University of Turku Graduate School UTUGS - for Doctoral Researcher

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

Doctoral training at faculties
Courses, training and other activities

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

UTUGS courses 2022-2024 are found in the electronic study guide. 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 researchers. These are informed separately by email.





  • Target group: Doctoral Researchers 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 Researchers 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 organized 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 researchers 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 supervisors are able to see all their students and monitor their progress. In addition to doctoral cresearchers and supervisors, among UGIS users are coordinators and secretaries from the doctoral programmes and faculties.

>> UGIS 3.0  

How to use UGIS for doctoral researchers

How to use UGIS for supervisors

How to use the UGIS portal

The UGIS portal can be found at To use the system, you must belong to one of the following user groups:

  • doctoral researcher
  • supervisor
  • head of major subject / research director
  • member of follow-up or supervisory group
  • director of a doctoral programme, head of a department
  • coordinator, administrator

In addition, you must have a utu useraccount that can log in to the system. If you have any problems accessing the system or have any questions regarding the use of the system, please contact the coordinator of the doctoral programme.

If you have a problem with the portal, you can send an e-mail to A screenshot of the error and a brief explanation of the action attempted will help you find the quickest solution.

UGIS works with Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Edge browsers, unfortunately Explorer is not compatible with UGIS.

Peppi (study register and personal study plan)

Peppi is the study register which includes also the personal study plan.

Doctoral researchers can log in to the Peppi:

Instructions for Peppi are in the Intranet (this is a link to the Peppi instructions)

Annual progress reporting

Annual reporting of doctoral researchers is one of the central quality assurance methods in doctoral training. Doctoral researchhers, especially, and their supervisors benefit from the annual reporting, but the activities of the doctoral programmess and the graduate school are also developed on the basis of the reports.

Monitoring the progress and activness

Monitoring doctoral researchers' activeness takes place once a year, in January. In order to maintain an active study right, a doctoral researcher is required to

  • register every year with the University, either as an attending or a non-attending student, and
  • if registered  as an attending student, hand in an annual progress report to their doctoral programme in January.
  • In addition, the UGIS supervisor has to express their support for keeping the study right active. Supervisors are familiar with their supervisees’ situation, progress, and also possible disruptions or dropping out, so supervisors’ input is important when assessing doctoral candidate’s current situation.

A doctoral researcher has to report their progress for the first time when their 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.

Doctoral researchers themselves and their supervisor, member of the follow-up / steering group, the head of major subject/research director and director of the doctoral programme will see the answers to the questions related to the progress of the training and research in the UGIS portal.

More information about the activeness of Doctoral Researchers and instructions for postgraduate Students can be found here.

Doctoral researchers' 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 researchers. In accordance with the goals set in the strategy, supervision of doctoral researcher should be inspiring and flexible, and it should support the research and doctoral education.

>> Rector's decision on supervision of doctoral researchers

>> Additional instructions on supervision of doctoral researchers

>> UTUGS supervision plan

>> Procedural instructions regarding conflicts over doctoral researchers’ supervision

>>Good follow-up group practices

Career guidance and career paths

It is an aim of The University of Turku Graduate School (UTUGS) that all UTUGS doctoral researchers have the opportunity to have an annual career and review discussion.

>> Information on career guidance and career paths for doctoral researchers


A joint mentoring programme of University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University supports doctoral researchers 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 researchers 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 Researchers

Services that support Doctoral Researchers' well-being

Career planning

  • Rekry (intranet page) provides personal career guidance for students and recent graduates.
  • The mentoring program for Doctoral Researchers 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 researchers, e.g. through the graduate school monitoring system.
Individual Arrangements in Doctoral Education

The University of Turku aims at ensuring accessibility in doctoral studies for all of the doctoral researchers of the University. In case you need individual support due to e.g. learning difficulties or an illness or disability that affects learning, individual arrangements can be made regarding your studies.

The Accessibility Planning Officer guides, counsels and supports disabled doctoral researchers and different kinds of learners.
>> Link to Accessibility www pages of University of Turku
>> Link to Individual Arrangements in Teaching intranet pages of University of Turku

Individual arrangements are possible also regarding the dissertation and public defense. The contact person in faculties counsels the doctoral researchers regarding the individual arrangements in dissertation and public defense.

  • Faculty of Humanities: Meri Heinonen, humpostgraduate(a)
  • Faculty of Education: Anne Niemimäki, edupostgraduate(a)
  • Faculty of Medicine: Outi Irjala, med-doctoral(a)
  • Faculty of Science: Sanna Ranto, sci-docstudies(a)
  • Faculty of Law: Kirsi Tuohela, lawpostgraduate(a)
  • Turku School of Economics: Jenni Heervä, tsedoctoralprogramme(a)
  • Faculty of Social Sciences: Kirsi Tammi, socpostgraduate(a)
  • Faculty of Technology: Sanna Ranto, tech-doc(a)
International Doctoral Researchers

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.

Flexible study right in another Finnish university

A doctoral candidate can apply for the right to study individual courses at another Finnish university.

  1. If your target university is Åbo Akademi, apply for the flexible study right using the electronic form: Electronic form for applying a for flexible study right at Åbo Akademi
  2. If your target university is some other Finnish university, please check the application instructions on the website of your target university.
    • If the university uses a paper application form, you can find it at: Submit your application to your faculty's doctoral training administrator (chief academic officer/coordinator) as a Word or pdf file or on paper.
    • If the university uses another application policy, follow the university's guidelines. Be sure to ask your faculty's doctoral training administrator (chief academic officer/coordinator) for approval. If approval has not been requested, your application cannot be processed at another university.

Conditions for your application to be supported:

  • The course is included in your approved study plan. The course has therefore been discussed with the supervisor and has been found to be suitable for your postgraduate studies.
  • The corresponding course is not taught at the University of Turku.
  • The course can be included in the minimum number of studies in your postgraduate study plan (40/60 cr).