Applying for a doctoral stydy right at the Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind, University of Helsinki

The application periods during the academic year 2017 - 2018 are 1-14.9.2017 and 3-16.4.2018.  

University of Helsinki's general information on doctoral training and applying for doctoral studies:



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 (UTC +3) on the last day of the round of applications.


The application periods in the academic year 2017 - 2018 are 1-14.9.2017 and 3-16.4.2018


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. 
  4. In addition, applicants who have been accepted to complete a Licenciate of Medicine or Licenciate of Dentistry degree in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, are eligible to apply.

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.

Applicants of the Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind typically have a Master's degree or equivalent and a background in biology, medicine, psychology, cognitive sciences, physics, technology or another relevant field.


  • Motivation and CV of the applicant, success in previous studies
  • Demonstration of adequate knowledge in relevant fields and potential of the applicant to develop into an independent researcher
  • Scientific relevance and ambition of the research plan, use of relevant methodology
  • Thematic fit of the research plan with the doctoral programme profile
  • Funding plan and feasibility of the thesis project within the intended timeframe (net time 4 years)
  • Supervisory and follow-up of progress arrangements, quality of the research environment 

In addition, the doctoral programme may organize an interview or an entrance exam.



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

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

A1. A research proposal. Please use the University of Helsinki research plan template ( to draw up your research plan. Please write your plan in English. 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)
  • 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)
  • Critical points for success, alternative implementation strategies (500)
  • Ethical issues (1000)
  • Publication plan (including a preliminary outline of a monograph) (1000)
  • Methods for ensuring open access (more information available on the University Library's website, 500)
  • 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 most important research literature and/or sources (1000)

A2. A study plan. Please acquaint yourself with the doctoral programme’s curriculum / degree requirements before drawing up your study plan:
Doctoral Programme's degree requirementsB&M degree structure and course catalogue in UH WebOodi
The degree requirements are summarized as:

    • Doctoral thesis
    • Discipline specific studies (30 ECTS)
    • General competence studies (10 ECTS)

A3. The title and summary of your Master´s thesis or equivalent or a description of previous academic publications.

A4. The names of the supervisors, who have agreed to supervise your thesis. 
Each doctoral candidate has a personal supervisor/supervisors. It is the responsibility of the applicant to find a supervisor and to discuss and agree on the research and study plans with him/her. Contact a principal investigator who is working in a field that matches your background knowledge and interests in research. An updating list of principal investigators is available here: www.brain-mind/group-list. In addition, you can look for other potential supervisors from the University's research portal TUHAT (

B. Attachments to the Electronic Application

B1. Copies of your previous degree certificate(s) (Master's degree or equivalent and potential Bachelor's degree)

B2. Transcript of records for your previous degree(s) (Master's degree or equivalent and potential Bachelor's degree)

B3. Verification of language skills, unless proven by the Master's degree (see instructions for EnglishFinnish or Swedish)

B4. A permit by an Ethical Review Board and/or by the National Animal Experiment Board, if required by the research arrangement

B5. A signed letter of commitment from the responsible professor as well as the supervisor(s), who have agreed to supervise your thesis. 

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

C1. An officially certified copy of your previous degree certificate (Master's degree or equivalent)

C2. An official transcript of studies icluded in the Master's degree (or equivalent)  More information on submitting the documents related to eligibility

C3. Verification of language skills, unless proven by the Master's degree (see instructions forr English, Finnish or Swedish)



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 (links below), which closes at 15.00 (Helsinki time) on the last day of the round of applications. Please note that even if you use the application form in Finnish or Swedish, the research plan should be written in English. 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.


APPLICATION FORM in English (please use the application form for Doctoral School in Health Sciences)

HAKULOMAKE suomeksi (Terveyden tutkimuksen tutkijakoulun hakulomake)

ANSÖKNING på svenska (Forskarskolan in hälsoforskning) 


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.

For questions about the admission process and the required documents, please contact the Admissions Services This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



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.

