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.

Next call for DSHealth travel grants (both DSHealth & UH Funds´travel grants) is from January 15th to February 7th, 2019.

More information in Instructions for students website

ILS-specific additions to the call

In ILS you can also apply for 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



  • 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

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 criteria and other specifications to the common call

The Integrative Life Science (ILS) doctoral programme is an international doctoral program providing structured training in life sciences areas requiring multidisciplinary skills and capability 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.

ILS thematic research areas

  • Proteomics and Metabolomics
  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Developmental Biology and Physiology
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Bioinformatics and Systems Biology
  • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology


You can apply for the salaried positions of the ILS 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 and graded 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.


The applicant can apply for a salaried doctoral candidate position from not more than two doctoral programmes within Doctoral School in Health Sciences.

Centre of Excellence applications

Applications to ILS can additionally be addressed to the Centre of Excellence in Centre of Excellence in Tumor Ge­net­ics Research

You can indicate this in the application form by filling in the Centre of Excellence for the 'Department or other unit in which the research will be carried out' (under the subtitle Supervision arrangements). Your application will then be evaluated in the usual manner by the board of the doctoral programme but also submitted for evaluation by the Centre of Excellence. The Centre of Excellence is entitled to make an independent proposal on the top candidate to be hired to work on their dissertation within the Centre. 

Supervisor consent

Note! The 'Confirmation of Supervision' must be completed by the primary supervisor in Aava by October 1st, 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

The applicants are evaluated based on their written applications by an external panel. Top candidates are invited to an interview. ILS board makes the final decisions based on grades from both written applications and interviews. The decisions are made blinded so that EP members do not see the grades from other members and board members do not see the names of the applicants while making the final decisions.

ILS-specific evaluation criteria

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

  • Success in previous studies
  • 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


Top applicants will be interviewed. The interviews will be arranged on November 13th. The The invitations to interviews will be sent by November 6th.


The ILS salary position starting on 2019 have been filled

Brief description of the selection procedure

In ILS, the evaluation of the applications is done by an external board (EP). The external board consists of 7 experts from the different fields of ILS, both from University of Helsinki and also external experts (from other universities in Finland). The EP is chosen by the ILS Board taking into consideration the scientific expertise of the members, the different research fields in ILS (so that all fields are represented) and also, the EP panel members are not allowed to have their own students applying that year. The EP does its work independently of the ILS board and there is no communication between the EP and ILS board. All the EP panel members read all the 68 applications and independently scored them. Conflict of interest for independent applications were also taken into account.

The criteria to use for evaluations were as follows:

* Success in previous studies
* 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

The 26 top applicants based on EP scores for the written material were then interviewed by the EP. Also the interviews were scored by each evaluator individually and independently. Candidates got a separate score for the interview, and were ranked according to the sum of both written material and interview.

The ILS board made the final decisions based on scores from both written applications and interviews given by the external panel. The board made its decisions blinded so that board members did not see the names of the applicants while making the final decisions. In addition, only one ILS position per research group can be offered each year.

DECISION: ILS salary positions starting on 2019

Simon Andersson (supervisor Katajisto, Pekka), 4 years
Jurgita Paukstyte (supervisor Juha Saarikangas), 4 years
Ina-Maria Satokangas (supervisor Kulmuni, Jonna), 4 years
Rita Turpin (supervisor Klefström, Juha), 4 years
Pavlina Gregorova (supervisor Sarin, Peter), 3 years
Swagat Subhadarshee Pradhan (supervisor Anu Suomalainen Wartiovaara), 3 years
Salla Susanna Kyheröinen (supervisor Vartiainen Maria), 2 years
Lisandro Milocco (supervisor Isaac Salazar-Ciudad), 2 years
Julia Niskanen (supervisor Lohi, Hannes), 1 year

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