Skip to content

Research or thesis on the City of Helsinki

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

First tip: the City has extensive open data sets that you can draw on in your research. These include:

At this point, we advise you to find out whether you need to collect additional research data by making, for example, interviews with or observations of the persons/targets you study. Although having collected data of your own often feels rewarding, please remember that interview surveys often take much time, both for yourself and your interviewees (day care centre staff etc.).

Tip number two: If your decision is to gather some additional information yourself, please contact the City workplace (such as day care centre, public service unit or similar) that your study is about. This is to ensure that you have a relevant contact person right from the start at the place where the survey/study will be carried out. What the City of Helsinki can do for you during this work is basically to provide data and to grant a research permit. For other queries and tutoring, please consult your own background organisation.

Tip number three: When a survey/study uses data held by the City of Helsinki or when it includes interviews, a research permit is, as a rule, required. Please check the links given here below for research permits within the various administrative divisions of the City. If a research permit is required, please give us 4-6 weeks to produce the permit. Unfortunately, minding statutory matters often takes time, and application backlogs may occur, but we do our best to be as quick as possible. Missing information or missing annexes will delay the process.

Tip number four: Please submit your application duly signed and with complete appendices/attachments/annexes to Helsinki City’s Registrar’s Office, email: helsinki.kirjaamo[a] 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.

More information on research permits and related practices can be found at:

If you are not sure to which administrative division the target of your research/survey/study belongs, or if it belongs to two or more divisions, please contact Helsinki City Executive Office’s research permit experts.

Good luck with your work!

PS. When you have finished your work (research/survey/study), don’t forget to tell your contact person that you have. And last but not least: we are all ears to any research findings or conclusions that relate to the City of Helsinki.

11.01.2022 11:07