Doctoral Programme in Clinical Research educates professional scientists in clinical research and act as a link from biomedicine to clinical medicine. Doctoral training is mostly provided in the hospital environment of Kuopio University Hospital and as online courses.
Doctoral degrees in a year
Research areas in the doctoral programme
Doctoral Programme in Clinical Research is a multidisciplinary doctoral programme that covers all the specialties in clinical medicine including dentistry.
How to apply?
A doctoral study right is granted as a result of an application in which the applicant suggests supervisors and writes a research plan and a funding plan.
Following post graduate degrees can be completed in the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Research:
- Doctor of Medicine
- Doctor of Dental Science
- Licentiate of Philosophy, Doctor of Philosophy
- Licentiate of Philosophy (Pharmacy), Doctor of Philosophy (Pharmacy),
- Licentiate of Science (Health Care) and Doctor of Science (Health Care)
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.
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.
Eligible applicants to the Doctoral Programme in 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:
the innovativeness, scientific and practical importance of the research subject and its suitability to the research profile of the research site and the doctoral programme
quality, clarity and feasibility of the research plan
the applicant's evidence of previous research work, e.g. working as a researcher, scientific publications
success in MSc studies or corresponding studies
the language skills required for the studies
The adequacy of supervision, the expertise and commitment of supervisors are also taken into account in the selection process. Applicant's ability, motivation and commitment to doctoral studies can also be assessed through interviews.
Following documents should be attached to the application:
Research plan, approved by supervisors and the person in charge of the subject
Copy of the basic university degree certificate and a transcript of earlier academic records. In case the 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 of that degree as well as state the estimated time of MSc 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 attachments, 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 previously applied license, the date of amendments should be stated in the 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.
The prospective doctoral researcher 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 researcher student discusses the research topic, doctoral studies and their completion, funding, as well as other supervisors with the future main supervisor. The prospective doctoral student and the supervisors must negotiate and agree on responsibilities and commitment to supervising the student's research project. The PhD project should also be agreed with the person in charge of the subject.
Each doctoral researcher must have at least two supervisors. In case there are more than three supervisors suggested the need for more than three supervisors and their roles should be clarified in the research plan. Each supervisor must have at least PhD degree. At least one of the supervisors must be a professor or have a title of docent or equivalent at the University of Eastern Finland. The main supervisor must have at least title of docent. All supervisors and the person in charge of the subject must give their written consent on the research plan.
In the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Research an applicant should have a steering group, which has a task to look after that a dissertation project proceeds as planned. A steering group consists of two persons having at least a doctoral degree. Members of a steering 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.
The prospective doctoral researcher draws up a research plan. Please, see further instructions in ‘Research plan’
The prospective doctoral researcher applies for the right to pursue doctoral studies using Studyinfo.fi site. Please note: Partially filled application form cannot be saved. You have to have all the obligatory attachments ready once you start filling the application form. 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 attachments, 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 previously applied license, the date of amendments should be stated in the research plan.
Processing of the application
Applications are evaluated and decisions are made within approximately one month after the call ends. 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. 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.
When applying to the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Research the applicant chooses an academic subject and negotiates with the person in charge of the subject about initiating a research project. The person in charge of the subject agrees the research project by signing the cover page of applicant’s research plan.
Academic subjects and persons in charge in Clinical medicine
When applying for doctoral degree studies, a research plan must be enclosed to the application. The student prepares the plan with their supervisors, and it must be approved by them. The research plan must cover the entire licentiate thesis or doctoral dissertation. If the research topic and materials change substantially, a new plan must be made. If the changes are significant, approval must be sought from the faculty. The research plan is usually drafted in Finnish or English.
The research plan can include the following information, for example:
- Title of the research and the name and contact information of the postgraduate student
- a short summary of the background to the research with necessary sources (including the theoretical and methodological basis)
- a description of earlier research related to the topic
- a description of what remains unknown about the research topic and an explanation of the research’s relevance on a national and/or international scale
- the research hypotheses
- the aims of the research clearly defined and presented
- Materials and methods
- a description of the research methods and materials used, and the grounds for choosing the particular methods
- a description of how the materials will be handled and used (also after the research has been completed)
- a working plan, a plan for different stages of the work
- Schedule and funding plans
- a description and a schedule for the different stages of the work
- the funding plan and funding sources of the research
- The ethical aspects of the research
- the ethical aspects of the research (e.g. whether the research requires statements from ethics committees or statutory research permits; possible permits should be attached to the research plan)
- Publication plan
- the means and mode of publishing and/or presenting the research results
- Applications of research results
- an estimation of the applications and the social significance of the research results
- a list of the research field’s principal literature used for the research
- The names of the persons and units participating in the research project
When applying to the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Research, the research plan (1+4 pages) consists of a cover page, which includes signatures of all supervisors and and the person in charge of subject, and a research plan which maximum length is four pages, including list of references.
Funding plan is a compulsory part of the application. It is recorded to the research plan and to the application form. Funding should be planned with the supervisors. Funding for own salary and for research costs should be described in the funding plan.
It is possible to receive funding for doctoral studies from various funds and foundations as well as to be employed in a UEF doctoral student position or in an Early Stage Researchers positions in projects funded by the Academy of Finland, Tekes (Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation) or other funding agents. University also offers grants for finalising doctoral dissertation.
More information on different funding options in Kamu.
Application deadlines are four times per year 28 February, 30 April, 31 August and 30 November in Study info portal.
What is Studyinfo.fi?
Studyinfo.fi is the official national admissions portal with all the up-to-date information about study programmes leading to a degree in Finland.
News and events
Dissertation press releases in the Faculty of Health Sciences
Public examinations of doctoral dissertations in Faculty of Health Sciences
Further information on doctoral programme
The director of the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Research is professor Ville Leinonen. Further information is given by coordinator Saara Happo.