Doctoral Programme in Materials Research and Nanosciences

The doctoral programme in Materials Research and Nanosciences (MATRENA) offers a high-level PhD student education at the University of Helsinki one of the leading research universities in the world. It is a joint programme of the Department of Physics, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy and Helsinki Institute of Physics.

Within these institutions (all of which also have other doctoral programmes), it represents the PhD student education in materials physics, materials chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, nanosciences, molecular spectroscopy, biophysics, medical physics, computational physics and computational chemistry.

Within these fields, MATRENA is formed by several world-class research groups with major activities and project funding in these fields.

MATRENA welcomes students of all nationalities. The main working language within MATRENA is English. Almost all PhD level courses within the MATRENA fields are offered in English, and the main working language within the participating groups is English.

Students with Finnish citizenship, who wish to take exams and get guidance in the national languages, Finnish or Swedish, have an opportunity and right to do so.

MATRENA organizes regular university courses and intensive special courses in the fields it represents. It can also be a co-organizer and co-funder of summer schoolds, workshops and conferences for MATRENA students.

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.

First of all you need to find a supervisor for your PhD project. Unfortunately the MATRENA coordinator cannot help you to find a supervisor but you must contact suitable researchers yourself. To get started, please see the list of our supervisors. Once you have found a supervisor and agreed on a PhD project with him/her the next step is to apply for a PhD study right at MATRENA.

The application process in a nutshell. Also to verify your eligibility when applying for a doctoral study right, you must submit certain educational documents to University of Helsinki. Read instraction from Eli­gib­il­ity and edu­ca­tional doc­u­ments.

Starting in autumn 2017 the University of Helsinki will have common admission periods for doctoral candidates. Applicants will be informed of the admission results, including the reasons for them by a letter of acceptance, to be sent by e-mail to the address given in the application. Admitted applicants must report whether they accept the offer by a specified deadline. Those who fail to report whether they accept the offer or to submit the requested documents by the deadline will lose their place. During the academic year 2017-2018 the admission periods are as follows:

Application period Letters of acceptance to be sent by Deadline for accepting the offer Study right begins
1.-14.9.2017

16.11.2017

30.11.2017

1.12.2017
1.-14.11.2017

9.1.2018

23.1.2018

24.1.2018
1.-14.2.2018

28.3.2018

11.4.2018 12.4.2018
3.-16.4.2018

15.6.2018

29.6.2018 2.7.2018

After the call opens, the electronic form can be found  from the links in: Finnish, English and Swedish. The possible questions concerning the call are to be sent to phd-admissions@helsinki.fi.

Kindly note that the applications, along with the required additional documents, must be submitted by the end of the application period. Applications are submitted via an electronic application form, which closes at 15:00 (Helsinki time, UTC+3) on the last day of the round of applications. 

Admission criteria  for doctoral programmes in the Doctoral School in Natural Sciences. These guidelines apply to doctoral education for which applications can be submitted as of 1 August 2017. The guidelines will apply until further notice.

1. Who can apply

According to the Universities Act (558/2009) section 37 eligible applicants for studies leading to a postgraduate research degree have completed

1. An applicable second-cycle university degree,

2. An applicable second-cycle degree from a university of applied sciences, or

3. An applicable education at an institution abroad providing eligibility for equivalent higher education in the country in question.

An applicant may also be admitted to pursue a postgraduate research degree if the University finds him or her to have otherwise obtained the required knowledge and skills. 

All studies required for a second-cycle degree or equivalent education must be completed before the deadline for applications, and a certificate of this degree must be presented before the doctoral study right can be granted (deadline for accepting the offer)

2. Application

All applicants wishing to be considered must submit the following documents:

Electronic Application (form open during the application period), including:

1. A research proposal, including a funding plan. Please use the University of Helsinki research plan template

2. A study plan. Please acquaint yourself with the doctoral programme’s curriculum before drawing up your study plan

3. The title and summary of your Master´s thesis or equivalent or a description of previous academic publications.

4. The name(s) of the  MATRENA supervisor(s), who have agreed to supervise your thesis. See the list of MATREAN supervisors.

