How to apply?

Scientific doctoral education leads to either a doctoral or a licentiate degree.

Who can apply?

According to the Universities Act of Finland (558/2009, Chapter 5, Section 37), eligible for studies leading to a doctoral degree shall be

  • a person who has completed an applicable higher university or polytechnic degree
  • a person who has completed an applicable education abroad which in the awarding country gives eligibility for corresponding higher education
  • a person whom the university judges otherwise to have sufficient knowledge and skills for the studies.

There is no term fee for doctoral education in the University of Eastern Finland.

If you are applying for a doctoral study right in a field of research which has not been the main field of you Master's degree, the faculty may require you to complete supplementary studies to ensure that you are qualified to take part in doctoral studies. Possible supplementary studies are specified when the right to doctoral studies is granted and cannot be included in the doctoral degree.

Eligibility and selection criteria

Eligible applicants to the Doctoral Programme of Clinical Research have either completed or currently ongoing studies in medicine or dental science, or applicable Master's degree.  The applicant should have an ongoing or planned research project suitable for doctoral dissertation with a research plan approved by an eligible main supervisor, and have agreed supervisors for the project.

The skills of eligible applicants to any of the doctoral programmes provided by the Faculty of Health Sciences and their commitment to a successful completion of their doctoral studies are assessed according to the following joint criteria, which constitute the admission criteria of the programme:

  • quality of the research plan: innovativeness of the research topic, feasibility, clarity and implementation methods of the research plan as well as its suitability to the research profile and strategy of the department, school or unit where the research project is to be carried out;
  • funding plan;
  • scientific and practical relevance of the research topic;
  • evidence of any previous research projects carried out by the applicant, such as working as a researcher
  • performance in Master’s studies or corresponding studies
  • international orientation and language skills required in the studies

In the selection process, the adequacy of supervision and the special expertise required from the supervisor are also taken into consideration

The suitability of the applicant's degree will be assessed by the Doctoral Programme of Clinical Research, and a prospective student may be required to complete supplementary studies to acquire the competencies necessary for participating in the programme.


A PhD project should have two supervisors. In case of  multidiciplinary projects, the need of additional supervisors should be justified in a study plan. The main supervisor should have a title of dcent. At least one of the supervisors should be a docent of the University of Eastern Finland.

Steering group

In the Doctoral Programme of Clinical Research an applicant should have a steering group, which has a task to look after that a dissertation project proceeds as planned. A streering group consists of two persons having at least a doctoral degree. Members of a streering group do not need to be from the same field of science as the applicant, but they should know the practices of the applicant's field of science.  Persons in the steering group should not have any conflicts of interests, which means they should no have research projects with the applicant or her/his supervisors during past three years, or other relationship which could form a conflict of interest. Steering group should be nominated in the application form as well as in the research plan.


How to apply to the doctoral programmes in the Faculty of Health Sciences

Application deadlines are four times per year 28 February,  30 April, 31 August and 30 November,

PhD study right grants the right perform PhD studies in the University of Eastern Finland, it is not a funding decision. Please visit the doctoral programme's Guidance to Doctoral Studies >> Funding page to find out about funding opportunities.

How to apply?

A doctoral study right is granted as a result of an application in which the applicant suggests supervisors and makes a research plan. Study right to doctoral studies in Finland does not include scholarship or funding. Funding has to be applied for from various sources separately.

  1. The prospective doctoral student studies the instructions, study requirements, and guidelines concerning the doctoral programme issued by the university (UEF Doctoral School), the faculty and the programme, which can be found on web pages of the doctoral programme.

  2. The prospective doctoral student discusses the possibility to pursue doctoral studies in the department or school with the potential supervisor or with the person in charge of a major subject. Further information may also be asked from the contact person of the doctoral programme.
    The prospective doctoral student discusses the research topic, doctoral studies and their completion, as well as other supervisors with the future main supervisor. Each doctoral student must have at least two supervisors. The supervisors must give their written consent on the research plan. The prospective doctoral student and the supervisors must negotiate and agree on responsibilities and commitment to supervising the student's research project. 

  3. The prospective doctoral student draws up a preliminary research plan. Please, see further instructions in ‘How to apply’ - ‘Research plan’

  4. The prospective doctoral student applies for the right to pursue doctoral studies using site. Following documents should be attached to the application:

  • Research plan, which consist of a cover page + four pages (including the list of references). The supervisors must give their written consent on the research plan in the cover page. Please, see the instructions.

  • Copy of the basic university degree certificate and a transcript of earlier academic records. In case applicant’s MSc, or equivalent, degree is not completed the applicant should submit a transcript of academic records and a personal study plan for completing the remaining studies in the previous degree as well as state the estimated time of master’s graduation in the application form.

  • CV, including the list of publications if any.

  • Copies of licenses and permits required to conduct the research. In addition to these attatchments, it should be clearly stated in the research plan what licenses the study requires, what licenses have been applied and/or what licenses are planned to be applied. In case the applicant is added to a previoulsy applied license, the date of amendments should be stated in the research plan.

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Applications are sent to the Faculty of Health sciences in site.

  1. Applications are evaluated and decisions are made within approximately one month after the call ends.

  2. The dean decides whether the right to pursue doctoral studies should be granted on the basis of a proposal made by the doctoral programme. When the right to study is granted, the faculty decides on any supplementary studies required, confirms the research topic, appoints the supervisors and approves the research plan and the personal doctoral study plans.

  3. The faculty communicates its decision to the applicant, the supervisors, the Student and Learning Services and the doctoral programme in question. Similarly, negative decisions and their justifications are communicated to the applicant, the supervisors and the doctoral programme. In addition, the applicant is provided with instructions on how to appeal the decision (see below).

  4. After having been granted the right to pursue doctoral studies, the student immediately registers as a doctoral student using a registration form which shall then be submitted to the Student and Learning Services. In subsequent academic years, the registration must be carried out by mid-September. 

  5. Doctoral student must submit signed Personal postgraduate study plan (HJOPS) and Supervision agreement to the faculty within 3 months after receiving the study right. Applications are sent to the Faculty of Health sciences (University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, 70211 Kuopio, Finland). If you wish to deliver application by hand, location: Mediteknia 4th floor, room 4085 (Arja Afflekt).  

Decision Appeals

Any applicant who is dissatisfied with the student selections may apply for a written rectification from the Board of Appeal of the University of Eastern Finland. The deadline for making the request for rectification is fourteen (14) days after the applicant has been notified of the decision. The request for rectification must be addressed to the Board of Appeal and delivered to the Registry Office of the University of Eastern Finland within the prescribed deadline. If the request for rectification is delivered after fourteen days, it will not be investigated.