Research permits

Do you have a research idea or thesis topic that relates to the City of Helsinki? Would you like to use the City’s data sets in your research? This page gives you tips about how to proceed with your work.

How to get started

If you are interested in studying a topic related to Helsinki, the City of Helsinki can provide you with the data you need and make the necessary arrangements to grant you a research permit. For other questions and guidance, it is best to consult your thesis advisor or sponsoring organisation.

It is important that you submit your research permit application in good time. Applications are processed in the order they are submitted, and this usually takes 4-6 weeks.

The City of Helsinki has many publicly available data sets that can be used for research. These include the following:

You may also wish to conduct additional research so you can collect new data, perhaps by conducting interviews or observing your research targets. Keep in mind that arranging for interviews or observation periods often requires a great deal of time and effort from both you and your interviewees.

If you decide to conduct additional research, please contact the appropriate City of Helsinki unit of operation (day care centre, service unit, for example) that is relevant to your study. This will ensure that you have a contact person right from the start at the place where the interviewing or observing is carried out.

If you are not sure which City of Helsinki unit or division houses the target of your research, or if your work focuses on two or more divisions, please contact Helsinki City Executive Office’s research permit unit at opens default mail program) and they will steer you in the right direction.

As a rule, if your research uses City of Helsinki data sets or includes interviews, you will need to apply for a research permit. Please check the links below for detailed research permit instructions from each of the City of Helsinki’s administrative divisions. In some cases, it is also possible to make research arrangements with a commission agreement or some other kind of procurement or cooperation agreement. If a research permit is required, please reserve 4-6 weeks for permit processing. We do our best to process the permit applications as quickly as possible, but statutory matters tend to take time and backlogs have been known to happen. If your permit application is incomplete or missing attachments, it will delay the processing.


Please submit your application duly signed and with complete appendices/attachments/annexes to Helsinki City’s Registrar’s Office, email: opens default mail program). More information on protected email on the Registrar’s Office’s website. If your study/survey processes or handles special categories of personal data, or if derogations are made from the rights of the data subject, a data protection impact assessment will have to be made for it.

Learn more about research permits

Research permits and policies may vary slightly among the different City of Helsinki divisions. Find links to the division-specific permits, policies and contact information below.

Research permit and policy information


Contact information:

Contact information:

You find the research permit instructions regarding the Helsinki City Rescue Department on their website(Link leads to external service) 

Contact information: opens default mail program)