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University of Turku Graduate School UTUGS -Supervising a doctoral candidate

The University of Turku Graduate School (UTUGS) is responsible for the development of doctoral education and provides support to the doctoral thesis supervisors.

For the doctoral thesis supervisor

Doctoral candidate's supervision and career guidance

Educating future experts who will solve complex scientific questions and social issues and build a sustainable world is a strategic goal of the University of Turku. In doctoral training, this goal is met by providing high-quality supervision, with emphasis on supervisors’ expertise and commitment to personalised supervision of doctoral candidates. In accordance with the goals set in the strategy, supervision of doctoral candidates should be inspiring and flexible, and it should support the candidates’ research and doctoral education.

Career guidance for doctoral candidates

The doctoral student may have a career guidance discussion with his / her supervisor or it may be held as part of a follow-up group meeting. A suitable moment for a career discussion is, for example, at the beginning of the year.

UGIS - Information System of the Graduate School

UGIS is an information system developed for the needs of the university's graduate school. It contains the information about all the doctoral candidates and their supervisors in each doctoral programme at the university. UGIS covers the life cycle of doctoral education in its entirety (from an applicant all the way to a disputant). Its function is to act as a portal, which offers instructions as well as digital services such as accepting doctoral studies credits and e-forms related to the dissertation process. The supervisor is able to see all his/her students and monitor their progress. In addition to doctoral candidates and supervisors, among UGIS users are coordinators and secretaries from the doctoral programmes and faculties.

How to use UGIS for supervisors

How to use UGIS for doctoral candidates

Doctoral candidate's annual progress reporting

The annual reporting of doctoral students is one of the key means of quality assurance in doctoral training. Both the doctoral candidate and the supervisor benefit from the annual reporting, but also the doctoral programmes and the graduate school are developed on the basis of the reports.

The doctoral candidate reports on the progress of their studies annually by filling in a form for the doctoral programme. In addition to the doctoral candidate him/herself, the answers to the questions related to the progress of their studies and research in the UGIS system, will be seen by their supervisor, members of the monitoring / steering group and the person in charge of the subject.

The annual progress report is used to monitor activity. In the annual monitoring of activity, the supervisor must express their support for the doctoral candidate's right to remain active. Supervisors are aware of the situation, progress and also possible interruptions, in which case their views are important in assessing the doctoral candidate's situation.

University Commitment for Grantees

Human Resources and the Research Funding Unit have planned the University's uniform commitment form that can be used in faculties/departments at the discretion of the department when agreeing on the conduct of research and offering research prerequisites between a person who is conducting research on a grant, as a visiting researcher or in any other way without an employment relationship with the University of Turku and the University of Turku's functional unit. Departments can, at their own discretion, guarantee researchers with e.g. a working room and various services.

Training for doctoral thesis supervisors

The University of Turku Graduate School (UTUGS) and Åbo Akademi University organize doctoral thesis supervision training. The training covers themes related to doctoral thesis supervision and supports working as a doctoral thesis supervisor. During the spring, the program includes themes, such as elements of successful supervision, research ethics, how to give constructive feedback to the supervisee, well-being support and conflict prevention, sustainability and business collaboration.

The training forms a coherent whole during the spring 2021 but each of the five parts can also be participated in individually. The training is held in English.
The training is targeted for all supervisors of doctoral thesis: those who have just started their career as a supervisor but also for those with more experience. In addition to having chance to learn more about the supervision, the training offers a possibility to discuss with other thesis supervisors and learn best practices.

Registration via Konsta Staff Training Calendar:
(requires logging in the intranet).

Detailed programme and registration information below.

Training on Supervision, Spring 2021

Part I: Introduction to Supervision of Doctoral Thesis

Time: 27th of January 2021, at 13.00-16.00
Place: training is organized remotely and Zoom link will be sent to registered participants


Parallel sessions

A. University of Turku

University of Turku Graduate School (UTUGS) and Supervision in a Nutshell
Pirjo Nuutila, Professor, UTUGS Director, University of Turku

UTUGS Courses: Objectives and Arrangements
Taina Syrjämaa, Professor, European and World History, University of Turku

B. Åbo Akademi University

News Regarding Research Rules and Regulations at Åbo Akademi University
Pia-Maria Kallio, Head of Research Services, Åbo Akademi University   

Joint sessions

Research Ethics and Supervision of Doctoral Dissertations
Helena Siipi, University Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, Contemporary History and Political Science, University of Turku

Elements of Successful Supervision
Sanna Vehviläinen, Professional Supervisor, Professor of Career and Study Counselling, University of Eastern Finland

Vehviläinen's research interests are: interactional practices of counselling, guidance and supervision; guidance in groups and communities; outcome of guidance and supervision; theorizing guidance practices for social justice. She has written and edited textbooks in Finland and internationally, and published in journals such as Research on Language and Social Interaction, Discourse Studies, and Studies in Higher Education. She has a long experience in training and development among guidance professionals, teachers and other professionals using guidance methods. Her Finnish textbook on guidance (Ohjaustyön opas Gaudeamus 2014) has become a key work in the field of counselling, guidance and supervision.