Once the decisions have been made, applicants will be informed of them. If the decision is positive, the offered study place must be accepted within the set time limit. Should the decision be negative, it will be accompanied by information on the appeals procedure.

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










Weblog on neuroscience

B&M doctoral students post news and comments on neuroscience as a weblog:

In addition, a series of blog posts on brain research (in Finnish) is administered by the Brain Research Society of Finland. 

Suomen Aivotutkimusseuran blogisarja aivotutkimuksesta.


Aivottutkimukseen liittyviä muita julkaisuja:

Aivosairaudet ovat kalleimmat kansantautimme (Lindsberg ym.)

Geenitutkija ahtistuneisuushäiriön syntysyiden jäljillä (Iiris Hovatta)

Tietoisuus on ihmisaivojen arvoitus (Matias Palva)

Tutkijat avaavat tarkkaavaisuuden rajoja (Kimmo Alho)

Aivot, uni ja oppiminen (Minna Huotilainen)

Onko ihminen oman onnensa seppä? (Kai Kaila)

Ihmismielen emergenssi evoluutiossa ja yksilönkehityksessä (Kristian Donner)



Aivoviikon 2017 yleisötapahtumat


baw              fens-logo            


Maanantai 13.3.2017

16:00-17:00  Näyttely Porthanian aulassa

  • Tutkijoiden posterinäyttely: Aivot ja Mieli -tohtoriohjelman väitöskirjatyöntekijöitä
    paikalla esittelemässä työtään postereiden avulla.

  • Potilasjärjestöjen näyttelypöydät: edustajat paikalla esittelemässä toimintaansa.


KEHITTYVÄT AIVOT -yleisöseminaari 17-19 (Lataa tulostettava ohjelma)

17:00 Avauspuheenvuoro, Suomen Aivosäätiön hallituksen puheenjohtaja Liisa Ollila

17:10 Vastasyntyneet ja lapset lääketieteen katveessa: ovatko prioriteetit kohdallaan? Akatemiaprofessori Kai Kaila, Helsingin yliopisto

17:40 Digiajan vaikutukset kehittyviin aivoihin. Tutkija Mona Moisala, Helsingin yliopisto

18:10 Lapset ja nuoret digitaalisessa maailmassa: mahdollisuuksia ja uhkia. Lastenpsykiatrian dosentti Jari Sinkkonen



Tiistai 14.3.2017

16:00-17:00  Näyttely Porthanian aulassa

  • Tutkijoiden posterinäyttely: Aivot ja Mieli -tohtoriohjelman väitöskirjatyöntekijöitä
    paikalla esittelemässä työtään postereiden avulla.

(Lisätietoja: Aalto Brain Centren sivulta) 

17:00–17:10 Professori Synnöve Carlson: Avaussanat
17:10–17:45 Professori Iiro Jääskeläinen: Samasta tarinasta samaa aivotoimintaa?
17:45–18:20 Tutkijatohtori Tommi Himberg: Tanssista empatiaa? Liikkeen synkroniasta tunteiden tahdistumiseen.
18:20–18:55 Vieraileva tutkijatohtori Kristina Laaksonen: Aivoinfarkti. Samanlaiset oireet - samanlainen toipuminen?


Tapahtuman toteutus yhteistyössä:
Helsingin yliopisto
Aalto-yliopiston Aalto Brain Centre
Aivot ja Mieli -tohtoriohjelma (Brain&Mind)
Suomen Aivosäätiö 
Suomen Aivotutkimusseura ry
Suomen Aivot ry

Suomen Aivosäätiö / Merja Rekola puh. 0400 933 938  sähköposti. aivosaatio(at)
Brain & Mind –tohtoriohjelma / Katri Wegelius puh. 02941 59859 sähköposti. katri.wegelius(at)
Aalto Brain Centre / Jaakko Järvinen puh. 050 526 9960, sähköposti jaakko.jarvinen(at)











B&M Symposium 2017

September 21-­22, 2017  

University of Helsinki, Main Building, Fabianinkatu 33 (Small lecture hall, 4th floor)

Welcome to the Annual B&M Student Symposium organized by the B&M Student Council!

