University of Turku Graduate School UTUGS - for Doctoral Candidate

The University of Turku Graduate School UTUGS is responsible for the development of doctoral education and provides support for doctoral candidates at different stages of education.

Courses and training

​UTUGS provides multiple courses and activities to all doctoral candidates and early-stage researchers at the University of Turku.

UTUGS courses 2020-2022 are found in the electronic study guide. Because of the Coronavirus, the courses are carried out using remote connections during spring 2020. Please consult the course's responsible teacher to get more information and keep an eye on UTU's instructions concerning the Coronavirus.

Faculties and Doctoral Programmes can also offer courses that are sometimes open to all doctoral candidates. These are informed separately by email.





  • Target group: Doctoral Candidates at the University of Turku working on their first article* for publication (in English)
  • Organizers: The University of Turku Language Centre and UTUGS
  • *nb! also parts of monografies can be checked

STATISTICAL COUNSELLING (Tilastollinen neuvonta)

  • Target group: Doctoral Candidates at the University of Turku who need counselling with their statistical analyses
  • Organizers: The Center of Statistics,  University of Turku


  • Target group: all non-Finnish speakers at the university who already are at the level of being able to express themselves in written and oral Finnish (=B to C-level)
  • Further information: Markku Nikulin (
  • Organizer: suomen kielen oppiaine   

Career guidance

Sustainable development

Sustainable development is one of the core values in the University of Turku (UTU) strategy. A link to UTU strategy for 2021–2030.

UTUGS and the Åbo Akademi University organize a pilot sustainable development course Multidisciplinary Approaches to Sustainability for doctoral candidates in spring 2021. See more information here.

Please see the Sustainable Development at the University of Turku website.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition

University of Turku organises the Three Minute Thesis competition for doctoral candidates in February-March. The competition provides the participants excellent practice for presenting, popularising, and summarising their own research topics. The participants will receive 1 credit for their UTUGS science communication studies.

Please find more information from the webpages of 3MT

UGIS – Information System of the Graduate School

UGIS is an information system developed for the needs of the university's graduate school. It contains the information about all the doctoral candidates and their supervisors in each doctoral programme at the university. UGIS covers the life cycle of doctoral education in its entirety (from an applicant all the way to a disputant). Its function is to act as a portal, which offers instructions as well as digital services such as accepting doctoral studies credits and e-forms related to the dissertation process. The supervisor is able to see all his/her students and monitor their progress. In addition to doctoral candidates and supervisors, among UGIS users are coordinators and secretaries from the doctoral programmes and faculties.

>> UGIS 3.0  

How to use UGIS for doctoral candidates

How to use UGIS for supervisors

Annual progress reporting

As an attending student, a doctoral candidate is required to hand in an annual progress report to their doctoral programme in January. However, a doctoral candidate has to report his/her progress for the first time when his/her right to study for a doctoral degree has started one academic year or one and a half academic year ago. The instructions on how to hand in the progress report are sent by the coordinator of the Doctoral Programme annually.

The annual progress reporting is used to monitor Doctoral Candidates' activity. More information about the activeness of Doctoral Candidates and instructions for postgraduate Students can be found here.

Doctoral candidates’ supervision

Educating future experts who will solve complex scientific questions and social issues and build a sustainable world is a strategic goal of the University of Turku. In doctoral training, this goal is met by providing high-quality supervision, with emphasis on supervisors’ expertise and commitment to personalised supervision of doctoral candidates. In accordance with the goals set in the strategy, supervision of doctoral candidates should be inspiring and flexible, and it should support the candidates’ research and doctoral education.

