Info for candidates and supervisors

Here you can find plenty of information relevant for all members. If you feel something is missing or find a link that does not work, please contact the planning officer.

Most information has been moved to Instructions for students website. You can find also doctoral programme specific information there.

1.8.2017 - 31.7.2020 Guidelines for ILS doctoral candidates

  • All doctoral candidates must transfer to the new degree system if they do not complete their degree before 31.7.2020. During the preceding transition period (1.8.2017 – 31.7.2020) they can choose from the following options:
  • They can continue to study according to the old degree requirements, i.e., 60 ECTS credits (40 ECTS for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Doctor of Medical Science degrees) and faculty and/or major based guidelines until 31.7.2020. 
  • They can transfer to the new degree system and begin to study according to the new degree requirements, in which case it should be noted that:
  • The transfer to the new degree system can be done at any time during the transition period, but once it is done, it is not possible to return to the old system.
  • In the new degree system, 40 ECTS credits will be required in addition to the doctoral thesis. These credits are distributed between discipline-specific studies (30 credits) and general competence studies (10 credits).
  • The composition of discipline-specific studies differ between doctoral programmes, while the required general competence studies are doctoral school specific.
  • An obligatory course of research ethics must be included in the discipline-specific studies.
  • In the new degree system studies completed more than 10 years earlier cannot be included in a doctoral degree.
  • Studies included in a Master’s degree which exceed its minimum scope cannot be included in a doctoral degree.
  • In the new degree system there might be more obligatory courses or more detailed rules about minimum and maximum amount of credits that can be included in certain study modules.
  • If a doctoral candidate is nearing the end of his/her thesis work and intends to transfer to the new system, the transfer must be completed before the pre-examination process starts.
  • Once the transition period ends on 31.7.2020 all doctoral candidates will be transferred to the new degree system.

E-forms for transition to the new requirements






The ILS student council serves as a platform between PhD students and the doctoral program. The aim is to help you with any issues regarding student welfare, teaching or life as a PhD student in general by collecting feedback, providing information and keeping you up to date with upcoming events. The student council organizes the annual ILS PhD Symposium.

Each ILS doctoral candidate must have a thesis committee. The purpose of the Thesis Committee is to improve the quality of research and research training. The committee members act as mentors to the doctoral candidate throughout the project, and both guide and support the doctoral candidate in research and studies, in selecting the right courses, in career planning and in many kinds of emerging situations where support and direction is needed. All interactions within the Thesis Committee are to be considered confidential. Membership in the thesis committee is a position of trust, aiming to guide the doctoral candidate throughout his/her PhD studies.

The first meeting must be arranged within four months (first semester) after being accepted to ILS after which the subsequent meetings must take place annually. Reports of the meetings must be submitted in a timely manner.

More information on Instructions for students website.

Lists for doc­toral can­did­ates

All ILS doctoral candidates should join the ils-predocs(at) mailing list, which is used to advertise ILS's activities as well as to distribute information relevant to PhD candidates. Another relevant mailing list is the DSHealth doctoral school list (all ils-predocs list members automatically receive the DSHealth mails as well). Also, consult your supervisor for other relevant mailing lists to join.

To subscribe, send an e-mail to majordomo(at) Leave the subject-line empty and in the message field write subscribe ils-predocs. Please note that you must use your email address or other official address (,, ect.) to join the list.

To unsubscribe the list send an e-mail to majordomo(at) and write in the message field unsubscribe ils-predocs and nothing else. Please note that you should send the email from the same address that you joined the list with.

All group leaders who act as supervisors of doctoral candidates can be found from the University of Helsinki research database here.

Please note that the list includes both students and supervisors. If you're looking for a potential supervisor, look for people having 'Supervisor in doctoral programme' title.