This year’s symposium will cover many current topics of neuroscience including therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs, large scale brain dynamics, acid sensing ion channels and neural networks of the retina and the inhibitory circuitry of the brain.

In addition to B&M students and supervisors, we welcome other interested researchers and MSc./PhD students to this meeting. Registration to all lectures of the symposium is free. 

Credits: 1 ECTS credit for participation in all lectures and workshops + 1 credit for a poster presentation at the symposium. 

For more information, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or B&M Student Council chair This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 


REGISTRATION to the symposium is closed. 
If you still wish to come and listen to the lectures, there are some free seats in the lecture hall. However, coffees/lunches and evening program are reserved for registered participants only.


PROGRAM  (full program below as a pdf)

THURSDAY 21.9.2017 

Session 1: Psychedelic drugs

Robin Carhart-Harris (Imperial College London): Psychedelics: therapeutic potential

Jordi Riba (Biomedical Research Institute of Sant Pau): Two decades of ayahuasca research in humans: what have we learned?

Lunch break

Session 2: Perception

Biyu He (NYU School of Medicine): Large-scale brain dynamics underlying perceptual awareness

Gregor Thut (University of Glasgow): Network activity in the Brain: from correlation to causation.

Poster session

Evening program + dinner (for pre-registered participants only)


FRIDAY 22.9.2017

Session 3: Acidity in the brain

John Wemmie (University of Iowa): Acid-sensing ion channels in synaptic transmission, plasticity, and addiction

Workshop: Scientific rigor

Katherine Button (University of Bath): Methods for reproducible science: career sense or suicide? 

Lunch break

Session 4: Neural networks

Thomas Euler (University of Tübingen): What the mouse's eye tells the mouse's brain.

Jens Hjerling Leffler (Karolinska Institute): One cell at a time: Single-cell transcriptomics in the study of the brain.





Organized by the B&M Student Council 2017:

Sanna Koskela, chair
Senem Merve Fred 

Hamed Haque 
Sebnem Kesaf  
Samuel Kohtala 
Elina Nagaeva  
Santeri Rouhinen  




eppendorf     orion 100     tfs logo rgb jpg





The University of Helsinki, founded in 1640, is one of the best multidisciplinary research universities in the world. The University has four doctoral schools, which offer a total of 32 doctoral programmes. Our doctoral candidates, supervised by top-class researchers, carry out their research as part of an international academic community. The University awards some 500 doctoral degrees annually

The Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind (B&M) is one of the doctoral programmes of the Doctoral School in Health Sciences. B&M provides multidisciplinary education in the following fields of neuroscience:

  • Developmental neuroscience
  • Excitability, synaptic transmission, and neuronal networks
  • Disorders of the nervous system
  • Sensory and motor systems
  • Neuroimmunology, neuroendocrine systems and sleep
  • Cognition and behavior
  • Systems and computational neuroscience

In addition to the scientific content courses provided by the B&M, an extensive curriculum in general competence studies is provided by the Doctoral School in Health Sciences. The goal is to complete the doctoral degree requirements of the University of Helsinki within four years. Progress of the doctoral candidate is monitored by the supervisor, a carefully selected thesis committee, and the doctoral programme. 

The Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind (B&M) invites applications for 

for a 1-4 year period starting from 1 January 2018. The duration of the employment contract depends on the phase of the appointee´s thesis.

The duties of a doctoral candidate are to work on their doctoral thesis and to complete the doctoral studies determined by the doctoral programme’s curriculum. The duties may also include teaching and other tasks for up to 5 % of the annual working time.

The appointee must obtain the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki by the start of the appointment. Other requirements include the ability and motivation, as demonstrated through previous degree studies or otherwise, to pursue the doctoral degree according to the research proposal and the accompanying study plan. 

