Career opportunities

The University of Helsinki has adopted a four-level career path hierarchy for teaching and research staff which indicates the level for each research and teaching staff job title.  This model has clarified and unified the job titles among teaching and research staff while generating a matrix for academic career advancement.

Job titles in the four-level model

Level 4 – Professor, research director and senior curator
Level 3 – University lecturer and clinical instructor, university researcher, senior researcher, research coordinator and curator, assistant professor (tenure track)
Level 2 – Postdoctoral researcher, university instructor
Level 1 – Doctoral student, specialising doctor/dentist/veterinarian, research assistant, teaching assistant

The qualification requirements for each level of teaching and research duties

Doc­toral education and doc­toral schools

A research career at the University begins with a doctoral student position, since a doctoral degree is a requirement for the higher levels of teaching and research duties. The doctoral education system at the University of Helsinki comprises four doctoral schools and 32 doctoral programmes covering all research fields at the University. All University of Helsinki doctoral students belong to the doctoral education system. The fields of the doctoral schools are based on cooperation in research and doctoral education.

The University’s service and expert staff supports its teaching and research staff. This staff group consists of people from many different fields, from laboratory animal technicians, sports instructors and gardeners to financial planning officers and legal counsels.

Service and expert staff may be involved in administration, IT, marketing or communications. The University has a range of administrative duties, in areas including human resources, financial and academic administration. IT duties at the University focus on ensuring and developing a functional IT environment and data security system for a large organisation, while duties in communications encompass internal and external communications as well as marketing. All of these areas also feature managerial and leadership duties.

Teaching and research support staff include, for example, laboratory personnel and the staff of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The staff of the University's libraries and museums are experts in their respective fields, while the provider of the University's exercise services, UniSport, employs sports and exercise professionals. In addition, the University has positions in maintenance and facility services as well as technical services at the Centre for Properties and Facilities. The University also supports the career progress of its support service and expert staff by often beginning recruitment for such duties internally.

The University of Helsinki comprises two teacher training schools, Helsinki Normal Lyseum and Viikki Teacher Training School. The Helsinki Normal Lyseum comprises grades 7–9 of comprehensive school and upper secondary school. The Viikki Teacher Training School teaches comprehensive school pupils from pre-schoolers aged 6 through the final 9th grade as well as upper secondary school. The University’s teacher students conduct teaching practice at these schools. The teacher training schools employ class teachers, subject teachers and classroom assistants, among other staff.

In addition to contractual employees, the University community includes grant-funded researchers and visiting researchers. The University may also grant researchers the title of docent. Additionally, the University employs students from different fields as trainees.

Grant-funded researcher

Research at the University can be conducted with a personal grant awarded directly to the researcher by a foundation or other institution. Grant-funded researchers work in different University units which conclude grant-funded researcher agreements with the researchers.

Visiting professor and visiting researcher

The University of Helsinki welcomes visiting researchers and visiting professors who may be on research leave from their home universities or otherwise available. The visit can be based on existing research cooperation or it can be intended to launch new cooperation with a University unit. If you would like to come to the University of Helsinki as a visiting researcher or professor, please contact your cooperation partner at the University.

The title of docent

The title of docent ('dosentti') may be awarded to a person who has comprehensive knowledge of his or her own field, a capacity for independent research demonstrated through publications or some other manner, and good teaching skills. The title of docent does not constitute an employment relationship with the University. The English-language equivalent of the Finnish title dosentti is 'title of docent' (not 'adjunct professor').

At the University of Helsinki, the title of docent is granted by the Chancellor on the proposal of the faculty council. Further information about applying for the title of docent can be found on faculty-specific websites.


A traineeship offers you the chance to demonstrate your competence, but above all to learn more about professional work. The best way to secure a traineeship is to directly contact a potential employer. Consider what kind of training would be best suited to your studies and your future plans.

Universities of applied sciences, research universities and other educational institutions have their own funding and support systems for traineeships. If you are looking for a traineeship to include in your degree, first find out about the practices of your own institution and then contact the University of Helsinki unit where you wish to work as a trainee.

The University does not offer non-paid traineeships.