Doctoral Programme in Nursing Science - Admission Criteria and Instructions for Applicants

The next application period for the right to study for a doctoral degree will be from 28 February - March 2024. The right to study for a doctoral degree at the University of Turku will start on 1 August 2024. 

The right to study for a doctoral degree can be applied for twice a year: in the spring and in the autumn. In the autumn call it is also possible to apply for a a fixed-term Doctoral Researcher position under an employment contract.

Call for applications spring 2024

Hakuilmoitus kevät 2024

For the applicant

Admission criteria

The right to study for doctoral degree at the Faculty of Medicine can be applied for by persons who meet the eligibility criteria for pursuing a doctoral degree, as stipulated in the Universities Act (558/2009, Section 37), as well as the prerequisites for pursuing a doctoral degree at the Faculty of Medicine.

Prerequisites for pursuing a doctoral degree are written in the curriculum of the PhD in health sciences (2022-2024). (Click "Show description" on the page.)

The right to pursue a doctoral degree in health sciences may be granted by the faculty to a person who has attained a Masters Degree in health sciences or who has completed a Finnish or a foreign degree on a corresponding level. The grade received for the major subject of the Master's Degree should be at least "good" (3 on scale 1–5). If the main subject is not identifiable (e.g. international students), study achievement must be proved by other means.

The university may require a student admitted to study for an academic or artistic postgraduate degree complete the necessary supplementary studies in order to acquire the knowledge and skills needed for the studies. Eligible for academic postgraduate studies may also be a person whom the university judges otherwise to have sufficient knowledge and skills for the studies. (Universities Act 558/2009, 37§).

You must fulfill the University of Turku language skill requirements.

When applying for a fixed-term Doctoral Researcher position under an employment contract (possibility to apply only in autumn call):

  • 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 fixed-term Doctoral Researcher position under an employment contract.
  • You are planning to pursue or pursuing your first doctoral degree.
  • You have not previously been granted a full-time four-year funding for pursuing a doctoral degree.
The first step
Please read carefully the general application instructions of the Faculty of Medicine

How to Apply for Doctoral Training at the Faculty of Medicine | University of Turku (utu.fi)

Especially pay attention to these instructions when applying: Before applying / Doctoral training at the Faculty of Medicine

Consent of the head of the doctoral program

Before applying for the right to study for doctoral degree the applicants shall contact the Director of DPNurs, Professor Riitta Suhonen (email riitta.suhonen@utu.fi) or some of the heads of the research programmes at the Department of Nursing Science as early as possible to confirm that the applicant’s research theme ties in with the Department´s research areas (initial contact preferably by e-mail). Please attach a tentative research plan and a CV to the email.

The supervisor

A prerequisite for admission is that there is at least one person who has agreed to act as a supervisor and who fulfills the qualification requirements for supervisors. Finding a supervisor is the responsibility of the applicant.

Please read carefully the current requirements on the Faculty of Medicine's instructions webpage under section Supervision

The follow-up committee for doctoral training 
  • The follow-up committee ensures progress of the doctoral researcher's thesis work and studies, provides an external perspective on the research, and supports both researcher and supervisor(s).
  • The follow-up committee comprises of supervisors and 1-3 other researchers familiar with the research topic, one of whom must be from outside the doctoral researcher's own group.
  • The applicant negotiates with their supervisor(s) to assemble the follow-up committee and agrees with the members of the committee on annual monitoring practices.
Application period and what can be applied for

During the application period 28 February - 28 March 2024, you can apply for the right to study for a doctoral degree in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Turku. The right to study for a doctoral degree will start on 1 August 2024.

How to apply? Application and instructions

The right to study for a doctoral degree at the Faculty of Medicine is applied by filling in an electronic form and attaching the required additional documents into the electronic application form. Application documents are specified below.

A link to the electronic application form will be published on the website of the University. The form will be accessible as the application period begins on 28 February 2024 and closes at 3:00 pm (local time in Finland) on 28 March 2024.

>> Apply here

    The guide for filling in the electronic form (PDF) Ohje sähköisen lomakkeen täyttämiseen (PDF)

In addition to the electronic form the following documents must be submitted. Research plan and other documents should be in English. All attached documents must be in PDF format.

1. Research plan, max 5 pages (research plan instructions)

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 in accordance with the University of Turku quality assurance system. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) to assist in the preparation of the research plan should be clearly indicated in the research plan.

2. Progress and resource plan (progress and research plan instructions)

3. Curriculum Vitae (following the instructions of Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK))

4. List of publications (following the instructions of the Academy of Finland)

5. Supervision and study plan (Fill in electronically, print and sign together with the supervisor/-s and the head of subject)

6. 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.

7. Verification of language proficiency

The University of Turku follows the Rector’s decision (15 Aug 2019 and 21.12.2023 updated decision) on the means of verifying one’s language proficiency. See the language requirements on the webpage of the university’s graduate school.

  • If the applicant is required to prove their language proficiency with a language test, a scanned certificate of a completed language test must be attached to the application.

8. 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.

9. When only one supervisor for doctoral training is proposed, the supervisor’s justified plea for approval of only one supervisor must be attached to the application. See Before applying / Doctoral training at the Faculty of Medicine > Supervision.

The applicant must deliver all required attachments by the end of the application period. Late applications will not be processed. The application documents will not be returned to the sender.

Assessment of applications

The Steering Committee of the doctoral programme will evaluate the applications. Applications may also be sent for evaluation to national and/or international reviewers. Applicants may be invited to an interview by the DPNurs Steering Committee. The research plans attached to the applications may be checked with the Turnitin OriginalityCheck plagiarism detection software in accordance with the University of Turku quality assurance system.

In the selection process the following issues are emphasized: quality, feasibility and social relevance of the research plan. In addition, applicant’s merits, completed studies, capability, and motivation to complete a doctoral degree are evaluated.

Please see Evaluation criteria for applications to DPNurs (pdf)

DPNurs tohtoriohjelman hakemusten arviointikriteerit (pdf)

When admitting the right to study for a doctoral degree, the eligibility criteria of the applicant and the selection criteria of the Doctoral Programme in Nursing Science are considered in addition to above-mentioned criteria. 

A prerequisite for admission is that there is at least one person who has agreed to act as a supervisor and who fulfills the qualification requirements for supervisors. In addition, the applicant’s research topic must fit in with the profile of the Doctoral Programme. Before applying / Doctoral training at the Faculty of Medicine | University of Turku (utu.fi)

Decisions

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 admission decisions are made by the end of May 2024. All applicants will be personally informed about the decision.

An admitted applicant has to notify the University of Turku of their acceptance of the study place by 3:00 pm (Finnish time) on 14 June 2024 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 6 September 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.

Instructions on delivering certificates and country-specific requirements.

Appeal for rectification

If an applicant is dissatisfied with the result of the student selection (right to study for a doctoral degree), he/she has the right to submit an application for the rectification of the decision to the Faculty of Medicine within 14 days of the official publishing of the results. Contact information: med-doctoral@utu.fi.

Checklist
  • Check the application period.
  • Read the instructions of the Faculty and the Doctoral Programme carefully.
  • If you are going to verify your language skills with a language test, make sure that you book your test time well in advance. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make their own language test arrangements.
  • Get the required signatures in time and prepare the appendix documents.
  • Fill in the electric application form.
  • Remember to apply in time. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be processed.
  • Please keep your original degree certificates and other relevant educational documents at hand during the application process. 
Contact

DPNurs Director
Professor Riitta Suhonen
riitta.suhonen@utu.fi   

DPNurs Coordinator
PhD Verna Louhivuori
verna.louhivuori@utu.fi