Registration at the latest 21.1.2021 (requires logging in the intranet)

Further information
Nina Lehtimäki, Doctoral Programme Coordinator, University of Turku (nina.lehtimaki [@]

Part II: Supervision and Writing Feedback

Time: 17th of February 2021, at 13.00-16.00
Place: training is organized remotely and Zoom link will be sent to registered participants

How to deal with different kinds of supervisees and feedback situations? In this workshop we will identify diverse types of writing feedback, and develop our meta-communication skills when giving comments on texts in progress. The approach is based on an understanding of academic writing as a comprehensive psychological and practical process.

Trainer: Carol Kiriakos, PhD, Department of Management Studies, Aalto University, School of Business

Kiriakos has a Master’s degree in social psychology and a PhD in sociology. She has developed new kind of psychological and practical writing support for writers in and outside the academia. In the academia, she works particularly with doctoral candidates and their advisors.


Registration at the latest 11.2.2021 (requires logging in the intranet)

Further information:
Nina Lehtimäki, Doctoral Programme Coordinator, University of Turku (nina.lehtimaki [@]

Part III: Supporting Well-Being and Preventing Conflicts

Time: 10th of March 2021 at 13.00-16.00
Place: training is organized remotely and Zoom link will be sent to registered participants

In the workshop organized by the University of Turku (UTU) Study and Work Well-being Services we focus on the well-being of both the supervisors and the supervisees. Through case examples we discuss different ways of resolving problematic situations that may – and often do - arise in supervision relationships. According to the procedural instructions for resolving conflicts which the UTU Graduate School has recently published, problems should be addressed as early as possible – but how?

Addressing Well-being Issues in the Supervision Relationship
Tiina Tuominen, Study Psychologist, University of Turku

How to Prevent and Solve Conflicts
Ismo Saario, Study and Work Well-being Manager, University of Turku

Workshop on Anonymous Real Case Examples
Facilitators Anu Mäkelä and Johanna Mäkinen, Well-being Coordinators, University of Turku


Registration at the latest 4.3.2021 (requires logging in the intranet)

Further information:
Nina Lehtimäki, Doctoral Programme Coordinator, University of Turku (nina.lehtimaki [@]

Part IV: Sustainability and Business Collaboration in Doctoral Education

Time: 31st of March 2021 at 13.00-16.00
Place: training is organized remotely and Zoom link will be sent to registered participants

Sustainable Development and Business Collaboration
Marjaana Suorsa, Project Manager, Research Development, University of Turku    
Paavo Kosonen, Development Manager, Innovation Services, University of Turku

Sustainability Driven Business
Maija Pohjakallio, D. Sc. (Tech), Sustainability Director, Sulapac Ltd.

What does Sustainable Development have to do with us in Humanities and Social Sciences?
Kalle Korhonen, PhD, Director of Research Funding, Kone Foundation

Interventionist on Non-interventionist, Research or Consulting, Interviews or Observation - Methodological Considerations in Collaborative Research
Milla Wirén, Dr, Research Manager, Laboratory of Business Development Research, Centre for Collaborative Research, Turku School of Economics
Industrial PhD - Educational and Scientific Collaboration between Academia and Industry
Ullamari Pesonen, Professor of Pharmacology and Drug Development | Institute of Biomedicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Turku

Building a Successful Business Finland Consortium - Case SusCon
Kaapo Seppälä, Project Manager, University of Turku

From talk to walk: Integrating Sustainability and Business Collaboration Aspects into Doctoral Training
Marjaana Suorsa, Paavo Kosonen


Registration at the latest 25.3.2021 (requires logging in the intranet)

Further information:
Nina Lehtimäki, Doctoral Programme Coordinator, University of Turku (nina.lehtimaki [@]

Part V: Supervision of Doctoral Candidates, Ethics and Well-being

Time: 23rd of April 2021 at 10.00-13.30
Place: training is organized remotely and a link will be sent to registered participants

Trainer: Tomas Grysell, PhD, head of the PIL unit (higher education and interactive development) at the University of Gothenburg, and with many years of experience of development work with research supervisors and in postgraduate education.

The workshop is grounded in methods and activities that help us understand, reflect and exchange ideas about communication and treatment between PhD student and supervisor, and what the consequences will be if the relationship does not clarify role, performance and progression of expectations.  The activity itself begins with examples and activities that highlight the strength of using our entire language register in our academic meetings. The exercises are inspired of Agusto Boal's (1931-2009) work and methods to get us more creative in our movements as academics.   

Registration at the latest 20.4.2021

Further information via e-mail