Call for applications for a PhD student representative in DPDR

HYVÄT is looking for a PhD student representative for the doctoral Programme in Drug Research (DPDR) for the term from August 2019 until the end of the year. Being a student representative is a rewarding experience on many levels and an opportunity to improve the doctoral education. Starting in the position now also gives good background for continuing during the next term 2020-2021 after the autumn’s election.

Apply by sending a freely formed application to the HYVÄT board ( at latest on Sun Aug 4th. You have to be a PhD student in the programme to be eligible to apply.

The aim of DPDR is to educate experts that have a wide view of drugs and toxicology. DPDR is a multidisciplinary doctoral programme and research in DPDR covers the life cycle of medicines and toxicology. More specifically, groups in DPDR study diverse areas in drug research, such as drug design and synthesis, bioactivity screening, pharmaceutical microbiology, drug formulation, nanomedicine, industrial manufacturing, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, analytics, drug interactions, pharmacogenetics, pharmacology and clinical pharmacology, clinic al drug research, pharmacoepidemiology, clinical pharmacy, pharmacoeconomics, toxicology and clinical toxicology and veterinary drug research.

HYVÄT’s values lay in Community, Information and Advocacy

This text is a written version of the speech given by HYVÄT’s 2019 chairperson Anton Saressalo at the association’s 5 year anniversary party. This is the last edition in the HYVÄT anniversary blog post series.

HYVÄT is an association of weird abbreviations. We are endlessly talking about doctoral schools like HYMY and YEB, doctoral programmes like SEDUCE and DOCPOP – and even the association’s name is an abbreviation. By now all of you should already know that it comes from the Finnish word “Helsingin yliopiston itöskirjatutkijat”, University of Helsinki PhD Students.

Continue reading “HYVÄT’s values lay in Community, Information and Advocacy”

HYVÄT becomes a recognised part of the university

In this third part of HYVÄT’s anniversary blog series Julia von Boguslawski, the 2017 chairperson of HYVÄT, writes about the most significant developments during her time in the board.

When I was accepted as a PhD student at the university of Helsinki in the autumn 2014, I knew practically no other PhD students and had no clue about how I should tackle this whole PhD business. When I heard that there was an association for PhD students at the university that seemed like a good place to start – and it sure was. Before I knew it, I was elected secretary for the board of 2015 when Tommi Tenkanen was our chair and continued the next year when Fanny Johansson was chair, and in 2017 it was my turn to chair the association. After that I have stayed active as an officer of the board. During these years, I have had the opportunity to develop the association together with a bunch of awesome board members.

Continue reading “HYVÄT becomes a recognised part of the university”

Grants and taxes

The yearly tax forms are due in few days (7.5, 14.5 or 21.5.). If you haven’t yet done your taxes, it’s about time.

If you work in a “normal” salaried position, you often don’t need to do much for tax declaration. If you work on a grant, however, you will need to fill your tax form. With my first grant I didn’t bother and have regretted it since.

A recording of a webinar on tax information for freelancers, artists and grant workers has useful information for PhD students working on a grant. The part on grants starts at 1:20:00. Below is an English summary of the webinar.

Your grants won’t appear automatically on the prefilled tax form, so you will have to know yourself all grants you have received. Hopefully next year the grant information will be prefilled.

Some grants are exempted from taxation. Unfortunately this does not concern most grant workers, since grants received from universities and private foundations are under taxation.

Firstly, even taxable grants are taxed only for parts exceeding 20 461,72€ for the year 2018. The amount exceeding this sum are taxed with the same rules as a salary would. So, if the sum of your grants are below 20 461,72€, it is always tax free (you still need to declare it though). Note that University of Helsinki sometimes pays travel subsidy in the form of a grant. You can ask for this information from your campus’ HR-team, if you’re unsure.

The grants are divided into two categories: working grant (e.g. research grant) and expense grant (e.g. travel grant). One grant might contain both in parts. Grants that are awarded to a group, are split between the group members. Each member declares only their share of the grant.

The expense grants are simple: the expenses are directly deduced from the grant. You declare the amount of the grant and expenses in the same place “Other trade income->Grants” (“Muut tulot->Apurahat” or paper form 10). The expenses are deducted directly from the grant. If the expenses were greater that the grant, you declare the amount covered by the grant and transfer the excess to deductions from income (working grant and/or salary). Receipts of purchase etc. are not attached to the form. Vero will ask for them, if they are needed. You are required to keep the receipts for six years (I know, the ink in most receipts won’t survive that long).

The working grant is also declared in “Other trade income->Grants” (“Muut tulot->Apurahat” or form 10). The expenses, however, are declared as “Expenses for the production of income” (“Tulonhankkimismenot” or paper form 50A). The expenses you can deduct are mainly the same as in salaried employment:

  • Any expenses, for which grant was awarded, but it didn’t cover all expenses. You can deduct the excess not covered by grant.
  • Travel expenses (eg. conference) that are not covered by an expense grant
    • Including per diem (inside Finland 28€/day and 15€/half day, list of daily allowance per country here )
  • Office deduction. Either realized expenses for rented office space or nominal value for home office:
    • 880€/year, full time use
    • 440€/year, part time use (2-3 days/week)
    • 220€/year, occasional use
  • Computer that is primarily used for the supported work (50% if it’s partially used for work)
  • Internet expenses
  • Phone expenses (when used for work)
  • Professional literature
  • Thesis printing costs
  • Doctoral defense costs (excluding clothes, coffee and cake, karonkka and promootio)
  • Trade union membership fees (I include HyVäT here – Grant workers don’t really have an union, and this comes closest one gets to trade union for us)

MYEL insurance is deducted separately (the fees should appear in the prefilled form automatically). The YEL/MYEL appearing in the “Other deductions” is directed for entrepreneurs and you don’t need to fill it (for grants).

The first years of the PhD association

This text is the second part of HYVÄT’s anniversary blog series. This story by Tommi Tenkanen, the second chairperson of HYVÄT (then HYJO).

As I started doing my PhD in the beginning of 2014, I was exactly in the right place at the right time. As Harri Waltari described in his previous blog post I, among others, stepped in exactly at the right time to become involved in the founding of the association. Continue reading “The first years of the PhD association”