Practical arrangements for the dissertation defence
Dissertation defences are public events, open for anyone to attend. The academic traditions and ceremonials related to public defences are best realised by having the key people present at the event in person.
The dissertation defence is a public examination event of a thesis of the University of Turku and it takes place at the premises of the University (including the main campus, other campuses, the University’s other branches as well as e.g. the facilities of the Turku University Hospital. For a justified reason, the opponent and/or member of evaluation committee may attend by online remote connection. Additionally, it is recommended that if the key people of the public defence give their consent, public defences could be watched remotely online.
In exceptional situations and for a valid reason, with the Dean's decision the doctoral researcher may attend their own public defence remotely, following the regulations and practices of their faculty.
If the doctoral researcher wishes to have the defence somewhere else, s/he must have a permission from the Dean to do so. The doctoral researcher is responsible for the costs of a dissertation defence organized outside the University’s premises.
Dissertation defences take place in a room of the University and are open to audience. It is also recommended that defences are livestreamed on Echo so that there is an opportunity for more people to follow the defence but without the possibility of making comments. With Echo, it is also possible to record the event. It is beneficial to agree beforehand on who will open the Echo connection once the dissertation defence begins.
A so-called hybrid defence (there is audience both in the room and also watching the defence on Zoom) is possible in cases where the Opponent and/or the doctoral researcher are unable to travel to Finland. In specific circumstances, a doctoral researcher/Opponent/member of grading committee who already is in Finland may participate via Zoom (e.g. due to a quarantine order). Zoom can also be used if one wishes to record the event or make the defence available for a larger audience with the possibility of commenting. Using both Echo and Zoom in the same defence, however, is not possible.
For dissertation defences that use Zoom, the IT Services can provide customised technical training designed for dissertation defences. Technical training can be ordered using the form 'Announcement of the public defence of a doctoral dissertation' or sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find the form on Guidelines for Dissertation Defence www-page (Communicating about the doctoral dissertation > Make an announcement of the public defence of a doctoral dissertation).
If Zoom is used in a dissertation defence, the Custos names a person who is in charge of the remote connections (Marshal). It is also recommended that there is a designated Marshal for dissertation defences that use Echo, where their task is to switch on and handle the technology of the lecture hall.
Marshal of dissertation defence
In dissertation defences that use Zoom, the Marshal makes sure that network connections and communication are working smoothly, monitors possible questions presented by the audience, and conveys them to the participants of the defence in a manner agreed together. A Marshal is primarily from the relevant research group/major subject/department (i.e. teaching/research staff). If needed, a Marshal can contact the IT support on call. (Note that there is no University's IT support available on weekends.)
Reserving a room for dissertation defence
Different alternatives of setting up a dissertation defence should be taken into account when planning the time and date of a dissertation defence and when reserving the room. Centralised services (address: email@example.com) make the reservations and provide advice and information about available lecture halls for dissertation.
Doctoral researcher, please make the reservation for a lecture hall or room for the dissertation by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the following information in your message:
- Include information in the title of the email - Dissertation
- Day of the week, date and timetable
- Lecture hall or room that you wish to use (click on the link below to see the facilities where you can organise your dissertation defence with Zoom or Echo)
- Name of the doctoral researcher
- Name of the Custos
- Cost center for the invoice of the hall/room usage cost
If there are multiple dissertations on the same campus area at the same time on the same day, you may be asked to postpone the dissertation to another time.
Remote implementation related to the dissertation defence (intranet):
A coffee event can be arranged in the University's facilities.
University units can apply for free parking permits for the Custos and the Opponent attending the dissertation defence, more information on Intranet: https://intranet.utu.fi/index/parking/Pages/default.aspx
There may be more detailed, faculty-specific guidelines regarding the practical arrangements of a dissertation defence. Please check the faculty’s website as well.