Are you already a doc­toral stu­dent?

The Instructions for Students website, aimed at current and old doctoral students, offers advice related to funding your studies, doing doctoral-level research and all the other information you need to complete a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki. The instructions are grouped into themes, which you can find at the bottom of the front page. You can also search for instructions and bulletins with specific terms. Make sure that you have selected your degree programme.

As of 1.8.2017 a doctoral degree at the Doctoral Programme in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences (CHEMS) consists of:

  • a doctoral dissertation
  • discipline-specific studies (at least 30 credits), and
  • studies in transferrable skills (10 credits).

The scientific studies (at least 30 credits) consist of discipline-specific studies supporting the thesis research work as well as a course in research ethics. Compulsory courses in this module are Research Ethics (DONAS-401), 1-2 credits and CHEMS Seminar (CHEMS-001), 1-2 credits. An optional course is Book exam (CHEMS-002), 1-6 credits.

The requirements for transferrable skills studies are common to all doctoral programmes of the Doctoral School in Natural Sciences and consist of

  • courses in different skills related to academic work (at least 4 cr; codes DONAS-1** or PED-5** or other suitable courses)
  • international activity and mobility (1-4 cr; codes DONAS-2**), and
  • societal communication and organising tasks (codes DONAS-3**).

Information on degree structure in CHEMS can be found from the WebOodi

Trans­fer­ring to the new de­gree struc­ture

This notice is aimed at all doctoral candidates, whose study right has begun prior to August 1, 2017.

Find more detailed information about transferring to the new degree structure from student's guide.

Instructions for successful Thesis Committee Meeting

The purpose of the Thesis Committee work is to improve the quality of research and research training. The committee members act as mentors to the doctoral candidate throughout the project, and support the doctoral candidate in his/her research and course work.

The Thesis Committee meetings are arranged annually and aimed to:

  • discuss the candidate’s research plan with him or her to ensure the plan is clear, feasible and relevant
  • give the candidate constructive feedback on the progress of his or her postgraduate  studies and research
  • issue recommendations on studies supporting the candidate’s research work
  • take up problems and/or issues that need to be addressed and notify the programme coordinator of them, and
  • help the candidate to plan his or her post-dissertation career

Thesis committee members

The Thesis Committee includes at least two external members. They must fulfil the  following criteria set by the CHEMS board:

  • Thesis committee members must hold a doctoral degree and substantial knowledge in the field of the project
  • at least one external member must hold the title of docent or the equivalent
  • the members of thesis committee may come outside the University of Helsinki
  • should not be currently involved in the thesis project
  • do not have joint research projects with the doctoral candidate or close collaboration with supervisor within the last three years
  • cannot be an employer or an employee or a family member of the supervisor or the doctoral candidate
  • a thesis committee member cannot act as a thesis reviewer or as an opponent of the same candidate

Online form with the proposed thesis committee members must be submitted to the doctoral programme.

Meetings and reporting

Before the first meeting you must register to Thessa follow-up system. 

The Thesis Committee Meeting is held once a year until the thesis defense. Organizing the meeting is the responsibility of the doctoral candidate. Prior to the meeting the doctoral candidate prepares the PROGRESS REPORT in Thessa, and sends it to the Thesis Committee members and supervisor(s) at least two weeks before the annual meeting. Thesis Committee members are expected to familiarize themselves with the report in advance. The doctoral candidate, supervisor(s), and the Thesis Committee members must all participate in the meeting. Participation can be organized e.g. over skype to reduce travelling.

During the meeting:

  • the doctoral candidate presents the current status and future plans of the PhD project
  • Thesis Committee members evaluate the project and make suggestions for the project
  • part of the meeting has to be held in the absence of the supervisor to allow for possible confidential matters to be discussed between the Thesis Committee members and the doctoral candidate
  • based on the feedback at the meeting, the doctoral candidate revises the progress report in Thessa two weeks after the meeting


All interactions within the Thesis Committee are to be considered confidential. Part of the meeting is held in the absence of the supervisor to allow for possible confidential matters, or issues where the supervisor and the doctoral candidate may have conflicting views to be discussed between the Thesis Committee members and the doctoral candidate.


  1. The doctoral candidate invites the thesis committee members in to sign in to THESSA 
  2. The doctoral candidate invites also at least one supervisor to THESSA
  3. The members receive an email from to join the thesis committee
  4. Once the thesis committee is set up, the annual progress report can be generated and submitted
  5. The thesis committee members can view and comment the progress report in THESSA before the meeting
  6. The thesis committee meeting approves the annual progress report
  7. At the end of the meeting, the doctoral candidate submits the Conclusions & Recommendations as agreed
  8. One year later, THESSA reminds the doctoral candidate to organize the next thesis committee meeting

NOTE! THESSA requires that the doctoral candidate has at least one supervisor at all times. The doctoral candidate will need to find and choose the supervisor(s) in THESSA.

Students in the new degree system

The new degree system form can be used for the registration of study modules for doctoral students who are completing their degree according to the new degree structures (40 ECTS).

Students in the old degree system

The old degree system form (pdf) is used to register the study modules completed for the doctoral degree according to the previous study requirements (min. 60 credits). Fill in two forms (discipline-specific and general competence studies) with the studies you want to incorporate to your doctoral degree and give them to your responsible professor or responsible person of your studies. He/she revises and accepts the study modules. The signed forms are submitted to If you need help with filling in the forms, please send e-mail to

Information about travel grants and other funding opportunities for doctoral candidates can be found student's guide.

Remember to log in or choose the your doctoral programme on the top of page to see all relevant information.

List of supervisors attached to CHEMS, grouped by research fields

Department of Chemistry

Faculty of Pharmacy

Department of Physics

Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences

Chemistry Teacher Education


On October 21st 2019, the steering board of CHEMS decided to award University funded doctoral candidate positions to the following applicants:

  • Valtteri Suorsa, for a period of 2 years
  • Evgeni Grazhdankin, for a period of 3 years

The steering board congratulates the successful candidates, and wishes to thank all the applicants.


The board of CHEMS has decided on November 28th, 2018 to award University funded doctoral candidate  positions as follow:

  • Jere Mannisto  1.1.2019 - 31.12.2020 (2 years)
  • Matti Leskinen 1.1.2019 - 31.12.2022 (4 years)

CHEMS congratulates the successful candidates!


On 26th October 2017, the steering board of CHEMS decided to award University funded doctoral candidate positions to the following applicants:

  • Kajsa Roslund, for a period of 4 years
  • Outi Haapanen, for a period of 2 years
  • Valtteri Suorsa, for a period of 2 years

The steering board congratulates the successful candidates, and wishes to thank all the applicants.