Apply to Doctoral Programme of Artistic Research in Performing Arts

Check the application instructions for the doctoral studies starting in the Autumn 2023. The application period is 7-28 September 2022.

Application instructions for the admissions in 2023

The application period for doctoral studies is 7 September – 28 September 2022. The application period ends at 4 p.m. local Finnish Time on 28 September 2022.

New doctoral candidates

The University of the Arts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy (TeaK) will admit a maximum of 9 (nine) new doctoral candidates to commence studies starting in the autumn term 2023 leading to the degree of Doctor of Arts (Theatre and Drama), Doctor of Arts (Dance) or Doctor of Arts (Art and Design) within the Doctoral Programme of Artistic Research in Performing Arts. The application is to be submitted in electronic form in the Studyinfo service. The link to the online application forms in the Studyinfo service work once the application period starts.

Doctoral studies and research at the Theatre Academy are organised by the Performing Arts Research Centre (Tutke). Performing Arts refer to the disciplines represented at TeaK: Acting in Finnish, Acting in Swedish, Choreography, Comparative Dramaturgy and Performance Research, Dance Pedagogy, Dance Performance, Design for the Performing Arts, Directing, Dramaturgy and Playwriting, Lighting Design, Live Art and Performance Studies, Sound Design, Theatre Pedagogy, Writing. Principles and aims guiding Tutke’s functions are described in Tutke’s mission and vision 2021-2030.

Doctoral studies and research carried out at Tutke are defined as artistic research. Graduates from the Doctoral Programme of Artistic Research in Performing Arts are artist-researchers with a doctoral degree of Doctor of Arts (Theatre and Drama), Doctor of Arts (Dance) or Doctor of Art (Art and Design).

During the doctoral studies, the doctoral student carries out an artistic research project on a topic of their choice and acquires the skills and knowledge of an artist-researcher. As experts in their field, artist-researchers develop the understanding of the arts, create art, pedagogy and research. The students collaborate and engage in a comprehensive and critical dialogue with various actors in the society. They create art and produce information, knowledge, and insights based on art-related practices that can be applied in the arts and in other fields and areas of the society. Doctoral training develops the artist-researchers’ ability to apply their skills as artists, researchers, teachers, and experts in their field.

The scope of the doctoral degree is 240 study credits: doctoral research 180 credits, and 60 credits of studies supporting the doctoral research, which include some contact teaching. Applicants are advised to carefully read the Curriculum 2021–2026 of TeaK’s doctoral programme. Courses are offered in both Finnish and English, and excellent skills in English are therefore recommended, and essential for applicants planning to complete their doctorate in English. The doctoral degree can be completed in Finnish or English.

Besides a doctoral research carried out by an individual doctoral candidate, Tutke supports an option of collaborative doctoral research project. In case two or more doctoral candidates share a collaborative project, each doctoral candidate shall complete their doctoral degree individually and independent from the joint project. The applicants in the doctoral admissions are assessed individually and no decision on the selection of the applicants can be conditional. Each applicant shall present their independent subject of research in the research plan and clarify how the individual artistic research connects to the collaborative research project. Applicants shall submit their individual applications and all attachments that are required to the Studyinfo service individually.

Tutke provides its doctoral students with limited financial support for doctoral research projects. At the moment Tutke hosts 6 (six) fixed term salary-paid doctoral candidate positions. When they become open, doctoral students can apply for them in accordance with the recruitment announcements.  In addition, the selected doctoral students from outside the EU/EEA can apply for Finland Fellowships funding. The positions are applied at the same time you apply to the doctoral studies at the Studyinfo service. Check the instructions well in advance:

Admission criteria


The applicant will be deemed eligible to apply if they have the required educational background, have provided proof of their language proficiency according to the Academy’s language proficiency requirements, and have submitted the application with all the required attachments within the application period. The applications of applicants who have been deemed eligible to apply will be evaluated, and based on this evaluation, some of the applicants will be invited to take part in the next stage of the admissions procedure.