An ideal B&M doctoral candidate application should
- demonstrate that the applicant has a Master's degree or equivalent and a background in biology, medicine, psychology, physics, technology or another relevant field 
- demonstrate that the applicant is highly motivated and has potential to develop into an independent researcher
- contain a scientifically significant and feasible research proposal, which thematically fits in the scope of the scientific fields represented by B&M

The salary for the doctoral candidate position is based on levels 2–4 of the job requirement scheme for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee shall be paid a salary component based on personal work performance. Depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience, the salary is EUR 2065–3022 per month. The appointment starts with a probationary period of four months.

Apply for the position in the University’s recruitment system by clicking the APPLY LINK below.

Before starting to fill in the application form, familiarize yourself with these general instructions for applying for UH-funded salaried positions (including also instructions for attachments concerning degree certificates). 

The deadline for applications is 14 September 2017.

The decisions will be announced on the doctoral programme’s web page by the beginning of December 2017.


All applications must be submitted online. A complete application includes:

1) The application form completed by the applicant and submitted by September 14, 2017 at 15:00 (UTC +3) 

Please submit your application, together with the required attachments, through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the APPLY LINK at the recruitment call page or directly through this APPLY LINK. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to send their application via the SAP HR portal. Instructions for the electronic application system:
The research plan to be included in the application must be written in English (even if the application is otherwise made in Finnish or Swedish) and the maximum length is 12.000 characters with spaces, including references. Maximum length of the summary is 2.500 characters with spaces.

2) Confirmation of Supervision e-form completed by the primary supervisor and submitted by September 18, 2017 at 23:59 (UTC +3).

Both forms must be completed and submitted for the application to be valid. No applications or supervisor's forms submitted after the deadline will be accepted.

Note! Doctoral candidates enrolled in specialist training are expected to provide a 'Letter of Commitment' indicating how the doctoral training period will be integrated with clinical work. The signed 'Letter of Commitment' must be submitted by e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by September 14, 2017 at 23:59 (UTC +3).

SELECTION PROCESS (October-November 2017)

1. Evaluation of applications
Applications received in time and fulfilling the general application requirements are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Ability and motivation as demonstrated in previous degree studies or otherwise
  • Existing or potential academic merits (e.g. publications, awards, conference presentations) and the quality of the research environment (supervision)
  • Quality of the research plan (including feasibility of the plan) and its relevance to the B&M fields of science.

2. Interviews (November 2017)
Short-listed applicants will be invited for an interview by the evaluation panel. The tentative dates for B&M interviews are November 6-7, 2017. The invitations for interviews will be sent to short-listed applicants one week before the interviews at the latest.

3. Decisions (expected by the beginning of December 2017)
Following the interviews, the evaluation panel will make a proposal to the B&M Board regarding selection of candidates for the funded positions. All applicants will be informed of the selection by e-mail and the decision be published at the B&M doctoral program webpage


For further information on the doctoral candidate positions, please contact 

Katri Wegelius: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (or +358 50 4480405).

Technical support for using the recruitment system: rekrytointi(at)





UH education reform

Education Reform of the University of Helsinki in a nutshell (more information in Flamma):

  1. New study programs crossing boundaries between disciplines, units and faculties starting in August 2017:
    32   B.Sc. programs
    60   M.Sc. programs   
    32   Doctoral programs
  2. Study program -specific degree structures
  3. Decrease in the number of credits needed for a doctoral degree (60 -> 40)
  4. Learning outcomes:
    → skills and knowledge students should acquire during studies

    → possible career paths




B&M degree structure and course catalogue in UH WebOodi

The degree requirements are summarized as:

      • Doctoral thesis
      • Discipline specific studies (30 ECTS)
      • General competence studies (10 ECTS)

bm ds pic  


According to the Rector’s Decision (No 22/2016) doctoral programmes are degree programmes which will have degree requirements of their own. The faculty responsible for the doctoral programme has approved the programme’s new degree requirements and curriculum and those will become valid from 1.8.2017. The rector has decided on the general principles for the transition period of the education reform (Decision No 23/2016).

