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. About a third of all doctoral students are in an employment relationship with the University and are thus members of University staff.
Salaried doctoral candidate positions
The University of Helsinki annually allocates funding to doctoral programmes for employing doctoral students in salaried employment relationships (salaried positions). These doctoral student positions are designated as full-time work. The aim is that doctoral students employed by the University will complete their degree in four years.
In 2019 the application period is 3–17 September. Both current University of Helsinki doctoral students and new applicants planning doctoral studies are eligible to apply for these positions. The right to pursue a doctoral degree can be applied for at the same time as a salaried position. The electronic application form will be available at the beginning of the application period.
NB. The 2019 call includes additional positions earmarked in particular for projects on artificial intelligence and AI solutions in all fields of science and scholarship. You can apply for these positions for a full 4-year period by filling in the extra fields reserved for the purpose in the electronic application form.
Please read the application instructions below carefully. If you are planning to also apply for the right to pursue a doctoral degree, remember to read the relevant instructions carefully at the application process in a nutshell.
The doctoral student’s employment relationship in a salaried position in a doctoral programme
Doctoral student 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 and 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 student at the University of Helsinki or planning to pursue a doctoral degree.
If you have already been granted the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, you can apply for a salaried position, provided you have not yet spent a total of four years in the position of a salaried doctoral student.
If you do not yet hold the right to pursue a doctoral degree, you can apply for the right with the same application. In that case, please carefully read the instructions pertaining to applying for the right to pursue a doctoral degree.
Applying for a salaried position
Applications for an employment relationship 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 doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki and you are applying for a salaried position in your doctoral programme:
- Read the application instructions.
- Complete the electronic application form.
If you already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki and you are applying for a salaried position in a doctoral programme other than your own, you have to reapply for the right to pursue a doctoral degree if the granting faculty or your target degree change. You can apply for the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the same time as applying for a salaried position or in the next application round of the relevant doctoral programme. Please note that applying in a later application round may impact the start date of your potential employment.
If you do not yet hold the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, you can apply for the right at the same time as you apply for a salaried position or in the next application round of the relevant doctoral programme. Please note that applying in a later application round may impact the start date of your potential employment.
If you are applying for the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the same time as applying for a salaried position:
- Read the application instructions pertaining to salaried positions.
- Read the instructions pertaining to applying for the right to pursue a doctoral degree and submit the required attachments (degree diploma, transcript of studies, proof of language proficiency).
- Complete the electronic application form.
Please also note that if you are applying for a salaried position and/or the right to pursue a doctoral degree in several doctoral programmes, you must complete a separate application form for each programme.
Further information on applying for a salaried position and the right to pursue a doctoral degree can be found under Frequently asked questions.
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 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. If your research plan contains mathematical symbols or chemical equations, you can enclose the plan as an attachment. Please prepare your research plan according to this division and the maximum number of characters for each section.
The application form sections concerning the research plan (maximum number of characters in parentheses):
- Dissertation topic (preliminary title)
- Field of research(menu)
- Specification or additional information on the field of research (unrestricted text field)
- Language of dissertation
- Other language skills needed for completing the doctoral dissertation
- 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)
- (If applicable: Clarification of the research plan as far as it relates to Artificial Intelligence (2500))
- The most important literature references for the research plan (2,500)
- Format 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 for your research (2,000)
- Planned funding for the research project including received and applied notable funding thus far (1,000)
- Estimated year of public defence
Previously acquired knowledge supporting the dissertation project and the study plan (CV) (maximum number of characters, spaces included):
- 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, spaces included)
- Preliminary study plan: Discipline-specific studies, 30 cr (1,500)
- Preliminary study plan: Transferable skills, 10 cr (1,500)
- Studies completed transferable to a doctoral degree, if any
Title and abstract of the master’s thesis or equivalent (750)
Supervisory arrangements: supervisor(s) and thesis committee (see programme-specific instructions on the doctoral programme web pages).
Assessment of applications and decisions
Applications are assessed based on the quality of the research plan, as well as the supervisory arrangements or their availability. Also assessed are the abilities and motivation demonstrated in conjunction with completing a previous degree or in another manner to complete a doctoral degree in accordance with a research plan and a supporting study plan. The topic of the research plan must suit the profile of the doctoral programme.
The board of the doctoral programme makes a proposal on the doctoral students to be appointed to salaried positions. The decision on the appointments is made by the director of the relevant unit.
If you are offered a salaried position, you must receive the right to pursue a doctoral degree in the relevant doctoral programme within the six-month trial period for the position.
The names of the appointees will be published on the FoodHealth's website by 15.12.2019. All applicants will be personally notified of the decisions.
