The University of Helsinki – Among the best in the world

Founded in 1640, the University of Helsinki (UH) is one of the best multidisciplinary research universities in the world. The UH has an internationally diverse academic community of 40,000 students and staff members. It operates on four campuses in Helsinki and at 9 other locations nationally. The high-quality research carried out by the University creates new knowledge for educating diverse specialists in various fields and for utilization in social decision-making and the business sector.

At the University of Helsinki, doctoral training is organized into four doctoral schools and 32 doctoral programmes that cover all disciplines and doctoral candidates of the University. 

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.


B&M invites applications for doctoral candidate positions for a 1–4 year* period starting from 1.1.2018. The duration of the employment contract depends on the stage of the appointee´s doctoral thesis project.(*Exception: Doctoral candidates pursuing a specialist degree in medicine can apply for half of a UH-funded position (6 months/year). These applicants are expected to commit to full time (100%) doctoral training for a six month period and to clinical specialist training for the remaining 6 months of the same calendar year.) 

The duties of a doctoral candidate are to work on his or her own doctoral thesis and to complete formal doctoral training required for the degree. The duties can also include teaching and other tasks. Teaching tasks can account for up to 5 % of the annual working time.

The University of Helsinki offers a salary dependent on qualifications and work experience. The salary 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. The salary is EUR 2065–3022 per month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience. The appointment starts with a probationary period of four months.

Applications are invited online during September 1-14, 2017. More information about the application and selection process below.

For further information about:

  • Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind (B&M), please visit or contact B&M coordinator This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • DSHealth, please visit
  • University of Helsinki Doctoral Schools, please visit
  • University of Helsinki International Staff Services, please visit 


The doctoral candidate positions are open for applicants with a Master's degree or equivalent and a background in biology, medicine, psychology, physics, technology or another relevant field.

Selected applicants should have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki by the end of 2017, before an employment contract as a doctoral candidate can start. For more information, please read the admission instructions at and

An ideal B&M doctoral candidate application should:
- 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
- Propose to join a research group which:

Application and selection process
Please read carefully the B&M-specific admission requirements (above) and make sure that all the formal criteria for B&M admission are met.


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 23:59 (EEST), including the following:

  • the research plan  
  • the funding plan
  • the schedule for completing the degree
  • references (max. 10)

  • Applicants who do not yet have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at UH are to attach in the application:
    • copy of the second-cycle degree certificate
    • copy of certificate of the language skills  

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

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 (EEST).


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 (October-November 2017)
Short-listed applicants will be invited for an interview by the evaluation panel. The tentative dates for B&M interviews are October 30-31, or November 6-7, 2017. The invitations for interviews will be sent to short-listed applicants at least one week before the interviews.

3. Decisions (expected by the end of November 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