>> Rector's decision on supervision of doctoral candidates

>> Additional instructions on supervision of doctoral candidates

>> UTUGS supervision plan

>> Procedural instructions regarding conflicts over doctoral candidates’ supervision

>>Good follow-up group practices


A joint mentoring programme of University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University supports doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers in their career development and in recognizing one's professional skills and expertise. Mentoring is a guidance process during which a competent and experienced expert (mentor) provides support to a person (mentee) motivated to develop their skills. Mentoring is carried out in small groups or in pairs (1 mentor and 1-2 mentees). Mentoring can be useful, for example, for planning or redirecting one's career, expanding networks and recognizing one's expertise. Mentoring is based on openness, confidentiality and commitment. Taking part in the mentoring programme requires commitment, active participation and professional interest in the mentor and his/her expertise.

Mentees for the mentoring programme are selected based on the applications. The mentoring programme begins every year in January and ends in October. The application period for the mentoring programme is in September. Enrollment for the mentors is open all year round.

>> What is mentoring? Read more about mentoring and the mentoring programmes at the University of Turku

>> Read about mentors and mentees' experiences in the mentoring process

>> How to apply for the mentoring programmes of doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers

Guidelines for dissertation defence
Funding opportunities and international collaboration

The Graduate School organizes calls for funded doctoral candidate positions once a year, in autumn. The calls for UTUGS-funded doctoral programme positions are organizedat the same time in each UTUGS Doctoral Programme. Please check the call for application from the webpages of the Doctoral Programme you are applying to:

Other funding opportunities and research mobility:

See also 'Research Abroad' web pages at UTU Intranet.

Researcher mobility plays an essential role in the emergence of new topics, technologies, networks and results of research. Thus, science is international by nature and internationality plays an integral part throughout the researcher career, starting from the doctoral training stage. 

Graduate School's policies and guidelines

Graduate School's policies and guidelines are available in the University's intranet.

> Graduate School's intranet pages

Annual registration with the University
For the well-being of Doctoral Candidates

Services that support Doctoral Candidates' well-being

Career planning

  • Rekry (intranet page) provides personal career guidance for students and recent graduates.
  • The mentoring program for Doctoral Candidates and Postdoctoral Researchers (website) provides support in developing and identifying one's own competence.
  • The feedback system supports the development of doctoral training on the basis of feedback from Doctoral Candidates, e.g. through the graduate school monitoring system.
International Doctoral Candidates

Information for international doctoral candidates

Information for international researchers  

Information for accepted students  

UNICOM project

The Uniting Companies and International University Talents (UNICOM) initiative aims to facilitate the interactions between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) located in Southwest Finland and the highly qualified international talents already living in the area. The UNICOM project is part of the Course towards Finland project (in Finnish: Kokka kohti Suomea), which aims to boost the growth of companies by promoting the placement of international talents on the Finnish labour market.

The actions of the UNICOM project will be piloted and developed in cooperation with partner companies, which have already committed themselves to the project during the application phase. The actions are divided into three distinct work packages:

  • Internships at companies for doctoral candidates and post-docs,
  • workplace coaching for international talents
  • and campaigns and support services for companies.

UNICOM logos

HEI LIFE project

Higher Education Institutions’ Support for International Academics and Staff – Living, Integration, Family and Employment in Finland (HEI LIFE) project aims at building national models for Finnish higher education institutions to support the integration of international academics, staff and their families. The project is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture (1.9.2020 - 31.8.2022).

University of Turku is in charge of a subproject, focusing on integration of international researchers and staff to Finnish working life and the innovation environment. The aim of the subproject is to strengthen company collaboration for international researchers and other staff by piloting a mentoring programme and developing new collaboration models.


NOTE! The use of the Peppi system will expand in August 2021, when it will replace the Nettiopsu, Opsu, EHops system, Nettiopsu Open University and Rekka. Peppi is a data system that is widely used within the educational sector in Finland. Many universities are about to implement the system in the following few years. At the moment there is a joint development project, which aims at enhancing the system to respond to universities' needs for a comprehensice student administration system.

In addition to the Peppi intranet pages (requires login), there are general instructions in English on how to use the data system. However, these instructions are only partly applicable to the University of Turku, as we do not yet have all the components in use.