The Doctoral Programme in Theology and Religious Studies has two application periods for doctoral study rights each year – one in the spring and one in the autumn.
- The autumn application period is from September 1, 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 this round of applications will begin on January 1, 2021.
- The spring 2021 application period will be from April 1 to April 15, 2021. Study rights granted in this round will begin on August 1, 2021.
Preparing the application
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’. Take care to acquaint yourself with the information listed below, related to the research- and study plans, supervision arrangements, and application documents, and prepare your application with care and in good time before the deadline.
All applicants must submit the following documents as part of their application (points 1–5 are integrated in the electronic application form; points 6–7 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 application form.
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 doctoral research (2000)
How is the project linked to previous research? What are the most significant theoretical and methodological premises of the project?
- 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 permit 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/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)
The preliminary outline of a monograph or, in case an article-based dissertation is planned, a preliminary publication plan for the articles.
- Preliminary timetable for your research (2000)
- Planned funding for the research project including received and applied notable funding thus far (1000)
If you haven’t (yet) applied for funding or a funded position, you can write here ”no”.
- 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. Preliminary 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 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.
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)
- Transferable skills, 10 ECTS (1500)
- Completed doctoral studies (in ECTS) so far, if any
4. The title and summary of your Master's thesis or equivalent, or a description of previous academic publications (maximum length 1500 characters, including spaces).
5. 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.
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. 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. 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 in either Finnish, Swedish or English. Please acquaint yourself with the University's language requirements and options for verifying your language skills in either 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 6. and 7. by post. For more information on the means of having the documents officially certified, please see here.