Adjunct position

Students may apply for an adjunct position in Hecse without funding. An adjunct position entitles the student to participate in Hecse events. Students with already guaranteed funding (holding a research position or employed by a university research project) are encouraged to apply for these adjunct positions.

The benefits of being an adjunct student include the right to apply for travel funds from Hecse and to participate in all Hecse activities (courses, gettogethers, summer schools). Both funded and adjunct students are also assigned a support team.

All full applications will be considered for adjunct positions, except if the applicant is only applying for a funded position.


Hecse admits new students roughly once a year depending on available funding.

Application (or full application)

Applicants who have a committed supervisor, who is both working in the fields of Hecse AND at of the departments participating in Hecse, can submit a full application.

Curriculum vitae

A curriculum vitae should be at most three pages long and include among others the applicant's personal information (name, contact information, age), education (institutions, degrees, grade average) and work experience.


Electronic copies (scanned pdf) of relevant diplomas should be included in the application. Relevant diplomas are, e.g., diplomas for MSc and BSc degrees.

Applicants that are accepted for Hecse positions must submit officially confirmed (paper) copies of relevant diplomas when registering for PhD studies at the universities.

Diplomas must be in Finnish, Swedish or English. If not, they must be translated and the translations must be officially confirmed.

Applicants who have already been accepted as PhD students by the University of Helsinki or Aalto University can use the normal Finnish style of confirming copies. There is no need for official confirmation of the diplomas.

Duration of Hecse funding

The funded doctoral student positions will start on 1 January, the next year after the call for full applications at the earliest. Funding is provided until the projected completion of the PhD studies, maximally for 48 months

Applicants should state for how long a period they would prefer funding and when the funding period would start. In normal cases, the period would start on 1 January (the earliest), but in some cases the funding period may start later (e.g., if the applicant already has some other funding/work commitment for the spring, the period could start on 1 August).

Hecse expects students to finish their PhD degrees in 4 years and will take this into account when providing funding. If the applicant is not a fresh MSc graduate, he or she should describe the current status of his or her PhD studies and research. The applicant must state the estimated date of the PhD defense, and in such cases the date is expected to be roughly four years from the start of the PhD studies (not from the enrollment in Hecse). Admission to Hecse is based both on studies and research so far, as well as on the plan to complete them.


The applicant is expected to have a Master degree by the time of enrollment, as well as an interest in scientific research and the work of a researcher. The applicants, if accepted, are expected to engage themselves in full-time research and study for a maximum of four years. They are also expected to participate in the events organized by the doctoral programme. The progress of the research has to be reported periodically to the school.

The official requirements for doctoral students are found in the study guides of the universities. Applicants should check especially the study guide of the university they are going to do their studies in. Please check the web pages of the Departments, especially their Studies pages:

Funded position

The number of vacant funded positions varies yearly. The best applicants (unless applying only for adjunct positions) will be considered for a funded position. See also adjunct positions.

Note that Hecse funding only covers a part (about 70-80%) of the salary of a student. The rest of the salary must be paid by other means (by the department of the student, or by a research project, etc.).

Students in funded positions must be paid a full salary according to the determined YPJ level.

Language certificates

The language of Hecse is English. Students must know English well to be accepted to the school.

Applicants must provide a TOEFL certificates of their knowledge of English unless they had their education in English or unless they have a degree from a Finnish university.

If students have already been accepted as a PhD student to either the University of Helsinki or Aalto University, they have already submitted proof of their language skills. When applying to Hecse, the student can then use the same certificate (TOEFL or some other certificate), but should make it clear in the application that he or she has already been accepted as a PhD student by either university (and indicate which university).

Letter of introduction

In the letter of introduction the applicant states his/her research interests, which unit and/or research group the applicant is associated with or would like to be associated with, the reasons for pursuing PhD studies in Hecse, and career objectives (max 1 page).


