How to Apply to Doctoral Training in the Faculty of Science

The doctoral degree in the Faculty of Science can be completed in four doctoral programmes.

The following four programmes are coordinated in the Faculty of Science:

It is also possible to belong to the doctoral programmes coordinated in the Faculty of Medicine and complete your degree in the Faculty of Science:

Disciplines of postgraduate studies at the faculty

NATURAL SCIENCES

  • BIOSCIENCES
    • Biology (Department of Biology)
    • Environmental Science (Department of Biology)
    • Biodiversity Research (Biodiversity Unit)
  • CHEMICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES
    • Physics (Department of Physics and Astronomy)
    • Materials Science (Department of Physics and Astronomy)
    • Theoretical Physics (Department of Physics and Astronomy)
    • Astronomy (Department of Physics and Astronomy)
    • Chemistry (Department of Chemistry)
  • GEOSCIENCES
    • Geologia / Geology (Department of Geography and Geology)
      • Geology and mineralogy
      • Quaternary geology
    • Geography (Department of Geography and Geology)
      • Physical geography
      • Human geography
      • Geoinformatics
      • Economic geography
  • MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES AND STATISTICS
    • Mathematics (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)
    • Applied Mathematics (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)
    • Statistics (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)
Graduate School's call for applications

Graduate School's call for applications

You can see the call for applications only during the application period.

Application periods and forms

There are two application periods for the doctoral study right each year (in March and September). The next application periods are

  • 29 August - 16 September 2022. Decisions will be announced by 30 November 2022. The study right begins on 1 January 2023.
  • 1 -17 March 2023. Decisions will be announced by 31 May 2023. The study right begins on 1 August 2023.

The application is filled in via the electronic application form of the doctoral programme.

The application call, a link to the application form and detailed instructions for applying will be published on the websites of each doctoral programme. Please read carefully the instructions of the doctoral programme before your start filling in the application form.

The application is made electronically and it consists of the application form of a doctoral programme and required attachments. See the required attachments in the instructions of the doctoral programme.
 
 
Who can apply

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 eligibility criteria for the right to study for a doctoral degree at the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Eligible applicants for studies leading to an academic or artistic licentiate or doctoral degree have completed

  1. a relevant Master’s degree awarded by a university;
  2. a relevant Master’s degree awarded by a university of applied sciences; or
  3. a relevant applicable study programme abroad which in the awarding country gives eligibility for the corresponding level of higher education.

 

You can apply for the right to study for the doctoral degree from the Faculty of Science, even if the degree awarding the qualification is not quite completed at the end of the application period. The qualifying degree must be completed and the applicant must submit scanned certificates of the completed degree to sci-docstudies (a) utu.fi by the deadline.

  • The deadline for completion and submission of certificates in the September (29 August - 16 September 2022) application period is 16 November 2022.
  • The deadline for completion and submission of certificates in the March (1 March - 17 March 2023) application period is 31 July 2023.

 

Before Applying
  • For the March application round, it is a prerequisite that, before applying, the applicant has discussed supervision arrangements with his/her future supervisor and drafted a study plan. In this plan, supervision arrangements are agreed upon: supervisors and the Research Director are named.

  • For the September application round, not unlike the March application round, most doctoral programmes require that the applicant has discussed his/her study plan with the future supervisor beforehand. See the requirements on the doctoral programme's page.

  • Ensure that you have the necessary documents of your certificates. See Delivering degree certificates below.

  • Prepare all required application documents. See Application documents below.

  • Consider your possibilities for funding the doctoral training.

  • Read carefully the application instructions of your doctoral programme and the application call.

Supervisors, Research director and Doctoral researcher

Supervisors

On admission to the faculty, doctoral researchers are appointed a principal supervisor, who has an employment contract to the University of Turku, another supervisor and possible other supervisors. In an exceptional case, the principal supervisor can be a person who does not have an employment contract to the University of Turku. In this case, the principal supervisors has to be a docent of the University of Turku and there has to be another supervisor appointed who has an employment contract to the University of Turku. The principal supervisor should always be at least a docent and the other supervisors should hold a doctoral degree.

