The rules for conflict of interest

The rules for conflict of interest according to Neuro-Innovation Grant agreement are as follows:

  • A. A disqualifying conflict of interest for a specific PhD application exists if the reviewer
    1. was involved in the preparation of the application or
    2. stands to benefit directly should the candidate be employed.
      • The latter condition refers to the situations in which the evaluator:
        • Has a close family relationship with the candidate
        • Is employed by one of the legal entities mentioned in the application
        • Was employed by one of the legal entities mentioned in the application within the previous three years

  • B. A disqualifying conflict of interest exists if the reviewer is in any other situation that could compromise his/ her ability to evaluate a specific application impartially, such as when the evaluator:
    • Has close family ties or a personal relationship with the candidate of a specific application
    • Is a former supervisor of the candidate for a specific application
    • Is a close collaborator of the candidate for a specific application (up to ten years previously)

  • C. A potential conflict of interest may exist for a specific application, even in cases not covered by the clear disqualifying conflicts indicated above, if the evaluator:
    • Is already involved in a contract or research collaboration with an applicant as a legal entity or has been in the previous three years
    • Is in any other situation that could cast doubt on his or her ability to evaluate the proposal impartially or that could reasonably appear to do so in the eyes of an external third party

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m from a country outside of Europe, can I apply?

Non-European candidates can apply. There is no distinction made on nationality. For this programme, students are expected to change country. The only restriction is the H2020 MSCA mobility rule which applies only to students already living in Finland, or who lived here in the past 3 years.

I am already living in Finland, or have already lived in Finland, can I apply?

All the candidates should fulfil the mobility requirement of the MSCA actions, I.e., at the time of recruitment, ESRs must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies) in Finland for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before 5 June 2022. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not considered

Do I need to move to Finland?

Yes, you do.

Neuro-Innovation is COFUND programme of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action that encourages researchers for transnational, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility. COFUND programmes encourage the movement of researchers across borders and provide good working conditions.

The Early Stage Researchers who will be selected to Neuro-Innovation programme will work at the UEF Kuopio campus.

Learn more about the UEF Kuopio campus

Learn more about the City of Kuopio

Learn more about PhD studies in Finland, provided by FindAUniversity Ltd.

MSCA coronavirus information

What is the duration of PhD research?

The duration of each PhD student training period will typically be 48 months, with registration of the PhD student at the University of Eastern Finland.

I have already a CV but in different form. May I use it?

No, you may not because we want to keep the applications as comparable as possible. Please follow the CV instructions and use the provided template.

How much is the salary?

ESR positions are based on full-time study for four years at the UEF Kuopio campus. The salary of the positions is based on the salary system for the teaching and research staff at universities. The salary consists of the job-related salary element and the personal performance salary element. For these positions, the job requirement level used to determine the job-related salary element is 2–4 (2078,27 – 2591,28 €) and the personal performance salary element is 6–50 % of the job-related salary element. The estimated monthly salary in the beginning of the employment will be 2288,17 - 3163,95 € per month. The salary of an ESR depends on the phase of the doctoral dissertation and postgraduate studies as well as personal performance.

In Finland, the salary is paid once a month to a bank account.

When will ESRs start their PhD projects and is the date flexible?

ESRs will start their studies at UEF 1.10.2022-1.1.2023.

Is it possible to apply if one of the requested document is missing?

All required documents on the application form must be provided before the deadline.

Can I access and modify my submitted application before the deadline of the call?

Yes, you can.

Will I receive a confirmation of receipt that you received my application?

Yes, you will receive a confirmation by email.

When will I hear about my application?

You will be contacted, either to invite you to an interview (in person onsite or remotely by video conferencing), or to inform you that your application was rejected. This notification is expected within 12 weeks of the application deadline.

What if I have an enquiry about my application?

We kindly ask that if you have a query that you check the Guide for Applicants and this FAQ first. Additionally, further details can be found in the PhD project descriptions in this website.  If, having read through all the guidance available to you, you are still unclear only then you can send a message by email to
Please bear in mind that we may be receiving a high volume of enquiries and there may be a delay in responding.

Can I work freely in Finland? Will I need a visa and/or residence permit??

Employees coming from the Nordic Countries (Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) are allowed to arrive and work without residence permits or visas in Finland.

Citizens of the member states of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) do not need a residence permit either. However, if you are staying in Finland for longer than three months (90 days) you must register your right to reside in Finland at your local police station in Finland.

Citizens from the non-EU/EEA countries usually need to obtain a visa or a residence permit / residence permit for employed persons before their arrival in Finland.

I have worked in a research organization, but not in a research position. Is this counted as a "research career"?

No, it isn't. The main responsibilities of each work experience are asked in the electronic application form.

Why a PhD in the Neuro-Innovation PhD Programme?

We offer you:

  • A 4-year PhD programme leading to a degree that will prepare you for a career at top universities, research institutions, companies and other organizations
  • Financial support – salaried position including health care, no tuition fees.
  • An international, world-class multi/interdisiplinary research environment
  • Experienced PhD supervisors at the cutting edge of their research fields
  • Individually tailored guidance and studies
  • Flexible and supportive service throughout studies
  • Access to prominent international networks of world’s leading experts
  • Study in Finland, the happiest country on earth.

Three research areas

The PhD programme addresses the translation of research results to clinical adaptation and commercial outcomes in three research areas of precision medicine concerning epilepsy, traumatic brain injuries and neurodegenerative diseases, which have a long history as particularly strong, internationally top ranked research areas of UEF neuroscience.

  • Societal impact of prediction and early diagnosis research area aims to understand and improve interdisciplinary, societally impactful research collaborations on novel biomarkers and risk genes, key mechanisms of epilepsy/TBI and neurodegenerative diseases, and the effect of environmental factors on brain health. To accelerate prediction and early diagnosis, sophisticated machine learning prediction tools will be used and integrated with high-level legal and social science expertise on patient rights, public health ethics and inclusivity to society. Interdisciplinary impact and innovation management processes will be studied from a holistic perspective.
  • Co-innovation for prevention and treatment research area deals with collaborative innovation across networks and ecosystems where novel therapies are developed, tested, and launched for the purpose of preventing and treating neurodegenerative diseases and epilepsy. Together with the key intersectoral partners, the research will focus on new drug candidates, multi-domain lifestyle-based interventions, and personalized clinical treatments. For high-level outcomes, machine learning will be used to identify patient groups for specific treatments and predict therapy response. Intersectoral co-innovation processes will be studied, and research designs will be guided by legal expertise on law and medical ethics.
  • Transfer of technologies, methods, and models research area aims to understand and improve knowledge transfer processes across research teams and from university to industry. This research area deals with new technologies, such as experimental MRI techniques and multiscale imaging. Novel methods and models include cohorts and population-based trials, use of human brain tissue samples, genetically modified animal models and human-based disease models. Sophisticated algorithms and competence on inverse problems will be utilized, together with legal expertise on privacy, data protection and data sharing policies. Entrepreneurial processes will be studied to achieve success in research commercialization.

More specific research topics will be outlined in the call and on this website.

Neuro-Innovation PhD programme 2022-2026


Neuro-Innovation is a novel and globally unique four-year doctoral programme on research and innovation for brain health throughout life.

14 competent and motivated Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will be selected in two calls for multi/interdisciplinary doctoral training of which combines neurosciences with management, social, legal, and computer sciences and applied physics.

Logo or European CommissionThe programme has applied Horizon 2020 funding from Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action for Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes (COFUND).