Pre-examination of a dissertation

The doctoral thesis

The thesis may be in the form of either a monograph or a compilation of several scientific publications including a summary of the publications (detailing the objectives, methods and outcomes of the research as well as a review of them). The thesis may also contain manuscripts intended for publication, provided that a considerable number of them have been approved for publication in peer-reviewed publication series. If the thesis consists of joint publications, the student’s independent contribution to the shared article is detailed in a separate clarification.

Before proposing reviewers, the research director must ensure that the thesis is of the required extent and that the manuscript delivered for pre-examination fulfils the formal requirements for a doctoral thesis.


The Dean appoints at least two pre-examiners for the doctoral thesis on the proposal of the research director. 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 pre-examination process

  1. The doctoral candidate, all supervisors, and the research director agree that the thesis is in a state of completion required for beginning the pre-examination process.

  2. The faculty appoints the pre-examiners on the basis of the research director's proposal. This proposal is made with the corresponding form. The required attachments are as follows:

    1. The doctoral candidate delivers a PDF of their thesis (as well as of all the included publications) to

    2. A signed Turnitin OriginalityCheck report.

    3. A statement approved and signed by the supervisor, research director and student indicating the author’s contribution to the research if the thesis contains joint publications. The statement must also tell whether a part of the thesis has earlier been used in another thesis or if such use is being planned. The statement needs to contain a full reference (including a note if it is a manuscript). Should one of the examiners not understand Finnish, the statement needs to be written in English.

    4. Should the thesis contain an unpublished manuscript the doctoral candidate needs to acquire a permission to use it in the thesis from all the writers. Permissions received by email are acceptable; they should be sent to in a single compilation.

    5. The doctoral candidate and pre-examiners are not allowed to have joint publications. Supervisors' publications are checked, as well. If there are some, the research director is asked for a clarification regarding the choice of pre-examiners in order to ensure an unbiased pre-examination process.

  3. The Dean appoints pre-examiners, the opponent, and the custos. NB! The proposal for pre-examiners may take up to two weeks to get the acceptance of the faculty. The faculty informs the candidate, the research director, and other participants about the decision by email. Afterwards, the faculty also sends pre-examiners the necessary instructions.

  4. Pre-examiners have one month to write the statement. The delivery address for the statement is

  5. The faculty sends the pre-examiners' statements to the doctoral candidate by email. The candidate is asked whether they have anything to comment on regarding the statements.

    • If the doctoral candidate has nothing to comment on, they express that they do not wish to appeal by email (

    • If the candidate deemds a statement unacceptable (for instance, a considerable disagreement over suggested corrections), they may lodge an appeal, which is delivered in writing to the faculty.

    • If the candidate disagrees on the proposed evaluation (rejected-accepted-accepted with honours), the candidate may lodge an appeal also after the disputation when they have received the opponent's evaluation, as well.


 Pre-examiner instructions