Doctoral Programme in Exact Sciences - Admission Criteria and Instructions for Applicants

Applications for the right to pursue doctoral studies in EXACTUS doctoral programme are processed two times a year, once in the autumn and once in the spring. In the autumn call, in addition to a right to study, you can also apply for a fixed-term Doctoral Researcher position under an employment contract.

The next call for applications for a right to study a doctoral degree and/or a fixed-term Doctoral Researcher position under an employment contract is open 29 August - 16 September 2022.

Please read the call for applications and the "How to apply" guide carefully prior to applying. A link to the electronic application will be found by clicking the blue "Apply here" box below.

Before applying
  • Make sure you are eligible to apply for a study right in the Faculty of Science (under "Who can apply").
  • Read the call for applications and the "How to apply" guide.
  • Application attachments: Prepare all the required application attachments according to the call for applications. Please note these differ in the March and September call.
  • Funding plan: Prepare a funding plan as a right to study does not include funding or scholarship from the University. In the September call, in addition to a right to study, you can also apply for a fixed-term Doctoral Researcher position under an employment contract. 
  • Degree certificates: Prepare your original degree certificatesoriginal transcripts of study records and other original educational documents for the application. If needed, obtain officially certified copies with English translation.
  • Proof of language requirements: If you need to verify your language skills with a language test, make sure that you book your test time well in advance. Instructions for language requirements for right to study for a doctoral degree and when is a language test not required.

 

Autumn call for applications:

In the September call, it is possible to apply for both a right to pursue a doctoral degree and a fixed-term Doctoral Researcher position under an employment contract.The application process of having the right to pursue a doctoral degree has two application phases:

  1. In the first phase, the applicant submits an application (the electronic form) where they describe themselves and their plans regarding the doctoral studies and a dissertation. The doctoral programme evaluates all the applications and checks the eligibility of the applicant, how the applicant’s research topic interests fit the profile of the programme, and assesses the merits of the applicants. Moreover, the doctoral programme checks if it can offer two suitable supervisor and research director to the applicant. The most competitive applicants for whom the programme can offer two supervisors will be invited to the second phase.
  2. In the second phase, together with supervisors the applicant compiles a second phase application which includes a research plan and a financing plan, and if required, a statement from the research director (see the call for applications).

If you are applying for a funded position, please read the How to apply -guide carefully to see how to answer the application questions correctly.

 

Spring call for applications:

In the March call, it is possible to apply for a right to pursue a doctoral degree. An applicant has to agree with supervisors and a research director about supervision and research plan before the application can be made. This means that you must contact potential supervisors and make a supervision plan and a research plan in collaboration with them.

You will need to include a signed supervision plan with your application.

 

What is the supervision plan?

  • The supervision plan is a plan that you make together with your potential thesis supervisors and your research director (see the Faculty of Science Code of Conduct for information about their roles).
  • The blank supervision plan form can be found under at the bottom of the page.
  • Get to know the research and potential supervisors:
  • A few rules about potential supervisors and research directors in the Faculty of Science: 
    • A doctoral researcher should have a research director, a principal supervisor and at least one other supervisor.
    • The research director should have an employment contract to the department where the major subject of the doctoral degree is based and the title of the research director should be a professor. In an exceptional case, if there is no professor available, an associate professor can be nominated as a research director.
    • The principal supervisor should be a professor, associate professor, assistant professor or adjunct professor/docent and in most of the cases have an employment contract to the University of Turku. Other supervisors should hold a doctoral degree.
When applying
  • Read the Call for applications and the "How to apply" guide (below under "Applications documents and guidelines") carefully before filling in the electronic application.
  • Especially if you are applying for a funded position in the autumn call, please read the "How to apply" guide carefully to see how to answer the application questions correctly.
  • Make sure you have attached all the required attachments (see the call for applications).
Application attachments

The application attachments differ in the autumn and spring calls. Attach the required documents in PDF-format to your electronic application form, unless otherwise stated. Please read the call for applications carefully to check which documents are mandatory for you.

