Call for Applications for Doctoral Researcher Positions at the University of Turku Graduate School, KEVEKO and OPPI Doctoral Programmes (Autumn 2023)
In this call for applications, you can apply for the right to study for a doctoral degree in the Faculty of Education of the University of Turku Doctoral Programme on Educational Policy, Lifelong Learning and Comparative Education Research (KEVEKO) and Doctoral Programme on Learning, Teaching and Learning Environments Research (OPPI) and/or for a fixed-term doctoral researcher position under an employment contract.
Please read more specific instructions below and apply on 15 September 2023 at the latest.
During the application period 28 August – 15 September 2023, you can apply for:
a) the right to study for a doctoral degree in the Faculty of Education of the University of Turku
The right to study begins on 1 January 2024.
b) a fixed-term doctoral researcher position under an employment contract
The position of a doctoral researcher is set to begin on 1 January 2024 at the earliest and for the duration of a maximum of four years (up to until 31 December 2027). The positions are intended for full-time doctoral dissertation research and doctoral studies. Duties other than those related to doctoral dissertation research, such as teaching duties, must be proportioned so as not to compromise the completion of the doctoral dissertation within the planned schedule. As a rule, up to 5% (a maximum of about 80 hrs per academic year) of the annual working time of the doctoral researcher can consist of teaching.
When determining the length of the employment contract, prior funding granted for pursuing a doctoral degree is taken into account. The maximum length for a doctoral researcher position is four years. A person already awarded with a doctoral degree cannot be chosen as a doctoral researcher under an employment contract.
The doctoral researcher works either at the Department of Education (doctoral researchers of KEVEKO) or at the Department of Teacher Education (doctoral researchers of OPPI) according to the researcher’s doctoral programme.
The employment contract of a doctoral researcher requires residence in Finland.
The salary is based on the salary system of the university’s teaching and research staff. It consists of a task-specific salary component and a personal performance salary component. The task-specific salary component of a doctoral researcher is at level 2–4. The component based on personal performance is 6–50% of the task-specific salary. The task-specific salary component of an entry-level doctoral researcher is typically on level 2, in which case the salary range is 2 313 € – 3 273 € per month at the beginning of the employment relationship.
A probationary period of 6 months applies.
c) both of the above (a and b)
Those applicants who are not citizens of an EU/EEA country and who have been granted a right to study for a doctoral degree at the University of Turku in the spring 2023 application round or who are granted a right to study in the autumn 2023 application round may apply for the Finland Fellowship funding for the year 2024. The funding is applied for by checking the corresponding field on the application form.
When applying for a right to study:
- You are required to have completed a relevant Master’s degree awarded by a university or a university of applied sciences, or a relevant study programme abroad which in the awarding country gives eligibility for the corresponding level of higher education (Universities Act 558/2009, 37§). The degree that gives eligibility for admission must be completed by the end of the application period.
- You must fulfil the University of Turku language skill requirements.
- Your previous higher education degrees must include sufficient number of studies in educational sciences or other fields relevant to the Doctoral Programme. The steering committee of the Doctoral Programme will evaluate the adequacy of previous studies in education or the suitability of previous studies for the Doctoral Programme when assessing applications.
- Your Master’s thesis must have a grade of at least 3 (on a scale from 1 to 5) or cum laude approbatur. This requirement does not apply to those with a higher university degree abroad (i.e. outside of Finland). It is also possible to apply for doctoral studies with a lower grade, if the applicant presents sufficient scientific evidence. A peer-reviewed article with a publishing channel (journal, series or publisher) of at least level 1 in the publication channel rating and where the applicant is listed as the first author can be considered sufficient scientific evidence.
- In your application, you must provide a supervisor from the Doctoral Programme who meets the requirements of the faculty and who has approved your research plan and agreed to be the first supervisor of the research.
When applying for a fixed-term doctoral researcher position under an employment contract:
- You are required to have an active right to study in the doctoral studies of the Faculty of Education in the University of Turku. If you have not yet been granted a right to study, you must apply for a right to pursue a doctoral degree in the Faculty of Education within this call for applications. A right to study is a prerequisite for an applicant to be chosen for a doctoral researcher position under an employment contract.
- You are planning to pursue or pursuing your first doctoral degree.
- When determining the length of the employment contract, the funding previously granted for the doctoral studies is taken into account.
- In the Doctoral Programme OPPI, an applicant selected for a doctoral researcher position under an employment contract is required to have an article-based doctoral dissertation (not a monograph).
The right to study for a doctoral degree and/or fixed-term doctoral researcher position are applied for by filling in an electronic form and attaching the required additional documents. A link to the electronic form will be published on the website of the graduate school. The form will be accessible as the application period begins on 28 August 2023 and closes at 11:59 pm on 15 September 2023.
Attachments to the application
If you are applying for a right to pursue a doctoral degree, you are required to submit all of the attachments described below (1–7). If you already have a right to study and you are only applying for a fixed-term doctoral researcher position under an employment contract, you are expected to submit attachments 1–3.
All of the required attachments must be submitted before the end of the application period. Applications that arrive after the application period has ended will not be processed. The application documents will not be returned to the sender.
1. Research plan
Write your research plan carefully according to the guidelines of the Doctoral Programme. The research plan should not exceed 12 pages (including all tables and references).
Note! the research plan guidelines have been updated for this call.