Educational background

Applicants can be admitted to doctoral studies if they have completed one of the following:

  • an applicable higher university degree
  • an applicable higher degree at a polytechnic or university of applied sciences
  • an applicable degree outside of Finland permitting one to enrol in similar university studies in the country of the degree.

An applicant who is deemed by the University to have sufficient information and knowledge required for the studies can also be admitted as a doctoral student. The University can oblige doctoral students to undertake necessary courses to attain required skills (Universities Act 24 July 2009, 558/2009, section 37).

Language skills

In order to be admitted to Tutke’s Doctoral Studies Programme in Artistic Research in Performing Arts, the applicant must have sufficient language skills in Finnish or English or Swedish (updated August 30, 2022). The applicant must demonstrate the language skills with prior studies or a language certificate.

The applicant must prove their language proficiency in accordance with the requirements set by the Theatre Academy during the application period. An applicant cannot be deemed as eligible to apply if they have not provided acceptable proof of their language proficiency.

Selection Criteria

  • the artistic and research-oriented importance, relevance, and feasibility of the applicant’s research plan,
  • linking of the research plan to the disciplines represented at the Theatre Academy and the research made within them,
  • compatibility of the research plan with the Curriculum 2021-2026 of TeaK’s doctoral programme,
  • executability of the research plan in the context of the Theatre Academy,
  • the availability of relevant supervision at the academies of the University of the Arts Helsinki for the research presented in the applicant’s research plan,
  • artistic and/or art pedagogic and/or research merits and/or professional experience within the arts
  • strong artistic experience in the above mentioned fields of performing arts represented at the Theatre Academy,
  • an ability to work both independently and in groups and a long-term commitment to creative artistic research.


The online application complying with the application instructions must arrive at the Theatre Academy by the deadline of 4.00 p.m. on 28 September 2022 (Local Finnish time). The application shall be submitted in the Studyinfo service online. The application must include an online application form and appendices in an electronic format filled in within the portal The application can be submitted in Finnish, Swedish, or English. Note: Applications or parts of an application that are posted/sent by post, couriered, submitted in person or sent per email will not be accepted.

Only materials uploaded to the Studyinfo service will be evaluated. Links pointing to external websites or repositories will not be considered.

The application must include the following attachments:

  • Online application
  • Research plan (maximum of 3.000 words, list of references and funding plan not included)
    • ​A comprehensive description of the research idea, its context and realization.
    • Descriptions of the research elements that the planned doctoral research comprises. Research elements are the artistic parts and the commentary of the doctoral research, or combinations of these (for more information, see the Curriculum 2021-2026 of TeaK’s doctoral programme). Research elements shall be defined clearly and their role in the research shall be motivated. The research plan shall also demonstrate how the research elements will be published or made public, what kind of resources they require, and the planned schedule.
    • A preliminary list of references.
    • Preliminary funding plan.
  • Abstract of the research plan (a maximum of 400 words)
  • Curriculum Vitae (maximum of 3 pages)
    • Personal data (including year of birth)
    • Prior education
    • Artistic and/or pedagogic experience
    • Publications and other merits that the applicant deems profitable for doctoral study
    • Scanned copies of degree certificates and the language proficiency certificates if applicable.
    • If the degree is completed outside of Finland, a clarification of the educational system in the country in question and the level of completed education in this system is required in Finnish, Swedish, or English.
  • A short portfolio of the applicant´s key artistic activity (corresponding to a maximum of 5 pages and/or 15 minutes audio-visual material)

The research plan must comply with the guidelines on the responsible conduct of research by the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity. The research plan provided by the applicant may be checked for plagiarism on the Turnitin plagiarism detection platform. 

When writing a research plan, the following questions may be helpful:

  • What do you want to research, and what is your research question?
  • How do you want to research, and how do you plan to implement your research?
  • Why do you want to research this topic?
  • Why is this topic relevant now?
  • How is your personal artistic or art-pedagogy-related background connected with your research topic?
  • How is your research connected to the traditions of your field?
  • What methods will you apply in your research or develop for your research?
  • What are the artistic elements of your research and how do they answer your research question?
  • What are the conceptual and theoretical starting points of your research?
  • What kind of results will the research produce? 
  • How does the research develop the art field it represents?
  • What is the societal relevance of your research?

