GSF is the national PhD program in Finance in Finland and a joint effort of five Finnish universities; Aalto University, Lappeenranta University of Technology, HANKEN School of Economics, University of Oulu and University of Vaasa. Main objective of GSF is to develop and improve Finnish finance post graduate education and improve finance doctoral education in Finland by

  1. Organizing systematic, diverse and high quality PhD courses and seminars
  2. Improving research supervision availability
  3. Promoting cooperation between different universities and finance departments
  4. Promoting international contacts and networking (especially in Nordic countries) between finance departments and PhD programs
  5. Maintaining and encouraging connections and cooperation between different research institutions, related subjects and other research schools

The teaching language of the four year program is English and approximately 10 new students are accepted yearly. GSF offers a well structured program for gaining a Doctoral (Ph.D.) degree in Finance for PhD students of the participating universities. GSF organizes PhD courses and workshops, and it also offers supervision of doctoral students. Doctoral degrees, however, are granted by the participating universities themselves.

GSF’s rigorous coursework equips students with a state-of-the-art PhD education in Finance that prepares them to pursue high quality academic research. Close contact and interaction with the GSF faculty ensures high quality research supervision in the several expertise areas of faculty members. Weekly Finance Research Seminar and interaction with teaching faculty provides students with an exciting and international research environment. The ultimate test of any successful PhD program is the placement record, which is very encouraging; the GSF program provides a solid basis for starting an international academic or a business career. Recent placements include London Business School, Imperial College, Catholic University of Lisbon, Stockholm University, Barclays Capital London and Auckland University.

Doctoral studies comprise intensive coursework and a doctoral dissertation. One and a half years at the beginning of the studies are devoted to intensive coursework that is followed by research phase leading to a PhD dissertation. The GSF coursework builds on five compulsory Finance courses and other courses e.g. in Economics, Research Methods and Statistics. Local PhD courses are complemented by intensive PhD courses provided by the Nordic Finance Network (NFN). NFN also provides funding for GSF students to attend intensive doctoral courses in Finance arranged in other Nordic countries. From the spring term of the second year onwards until the PhD dissertation is completed, students are expected to participate actively in GSF workshops and to present their own research there.

Becoming a PhD student at GSF is a two stage procedure. The applicant must first be accepted as doctoral student at one of the participating universities. Applicants must apply directly to the university in question. The application deadlines and procedures are specific to the universities and are likely to differ from university to university. The minimum requirement is a Master’s Degree in Finance or in a closely related field. Second, the students must apply for the GSF program, which is open to students who meet the requirements for doctoral studies in Finance at the participating universities. Applications to GSF are made in the late spring. Additional information on GSF and how to apply can be found from the GSF’s and KATAJA’s homepages. At the moment GSF has six graduate school fellowships for promising doctoral students of the GSF to pursue their studies full time. A student can have a fellowship for a maximum of 4 years.

The organization of GSF comprises of a supervisory board, the director and the secretary. The Board of the GSF is:

Mikko Leppämäki
Director, Ph.D. (LSE)
Graduate School of Finance, Aalto University