Employed, grant-funded or self-funded? At the University of Helsinki, a doctoral degree may be completed through either full- or part-time study. Doctoral students may receive funding from the University of Helsinki or one of its departments, institutes or faculties, a research project, foundation, association or some other external funder. They may also fund their own studies or pursue their degree in tandem with work.
Salaried doctoral candidate positions
The University of Helsinki (UH) annually allocates funding to doctoral programmes for salaried positions (employment contract). These doctoral candidate positions are designated as full-time work. The aim is that doctoral candidates employed by the University will pursue a post-graduate doctoral degree, which should be completed within four years.
In 2020, the application period for salaried positions is 1–15 September. The call for applications, published on the open positions page of the University of Helsinki, includes further details on the employment relationship. Both current University of Helsinki doctoral candidates and new applicants planning doctoral studies are eligible to apply for these positions.
The right to pursue a post-graduate doctoral degree can be applied for at the same time as a salaried position.
Please read the application instructions below carefully. If you are also planning to apply for the right to pursue a post-graduate doctoral degree, remember to read the application process in a nutshell.
Employment contracts for salaried positions in doctoral programmes
Salaried doctoral candidate positions are aimed at enabling full-time work on dissertations and postgraduate studies, with the goal of completing a doctoral degree in four years. The exact duration of employment, its’ start and end dates are determined in the employment contract.
The salary and other further details concerning the employment relationship are available in the call for applications.
Who is eligible to apply for a salaried position in a doctoral programme?
You can apply for a salaried position in a doctoral programme if you are currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Helsinki or are planning to pursue a doctoral degree.
If you already have post-graduate study rights at the University of Helsinki, you can apply for a salaried position, provided you have not yet spent a total of four years with a UH funded salaried doctoral candidate salary.
If you do not yet have the right to pursue a post-graduate doctoral degree, you may apply for post-graduate study rights on the same application form as the salaried positions. In this case, please read carefully the application process in a nutshell.
Applying for a salaried position
Applications for a salaried position in a doctoral programme are submitted by completing an electronic form and enclosing the required attachments.
If you already have the right to pursue a post-graduate doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki and you are applying for a salaried position in your doctoral programme:
- Read the application instructions regarding salaried positions
- Complete the electronic application form
If you do not yet have the right to pursue a post-graduate doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, you must apply for the right at the same time as you apply for a salaried position or in the spring at the latest . Please note that this may result in your employment beginning later than 1 January 2021. According to the guidelines of the University of Helsinki, individuals recruited to salaried doctoral candidate positions must receive post-graduate study rights within the six-month trial period of the position.
If you are applying for the right to pursue a post-graduate doctoral degree at the same time as applying for a salaried position:
- Read the application instructions regarding salaried positions
- Read the instructions regarding applying for the right to pursue a post-graduate doctoral degree
- Complete the electronic application form
- Submit the required attachments (degree diploma, transcript of studies, proof of language proficiency)
If you already have the right to pursue a post-graduate doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, you may apply for a salaried position from another doctoral programme that suits your research profile. If you receive a salaried position from another doctoral programme, you will need to change your doctoral programme. Please note that you may need to reapply for post-graduate study rights if your faculty or target degree change in relation to an awarded salaried position. This application should be made in the spring at the latest, but please note that this may affect the start date of your potential employment.
If you are applying for a salaried position in more than one doctoral programme, please complete a separate application form for each one.
Similarly, if you are applying for the right to pursue a post-graduate doctoral degree from more than one faculty, please complete a separate application form for each one.
Further information on applying for a salaried position and the right to pursue a post-graduate doctoral degree can be found from the doctoral programme web pages.
The application form calls for information on your research and study plan, skills that support writing a doctoral dissertation, the title and abstract of your master’s thesis, as well as details on your supervisory arrangements (in the case of certain doctoral programmes).
The research plan is the most important part of your application, and it must be entered into the specified fields in the application form, divided into the sections described below. Please prepare your research plan according to this division and the maximum number of characters including spaces for each section. More specific information can be found below and the application form is open for approximately two weeks before the call.