 Attachments to the Electronic Application

1. Copies of your previous degree certificate(s) (Master's degree or equivalent and potential Bachelor's degree)

2. Transcript of records for your previous degree(s) (Master's degree or equivalent and potential Bachelor's degree)

3. Verification of language skills, if applicable (see instructions for English, Finnish or Swedish)

4. A permit by an Ethical Review Board and/or by the National Animal Experiment Board, if required by the research arrangement

5. A signed letter of commitment from the supervisors, who have agreed to supervise your thesis 

Additional documents to be sent by post (applicants whose previous degree is not from the University of Helsinki)

1. An officially certified copy of your previous degree certificate (Master's degree or equivalent)

2. An officially certified copy a of detailed transcript of studies included in the Master's degree (or equvalent)

All educational documents must be either officially certified by the awarding institution, or legalised, unless the degree has been awarded by the University of Helsinki. Officially certified copies issued by a Finnish Notary Public will also be accepted. Please note, however, that there are country-specific document requirements in place for some degree-awarding countries. Documents from these countries must be attested or submitted in a certain way. These Country-Specific Requirements must be followed first and foremost, before any regular requirements for attesting documents.

3. Verification of language skills. The University of Helsinki demands an indication of academic level language skills of all applicants. See information on the options of verifying your language skills in either Finnish, Swedish or English.

4. A supporting statement by the dissertation supervisor(s). A separate statement submitted by the supervisor(s) directly to the University of Helsinki admissions service.

Applicants can also submit other enclosures to demonstrate that they have the knowledge and skills required to complete a doctoral degree. The Administrative Procedure Act (434/2003) stipulates that applicants must be provided a reasonable period to supplement a deficient application. Applicants have two weeks to supplement a deficient application, such as a supporting statement by the supervisor(s).

NOTE ALSO THAT all studies required for a second-cycle degree or equivalent education must be completed before the deadline for applications. Applicants for the right to complete a doctoral degree must enclose with their application a copy of their degree diploma and a transcript of studies or of other certificates with which they wish to demonstrate that they have the required knowledge and skills. The copies accompanying the application (incl. of the diploma) must be certified; however, certificates of language tests must be original certificates from the awarding institution. The other documents attached to the application must be in Finnish, Swedish or English, or a translation into one of these by an authorised translator that includes the translator’s signature and stamp. Copies of the degree diploma and the transcript of studies are sufficient if the degree that provides eligibility for postgraduate studies under section 37 of the Universities Act was completed at the University of Helsinki. Applicants must have the language proficiency specified in the University of Helsinki’s general admission guidelines.

3. Submitting the application

All applications must be submitted using the electronic application form. The required additional documents must be sent by post and must arrive by the end of the application period.

Applications and additional documents sent by email are not accepted. Incomplete applications are not considered.

The required additional documents should be sent to:

Admission Services
P.O.Box 3
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki
Finland

If sent via courier service, please use the following address:

Admission Services / University of Helsinki
Fabianinkatu 33, 1st floor
00170 Helsinki
Finland

4. Decisions

The purpose of student selection is to assess the motivation, commitment and aptitude of the applicants for studies. The right to complete a doctoral degree is granted on the basis of diplomas, certificates and other documents. The admission criteria include previous academic performance, the applicable content of previous studies to the prospective doctoral programme, the study plan and the research proposal. 

When selecting students for doctoral education, it must be ensured that the admitted students have access to high-quality supervision and support related to the topic of their doctoral dissertation. Applications can be rejected if no suitable supervisor can be designated for the dissertation. See programme specific admission criteria for more details.

The doctoral programme's steering group assesses all applications to the programme that meet the formal requirements. The steering group draws up an admission proposal indicating the names of the admitted and rejected applicants, together with the reasons for each decision. The final decision is made by the degree-awarding Faculty.

