The applicant applies for the right to pursue doctoral studies online in Studyinfo portal.
- copy of the basic university degree certificate, and other documents which may affect the granting of a study right
- a transcript of earlier academic records
- a research plan
- the consent from the supervisor
- a free-form motivation letter indicating why the applicant is interested in pursuing postgraduate studies in the Doctoral Programme in Law. The motivation letter should not be longer than one page in length.
The application time for spring 2023 is from the 2nd of January to the 28th of February.
Interviews will be organized on the 13th of March at 8:00 a.m. (Finnish time) onwards. The applicant must participate in the interview in order to be selected for the doctoral programme.
From the 1st of August year 2023 the application deadlines in each academic year are the last weekdays of October and the last weekdays of April.
Before submitting an application, an applicant must contact a professor or other main supervisor of the UEF Law School who represents the applicant's field of research and inquire the professor's or other supervisor’s willingness to act his/her supervisor in case the application is later accepted. When first contacting the potential supervisor, the applicant must present his/her research plan to the supervisor. The UEF Law School only admits applicants whose research interests correspond to those of a member of the staff and to whom adequate supervision can thus be provided. The list of potential main supervisors can be found on the website of the doctoral programme in law.
The applicant must indicate the supervisor's consent to act as a supervisor by enclosing a print of an email to the application where the supervisor gives his/her consent to act as the applicant's supervisor. Only after having received the consent from the supervisor, the applicant can submit the application. The email must state that the supervisor has read the research plan and pledged to act as the applicant’s supervisor, if the applicant is granted the right to study for a doctorate in philosophy or law.
The recommendation of the law school is that professors and other main supervisors take on a maximum of two new students per semester. When following the recommendations, the number of active supervisees as well as the resources available can be considered.
The applications of applicants who fill the eligibility for postgraduate studies are evaluated based on the following:
- Especially the research plan; but also
- Success in previous studies
- Other experience supporting the research: previous research or scientific publications, international orientation and knowledge of languages needed in the research, working as a researcher, acquired funding or financing plan.
Evaluation of the research plan and interviews
As the research plan is the central document in the evaluation of the applicant's competence to conduct scientific research, it is important to draw up the research plan as carefully and well as possible. It should also be noted that the research plan is an independent document written by the applicant. However, the supervisor who has agreed as to act as the applicant's supervisor may provide the applicant with appropriate guidance. The actual supervisory guidance will begin after the applicant has been admitted to pursue the doctoral studies at UEF Law School in the doctoral programme in law and registered to the university.
The standard length of a research plan is approximately ten pages, and it must detail the following:
- Background of the research project, the meaningfulness and scientific relevancy of the chosen topic, and any earlier studies related to the theme.
- Research question and general objectives of the research project.
- Research methods and possible research data.
- A work plan and plans for subtasks; particularly in case of doctoral dissertations consisting of articles, it is important to describe in detail the parts from which the study consists and which serve as the basis for reporting.
- Tentative schedule and funding plan.
- Publication plan.
- An assessment of the potential uses and the social significance of the research results.
Research plan template
The board of UEF Doctoral Programme in Law evaluates the applications received and drafts a proposal on the eligible candidates to the faculty.
The research plans are evaluated using the following criteria:
- The scientific level of the research plan, the originality of the research topic and the objectives of the research (research problem, research assignments, the scientific, social and practical significance of the research topic);
- The theoretical frame of reference, concepts and knowledge of the research literature
- The viability of the research plan
- A plan for collecting relevant research material and analysis methods, if necessary
- Schedule-, publication and financing plans;
- Deliberation of ethical perspectives possibly related to the research and conducting the research; for example, Responsible Conduct of Research, the assessment of data protection impact, ethical considerations of material management and collection
- The structure and contents of the research plan
Before drawing up the statement, the board of the doctoral programme in law interviews individual applicants as a rule. The interview focuses on the discussion about the applicant’s research plan. In the interview and if necessary, in the feedback based on the interview, the applicant can be given suggestions to improve their research plan. In the doctoral programme, it might be required that the applicant completes or improves their application based on the given feedback. However, this must be done within the deadline set by the doctoral programme.
Interviews are held on pre-set interview dates, which are announced on the doctoral program’s website. The secretary of the Board will contact the applicant to be interviewed about the exact interview time.
Processing of the application in the Board and in the faculty
Based on the application and the interview the Board can:
- Support the application;
- Decide not to support the application;
- Postpone the application and request that the applicant corrects the deficiencies by supplementing or improving their research plan based on the feedback received. This must be done within the deadline set by the Board.
The Dean will decide on the study right, appoint the supervisors and accepts the research plan. For each doctoral candidate at least two supervisors are appointed. One of the supervisors must be a professor or docent at the University of Eastern Finland. Alternatively, a person who has equivalent scientific competence to a professor or a docent and is a member of the staff at the faculty can be appointed as a supervisor.
The dean's decision will be sent by the faculty to all applicants by email.