The application form sections concerning the research plan (maximum number of characters including spaces in parentheses):
- Preliminary title of the doctoral thesis
- Field of research (menu)
- Specification or additional information on the field of research (unrestricted text field)
- Brief summary of the research plan (2,000)
- Research plan contains mathematical special characters or chemical formulas
- Motivation for conducting doctoral research (2,000)
- Rationale for the research project (2,000)
- Objectives of the research and scientific impact of research results (2,000)
- Research methods and materials to be used and its significance for the research project (3,500)
- Preliminary plan on the collection, use and storage of research material (1,500)
- Ethical issues (1,000)
- Does the research project require animal testing
- The most important literature references for the research plan (2,500)
- Form of the dissertation (article-based or monograph)
- Publication plan and timetable for the articles or a preliminary outline of the monograph (1,000)
- Preliminary timetable of your research (2,000)
- Planned funding for the research project including received and applied notable funding thus far (1,000)
- Estimated year of graduation
Previously acquired knowledge supporting the dissertation project and study plan (maximum number of characters, including spaces in parentheses):
- Previously acquired research knowledge (1,500)
- Possible previous publications and conference presentations (1,500)
- Possible international experience and other work experience relevant to your doctoral research (1,500)
- Possible career breaks (1,500)
Preliminary study plan (maximum number of characters, including spaces in parentheses)
- Preliminary study plan: Discipline-specific studies, 30 ECTS (1,500)
- Preliminary study plan: Transferable skills, 10 ECTS (1,500)
- Previously completed studies applicable to your doctoral degree, if any
- Title and abstract of the master’s thesis or equivalent (750)
- Supervisory arrangements: supervisor(s) and thesis committee (see doctoral programme-specific instructions below)
Assessment of applications and decisions
Salaried position applications are assessed based on the quality of the research and study plans, abilities and motivation of the applicant as demonstrated in conjunction with completing a previous degree or in another manner, as well as supervisory arrangements or their availability. The topic of the research plan must suit the profile of the doctoral programme. Interviews for short-listed applicants may be arranged.
The board of the doctoral programme makes a proposal regarding appointment of doctoral candidate salaried positions. The director of the relevant employment unit makes the final decision on the appointments.
If you are offered a salaried position, you must receive the right to pursue a post-graduate doctoral degree in the relevant doctoral programme within the six-month trial period.
All applicants will be personally notified of the decisions, and the names of appointees will be published on the doctoral programme websites.
Please note that applications for the right to pursue a post-graduate doctoral degree are processed according to a different schedule by the responsible Faculty. The relevant faculty makes decisions regarding study rights and applicants are personally notified in a separate notification to salary positions.
Please apply for a position using the electronic application form for salaried positions. The application period will be open from 1 September 2020 and closes on 15 September 2020 at 15.00 (local Helsinki time).
2020 autumn call selection criteria
The University of Helsinki Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal and Regional Change invites applications for three (3) funded doctoral candidate positions starting from 1.1.2021. Each position is for a four-year term.
1. The appointee must hold a study right in PSRC doctoral programme at the University of Helsinki. In case the appointee does not have a study right, the appointee must obtain the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki within six months of the start of the appointment by following a separate procedure for the study right.
2. The appointee must hold a high quality second-cycle degree (as a general rule master’s thesis at least grade 4/5 or magna cum laude) and have a high quality research which shows the links between the planned dissertation research and the research expertise within the doctoral programme.
3. It is recommended that the appointee consults the possible list of supervisors from the Doctoral programme in the PSRC at University of Helsinki prior to applying and names a foreseeable supervisor in the application.
Other requirements include proven ability and motivation, demonstrated through previous degree studies and other merits of the applicant to pursue postgraduate studies. Fluency in English language is required.
Please remember to provide precise information on your previous and current funding for the proposed research. Candidates who have used equivalent to full-time funding for a total period of 12 months by the closing date of the application period, are not eligible to apply.
Successful candidates are expected to work full time and to complete their doctorates by the end of a four-year period. This funding is primarily intended for new doctoral candidates who have just begun, or are about to begin, their doctoral studies at the University of Helsinki. Preference will be given to candidates who are at the beginning of their studies, as the primary purpose of these four-year positions is for doctoral research.
Fill in the application, and include all the required attachments. Select the “field of research” from the menu bar. The “field of research” must be one of the disciplines or multi-disciplinary research areas that belong to the doctoral programme. In case you don’t find the field of research from the menu bar, name the field in the open field below.
Please remember to provide precise information on your previous and current funding for the proposed research.
Applicants may submit their applications in Finnish, Swedish and English.
Timetable for decision-making
Short-listed candidates will be invited to an interview at the start of November, during which they should be available for an interview. There will be a possibility for online interviews. The decisions will be announced on the doctoral programme’s web page in December 2020.
For further information on the doctoral student positions, please contact Iro Särkkä, Planning Officer, Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences, at firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +358 2941 24815.
In the autumn 2019 round of applications, the four-year salaried position was granted to the following doctoral candidates: