Funding doctoral studies
There are several ways to fund doctoral studies. However, having the right to study in a doctoral programme does not automatically guarantee funding. Before starting your studies, discuss funding plans with your supervisor.
Funding based on an employment relationship at the University
Doctoral students have opportunities to work as doctoral researchers in the University’s research projects or they may be employed in doctoral researcher posts funded by the University. All researcher posts are announced in the University’s recruitment advertisements.The number of doctoral researcher posts varies between the faculties. In order to be employed in such a post, complete your job application according to the instructions in the announcement within the given deadline and enrol in one of the doctoral programmes in the faculty.
Grants and scholarships
Personal grants from Finnish and international foundations or other funding agencies are a significant option for funding postgraduate studies. Grants and scholarships may be used to fund both partial projects within the doctoral studies, such as international mobility and conference trips, or longer periods conducting the postgraduate research. The application announcements feature the deadlines and detailed instructions on how to apply.
Many part-time doctoral students may also apply for grants and scholarhips so that they can take a leave of absence from their jobs in order to complete the doctoral dissertation etc.
Search databases that provide information on funding opportunities by various sorting criteria contain information on foundations that award grants. Such services include:
- Research.fi database: for Finnish and international sources of funding for scientific research, arts and culture
- The National Union of University Students: a database on grants and scholarships for students
- The Council for Finnish Foundations: information on Finnish foundations that award grants
- The Finnish Cultural Foundation
- Academy of Finland
- The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra
- Finnish Foundation for Technology Promotion
- The Pirkanmaa Hospital District (web page only in Finnish)
- City of Tampere’s research foundation awards grants primarily for postgraduate research and publication of scientific studies (web page only in Finnish)
- The University Consortium of Seinäjoki has a researcher hotel where you may apply for a work space (web page only in Finnish)
- The University of Tampere Foundation awards grants to doctoral students in social, health and natural sciences and humanities as well as travel grants
- Tampereen teknillisen yliopiston tukisäätiö sr awards grants to doctoral students in the field of technology as well as travel grants (website only in Finnish)
Financial aid for students
Based on legislation concerning student financial aid, students may receive support from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) for studying towards a scientific postgraduate degree at a higher education institution. A Finnish doctoral student may receive a study grant for 9 months at the most, depending on the number of months the student has already received it for prior studies. Different rules apply to students of other nationalities; check out the details on Kela’s website. Financial aid is granted based on the student’s progress in the studies and his/her need to be financially supported while studying. The study grant is taxable income.
Further information, such as the number of the supported months, is available on the Kela website How to apply for financial aid for students.
Adult education allowance
Employees who have accrued a total employment history of at least eight years may receive the adult education allowance. Receiving the allowance requires that the student is on a study leave from his/her job and loses earnings while studying. The studies must either lead to a degree or be professional further training. The period of receiving the allowance is defined based on the person’s employment history. In practice, the maximum duration of the adult education allowance is 15 months.
The Employment Fund grants the adult education allowance and is responsible for communications and guidance about it. Further information about the adult education allowance is available on the Employment Fund’s website.