Contacts & Supervision

Doctoral Programme in Gender, Culture, and Society
P.O. Box 4
00014 University of Helsinki
Info: hymy-doc(at)

Doctoral Student Services for the Faculty of Arts (questions related to applying for doctoral study rights at the doctoral programme)

Planning Officer
Lauri Turpeinen

Director of the Doctoral Programme
Professor Tuija Pulkkinen

Vice Director of the Doctoral Programme
Professor Marjut Jyrkinen, Gender Studies (Faculty of Arts)

The steering committee of the Doctoral Programme (2018-2021)
Professor Kristiina Brunila, Education (Faculty of Educational Sciences)
Professor Teivo Teivainen, World Politics (Faculty of Social Sciences)
University Lecturer Outi Lehtipuu, Biblical Studies (Faculty of Theology)
University Lecturer Kristina Malmio, Scandinavian literature (Faculty of Arts)
Professor Panu Minkkinen, Jurisprudence (Faculty of Law)
MSSc Ella Alin, representant of the doctoral candidates


Finding supervisors willing to guide you through your thesis project is one of the most important steps when preparing your application. But it’s not always an easy feat. Here are a few tips on how to go about it:

  • Start early. And when we say early, we’re talking about months rather than weeks. Finding the right match can be a time-consuming business.
  • Do your research. You are more likely to get a positive response if the researchers you approach actually share your research interests. Think of approaching the prospective supervisors in a sense like you would applying for a job – sending the same generic message to various recipients is unlikely to provide the hoped-for results. Acquaint yourself with the supervisors' research profiles, and try to pick the people you approach based on actual mutual research interests.
  • Pay attention to detail. At least one of your supervisors has to be in a permanent or long-term employment to the faculty awarding your prospective target degree, and at least one needs to hold the title of docent or similar scientific qualifications – i.e. be a senior researcher in your field. When you find potential supervisors, make sure in the further discussions that at least one of them fills these conditions.
  • Be precise. Supervisors get a lot of email. When you approach a prospective supervisor, present your topic and motivation in a clear, succinct manner to allow them to easily estimate whether your topic is such that they would be interested in supervising it and whether if it seems feasible.
  • Be patient and prepare for disappointments. In the process of finding a supervisor, you are likely to receive several negative responses – or, sometimes, no response at all. Sometimes your topic is simply not a good match for the person you approached, and sometimes the supervisors have their quota of new students already full. If you get a negative response, move on. Be also aware that, especially if your research topic is of a field that’s not widely represented here, it’s also possible that you will not find a supervisor. In that case, your only option is to continue your search and apply later – or set your sights to a different university with better prospects.

Available below is a listing of current supervisors in the doctoral programme. The list is by no means definitive, and is only there to help you get started. The name of each supervisor has been linked to their individual research profile in the University of Helsinki Research Portal to help you find out more about their research interests.

From the research portal, you can also look up people for example using keywords related to your research. Keep in mind that the research portal lists all researchers affiliated with the University of Helsinki – including current doctoral students, who should not be considered as prospective supervisors. If the person is employed, you will see their job title on their profile page.

Supervisor: Is your name missing from the list? To have it added, please contact the programme's planning officer Lauri Turpeinen (lauri.turpeinen(at) Supervisors added to the list must either be employed by the University of Helsinki or be someone who, for example, is actively carrying out research on a personal research funding in the University of Helsinki and is willing to take on new doctoral students. If you are no longer a supervisor in the Doctoral Programme, please inform Lauri Turpeinen.

Faculty of Arts

Aavik, Kadri, researcher, gender studies
Airaksinen Tiina,  university lecturer, China studies
Al-Sharmani, Mulki, professor, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
Andersen, Hadle, university lecturer, Swedish translation
Apo, Satu, professor emerita, folklore studies
Bacon, Henry, professor, film studies
Bergholm, Alexandra, university lecturer, study of religions
Dahlgren, Susanne, docent, anthropology, gender studies
Fleisch, Axel, professor, African Studies
Hakola, Outi, university lecturer, North American studies
Harrison, Klisala, researcher, ethnomusicology
Hoegaerts, Josephine, ass. professor, history
Honkasalo, Julian, researcher, gender studies
Härkönen, Heidi, researcher, anthropology/gender studies
Irni, Kuura, university lecturer, gender studies
Jyrkinen, Marjut, assistant professor, gender studies
Kahlina, Katja, Marie Curie Fellow, gender studies
Karhu, Sanna, postdoctoral researcher, gender studies
Katto, Jonna, researcher, African studies
Kekki, Saara, researcher, area and cultural studies
Kmak, Magdalena, docent, minority studies
Kondakov, Alexander, researcher, Russian studies
Korhonen, Anu, professor, area and cultural studies
Korsisaari, Eva-Maria, researcher, gender studies
Lehtonen, Jukka, docent, gender studies
Malmio, Kristina, university lecturer, Scandinavian literature
Mietola, Reetta, docent, researcher, cultural studies
Moisala, Pirkko, professor emerita, musicology
Moring, Anna, researcher, gender studies
Muravyeva, Marianna, associate professor, Russian studies and law
Oikkonen, Venla, docent, gender studies
Penttinen, Elina, university lecturer, gender studies
Pulkkinen, Tuija, professor, gender studies
Pärssinen, Martti, professor, area and cultural studies (Latin American studies)
Ristivojevic, Dusica, researcher, gender studies
Rossi, Leena-Maija, university lecturer, art history
Rundgren, Heta, researcher, gender studies
Saarikangas, Kirsi, professor, art history
Saikku, Mikko, professor, North American Studies
Salmi-Niklander, Kirsti, university lecturer, folklore studies
Seppälä, Jaakko, university lecturer, film studies
Siltala, Juha, professor, Finnish and Nordic History
Sorainen, Antu, academy research fellow, gender studies
Steel, Tytti, researcher, ethnology, gender studies
Tarkka, Lotte, professor, folklore studies
Toivanen, Reetta, professor, cultural studies
Utriainen, Terhi, docent, study of religions
Vaahtera, Touko, researcher, gender studies
Valjakka, Minna, university lecturer, art history, urban studies
Vänskä, Annamari, docent, gender studies, art history
Virtanen, Pirjo, assistant professor, indigenous studies
Witt-Brattsröm, Ebba, professor, Scandinavian literature