Applicants will be informed of the admission results, including the reasons for them by a letter of acceptance, to be sent by e-mail to the address given in the application. Admitted applicants must report whether they accept the offer by a specified deadline. Those who fail to report whether they accept the offer or to submit the requested documents by the deadline will lose their place.

Timetable for the decisions, deadlines for accepting the offer and default dates for the beginning of the study right

Application period Letters of acceptance to be sent by Deadline for accepting the offer Study right begins
01.-14.09.2017 16.11.2017 30.11.2017 01.12.2017
01.-14.11.2017 09.01.2018 23.01.2018 24.01.2018
01.-14.02.2018 28.03.2018 11.04.2018 12.04.2018
03.-16.04.2018 15.06.2018 29.06.2018 02.07.2018

5. Target degrees
The primary postgraduate degree offered at the University of Helsinki is a doctoral degree. The right to pursue postgraduate studies is always requested and granted with a doctoral degree as the primary goal (Table 1). However, a Licentiate degree can also be completed in the disciplines represented by each doctoral programme.

Table 1. Faculties which grant the right to complete a doctoral degree in one of the doctoral programmes of the Doctoral School in Natural Sciences as well as the relevant degree titles

Doctoral programme Faculty Degree*

Doctoral Programme in Particle Physics and Universe Science (PAPU)

Faculty of Science DPhil
Doctoral Programme in Geosciences (GEODOC)

Faculty of Science

Faculty of Arts

DPhil

DPhil

Doctoral Programme in Atmospheric Sciences (ATM-DP)

Faculty of Science

Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry

Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences

DPhil

DPhil, DSc (Agr&For)

DPhil

Doctoral Programme in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences (CHEMS)

Faculty of Science

Faculty of Pharmacy

 DPhil

 DPhil, DPhil (Pharm)

Doctoral Programme in Mathematics and Statistics (DOMAST) Faculty of Science DPhil
Doctoral Programme in Materials Research and Nanosciences (MATRENA)

Faculty of Science

Faculty of Pharmacy

 DPhil

 DPhil, DPhil (Pharm)

Doctoral Programme in Computer Science (DOCS) Faculty of Science DPhi

* DPhil = Doctor of Philosophy; DSc (Agr&For) = Doctor of Science (Agriculture and Forestry); DPhil (Pharm) = Doctor of Philosophy (Pharmacy)

6. One place rule

The so-called one place rule has extended to cover all education leading to a university degree, including doctoral and licentiate degrees. The rule of one study place per term concerns all degree programme application options.

The main points are:

If you are offered more than one study place at a higher education institution leading to a university degree starting at the same term, you may accept only one of them

A place of study granted through a university-to-university transfer within Finland is not governed by this rule.

Accordingly, you may be completing several on-going degree programmes simultaneously, but only if your admission to these programmes has been granted in different terms.

7. Appeals

Applicants dissatisfied with admissions decisions may appeal in writing to the faculty council or a body appointed by it within 14 days of the announcement of the admission results. Should you receive a decision rejecting your application, it will be accompanied by information on the appeals procedure.

 

The next call for university funded Ph.D. positions will take place in Autumn 2018.  Please note that for this call, the applicant should have an agreement on a research project with the intended thesis supervisor within MATRENA.

 

 

As of 1.8.2017 a doctoral degree at the Doctoral Programme in Materials Research and Nanosciences (MATRENA) consists of:

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

The scientific studies consist of discipline-specific studies supporting the thesis research work as well as a course in research ethics.

The requirements for transferrable skills studies are common to all 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**)
  • societal communication and organising tasks (codes DONAS-3**)

Information on the degree requirements in MATRENA can be found from the WebOodi Course Catalogue Service.