The positions are located either at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki or at the Department of Media Technology, the Department of Information and Computer Science or the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Aalto University.

PhD studies portfolio

A PhD studies portfolio must be included in the application. It should contain the following parts.


The number of vacant funded positions varies yearly. Adjunct positions (without funding) are also available and entitle the student to participate in Hecse events.

All applications will be considered for adjunct positions. The best applicants (unless applying only for adjunct positions) will be considered for funded positions.


A pre-application should only be submitted by students who do not have a committed supervisor, who is both working in the fields of Hecse AND at of the departments participating in Hecse.

The intention of a pre-application is to find suitable supervisors for the best applicants. Together with the found supervisor, the applicant will then submit a full application.

Note that pre-applications are simpler than full applications, and students do not have to submit research and study plans, or specify the funding period, etc.


If the applicant has publications, he or she should make a list of them with explanations of how the applicant has contributed to the publications (if there are several authors) and how the publication possibly will contribute to the applicant's forth-coming thesis.

At most three publications can be included in the application.


For full applications, the supervisor must submit a recommendation that must contain the supervisor's commitment to supervise the studies of the applicant for the Hecse doctoral programme, and if accepted, continuously monitor the student's research work. This recommendation has to state

  • The name of the applicant,
  • The commitment of the supervisor to supervise the applicant if accepted,
  • The planned topic (or field) of the dissertation,
  • The estimated date for the dissertation, and
  • An outline of the funding plan in case the applicant is admitted to a non-funded adjunct position

In addition to the required recommendation from the supervisor, at most two other letters of recommendation can be submitted before the deadline. The recommenders should use the web form (link on the application page) for submitting recommendations.

Research and study plan

Full applications must include a detailed research and study plan for the whole period of PhD studies from start to finish. The plan should include at least the following sections (4-5 pages, with scientific references when appropriate and a reference list at the end).

  1. State of the art of the research field
  2. Planned research including methods
  3. Expected research results and time schedule including expected dissertation date (month and year)
  4. Concrete goals for the first two years of study
  5. Financing plan. The financing plan must indicate how the applicant is going to finance his or her full-time PhD studies. The plan should be as precise as possible. If the applicant is applying only for funding from Hecse this should be indicated in the financing plan.
  6. Reference list.


The salary for a funded doctoral student is based on levels 1 - 4 of the demands level chart for teaching and research personnel of the university salary system (YPJ). With the salary component based on personal work performance the overall salary range is currently 1716,53 - 3451,58 euros per month.

The work performance of a PhD student is evaluated in a yearly discussion with the supervisor. The work performance level in the beginning of the PhD studies is lower, and it gets higher, if everything goes well with doctoral studies. The demand level of the PhD student in the beginning of the doctoral studies is usually (1 or) 2, in the middle of the studies it is 3, and when the student has approximately one year for his/her graduation, the demand level will be 4.

For more information about the YPJ system, please contact either of the universities.


Admission to Hecse is based on the quality of the research and study plan, previous studies and research (if applicable), financing plan, recommendation from a supervisor in Hecse, and other possible indicators.


Hecse only admits applicants supervised by a supervisor whose research fields are close to those of Hecse and who is working at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki, or the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the Department of Information and Computer Science, or the Department of Media Technology at Aalto University.

Support team

Each accepted student is assigned a support team of two reseachers. The team meets at least twice a year with the student to discuss the progress of the student, and to hear the student's presentation.

In the full application, students are required to specify two support team members (typically one professor and one docent or post-doc, not from the student's or supervisor's research group, and preferrably from another department or university). In case of doubt, applicants should discuss with their supervisors about who could be their support team members.

Transcripts of studies

A transcript of studies includes a list of all courses, number of credits and grades that the applicant has passed (Fi: opintorekisteriote, Sw: studieutdrag). Make sure that the transcript is well structured and readable. The transcript should be in English, Finnish or Swedish and the grading system (if differing from the Finnish one) should be explained.