General transition guidelines:

All doctoral candidates must transfer to the new degree system if they do not complete their degree before 31.7.2020. During the preceding transition period (1.8.2017 – 31.7.2020) they can choose from the following options:

1) they can continue to study according to the old degree requirements, i.e., 60 ECTS credits (40 ECTS for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Doctor of Medical Science and Doctor of Dental Science degrees) and faculty and/or major based guidelines until 31.7.2020

2) they can transfer to the new degree system and begin to study according to the new degree requirements, in which case it should be noted that:

  • There will be an e-form available in fall 2017 to apply for the transition to the new degree system.
  • The transition to the new degree system can be done at any time during the transition period, but once it is done, it is not possible to return to the old system. 
  • The transition to the new degree system must be completed before the beginning of the pre-examination process (by January 2020).
  • Once the transition period ends on 31.7.2020, all doctoral candidates will be transferred to the new degree system
  • All new doctoral candidates granted the right to pursue doctoral studies after 1.8.2017 will use the new system of 40 ECTS credits
  • In the new degree system, 40 ECTS credits will be required in addition to the doctoral thesis. These credits are distributed between discipline-specific studies (30 credits) and general competence studies (10 credits).
  • The composition of discipline-specific studies differs between doctoral programmes, while the required general competence studies are doctoral school specific.
  • An obligatory course of research ethics must be included in the discipline-specific studies
  • In the new degree system studies completed more than 10 years earlier cannot be included in a doctoral degree.
  • Studies included in a Master’s degree cannot be transferred to a doctoral degree. However, extra studies completed during MSc studies that are not included in the degree, can be transferred to doctoral degree if they fit the doctoral programme-specific degree structure.
  • The new degree structure may include more obligatory studies than the old system. In addition, there may be differences in the number of credits gained for specific courses or activities.


Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind specific transition guidelines: 


Current obligatory studies

Corresponding studies in the new B&M degree structure

Biological and Environmental Sciences

Licentiate examination (522082, 51064, 529245, 52970)

B&M book exam: NEUBM-010


Preliminary examination (590381)

B&M book exam: NEUBM-010

2 presentations of the dissertation research project (590382, 590383)

No credits for Thesis Committee presentations. For presentations outside own unit: NEUBM-104


No obligatory studies


Veterinary Medicine

No obligatory studies





B&M briefly

Starting from January 2014, Doctoral Program Brain & Mind (B&M) is the only PhD program in neuroscience in the University of Helsinki and Aalto University as the term of the Finnish Graduate School of Neuroscience has ended.

B&M is a network program of the University of Helsinki and Aalto University. Through this collaboration, the B&M students have a priviledge for a highly interdisciplinary doctoral training in neuroscience. In the University of Helsinki, B&M is one of the doctoral programs of the Doctoral School of Health Sciences and a cross-campus program represented by 6 Faculties and 3 independent institutes. In Aalto University, B&M is part of the Doctoral Programme of School of Science.
Current lists of B&M affiliated research groups and registered doctoral students.

More information about the Structure and the Board of the B&M.

Doctoral training and research collaboration between Aalto University and University of Helsinki is also supported by BRAHE network (BRAHE = Brain Research at Aalto University and University of Helsinki).


Registration to Doctoral Program Brain & Mind in the University of Helsinki 

New PhD students apply for a right to pursue a doctoral degree in one of the Faculties of the University of Helsinki. The selection of the doctoral program will be done during the application process. Each postgraduate student will follow the degree requirements of his/her home Faculty. The doctoral program will provide training and a scientific network of students and researchers in the field.

Registration to Doctoral Program Brain & Mind in Aalto University

New PhD students apply for a right to pursue a doctoral degree in the Doctoral Programme of School of Science. Registered PhD students working in one the scientific fields of the B&M in the Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, NBE (former O.V. Lounasmaa Laboratory and Department of Biomedical Engineering and Computational Science (BECS), can apply for a membership in the Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind by contacting the B&M coordinator.


More information on How to apply?