research groups applying for the positions. In addition, one professor level evaluator was invited from another university in Finland.

The evaluators scored the applications based on the selection criteria published in the call text. The 21 highest ranking applicants were then invited for an interview where they were ranked again independently of the evaluation results and a similar scoring was applied. Finally, the rankings from both evaluation and interview were combined for final ranking.

The ILS board decided to recommend admissions according to the final ranking by the external evaluation panel.

The Evaluation and Interview Panel

  • Juha Huiskonen, University of Helsinki
  • Ville Mustonen, University of Helsinki
  • Juha Klefström, University of Helsinki
  • Nicolas Di-Poi, University of Helsinki
  • David Fewer, University of Helsinki
  • Marc Baumann, University of Helsinki
  • Cecilia Sahlgren, Åbo Academi University

All members invited in the evaluation panel were external to the board. Conflicts of interest were realized such as direct personal relationship, immediate history of supervising relationship, scientific collaboration relevant to the PhD-project of the applicant, or joint publications including patent applications. In these cases the panel members did not participate in the evaluation, interview or discussion. This ensured an open and straightforward working atmosphere for the panel.

For any questions regarding the admissions please don't hesitate to contact the program coordinator


The call is closed

DECISION: UH funded doctoral candidate positions in ILS starting 2018


The University of Helsinki, founded in 1640, is one of the best multidisciplinary research universities in the world. The University has four doctoral schools, which offer a total of 32 doctoral programmes. Our doctoral candidates, supervised by top-class researchers, carry out their research as part of an international academic community. The University awards some 500 doctoral degrees annually. 

The Integrative Life Science (ILS) doctoral programme is an international doctoral program providing structured training in life sciences areas requiring multidisciplinary skills and capability to engage in multiprofessional cooperation. The Life Science areas that are strong in Finland include genetics, cell and developmental biology, cancer research, neuroscience and virology. These areas share a strong component of multidisciplinary approaches bridging research in basic biosciences, computational sciences and medicine. The research groups affiliated in ILS represent the highest quality life science research in Helsinki. Their research interests cover nearly all aspects of modern life sciences ranging from molecular medicine and developmental biology to biophysics and systems biology.
The thematic research areas represented in ILS include:

Proteomics and Metabolomics

Genetics and Genomics

Developmental Biology and Physiology

Cell and Molecular Biology

Bioinformatics and Systems Biology

Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology

The Integrative Life Science (ILS) doctoral programme invites applications for DOCTORAL CANDIDATE POSITIONS 

for a 1–4 year period starting from 1 January 2018. The duration of the employment contract depends on the phase of the appointee´s thesis.
The duties of a doctoral candidate are to work on their doctoral thesis and to complete the doctoral studies determined by the doctoral programme’s curriculum. The duties may also include teaching and other tasks for up to 5 % of the annual working time. 

The appointee must 

obtain the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki by the start of the appointment. Other requirements include the ability and motivation, as demonstrated through previous degree studies or otherwise, to pursue the doctoral degree according to the research proposal and the accompanying study plan. 

have an agreement on a research project with an intended thesis supervisor.   

obtain a right to pursue a doctoral degree in one of the faculties associated with ILS before the end of the year 2018. See deadlines and instructions here. 

An ideal ILS doctoral candidate application should 

demonstrate that the applicant has a Master's degree or equivalent and a background in a relevant life sciences field

demonstrate that the applicant is highly motivated and has potential to develop into an independent researcher

contain a scientifically significant and feasible research proposal, which thematically fits in the scope of the scientific fields represented in ILS


The 4-year positions are available for doctoral candidates in their early phases of doctoral training who either don’t have the right to pursue a doctoral degree or have obtained the right during the year 2017. The date of obtaining the right to pursue a doctoral degree will be used as the starting date of the doctoral project unless an earlier starting date is indicated.

The positions with shorter period (1, 2, or 3 years) are available for applicants who have started their doctoral project in 2016 or earlier. Also new doctoral candidates who estimate to complete their degree in shorter time than 4 years may apply for shorter periods. 

The employment of a doctoral candidate for a fixed period shall not be terminated in the middle of the employment period when he or she completes the doctoral degree. The employment contract shall be continued until the end of the agreed term with the doctoral student assuming the title of post-doctoral researcher.

The salary for the doctoral candidate position is based on levels 2–4 of the job requirement scheme for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee shall be paid a salary component based on personal work performance. Depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience, the salary is EUR 2065–3022 per month. The appointment starts with a probationary period of four months.

Apply for the position in the University’s recruitment system by clicking the APPLY LINK below. 

Before starting to fill in the application form, familiarize yourself with these general instructions for applying for UH-funded salaried positions (including also instructions for attachments concerning degree certificates).  

All applications must be submitted online. Instructions for the electronic application system:

A complete application includes: 

The application form
completed by the applicant and submitted by September 14, 2017 at 23.59 (UTC +3)

Applicants who are NOT employees of the University of Helsinki: >> APPLY LINK >>

Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to send their application via the >>SAP HR portal>> 

Instructions for the electronic application system:

Attachment: All applicants are to attach in the application a single pdf-file including CV and the Research Plan. The maximum length of the attachment is three (3) pages (Arial 11, margins 2, line spacing 1). Anything exceeding 3 pages will be ignored in the evaluation. 

Confirmation of Supervision e-form 
completed by the primary supervisor and submitted by September 18, 2017 at 23:59 (UTC +3). 
>> Confirmation of Supervision E-FORM LINK >>

Both the application form and the Confirmation of Supervision e-form must be completed and submitted by the deadline for the application to be valid. No applications or supervisor's forms submitted after the deadline will be accepted. 


SELECTION PROCESS (October-November 2017)  

1. Evaluation of applications
An external evaluation panel nominated by the ILS board will evaluate the applications. Some applicants may be interviewed during October - November. 
Criteria for evaluation of applications for the university-funded doctoral candidate positions:

Motivation and potential of the applicant to develop into an independent researcher

Scientific significance, potential and feasibility of proposed research project

Quality of research environment and supervision 

2. Interviews (November 2017)
Short-listed applicants will be invited for an interview by the evaluation panel. 

Confirmed interview date and time : 9:00-17:00 Thursday November 2nd , 2017. Invitations to the interview will be sent by Friday October 27th. 


3. Decisions (expected by the beginning of December 2017)
Based on the evaluation, the ILS Board will make a proposal for doctoral candidate selection. All applicants will be informed of the selection result by e-mail. The list of applicants selected for a university-funded doctoral training position in ILS will be published also at ILS web pages at . 

For further information on the doctoral student positions, please contact Dr. Erkki Raulo, tel. + 358 50 5964665, e-mail: erkki.raulo(at) 

Technical support for using the recruitment system: rekrytointi(at)