The research plan should follow the guidelines for the responsible conduct of research (see Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) | Finnish National Board on Research Integrity TENK). The research plans can be checked with the Turnitin OriginalityCheck plagiarism detection software. If the applicant uses artificial intelligence (AI) to develop the research plan, they must report on how it has been used.
2. Curriculum Vitae (in Finnish or in English)
Instructions by the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK) for writing a CV.
A list of publications is required to be included in the CV.
3. Motivation letter
A motivation letter is a one-page-long freeform document, in which you are expected to describe your motivation in pursuing doctoral studies and in conducting research.
4. Degree certificates and transcripts of study records
a) If you have completed your former degree(s) that make you eligible for doctoral studies at a higher education institution in Finland, you must attach your scanned original degree certificates, transcripts of study records and other educational documents which may be of relevance in the selection to the electronic application form.
b) If you have completed your former degree(s) that make you eligible for doctoral studies at a higher education institution abroad (i.e. outside of Finland), you must attach the following items to the electronic application form:
- scanned original degree certificates (in the language that the degree was completed in)
- scanned original transcripts of study records (in the language that the degree was completed in)
- scanned other original educational documents which may be of relevance in the student selection and that you are applying based on.
If the original degree certificates or transcripts of study records are not written in English, Finnish or Swedish, official translations to one of these languages must also be submitted. An official translation here refers to a translation of the educational documents issued by the awarding institution and a translation made by an authorised translator. A transcript in English can be replaced by a Diploma Supplement (DS) awarded by a European educational institution, provided that it contains the information about completed courses and other study attainments.
Please make sure that all attachments are good-quality, easy to read, full colour scans or photographs of the complete required document. Attachments that do not meet these requirements may be rejected.
5. Verification of language proficiency
The University of Turku follows the Rector’s decision (15 Aug 2019) on the means of verifying one’s language proficiency. See the language requirements on the webpage of the university’s graduate school.
If you are required to prove your language proficiency with a language test, a scanned certificate of a completed language test must be attached to the application.
6. Copy of a valid passport
Attach a copy of your valid passport or official identification card with photo and information on citizenship. If you have a Finnish personal identity code and you have entered it on the application form, you do not need to attach a copy of your passport.
7. Reasons for transferring from another doctoral programme
If you have a right to study for a doctoral degree at another university or in another doctoral programme at the University of Turku, you must provide reasons in your application for changing over to a doctoral programme in the Faculty of Education of the University of Turku. If any materials collected during the previous supervision relationship are planned to be used in the dissertation, a consent to the applicant’s use of research materials must be submitted.
Applications are reviewed by the steering committee of the doctoral programme. A supervisor's statement on the application will be requested for all study right applications, and in the OPPI Doctoral Programme also for the applications for doctoral researcher positions under an employment contract (the supervisor submits the statement directly to the Coordinator of the doctoral programme). Applications may also be sent for evaluation to national and/or international reviewers.
In the selection process for the doctoral researcher positions under an employment contract, particular attention is paid to the quality and feasibility of the research plan and to the applicant’s other research merits.
When admitting the right to study for a doctoral degree, the eligibility criteria of the applicant and the selection criteria of the Faculty of Education are considered in addition to the criteria mentioned above. A prerequisite for admission is that in the doctoral programme there is at least one person who has agreed to act as a supervisor and who fulfils the qualification requirements for supervisors. In addition, the applicant’s research topic must fit the profile of the doctoral programme. A maximum of 24 new doctoral researcher per academic year (12 doctoral researcher per doctoral programme) are selected for the Faculty of Education.
The Dean/Vice Dean of research affairs of the faculty decides on granting the right to study for a doctoral degree based on the proposal of the steering committee of the doctoral programme. The Head of the department decides on recruitment of the applicant for the position of a doctoral researcher based on the proposal of the steering committee of the doctoral programme.
All applicants will be personally informed about the decisions. The names of the applicants who have been selected for the position of a doctoral researcher will be announced on the website of the doctoral programme by the end of November 2023.
An admitted applicant has to notify the University of Turku of their acceptance of the study place by 3:00 pm (UTC +2) on 15 December 2023 according to the instructions given in the admission notification. If the admitted applicant does not give the notification by the end of the allotted time period mentioned above, the applicant forfeits the study place. A person admitted to more than one university or polytechnic degree programme only notifies the one educational institution at which they choose to accept the study place. Notification, i.e. accepting a study place, is binding and may not be cancelled or changed later.
According to Finnish university legislation, an applicant may accept only one study place leading to a higher education degree in Finland during one academic term (autumn term 1 Aug – 31 Dec or spring term 1 Jan – 31 Jul). This rule applies to all higher education, i.e. Bachelor’s and Master’s level degrees awarded by Finnish universities of applied sciences, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees awarded by Finnish universities, and Licentiate and Doctoral degrees awarded by Finnish universities. This regulation is not applied to study rights received in transfer student selections, from the Åland University of Applied Sciences, from the Police University College, and from institutions of higher education outside Finland.
The applicants who have completed their prior degree in a country other than Finland and who are granted a study right in this call, need to deliver either the original degree certificates or certified copies of the original degree certificates and their translations to the University of Turku, as instructed in the admission notification, on 4 March 2024 at the latest. If the admitted applicant does not deliver the required certificates by the deadline, they forfeit the study right. Instructions on delivering certificates and country-specific requirements.
Coordinator Sanna Niukko
Chief Academic Officer Anne Niemimäki
Doctoral training at the Faculty of Education