Employed by the University

The instruction belongs to the following themes

By selecting a degree programme you are able to see the general content as well as the possible degree programme-specific content. You do not have to select a degree programme to see the Open University's instructions.

As a doctoral researcher, you have a variety of opportunities to find employment at the University and finance your doctoral studies through it: 

  • Doctoral programmes annually recruit doctoral researchers for one- to four-year fixed-term paid positions funded by the University of Helsinki
  • Research programmes coordinated by University research staff employ doctoral researchers in research activities
  • Hourly-paid teaching duties
  • Many doctoral researchers work in the University administration during their doctoral studies.

How to search for work at the University?

If it is your aim to be employed by the University, actively follow new calls for applications for open positions and apply to suitable positions, adhering to the application periods and instructions. However, please take into account that only a small minority of doctoral researchers at the University find employment at the University during their studies, so it is always important to keep an open mind about other options to fund your doctoral studies.

Calls for applications for open positions are posted on the Open positions page of the University of Helsinki.

Employment as a doctoral researcher

The University grants funds for doctoral school and programmes to recruit doctoral researchers. In addition, for example research projects may hire doctoral researchers through their own funding.

Doctoral researchers funded by the University of Helsinki have an employment contract with the University of Helsinki and work in one of the units of the University. If you have been recruited to the position of a doctoral researcher, the same rights, responsibilities and principles apply to you as to other University employees and you must always agree on trips and longer research visits with your supervisor while complying with the travel practices of the University.

Your main duty is dissertation work but your position will always include some teaching duties. In addition to salary and social security, as an employee you are entitled to, for example, occupational healthcare, work facilities and equipment and other services for staff.

An employment relationship becomes valid when you have been chosen for a position and you have signed an employment contract with the University. The contract is always drawn up in writing and it is signed by the employee, the person responsible for recruitment as a representative of the University and the person responsible for human resources in the unit where the employment contract is signed. Employment contracts for doctoral researchers are drawn up and their human resources matters are handled by the University Services’ on-site HR service team in the unit where the doctoral candidate works. Contact information for the staff at the on-site services is available in Flamma, under the My Unit section.

Please note that if you have been recruited to a doctoral researcher position, but have not yet been granted the right to pursue doctoral studies, you must acquire this right during your employment trial period. Acquaint yourself with the instructions for applying for a study right well in advance before the next application round and ensure that you are eligible.

Doctoral researcher positions funded by the University of Helsinki

The University of Helsinki annually allocates funding for salaried doctoral researcher positions. These positions are meant for full-time work. The aim is that doctoral researchers employed by the University will complete their degree in four years.

The call for applications for these positions takes place annually in the early autumn on the open positions page of the University of Helsinki. Both current University of Helsinki doctoral researchers and new applicants planning doctoral studies are eligible to apply for these positions. More information about the application process and application assessment procedure is available on the University’s external website.

The best applicants will be selected to the positions of doctoral researchers. The steering groups of each doctoral programme will assess the submitted applications using, when needed, a separate specialist body or external experts. In addition to assessing the application documents, many doctoral programmes want to interview the top applicants.

The doctoral researcher positions are primarily aimed at doctoral researchers in the early stages of their dissertation work to enable them to work full-time on their dissertations and postgraduate studies. The exact duration of a doctoral researcher’s employment depends on the stage of their dissertation. As a rule, the positions are filled starting from the first day of January each year. The start and end dates of employment are determined in the employment contract.

Orientation for new employees

When you start to work at the university, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with these instructions on the beginning in a new job and orientation (link opens in Flamma). These instructions have information about the practicalities involved in beginning your new job and orientation events.

If you arrive to Finland from abroad it is also recommended to familiarize yourself with these instructions (link opens in Flamma).

Other employment relationships at the University

If you are employed by the University in a position other than research staff, please note that you will not have the right to work on dissertation research during working time. Agree with your work supervisor on how to combine doctoral studies and, for example, on possible study leave.