Doing a PhD?

Please note that Julie Yu-Wen Chen is not accepting new PhD students until 2026.

If you are interested in doing a PhD related to Chinese/China studies at the University of Helsinki, you can find the information on the faculty’s website

Before applying, the applicant must contact the staff at the relevant discipline and discuss the research proposal, the study plan and the arrangement for supervision.

For Chinese/China relevant studies, you may contact Julie Yu-Wen Chen at julie.chen (at)

Before emailing Julie, please note that

  1. It is expected that you are a full-time student while doing your PhD. If you cannot be a full-time student, please explain and justify.
  2. You need to have sufficient funding to manage your life in Helsinki.
  3. There is a strong preference for research proposal that uses social/political science research methods and theories to study contemporary China. Topics related to ethnicities, China’s policies and reforms, and China’s foreign relations are welcomed. Interdisciplinary approaches are appreciated.
  4. Normally, our candidates come from social sciences and humanities backgrounds. However, we also consider candidates from natural sciences, computer sciences, engineering and other academic backgrounds.
  5. As we aim to cultivate the next generation of scholars, there is a strong preference for choosing candidates with good academic records, ambition and commitments.

In your email, you need to include the following documents and information.

  1. Cover letter introducing yourself and explaining your motive for doing a PhD in Helsinki
  2. A 5-page research proposal including introduction, research question(s), theories and hypotheses, method(s) and data, academic (and/or) practical significance of the project, and key literature.
  3. CV. If you have academic publications already, please do list them.
  4. Names and contact information of two professors who can comment on your academic abilities. If you have been out of the university for many years and cannot find two professors to recommend you, please give names and contact information of two former/current employers.