Planning to apply for a doctoral study right at our programme? Good choice! To start with, you should read the University’s general instructions for doctoral applicants. Once you’re acquainted with those, come back here to read more about the programme-specific selection criteria and instructions for applicants.
WHO CAN APPLY
The doctoral degrees available in the Doctoral Programme in Theology are Doctor of Theology and Doctor of Philosophy. In addition to fulfilling the general rules of eligibility, your previous degree must be relevant to the planned research topic and discipline.
Applicants aiming for the Doctor of Theology degree must hold either a Master of Theology degree completed in a Finnish University or a comparable foreign Master’s degree in the field of Theology. Applicants aiming for the Doctor of Philosophy degree can apply with a relevant second-cycle degree other than a Master of Theology or an equivalent degree from a university outside Finland. A degree is regarded as relevant if it includes sufficient studies in a subject which, given the topic of the proposed doctoral dissertation, can be regarded as a suitable basis for doctoral studies.
To be able to apply, you need to have all the studies required for the degree you apply with completed, graded and registered by the end of the relevant application period. Applicants who are granted a study right must be able to present a verified copy of their official degree diploma before accepting the offered study place.
HOW AND WHEN TO APPLY
The Doctoral Programme in Theology has two application periods for doctoral study rights each year – one in the spring and one in the fall.
The spring application period is from April 3, 2018 09:00 AM (EEST) until April 16, 2018 03:00 PM (EEST). Applicants will be informed of the decisions by June 15th, 2018. Those granted a study right must accept it by June 29th. Study rights granted in the spring round of applications will begin on July 2nd, 2018.
Next application period will be from September 14, 2018 until September 27, 2018.
Applications are submitted using an electronic application form, which will be open during the application period. All applicants must submit the following documents as part of their application (points 1–4 are integrated in the electronic application form; points 5–6 are submitted as scanned attachments):
1. The 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 e-form. The University of Helsinki research plan template is a useful support tool, as it will help you get a grasp on the kind of questions you should take into account when drawing up your research plans.
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):
- Brief summary of the research plan (1500)
- Significance of the project in relation to current knowledge (1500)
- Motivation for conducting doctoral research (1500)
- Objectives of the research (2000)
- Effects and impact beyond academia (500)
- Research methods (2000)
- Research material to be used and its significance for the research project (1000)
- Data management plan (1500)
(Give a short description of how you plan to collect and use research data. You can also consider the best methods of data storage and the possibilities of opening your data 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.)
- Critical points for success, alternative implementation strategies (500)
- Ethical issues (1000)
(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.)
- Publication plan (1000)
(The preliminary outline of a monograph or, in case an article-based dissertation is planned, a preliminary publication plan for the articles)
- Methods for ensuring open access (500)
The University promotes open access research, and several research funding providers also expect grant applicants to be familiar with the principles of open access publishing. When you apply for a study right, you are not expected to master the details of open access publishing - it's enough that you have given preliminary thought on where and how your research could be made openly available.
More information on open access publishing is available e.g. on the University Library's website.)
- Schedule for the research (500)
- Funding plan for research and doctoral studies (500)
- Applied funding and salaried positions (500)
- Motivation for choosing the University of Helsinki as the site of doctoral research and motivation for selecting the doctoral programme (500)
- Mobility plan (500)
The university aims to assure that all doctoral degrees include some sort of international activities. In this field, you can tell us of your own preliminary plans related to e.g. exchange studies, research visits or participating in international conferences.
- The most important research literature and/or sources (1000)
2. A study plan. Before drawing up your own preliminary study plan, please acquaint yourself with the doctoral programme's degree requirements available further down this page. In the application form, there are two separate fields for the study plan (max. 1500 characters each); one for the discipline-specific studies and another for the general competence studies. In the study plan, the important thing is that you have given thought on what kind of studies would best support your thesis work and drawn up a preliminary timetable for completing these studies. In the study plan section, there is also a separate field where you can, should you so wish, give a short description of the following: previous research and work experience, publications and manuscripts, scientific activities and other merits.
3. The title and summary of your Master´s thesis or equivalent, or a description of previous academic publications (maximum length 4000 characters, including spaces).
4. Names of the supervisors, who have agreed to supervise your thesis. For further information on the requirements placed on supervision, please see the selection criteria section on this page. Applying without the agreement of at least one supervisor (employed by the Faculty awarding your target degree) is not possible. N.B. A signed approval form from supervisors is not required when applying. It is enough to fill in on the application form the name and contact information of the person(s) who has agreed to supervise you.
5. 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. If you have completed all the studies required for eligibility (please see section “Who can apply”), but have yet to graduate and receive your diploma, you must include a detailed study transcript that clearly indicates that all the studies required for the degree have been completed, graded and registered before the end of the application period.
6. 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. Additionally, you will need to have sufficient skills in any other languages needed for your research topic. Your skills in these languages will be assessed based on the application documents (e.g. transcript of studies) as well as preliminary discussions with your potential supervisors.
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 5. and 6. by post. For more information on the means of having the documents officially certified, please see here.
SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION
The applications, along with the required additional documents, must be submitted by the end of the application period. Applications are submitted using an electronic application form, which closes at 3 PM (Helsinki time) on the last day of the round of applications. Those applicants who are required to send certified copies of the additional documents by post must make sure that these documents arrive by the end of the application period.
Applications and additional documents sent by email are not accepted. Incomplete applications are not considered.
The certified copies of additional documents must be delivered to the Admissions Services of the University of Helsinki. For instructions on how to submit your documents, please see here.