Doctoral Programme in Biology, Geography and Geology - Admission Criteria and Instructions for Applicants

Applications for the right to pursue doctoral studies in BGG doctoral programme are processed two times a year, once in the autumn and once in the spring. In September call, in addition to a right to study, you can also apply for fixed-term funded doctoral candidate position. Next call for applications for a right to study a doctoral degree in BGG doctoral programme at the Faculty of Science will be open August 30 - September 17, 2021. The application instructions and link to the electronic application will be updated on the web pages in August, 2021.

Before applying
  • Make sure you are eligible to apply
  • Contact your potential supervisor and make a supervision plan with him/her
  • Prepare a funding plan as a right to study does not include funding or scholarship from the University
  • Prepare all the required application attachments according to the instructions
  • Prepare your degree certificates for the application and require officially certified copies with English translation if needed
  • If you need to verify your language skills with a language test, make sure that you book your test time well in advance.
When applying
  • Read the guidelines before filling in the electronic application
  • Make sure you have attached all the required documents
  • Ask your supervisor to send a supervisor statement to the BGG coordinator
Application documents

Mandatory documents are marked with bolded font.

1. CV: Please see the instructions of TENK for writing a CV

2. List of publications:  Instructions in English 

3. Research plan: the research plan must include the name of the applicant and the preliminary title of the thesis. The research plan should describe the research objectives, methods and required infrastructure or other resources, as well as the current status and planned timetable of the research. Research plan must not exceed four A4 pages (Times New Roman 12 pt or equivalent). Keep in mind that not all of the reviewers are experts in your field of research.

4. Copies of degree certificates/diplomas: The degree certificates, the transcripts of study records and other educational documents, which may be of relevance in the student selection, must be attached to the electronic application form.
•    scanned original degree certificates
•    scanned original transcripts of study records
•    scanned other original educational documents which may be of relevance in the student selection
•    If the original degree certificates and other educational documents 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, a translation made by an authorized translator, or a certified copy of a translation issued by the awarding institution or an authorized translator. 

5. Motivation letter: free-form letter to the evaluators (one A4-page, Times New Roman 12 pt or equivalent).

6. Supervision plan signed by supervisor(s), a research director and the applicant: 

Supervision plan form is mandatory only when applied for a right to study a doctoral degree.

7. Transcript of study records showing the studies to be included in the doctoral degree: If you already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Turku, attach a transcript of study records showing the studies to be included in the doctoral degree.

8. Supervisor's statement: This should include at least 1) assessment of the applicant, 2) assessment of the feasibility (both scientific and financial) of the research project, 3) declaration of the commitment of the supervisor towards the completion of the thesis, 4) statement on whether the supervisor is foreseen to be employed at the University of Turku until the thesis is completed, and 5) estimate of when the doctoral defense will take place (autumn/spring of year 20xx). DO NOT attach this statement to this electronic application. Instead, ask your supervisor to email the statement to the doctoral programme coordinator before the application period ends.

9. Evaluation letter: If you do not yet have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Turku, ask for an evaluation letter from a person who knows you (e.g., MSc thesis supervisor). This letter should assess the capability of the applicant to carry out high-quality research and to successfully pursue doctoral studies. If this person is the same as your main supervisor, then a single letter is enough. DO NOT attach this evaluation to this electronic application, but instead ask the person to email the evaluation to the doctoral programme coordinator before the application period ends.

10. English language certificate (see the following section for details)

Verifying language proficiency

Applicants must have good English language skills and a certificate that proves those skills.

    Language requirements for right to study for a doctoral degree

After you have applied
  • Prepare to deliver your original or originally certified degree certificates to the University of Turku if you are granted the right to study a doctoral degree