More information on the degree structure is also available on the University's general website on doctoral education.

for students in MEDICAL PHYSICS: guidebook for medical physics

IMPORTANT:

All MATRENA Doctoral Students should subscribe to Thessa, the doctoral studies planning and reporting tool. If you cannot find your supervisor in Thessa, please ask him/her to sign up there.

MATRENA groups and supervisors

Department of Physics
Kai Nordlund Professor
Antti Kuronen University lecturer, Docent 
Jyrki Räisänen Professor
Simo Huotari Professor
Edward Hæggström Professor
Heikki Nieminen Post-Doctoral Fellow, Leader of Medusa group
Ilpo Vattulainen Professor
Tomasz Rog University Researcher

Kalle Heinola Researcher
Vivek Sharma Academy Researcher Fellow

Medical physics

Sauli Savolainen Professor, Chief Physicist, UH/HUH (Helsinki University Hospital)
Kim Bergström Associate Professor, UH/HUH
Mika Kortesniemi Associate Professor, Chief Physicist, UH/HUH
Mikko Tenhunen Associate Professor, Chief Physicist, UH/HUH - ADD
Outi Sipilä Associate Professor, Chief Physicist, UH/HUH

Helsinki Institute of Physics 

Particle physics materials
Flyura Djurabekova University researcher

Department of Chemistry
Lauri Halonen Professor
Leonid Khriachtchev Senior scientist
Theo Kurten University lecturer
Dage Sundholm Professor
Markku Leskelä Professor, Head of CoE
Andriy Grafov Professor
Mikko Ritala Professor
Marianna Kemell University lecturer, Docent
Marko Vehkamäki PhD
Heikki Tenhu Professor
Sirkka Liisa Maunu Professor
Sami Hietala University lecturer, Docent
Vladimir Aseyev University lecturer, Docent
Marja-Liisa Riekkola Professor
Sami Heikkinen Docent

Faculty of Pharmacy
Marjo Yliperttula Professor
Jouni Hirvonen Professor, Dean
Risto Kostiainen Professor
Tapio Kotiaho Professor
Arto Urtti Professor
Markus Haapala Post doc
Tiina Kauppila Academy researcher

Raili Koivuniemi Post doc

Yan-Ru Lou University researcher, Docent
Tiina Sikanen ERC researcher, Docent
Tapani Viitala University researcher

For more information about individual research topics see supervisors TUHAT pages

Travel grants are intended to support doctoral students’ foreign and domestic travel for academic purposes (doctoral courses, learning in other research groups or participating in scientific conferences, seminars or workshops).  All doctoral students belonging to a doctoral programme at the DONASCI doctoral school may apply for travel grants.

No open call for travel grant applications.

All MATRENA Doctoral Students should subscribe to Thessa, the doctoral studies planning and reporting tool. If you cannot find your supervisor in Thessa, please ask him/her to sign up there.

3.11.2017

On 2nd November 2017, the steering board of MATRENA decided to suggest the following applicants for University funded doctoral candidate positions, starting on January 2018:

Jasmi Kiiskinen 3 years

Basil Gonsalves 4 years

MATRENA congratulates the successful candidates, and wishes to thank all the applicants. 

 

 

 

MATRENA board:

Ilpo Vattulainen, Professor, Director of MATRENA

Jyrki Räisänen Department of Physics, Professor

Flyura Djurabekova Department of Physics, University researcher (Vice-director of MATRENA)

Sami Hietala Department of Chemistry, Docent

Simo Huotari Department of Physics, Professor

Mikko Ritala Department of Chemistry, Professor

Tapani Viitala, University researcher

Ville Lovikka, Doctoral candidate representative

Lauri Koivula, Doctoral candidate representative

For more information about studies: matrena-info (at) helsinki.fi

For more information about admissions: phd-admissions (at) helsinki.fi

For more information about pre-examination and approval of doctoral dissertations: sci-phd-thesis (at) helsinki.fi

for Faculty of Pharmacy students for more information about pre-examination and approval of doctoral dissertations: viikki-phd (at) helsinki.fi