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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Doctoral/PhD admissions

Doctoral admissions

If you are interested in Doctoral level studies and research (for example, a PhD degree or aPhD-level visiting researcher period) in Finland, you must first contact the Finnish university of your choice and apply for a Doctoral level study/research placement. Applications must be made directly to the universities. You can find the links to the Finnish universities'Doctoral Admissions pages in the right-hand margin of this page.

The International Office of each university can advise you further, or, alternatively, you may directly contact the Faculty/Department of your interest.


If you currently hold a Master’s degree (or equivalent) then usually you are eligible to apply for Doctoral studies in Finland. However, as the Finnish universities define their own entry criteria, the detailed requirements vary. For example, whether you need a valid TOEFL or IELTS score in connection with your Doctoral studies application, depends on the requirements and policies of the individual universities, and these may also vary slightly within one particular university, from one Faculty/Department to another.
For details of Doctoral level eligibility and admission you need to be in contact with the Finnish university you are interested in. Please see the university-specific Doctoral admissions links in the right-hand margin.

When to apply?

Some universities may accept doctoral study applications at all times, while others may have specific application periods. Note also that student selection for post-Master's level studies and research is usually decided on at faculty level, so Doctoral level application times and policies may vary even within a single university. There is no national joint admissions system in Finland for Doctoral level studies and research, so please check the application times with the Finnish university of your choice.

Is there an application fee involved, or tuition fees?

No. The application fees mentioned in the Application fee section do not concern Doctoral admissions. Also the non-EU tuition fees to be introduced from autumn 2017 onwards do not concern Doctoral level students.
You should however be preprared to cover your living expenses independently. See further below for some info on scholarship options!

Where and how can you find a Doctoral study/research placement?

You should make direct contact with the Finnish universities (university departments or faculties in your specific field of scientific interest) to find out about the Doctoral level study/research opportunities they offer, their entry requirements, application times, etc. The same is true regarding researcher placements at public research institutes.
To get started, you can first check on Study programmes database - it includes a number of Doctoral programmes that are arranged in English.
If you do not find a suitable Doctoral programme in the database, please also note that often PhD-level research and studies can be agreed on with the universities on a 'tailor-made' basis. That is, the ready-made Doctoral programmes are not necessarily the only options, especially if you are considering a PhD-level research visit rather than a full Doctoral degree.
The university faculty/department of your interest can advise you further on how to apply for a study/researcher placement.
You may also find the research-related links in the right-hand margin of this page helpful.

Visit the universities' Doctoral Admissions pages

If you already know which Finnish university you're interested in for your Doctoral studies, you can find helpful information on the universities' Doctoral Studies websites. Please refer to the links on the right-hand margin of this page.

Public research institutes

Researcher placements may also be available at some public research institutes. You can find these institutes listed at www.research.fi - please contact the institutes directly for information about possible open researcher vacancies!

Are there any scholarships available?

- Scholarships from CIMO (Study in Finland)

If a Finnish university is willing to host you as a Doctoral level student/researcher, then you can apply for a CIMO scholarship. The CIMO scholarships are targeted for all academic fields. The application methods and application times vary depending on the programme. Please see the section CIMO Scholarships for detailed information on the scholarship options CIMO offers for foreign students and researchers.
  • Finnish Government Scholarship Pool - applicable to Doctoral level studies/research atFinnish universities and public research institutes
  • CIMO Fellowships - applicable to Doctoral level studies/research at Finnish universities only (not public research institutes)
Note that none of our scholarships are "full" scholarships that could cover a whole PhD. Depending on the programme, the maximum CIMO scholarship period is 9 or 12 months. After that, those who have received a CIMO scholarships should look for other funding.
Also remember that applying for a CIMO scholarship is not as such a guarantee of receiving funding from CIMO – the selection procedure may be quite competitive, since there are many applicants.

- Other sources of funding

In addition to the CIMO scholarships mentioned above, you are well advised to check into other funding sources as well. Doctoral level study and research funding might be available for example from different organisations and research foundations either in your home country, or from Finland, depending on your field of scientific interest. While CIMO does not have any comprehensive research funding databases available, we have collected some links and hints under the section Other sources of funding.


The above advice also concerns Post-Doc admissions. Applicants need to contact the university of their interest directly for admission information. Note however that CIMO/Study in Finland does not have any post-Doc funding available. Post-Doc applicants are best advised to contact the Academy of Finland for possible advice on post-Doc funding.


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