 

Autumn call for applications:

The required application documents depend on what you are applying for:

A. Applying for a right to study for a doctoral degree

Attach to the electronic application form the documents 1-2 and 4-5, and if mandatory for you, document 6:

1. Curriculum Vitae (CV)
2. Publications list
4. Degree certificates and the transcript of study records
5. Motivation letter
6. Verification of language proficiency (check below whether this is mandatory for you)

B. Applying for a Doctoral Researcher position

Attach to the electronic application form the documents 1-4:

1. Curriculum Vitae (CV)
2. Publications list
3. Research plan
4. Degree certificates and the transcript of study records

C. Applying for both of the above, i.e. a right to study a doctoral degree and a Doctoral Researcher position.

Attach to the electronic application form the documents 1-2 and 4-5, and if mandatory for you, possibly document 6.

1. Curriculum Vitae (CV)
2. Publications list
4. Degree certificates and the transcript of study records
5. Motivation letter
6. Verification of language proficiency (check from Appendix section 6. whether this is mandatory for you)

 

1. Curriculum vitae:
Please see the CV writing instructions from Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK). Attach as a pdf (titled "Surname_CV").

2. List of publications:
Please see instructions for writing the list of publications in English or Finnish. Attach as a pdf (titled "Surname_Publications").

3. Research plan (in English):
If an applicant already has the right to study from the EXACTUS doctoral programme, then they have to attach a research plan to their application. The maximum total length of the research plan is 3 pages (including references). The research plan should contain:

  • Name of the applicant
  • Planned title of the doctoral dissertation
  • Research topic in the context of the field
  • Scientific motivation and goals
  • Methods and environment of the research
  • Applicants own role and specialisation in the study
  • Timetable of research
  • Current state of doctoral thesis and postgraduate studies.

Those applicants who apply for the study right, will write a research plan in the second application phase. The applicant will write the plan together with their supervisor.

By attaching the research plan to the application form the applicant gives permission for checking the research plan with Turnitin Originality Check (system for electrical plagiarism detection).

Attach as a pdf (titled "Surname_ResearchPlan").

4. Copies of the degree certificates and the transcripts of study records:
A.
If you have completed the former degree(s) which make you eligible for doctoral studies at a higher education institution in Finland, you must attach the following items to the electronic application form:

  • Scanned original degree certificates
  • Scanned original transcripts of study records
  • scanned original other educational documents which may be of relevance in the student selection and that you are applying based on.

B. If you have completed the former degree(s) which make you eligible for doctoral studies at a higher education institution abroad abroad (i.e. outside Finland), you must attach the following items to the electronic application form:

  • Scanned original degree certificates (in the same language as the degree was completed in)
  • Scanned original transcripts of study records (in the same language as 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.

C. If the degree that gives eligibility for the study right for a doctoral degree is not completed by the deadline of application time, an up-to-date transcript of study records must be attached to the application.

If you have completed the former degree(s) which make you eligible for doctoral studies at a university abroad (i.e. outside Finland), please make sure to have original degree certificates and other relevant educational documents ready at hand if you are granted a right to study. Instructions will be given in the admission notification.

Attach as a pdf (titled "Surname_DegreeCertificates").

5. Motivation letter (applicants for a right to study):
The motivation letter is one page long freeform document, which includes the reasons for applying for the doctoral studies in the EXACTUS Doctoral Programme. Attach as a pdf (titled "Surname_MotivationLetter").

6. Verification of language proficiency (potentially mandatory):
The University of Turku follows the Rector’s decision (15 Aug 2019) on the means of verifying their language proficiency. Please check the language requirements and whether you will need to provide a proof of language proficiency from the University’s graduate school website. Please note! 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. Attach as a pdf (titled "Surname_LanguageVerification").

 

 

Spring call for applications:

1. Curriculum vitae:
Please see the CV writing instructions from Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (TENK). Attach as a pdf (titled "Surname_CV").