The accepted format for moving image and the accepted audio and video formats are:

  • A digital file, in H264 compression (maximum file size 1 G)
  • Audio: mp3, m4a, aiff, wma, wav, aac
  • Video: mpeg, mpg, mp4, mov, avi, wmv, m4v, vob

Give names to your files according to the following instructions before sending them in. The name of the attachments shall follow the format: surname_firstname_filename (an example: smith_john_researchplan). Do not use scandics (ö, ä, å) or special characters in the file names. 

Sending in the application form early enough

Complete and submit an online application with all appendices on the Studyinfo service. A link to the application form will be added before the application period starts.

Only materials uploaded to the Studyinfo service will be evaluated. Links pointing to external websites or repositories will not be considered.

When you have submitted your application, you will receive a confirmation email for your application. In technical problems related to the Studyinfo service, contact Please remember to reserve enough time for the process, as the application deadline is definite.

Admission procedure

The admissions are the responsibility of an admissions board, which consists of professors, lecturers, and researchers at the Theatre Academy. The admission procedure has three stages.

  • In the first stage, the admission board’s members who are Tutke’s faculty choose the applicants to be interviewed on the basis of their applications. 
  • During the interviews (second stage), the selected applicants have a possibility to expand upon their plans for artistic research and their artistic work.
  • In the third stage, the selected applicants develop their research plans with support from assigned supervisors. After the third stage, the admissions board discusses the applicants on the basis of the supervisors’ statements, and the professors in artistic research make a proposal to the Theatre Academy’s Research Council concerning the candidates to be admitted to the doctoral programme. The Research Council makes the final decision on the admissions.


  • 7 September 2022: The application period starts
  • 28 September 2022 at 4 PM (local Finnish time): The application period ends. The eligibility of the applicants is assessed after the application period has ended.
  • October–November 2022: 1st stage: the admission board’s members who are Tutke’s faculty choose the applicants, on the basis of their applications, to be interviewed. Invitations to the applicants are sent during week 45.
  • 28–29 November 2022 (extra date 30 November 2022): 2nd stage: applicants accepted to the second round are interviewed
  • December 2022: The admissions board chooses the applicants to be invited to the third round. The applicants are notified and the feedback from the supervisors on the research plans are sent during the week 49. The applicant can ask for clarifications about the feedback during week 50.
  • December 2022–January 2023: 3rd stage: the applicants invited to the 3rd round develop their research plans.
  • 29 January 2023: The applicants submit their updated research plans.
  • March 2023: The admission board meets. The Research Council of the Theatre Academy makes the decision on the new doctoral students.
  • 3 April 2023: Admission results are published

It is a good idea to reserve time for yourself for revising the research plan from December 2022 to the end of January 2023.

Announcement of the results

The admissions results will be announced on 3 April 2023 on the University of the Arts Helsinki’s website for the applicants who have given their consent on the application form for publishing their names. Successful candidates will receive an email from the Theatre Academy after the publication of the results.

Appeal request

An applicant who is dissatisfied with the admissions decision by the Dean is entitled to submit a written request to review the application within 14 days of the announcement of the decision. The appeal request must be submitted in writing to the University of the Arts Helsinki’s registry.

How to submit an appeal request and what to include

The request must be submitted to the registry within 14 days after the publication of the admissions decision. Requests for appeals are sent at the sender’s own risk. If you submit the appeal request by email, write the name of the appropriate academy on the subject line. The name and contact details of the appellant and the statement, as well as the grounds for the request must be included

Contact information for the registry:

University of the Arts Helsinki Registry
P.O. Box 38 / Töölönlahdenkatu 16 C
FI-00097 University of the Arts Helsinki

Further information

Doctoral Programme of Artistic Research in Performing Arts