Doctoral Programme in School, Education, Society and Culture has two application periods for doctoral study rights each year – one in the spring and one in the fall. A doctoral study right can only be gained through the admissions process.
The next application period is from September 1st, 2020 09:00 AM EEST until September 15, 2020 03:00 PM EEST.
Applicants will be informed of the decisions by November 27, 2020. Those granted a study right must accept it by December 11, 2020. Study rights granted in the autumn round of applications will begin on January 1, 2021.
Applications are submitted using an electronic application form, which will be open during the application period. You’ll find the link to the form in the section ‘Submitting the application’.
Prepare your application carefully, concentrating on the sections below, supervision arrangements and in addition, to the educational documents required to support your application. Please, prepare your application and its documents in good time before the deadline.
All applicants must submit the following documents as part of their application (points 1–4 are integrated in the electronic application form; points 5–7 are submitted as scanned attachments):
1. A research proposal is the most important part of your application. In the electronic application form, the research proposal is divided into the fields listed below. Prepare your research proposal right from the start to fit the different fields and their maximum lengths, so you won't need to start re-editing the proposal when filling in the application form.
Also, Kai Hakkarainen's (2014) article Structure and content of an academic research proposal might be useful for you.
The following fields related to the research plan are included in the electronic application form (the number in parentheses indicates the maximum number of characters per field, spaces included):
- Preliminary title of the doctoral thesis
- Field of research (menu)
- Specification or additional information on the field of research
- Language of the dissertation
- Other language skills needed for completing the doctoral dissertation
- Brief summary of the research plan (2000)
- Research plan contains mathematical special characters or chemical formulas (yes/no)
- Motivation for conducting doctoral research (2000)
Describe your motivation for conducting doctoral research in general and for this topic in particular. Also explain why you have chosen the doctoral programme you are applying to.
- Rationale for the research project (2000)
How is the project linked to previous research? What are the most significant theoretical and methodological premises of the project? Also remember to justify the research design.
- Objectives of the research and scientific impact of research results (2000)
What are the objectives of the project and their theoretical and methodological underpinnings? Shortly present the hypotheses and the research questions. Describe the expected research result and their anticipated novelty value in terms of the research field and the current scientific discussion on the research topic. You may also shortly outline the reach, potential applications and utilization value of the research beyond the scientific community.
- Research methods and materials to be used and its significance for the research project (3500)
Outline the research methods, described so as to explain how they will contribute to answering the research questions/confirming the hypotheses, or how they will support the chosen approach.
- Preliminary plan on the collection, usage and storage of the research material (1500)
Briefly describe how you plan to collect the research material and use it. Are there any ethical, data protection or copyright issues related to data storage that need to be taken into account? Is it possible to make the data available for the use of other researchers? We do not expect you to master topics related e.g. to open access or to the legal and ethical issues related to data management (e.g. data protection, copyright issues) when you apply. It's enough that you have given the topic thought and recognised the preliminary data management questions that might arise related to your research data.
- Ethical issues (1000)
Are there ethical issues (e.g. ethical governance procedures, informed consent, and anonymity of subjects) that need to be taken into account when conducting the research? Does conducting the research require a research permit or a statement from the ethical board and/or the Animal Experiment Board? We do not expect you to be an expert of research ethical questions when you apply. The important thing is that you have considered the possibility of ethical issues related to your research topic and, if there are such issues, given preliminary thought on how to approach them.
- Does the research project require animal testing? (Yes or no)
- The most important literature references for the research plan (2500)
- Form of the dissertation (an article-based dissertation or a monograph)
- Publication plan and timetable for the articles or a preliminary outline of the monograph (1000)
- Preliminary timetable for your research (2000)
- Planned funding for the research project including received and applied notable funding thus far (1000)
- Estimated year of graduation
2. Previously acquired knowledge supporting the dissertation project (the number in parentheses indicates the maximum number of characters per field, spaces included):
- Previously acquired research knowledge (1500)
Previous experience in research work, other scientific work and/or scientific merits, including possible academic awards and other academic acknowledgements.
- Possible previous publications and conference presentations (1500)
- Possible international experience and other work experience relevant to your doctoral research (1500)
- Possible career breaks (1500)
Here you have the option to list reasons that may have caused delay in your studies (for example: possible family leaves, military or civilian service).
3. A preliminary study plan that must be approved by the supervisor. In the application form, there are two separate fields for the study plan; one for the discipline-specific studies and another for the general competence studies. Please acquaint yourself with the doctoral programme’s curriculum before drawing up your study plan. The curriculum is available at WebOodi.
The following fields related to the study plan are included in the electronic application form (the number in parentheses indicates the maximum number of characters per field, spaces included):
- Discipline-specific studies, 30 ECTS (1500)
- General competence studies, 10 ECTS (1500)
- Completed doctoral studies (in ECTS) so far, if any
4. The title and summary of your Master's thesis or equivalent (750).
5. Supervision contract that must be signed by the applicant, responsible professor and supervisors. The supervision contract will be attached to the application form to the spot "Approval (supervisors and the responsible professor)". If there's difficulties in obtaining the signatures due to corona virus situation, the supervisors can confirm their commitment to supervision to firstname.lastname@example.org -address.
Remember to also check any remuneration protocol. Unless your supervisors are full-time employees at the Faculty, they may expect remuneration for their supervision work. In case one of the supervisors expects remuneration, the contract must also be signed by Head of the Department.
A doctoral student must have at least two supervisors who have completed a doctoral degree. At least one of the supervisors must be in a permanent or long-term employment at the Faculty awarding the doctoral degree and at least one of the supervisors must hold the title of docent or similar scientific qualifications. In addition to supervisors, each student needs to have a responsible professor, who may also serve as one of the dissertation supervisors. For further information on the requirements placed on supervision, please see the selection criteria section on this page.
6. A copy of your previous degree certificate (Master's degree or equivalent) and a copy of a detailed transcript of studies included in the degree.
N.B. The application form enables you to also submit documents related to your possible BA degree, should you so wish. However, submitting these documents is not obligatory.
7. Verification of language skills. The University of Helsinki demands an indication of academic level language skills of all applicants. Please acquaint yourself with the options for verifying your language skills in either Finnish, Swedish or English in good time before applying.
NB. If you have completed your previous degree in Finnish, the degree certificate is an acceptable way of demonstrating academic Finnish language skills.
N.B. Applicants who have not completed their previous degree in the University of Helsinki must also send officially certified copies of the documents mentioned in points 6. and 7. by post. For more information on the means of having the documents officially certified, please see Eligibility and educational documents -pages.