Permission to defend the doctoral dissertation

The Dean has authorized the Vice-Dean to grant the permission to defend the doctoral dissertation.

The permission to defend the doctoral dissertation can be granted when:

  • The faculty has received the pre-examiners' reports both of which recommend granting the permission.
  • If a pre-examiner has presented corrections to the manuscript and if they have requested that either they or the supervisor verifies that the corrections are made, then this needs to happen in the manner chosen by the pre-examiner. Also, in this case, a statement from the supervisor/research director is required which clarifies what corrections have been made to the manuscript.
  • The disputant has emailed his/her comments on the statements or lack thereof to the faculty (address: sci-docstudies(at)
  • The disputant has completed all the studies to be included in the doctoral degree.
  • The research director has accepted the disputant's doctoral studies module (40/60 ECTS). The application for the final grade of the study module has been delivered to the faculty.
  • As per the Rector's decision, only dissertations which contain both a Finnish and an English abstract may be granted a permission for the defence in the faculty.

Opponent and Custos

Typically, simultaneously when granting a permission to defend the doctoral dissertation, the official opponent as well as the custos of the disputation are nominated.

The research director makes a proposal regarding the official opponent and the custos. The proposal is made using the electronic form, which filling can be started either by supervisor or research director.  The Dean, on the basis of this proposal, appoints one or more opponents and a custos.

The preliminary examiners and the opponent should be adjunct professors or have equivalent scientific merits. They should be external in relation to the doctoral thesis work, they must not have co-authored publications together with the author of the doctoral thesis, they must come from outside the University of Turku and they must not have close and recent (as the main rule, from the past three years) scientific collaboration with the supervisor(s). For a justified reason, one of the preliminary examiners or the opponent may be adjunct professor at the University of Turku, if his/her regular post is elsewhere. A preliminary examiner of the doctoral thesis or the opponent must not be associated with the author of the thesis as described in Section 28 of the Administrative Procedure Act (434/2003), nor must they be in such dispute- or other relationship, which obviously compromises his/her impartiality.

The dean appoints a custos for the public examination on the basis of the research director’s proposal. The custos is an esteemed scientist responsible for the appropriate procedure of the public examination. Suitable persons for custos are primarily professors of the faculty. Should there not be one available, an associate/assistant professor or an adjunct professor can be appointed if adequately justified. The custos must be an employee of the faculty (or Professor Emeritus/-ita). The custos reports to the faculty as to whether the correct procedure was followed at the public examination. The custos does not take part in the grading of the doctoral thesis.



 This page in Finnish