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Graduate training and Doctoral Programs

Graduate training

Graduate training within Institute groups and a number Ph.D. graduate programs is a critical element for the success of the Institute integrating training and research.

Graduate students join BI through internationally recognized doctoral programs and within the Faculties of the University of Helsinki. Calls for applications for funded positions in the doctoral programs go out annually or every other year, with contracts typically lasting 4 years. There are about 120 graduate students from all over the world working at the Institute.

The Finnish doctoral programs have attracted significant international attention as a model for enabling structured high-quality Ph.D. training, and provide an exciting opportunity for international students warmly welcome within the Institute groups. Training is nationally coordinated through FinBioNet – Finnish Graduate School Network in Life Sciences, a national network of doctoral programs in biosciences and health sciences.

The University of Helsinki introduced a new doctoral education system consisting of four doctoral schools at the beginning of 2014. A total of 32 doctoral programmes under four doctoral schools encompass all of the University´s research fields. The Institute hosts the Integrative Life Science Doctoral Program (ILS), which integrates several previous nationally funded programs including three in which the Institute was active, namely Helsinki Graduate Program in Biotechnology and Molecular Biology (GPBM); Viikki Doctoral Programme in Molecular Biosciences (VGSB); National Doctoral Programme in Informational and Structural Biology (ISB).

PhDs to Business Life project was originally managed and set up in collaboration with Culminatum Innovation OY/LTD to coordinate business-training provisions for Life Science students. In the beginning of the year 2014 the PhDs to Business Life project was transferred to ILS doctoral program in the BI to better equip and train doctoral students in Life Sciences for work in the business world and in different companies in the field. The project included business training, career coaching and company projects for all students. Many of the activities within the project employed the BiotechClub – a PhD students’ run activity in industry-relations and career aspects. Funded by Centre for Economic Development, Transport and Environment, European Social Fund (ESR), University of Helsinki, City of Helsinki, and the Finnish Union of Experts in Science (LAL) the projects final year was devoted to embedding relevant business training activities and good practices within the doctoral training system in the UH at large.

In addition to hosting ILS, Institute is active in several other doctoral programs including:

Together with our colleagues from six university faculties (Biological and Environmental Sciences, Medicine, Science, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, Agriculture and Forestry) we organize lectures and practical courses for these doctoral programs. Annually, researchers at the Institute are involved in the organization of 60–90 ECTS credits for Ph.D. students.