Please apply for a position using the electronic application form for salaried positions. The application period will open on 3 September 2019 and close on 17 September 2019 at 15.00 (local Helsinki time).
2019 autum call selection criteria
The University of Helsinki Doctoral Programme in the Social Sciences invites applications for four (4) funded doctoral candidate positions starting from 1.1.2020. Each position is for a four-year term.
The Doctoral Programme in the Social Sciences covers the following disciplines: social psychology, social work, social and cultural anthropology, sociology, social statistics, media and communication studies, criminology and social and public policy. Applicants must clearly state which of these disciplines is their primary discipline in their application. The Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences is the largest doctoral programme in Finland.
Thematic teaching is provided both at disciplinary level and multi-disciplinary levels. Candidates should study these areas before writing their applications. These are organized around theoretically and substantially relevant research areas and are currently organized as follows (contact persons and main discipline are marked in parentheses):
- Action, Interaction and Social Relationships (Prof. Ilkka Arminen and University lecturer Kari Vesala; Sociology)
- Comparative Study of Social Change (University lecturer Sirpa Wrede and prof. Anu Kantola; Sociology)
- Cultural and Social Diversities and Intergroup Relations (Prof. Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti; Social Psychology)
- Criminology (Profs. Janne Kivivuori and Matti Näsi; Criminology)
- Knowledge, Technology and Environment (Profs. Janne Hukkinen and Petri Ylikoski; Sociology)
- Media and Global Communication (Prof. Johanna Sumiala; Media and Communication)
- Population, Health and Living Conditions (Prof. Pekka Martikainen; Sociology)
- Social and Cultural Anthropology (Prof. Sarah Green; Social and Cultural Anthropology)
- Social Psychology (Prof. Anna-Maija Pirttilä-Backman; Social Psychology)
- Social Work and Welfare Policies (Profs. Ilse Julkunen and Marjaana Seppänen; Social Work)
- Statistical Modeling (Profs. Krista Lagus and Mikko Myrskylä; Social Statistics)
- Urban Studies/Urban Academy (Profs. Anne Haila and Matti Kortteinen; Social Policy)
- Social Policy (Profs. Anne Kouvonen and Heikki Hiilamo; Social Policy)
Requirement to secure a supervisor before applying
Candidates must gain the agreement of at least one member of staff to act as a supervisor for the research project prior to applying. Any applications without at least one named supervisor will be rejected.
See the list of potential supervisors in these research areas and their research profiles:
The reason for this requirement is that doctoral research demands the highest levels of research skill and knowledge of the research topic, both on the part of the candidate and on the part of the supervisor: in addition to requiring the candidate to be of the highest academic quality, we can only accept candidates if we are certain that we have sufficient expertise to supervise the candidate on the research topic specified.
Candidates are strongly advised to be fully aware of the research expertise of potential supervisors before contacting them. Candidates should include a research plan and CV in the request, and provide clear research-related reasons for requesting the supervision of a member of staff that is directly related the staff member’s research expertise. Candidates are also advised to have read some of the research work of the potential supervisor before contacting them. Any requests for supervision that have not been properly prepared and do not provide this kind of information are unlikely to be successful.
- The appointee must have obtained the agreement of at least one supervisor from the Doctoral programme in the Social Sciences at University of Helsinki prior to applying. See above “Requirement to secure a supervisor before applying” for more details. Candidates are strongly advised to be aware of potential supervisors’ research expertise and prepare requests for supervision carefully before contacting members of staff.
- The appointee must hold a study right in SOS doctoral programme at the University of Helsinki. In case the appointee does not yet have a study right, they need to apply for it, at the same time as applying for this salaried position. In any case, the appointee must obtain the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki within six months of the beginning of the appointment.
- The appointee must hold a high quality second-cycle degree (e.g. master’s degree or equivalent) and have a high quality research proposal, which shows the links between the planned dissertation research and the research expertise within the doctoral programme.
Other requirements include proven ability and motivation, demonstrated through previous degree studies or otherwise to pursue postgraduate studies. Fluency in English is required.
Please submit your application preferably in English. Applications in Finnish and Swedish, however, are also welcomed.
Timetable for decision making
Short-listed candidates will be invited to an interview.
The interviews will take place on the 11 November 9 – 4 pm Helsinki time during which prospective candidates should be available for an interview. The decisions will be announced on the doctoral programme’s web page in December 2019.
For further information on the doctoral student positions, please contact Iro Särkkä, Planning Officer, Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences, at email@example.com, Tel: +358 2941 24815.
In the autumn 2019 round of applications, the four-year salaried position was granted to the following doctoral candidates:
In the spring 2019 round of applications, the four-year salaried position was granted to the following doctoral candidates: