General information Teaching Examinations Structure of degree Study units

Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind (B&M)

The Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind (B&M) is one of eight doctoral programmes of the Doctoral School in Health Sciences (DSHealth) at the University of Helsinki. B&M is based on a multidisciplinary network of leading neuroscience research groups at the University of Helsinki and Aalto University. The doctoral candidates have a background in medicine, biosciences, psychology, cognitive sciences, humanities, technology or physics and chemistry.

Research and doctoral training in the B&M includes the following fields of science:

The research strategies are strongly integrative, implying that questions are addressed at different levels of organization (from molecules to behavior), at different stages of development, and under both normal and pathophysiological conditions. In addition to basic research, a number of the research groups are also developing applications relevant for pharmaceutical companies, for the clinic, and for novel technologies to be used in research.

The B&M doctoral candidates will carry out research in a research groups and write a doctoral thesis based on this work. The University of Helsinki hosts many internationally prominent neuroscience research groups and the Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind links researchers and lecturers especially within the biosciences, biomedicine and psychology. This active neuroscience community offers unique opportunities for research and doctoral studies in state-of-the-art facilities and an inspiring researchoriented atmosphere.

Our courses are organized and thesis projects conducted mainly on two campuses of the University of Helsinki: Viikki (including the Department of Biosciences, the Neuroscience Center, the Institute of Biotechnology and the Faculty of Pharmacy), and Meilahti (including Medicum, Clinicum and the Helsinki University Central Hospital). In addition to neuroscience, B&M doctoral candidates are able to select courses from related programmes, including the doctoral programmes of the Doctoral School in Health Sciences. and the Master's Programme in Neuroscience. As we also collaborate with the Aalto.

UniversityMaster’s Programme in Human Neuroscience and –Technology, you will be able to include their relevant courses into your degree.

Key learning outcomes/objectives of education 

The Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind provides in-depth training and education required for careers in academic research, biomedical or biotechnical industry, and expert appointments locally and abroad. The doctoral degree is based mainly on independent scientific research and collaboration within the research community.

During the training, doctoral candidates of the Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind will:


A doctoral degree opens the door to many interesting career possibilities. In addition to a purely academic career as a post-doctoral researcher, opportunities in the public and private sector in Finland and abroad are achievable. For instance: scientific experts in ministries, research and government agencies, research institutes, patent offices; administrative jobs in higher education establishments; scientific publishing and journalism; private companies; start-ups etc.

While carrying out the thesis project, the doctoral candidate works in a research group either at the university or at a research institute. Many teams collaborate with other academic groups or with industry partners. The Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind supports short-term research visits to collaborating groups and partners.

International mobility

The Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind is a truly international doctoral programme with about 40% of the doctoral candidates originating from outside Finland, represented by over 15 nationalities. The pool of teaching staff is also highly international with many global cooperation partners. Regular events are held where doctoral candidates can network with top-level international scientists who are visiting Finland. These include weekly research seminars and yearly student-organized scientific meetings. International mobility and networking is also encouraged and supported in the form of research/study visits, and participation in courses, conferences and meetings abroad where the doctoral candidates can discuss their research with experts in their field.

B&M is part of the Network of European Schools in Neuroscience, NENS, which provides further opportunities for networking in doctoral training events of other partner universities. In addition, DSHealth is part of the NorDoc network (Nordic Doctoral Training in Health Sciences).

UH education reform

Please see rules for transition from the degree requirements of 2014–2017 to the curriculum of 2017–2020 here.

Degree programme director

Associate professor Iiris Hovatta