The duties of the supervisor are, among others:

  • to direct the doctoral researcher in planning and completing the postgraduate studies;
  • to direct the doctoral researcher in planning and completing the research and completing the thesis;
  • to follow the progress of research and postgraduate studies in accordance with the supervision plan;
  • to assist the doctoral researcher in making contact with other researchers in the field and with the users of the research;
  • a principal supervisor has to give a statement on the activeness of a doctoral researcher in connection with annual progress reporting;
  • to assist the doctoral researcher in applying for funding by providing information on available options;
  • to assist in career planning by having an annual discussion on the subject;
  • to ensure that a thesis written in a second language undergoes a language check if needed;
  • to be responsible for checking the originality of the thesis with the plagiarism detection system.

Research director

On admission to the faculty, doctoral researchers are appointed a research director. Faculty appoints the research director based on the proposal made by the department which is responsible for the research field in question. A person eligible for research director is an employee of the faculty whose title is professor. In an exceptional case, if there is no professor available, the associate professor can be nominated as a research director. The research director has to represent the department/unit where the discipline is connected.

A professor may continue as a research director after they have retired. However, a Professor Emeritus/-ita cannot be appointed as a research director.

The research director may also be one of the supervisors.

The duties of the research director include:

  • to monitor the progress of the research work and postgraduate studies annually in collaboration with the supervisor;
  • to assume responsibility for the scientific level of the degree;
  • to accept the first personal study plan of a postgraduate student and the application for the final grade of the postgraduate studies module. The research director is ensures that the required learning outcomes of postgraduate studies are achieved with the completed postgraduate studies and thesis work.
  • to ensure that the thesis as a whole meets the requirements regarding the extent of a doctoral thesis;
  • to make a proposal for the pre-examiners, opponent and chairperson (custos) of a doctoral thesis;
  • to provide the faculty with a statement approved by the supervisor, research director and student indicating the author’s contribution to the research if the thesis contains joint publications. The statement must also tell whether a part of the thesis has earlier been used in another thesis or if such use is being planned;
  • to ensure that the intended final version of the doctoral thesis is delivered to the examiners by the doctoral researcher, supervisor or research director immediately after their appointment
  • to ensure that the doctoral thesis is delivered to the opponent by the doctoral researcher, supervisor or research director immediately after the opponent has been appointed;
  • to help solve possible cases of disagreement in supervision

 

Doctoral researcher

The doctoral researcher has the primary responsibility for the progress of their studies. The responsibilities of the doctoral researcher are defined as follows:

  • the doctoral researcher carefully prepares for the meetings and follows the agreed schedule;
  • the doctoral researcher completes postgraduate studies independently with the supervisor’s support;
  • the doctoral researcher annually participates in the agreed number of postgraduate courses and ensures that they are appropriately registered;
  • the sdoctoral researcher is responsible for the progress of his/her research work and for informing the supervisor and the doctoral programme on the progress made according to the agreed reporting schedule and in the agreed manner;
  • the doctoral researcher informs the supervisor and the research director (+ possible follow-up group) of all changes that considerably affect working conditions, progress of the thesis project or keeping with the agreed schedule;
  • The doctoral researcher hands in an annual follow-up report of the doctoral programme.

 

Application documents

Attach to your electronic application as a scanned copy:

  1. Degree certificate and the transcript of study records

    • If the applicant has completed the former degree(s) which make him/her 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.