Faculty of Educational Sciences

Brunila, Kristiina, professor, educational sciences
Lahelma, Elina, professor, educational sciences
Lappalainen, Sirpa, university lecturer, educational sciences
Tainio, Liisa, professor, educational sciences

Faculty of Law

Kmak, Magdalena, docent, minority rights
Minkkinen, Panu, professor, jurisprudence
Muravyeva, Marianna, associate professor, Russian studies and law
Ojanen Tuomas, professor, constitutional law

Faculty of Social Sciences

Department of Political and Economic Studies
Holli, Anne, professor, political science
Jalava, Marja, docent, political history
Jauhola, Marjaana, university lecturer, development studies
Kettunen, Pauli, professor emeritus, political history
Klockars, Kristian, university lecturer, social and moral philosophy

Kuusi, Hanna, university lecturer, social history
Malkki, Leena, university lecturer, political history
Palonen, Emilia, university lecturer, political science
Pellander, Saara, docent, political history
Prozorov, Sergei, docent, political science
Ranta, Eija, university lecturer, development studies
Repo, Jemima, docent, social and moral philosophy
Rolin, Kristina, docent, social and moral philosophy
Sariola, Salla, university lecturer, sociology
Taavetti, Riikka, researcher, political history
Teivanen, Teivo, professor, world politics
Virtanen, Pirjo, professor, indigenous studies

Department of Social Research
Arppe, Tiina, docent, sociology
Berg, Päivi, docent, social psychology
Castrén, Anna-Maija, docent, sociology
Clarke, Kris, associate professor, social work
Dahlgren, Susanne, docent, gender studies, anthropology
Green, Sarah, professor, anthropology
Harju, Anu, researcher, media studies
Honkasalo, Veronika, researcher, sociology
Härkönen, Heidi, researcher, anthropology/gender studies
Jasinskaja-Lahti, Inga, professor, social psychology
Julkunen, Ilse, professor, social work
Katsui, Hisayo, assistant professor, social policy/disability studies
Luhtakallio, Eeva, professor, sociology
Meskus, Mianna, docent, sociology
Näre, Lena, assistant professor, sociology
Paju, Elina, university lecturer, sociology
Pantti, Mervi, professor, media studies
Pirttilä-Backman, Anna-Maija, professor, social psychology
Rauhala, Pirkko-Liisa, university lecturer, social work
Satka, Mirja, professor, social work
Scalco, Patricia, researcher, anthropology
Venäläinen, Satu, researcher, social psychology
Vesala, Kari, university lecturer, social psychology
Wrede, Sirpa, professor, sociology

Swedish School of Social Science

Applicants: please note that the Swedish School of Social Science is an independent unit without the right to grant doctoral degrees. The teaching staff of the school can act as primary (employed) supervisors for applicants applying to complete a degree at the Faculty of Social Sciences. If you apply to another faculty, you must always also have at least one supervisor who is in a permanent or long-term employment to the that faculty.

Keskinen Suvi, professor, The Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism (CEREN)
Oinas, Elina, professor, sociology
Siivonen, Jonita, university lecturer, media and communication studies

Faculty of Theology

Department of Biblical Studies
Dunderberg, Ismo, professor, biblical studies
Lehtipuu, Outi, university lecturer, biblical studies
Nissinen Martti, professor, biblical studies
Sakaranaho, Tuula, professor, study of religions

Department of Church History
Salmesvuori, Päivi, university lecturer, Church History

Department of Systematic Theology
Vuola, Elina, academy professor, development studies, systematic theology

SKY doctoral students may also have additional, external supervisors from other universities. Currently acting external supervisors for individual SKY doctoral students are the following professors:

Other Universities

Da Costa Custadio, Leonardo, Åbo Akademi, minority studies
Holm, Solve Marie-Louise, Karlstadt University, gender studies
Husso, Marita, University of Tampere, social policy
Leinonen, Johanna, University of Turku, sociology
Leppänen, Taru, University of Turku, gender studies
Mehrabi, Tara, Karlstad University, gender studies
Meretoja, Hanna, University of Turku, literature
Niemi, Johanna, University of Turku, gender studies in law
Pucetaite, Raminta, Kaunas University of Technology/University of Jyväskylä, organization studies
Raino, Päivi, Silta-Valmennusyhdistys
Saresma, Tuija, University of Jyväskylä, organization studies
Tiainen, Milla, University of Turku, musicology
Wahlfors, Laura, The University of the Arts Helsinki, musicology