Doctoral Programme in Physical and Chemical Sciences - for the Doctoral Candidate

Doctoral programme in Physical and Chemical Sciences (PCS) offers its doctoral candidates support, organizes events and thematic courses, and awards travel grants.

University of Turku uses UGIS system to guide doctoral candidates throughout the doctoral training.

General instructions for doctoral studies

From the very beginning

  • Create a personal study plan in eHOPS system
  • Start to earn study credits
  • Start to carry out your research
  • Set intermediate goals for data acquisition and writing


  • Fill in the electronic progress report in January
  • Have a career and review discussion with your supervisor in February – March.
  • Participate in the PCS Annual Seminar in spring (usually in May)
  • Register either as an attending or non-attending student for the upcoming academic year in June-August

At the end

  • Start to prepare for the last steps well in advance, the process takes several months
  • Make sure you have completed all the required studies
  • Check the originality of your thesis with Turnitin
  • Propose pre-examiners to the Faculty together with your supervisor
  • Deliver PDF of your thesis to the Faculty
  • Propose Opponent and Custos to the Faculty together with your supervisor
  • After you have been granted a printing license, publish your thesis
  • Deliver one copy of the printed thesis to the Faculty and one copy to the Rector
  • Fill in the announcement of the public defence of a doctoral dissertation to the University Communications
  • Prepare a press release of the dissertation in Finnish
Postgraduate studies

For the Doctor of Philosophy degree the doctoral candidate must:
1) Complete curriculum defined studies for 40 credits.
2) Write and publish a doctoral thesis which is approved by the Faculty after a public inspection.

A doctoral thesis can be in the form of either a monography or a compilation dissertation (articles). A minimum requirement in a compilation dissertation is (three) four peer-reviewed articles. Two of these must be published and the rest should be submitted. Information concerning the contribution of the Doctoral Candidate is needed. There should be a major contribution at least in two articles.

Summary of PCS curriculum 2020-2022

Studies in Research Topic, 15–30 ECTS

    Postgraduate Studies
    Book Exam, 0-8 ECTS
    Seminars, 0-4 ECTS
    Summer Schools, 0-10 ECTS

Studies supporting Research Area, 0–10 ECTS

    Teaching Practice, 0-5 ECTS
    Publications not included in the Doctoral Thesis, 0-4 ECTS
    Studies in Minor Subject, 0-10 ECTS

Studies supporting Mobility and Professional Career, 2–10 ECTS

    Scientific Conferences, 0-10 ECTS
    Research Visits, 0-6 ECTS
    Internship, 0-6 ECTS

General Studies Aiming for Expertise, 4–10 ECTS

    Research Ethics, 2 ECTS (mandatory)
    Project Design and Management, 0-6 ECTS   
    Professional and Career Skills, 0-5 ECTS
    Language and Presentation Skills, 0-6 ECTS
    University Pedagogy, 0-8 ECTS
    Public Outreach, 0-3 ECTS
    Entrepreneurship and Leading Skills, 0-5 ECTS

Courses, study credits, events and grants


Study credits

Credits from courses taken at the University of Turku are registered routinely by the course teacher. Other credits are registered via electronic form:

Remember to add relevant file(s) to the application to support proposal: e.g. when applying for study credits from conference presentation, a document (acceptance email or program) proving the oral or poster presentation is needed.


  • PCS Annual Seminar: The seminar is organised by the doctoral candidates who have a funded position in PCS doctoral programme.


  • Calls for PCS travel grant applications are usually open twice per year, in the spring and autumn. 
    • Travel money can be applied for a conference participation, a research visit or a (summer) school.
    • Travel grant can be applied for a conference participation if a doctoral candidate has a poster or an oral presentation in a conference. It is possible to apply, even if it is not known yet if the abstract will be accepted or not. One must prove before a trip that the poster or presentation is accepted.
    • It is possible to apply travel money for a trip which happens during the same calendar year.
Annual progress reporting, and career and review discussion

Annual Progress Report

The progress of doctoral research and doctoral training of the Doctoral Candidates is annually monitored by the Doctoral Programme in Physical and Chemical Sciences (PCS). Doctoral Candidate is asked to fill in the electronic PCS progress report form. Link to the reporting form is open in January. After finishing the progress report, please save the report as a pdf-file for the career and review discussion and / or the possible advisory committee meeting (see below).