    • If the applicant has completed the former degree(s) which make him/her eligible for doctoral studies at a university abroad (i.e. outside Finland), s/he 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 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 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 as instructed in the admission notification. If the admitted applicant does not deliver the required certificates by the deadline set in the admission notification, he/she forfeits the study right. Instructions on delivering certificates and country-specific requirements are available here:

  2. Language test certificate (if required, see Language requirements for admission)
  3. Supervision plan signed by supervisor(s), a research director and the applicant
  4. Curriculum vitae: Please see the instructions of TENK for writing a CV.
  5. List of publication: Instructions in English and in Finnish
  6. Research plan: See instructions on writing the research plan from the websites of doctoral programmes.
  7. Doctoral programmes can have their own additional requirements of the documents. See, more information of required documents on the websites of programmes.

 

Verifying language proficiency

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

Language requirements for right to study for a doctoral degree

Evaluation of applications and selection criteria

The doctoral programme evaluates the applications once the application period is over. Selection is based on the information presented in the application and its appendices. If necessary, the doctoral programme may use external experts for review purposes and also evaluate the suitability and motivation of an applicant by conducting interviews.

In addition to the eligibility criteria for doctoral degrees, the educational and research-related merits, the quality of the research plan, and the research potential based on the application are used in the evaluation and selection of doctoral researchers. In the selection process, applicant's motivation, merits, completed studies, and the grade a Master's thesis (or equivalent) will be taken into account. An absolutely necessary prerequisite is that the doctoral researcher can be assigned at least two supervisors who meet the scientific merits required of a supervisor. The doctoral researcher's research topic must fit in with the faculty's and its departments' research profile.

In order to be accepted as a doctoral researcher, an applicant is required to have completed the advanced studies in the Master’s degree with a “Good” grade or equivalent (Grade 3 in the Finnish grading system). If this is not the case, or if the subject of the Master’s degree differs from the field of research of the intended postgraduate studies, doctoral researchers will be asked to supplement their knowledge and skills to achieve the required level.

Decision and the appeal process


Vice Dean of the faculty decides on the study rights based on the evaluation of the doctoral programme and the statement from the department. The applicants will be individually informed about the decisions.

Should an applicant be dissatisfied with the decision, he/she may appeal against it by delivering a written, substantiated appeal to the Faculty of Science within 14 days of being informed about the decision. The appeal is delivered by email to: sci-docstudies@utu.fi.

Verification of certificates of admitted applicants

When applying for a study right, the degree certificate and transcript of studies of the degrees (Master's or equivalent) which grant the eligibility to apply as well as other selection criteria-related study certificates must always be attached to the electronic application as scanned copies.

If the certificates are in a language other than English, Finnish, or Swedish, a scanned copy of an official translation to one of these languages must be attached to the electronic application. A translation provided by the institution which has granted the degree, a translation by an authorized translator, and a certified copy of the institution's or an authorized translator's translation all count as an official translation.

  1. If the applicant has completed the prior degree which grants the eligibility to apply in a Finnish institution, verifying the degree will be conducted in the My Studyinfo (Opintopolku) system, and the degree certificates do not need to be delivered later on.
  2. Accepted applicants who have completed their prior degree abroad, must deliver certified copies of the certificates and transcripts and their translations to the University of Turku as instructed in the acceptance letter. If the applicant does not deliver the certificates as required, the study right will be cancelled.
Accepting study place and Registration

To maintain your right to doctoral studies, you have to confirm the study place in the MyStudy info service by th deadline informed in the acceptance letter.

Confirming a study place is a binding choice, and you cannot cancel or change your choice later. When you confirm a study place, you will no longer be able to confirm any other study places which start at the same term in Finnish higher education institutions.

After you have confirmed the study place, you will be registered as an attending student at the University of Turku for the next academic season/year. When this is complete you will get an email which also includes the instructions on how to get an UTU account and a password.

A student completing a postgraduate degree is required to enrol annually as instructed by the university. Only a student who has enrolled as "attending" may participate in teaching and complete studies at the university.

Registration with the University for Postgraduate Education

After registration of your study right

UTU Account and Password

Further information

All questions regarding applying can be sent to sci-docstudies@utu.fi

Contact information for the faculty's doctoral training services

Information for a new doctoral researcher