2. List of publications:
Please see instructions for writing the list of publications in English or Finnish. Attach as a pdf (titled "Surname_Publications").

3. Research plan (in English):
The maximum total length of the research plan is 3 pages (including references). The research plan should contain:

  • Name of the applicant
  • Planned title of the doctoral dissertation
  • Research topic in the context of the field
  • Scientific motivation and goals
  • Methods and environment of the research
  • Applicants own role and specialisation in the study
  • Timetable of research
  • Current state of doctoral thesis and postgraduate studies.

By attaching the research plan to the application form the applicant gives permission for checking the research plan with Turnitin Originality Check (system for electrical plagiarism detection).

Attach as a pdf (titled "Surname_ResearchPlan").

4. Copies of the degree certificates and the transcripts of study records:
A.
If the applicant has completed the former degree(s) which make them eligible for doctoral studies at a university in Finland, 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.

B. If the applicant has completed the former degree(s) which make them eligible for doctoral studies at a university abroad (i.e. outside Finland), they must attach the following items to the electronic application form:

  • Scanned original degree certificates (in the same language as the degree was completed in)
  • Scanned original transcripts of study records (in the same language as the degree was completed in)
  • Scanned other original educational documents, which may be of relevance in the student selection.

If the original degree certificates and/or transcript of study records are not written in English, Finnish or Swedish, official translations of the documents 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 or a translation made by an authorized translator. A transcript in English can be replaced by a Diploma Supplement awarded by a European educational institution if it contains the information about completed courses and other study attainments.

Those applicants who have been granted a right to study and who have completed their prior degree abroad have to submit either the original degree certificates or certified copies of the degree certificates and other educational documents and the official translations of the documents to the University of Turku at the latest in 15 September 2022 at the latest. If the admitted applicant does not deliver the required certificates by the deadline set in the admission notification, they forfeit the study right. Instructions on delivering certificates and country-specific requirements.

C. If the degree that gives eligibility for the study right for a doctoral degree is not completed by the deadline of application time, an up-to-date transcript of study records must be attached to the application.

If you have completed the former degree(s) which make you eligible for doctoral studies at a university abroad (i.e. outside Finland), please make sure to have original degree certificates and other relevant educational documents ready at hand if you are granted a right to study. Instructions will be given in the admission notification.

Attach as a pdf (titled "Surname_DegreeCertificates").

5. Supervision plan signed by supervisors, a research director and the applicant:
Fill in the form Supervision plan (found below in "Application Documents and guidelines"). Sign the form by yourself and collect signatures of your research director and supervisors into it. Scan it and attach to the application as a pdf (titled "Surname_SupervisionPlan").

6. Verification of language proficiency (potentially mandatory):
The University of Turku follows the Rector’s decision (15 Aug 2019) on the means of verifying their language proficiency. Please check the language requirements and whether you will need to provide a proof of language proficiency from the University’s graduate school website. Please note! 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. Attach as a pdf (titled "Surname_LanguageVerification").

5. Motivation letter:
The motivation letter is a one page long free-form document, which includes the reasons for applying for the doctoral studies in the Doctoral Programme in Exact Sciences. Attach as a pdf (titled "Surname_MotivationLetter").

Verification of language proficiency

The University of Turku follows the Rector’s decision (15 Aug 2019) on the means of verifying their language proficiency.

Please check the language requirements and whether you will need to provide a proof of language proficiency from the University’s graduate school website.

Please note! 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.

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.

Instructions on delivering certificates and country-specific requirements on the Information for admitted students page.

Applications documents and guidelines:

Call for applications:

 

"How to apply" guide: Please read this carefully prior to applying!

Supervision plan form:

Spring call for applications: mandatory attachment for study right applicants when applying.
Autumn call for applications: mandatory for study right applicants invited to the second phase of applications.

Contact information

Email: sci-docstudies@utu.fi

EXACTUS Director:
Professor Juri Poutanen

EXACTUS Coordinator:
Coordinator Eevi Savola