Career and Review Discussion

University of Turku Graduate School (UTUGS) aims to enable an opportunity for annual career and review discussion to all doctoral candidates. The regular and systematic review discussions (development discussions) are normal practice in employment relationships. The possibility to career and review discussions is given to the doctoral candidates that are doing the doctoral research on research grant or other funding, too.

The career and review discussion between the doctoral candidate and the scientific supervisor (and administrative supervisor) are to be held during February – March.

The career and review discussion form partly contains the same questions as the progress report form (filled in January), but also differs from it. If the doctoral candidate has filled in the progress report form and saved the pdf-copy of the report, (s)he can copy those previous answers to this UTUform. In the future, the answers common to both forms, will rise up to the review and career discussion UTUForm automatically.

Please see more information.

Advisory Committee

Doctoral Candidate belonging to PCS can appoint an Advisory Committee. The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to support together with supervisor(s) the progress of Doctoral Candidate’s doctoral dissertation.

The task of the advisory committee is to:

  •     support the Doctoral Candidate in both scientific and other issues
  •     identify any potential problems
  •     ensure that the personal study plan is being adhered to
  •     if necessary, to help with the adjustment of study plan to enable the doctoral project to be completed within four years and to support career after doctoral dissertation

All interactions between the Doctoral Candidate and the Advisory Committee are to be considered confidential.
Two external members in addition to the Doctoral Candidate and supervisor(s) make up the Advisory Committee group. The external members should hold doctoral degree and come outside of doctoral candidate’s own research group. It is recommended that one of the members comes outside of University of Turku. New Doctoral Candidate can select the Advisory Committee members with help of her/his supervisor(s) and inform the names of the committee members in the PCS application form (supervision plan) or later to the PCS Coordinator.

Advisory Committee meetings

If a Doctoral Candidate has an advisory committee, the (s)he will organize an Advisory Committee meeting annually before the end of April. Doctoral Candidate should provide the Advisory Committee members with a her/his progress report well in advance of the meeting. In the meeting Doctoral Candidate gives an oral presentation of the progress on the doctoral dissertation followed by discussion.
In the meeting the following issues should be discussed:

  •     Current phase of the doctoral research: what has been accomplished, what needs to be still done
  •     Completed study work during the follow-up year and possible changes to the study plan
  •     Did the doctoral dissertation proceed according to plan during the follow up year
  •     Which factors promoted and which prevented the progress
  •     Goals for the current year and how they can be achieved
  •     International mobility during the follow up year
  •     Career plans after doctoral dissertation

At the end of the meeting the supervisor(s) will leave the room and gives to the Doctoral Candidate a possibility to discuss with the other Advisory group members about potential problems. Mutually, the Doctoral Candidate leaves the room and gives to the supervisor(s) and Advisory group members a possibility to discuss without presence of the Doctoral Candidate.
The Doctoral Candidate together with the Advisory Committee writes a short summary of the meeting and returns the signed report to UGIS by the end of April. Also new Doctoral Candidates should organize an Advisory Committee meeting in the beginning of their studies and present and discuss about the research plan and study plan in the Advisory Committee meeting.

Dissertation process and graduation
PCS Steering Committee

Juri Poutanen, Director, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Carita Kvarnström, Vice Director, Professor, Department of Chemistry

Edwin Kukk, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Petriina Paturi, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Pekka Peljo, Associate Professor, Materials Engineering
Juha-Pekka Salminen, Professor, Department of Chemistry
Pasi Virta, Professor, Department of Chemistry
Anna Kirjavainen, Senior Research Fellow, Turku PET Centre
Mika Lastusaari, Lecturer, Department of Chemistry
Elina Lindfors, Academy Research Fellow, Finnish Centre for Astronomy with ESO
Iiro Vilja, University Lecturer, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Juuso Laitila, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Chemistry
Zahra Jahanshah Rad, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Physics and Astronomy