Dissertation Process in the Faculty of Science and Engineering

Dissertation process refers to the final phase of doctoral training, in which the dissertation is pre-examined and the disputant is granted a permission for the defence of dissertation. Finally, the disputant will graduate with a doctoral degree.

The doctoral candidate, supervisors, and Research Director can find detailed instructions about the dissertation process in the UGIS system. On UGIS, the candidate is able to track the progress of his/her dissertation process.

Instructions about the dissertation process regarding the Faculty of Science and Engineering

Doctoral dissertation

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.

Doctoral programmes of the faculty BGG, DPMLS, MATTI and PCS have more descriptions of the dissertations in the study guide.

Word template for the doctoral thesis published in the Annales serie.

 

Final grade of the postgraduate studies

In order to obtain a permission for the defence of dissertation, the final grade for the doctoral studies module must be registered. This module need not be completed before sending the manuscript to pre-examination. However, it is beneficial to check that all required studies have been registered and see if something still needs to be completed as one plans to submit the thesis manuscript to pre-examination. The final grade for the doctoral studies module can be applied for already before beginning the dissertation process if it is clear the contents of the module will not change. Once the module is accepted and registered, it can no longer be changed apart from very few exceptions.

The doctoral candidate is able to find the instructions about applying for the final grade on  UGIS. The path is:  "Accepting Completed Doctoral Studies Module, Preliminary Examination, and Permission to Defend the Dissertation" -> "Accepting Completed Doctoral Studies Module" -> "Completed Doctoral Studies Module Proposed by Student"

The final grade for the doctoral studies module can be applied for in two ways:

  1. By using the electronic systems
  2. By attaching a form to the UGIS event
    • The doctoral candidate fills in an application and attaches it to the event mentioned above on UGIS.
    • The Reseach Director accepts the completed module on UGIS.

The application for the final grade of the doctoral studies module

Pre-examiners and opponent

The Dean appoints at least two pre-examiners for the doctoral thesis based on the proposal made by 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 a main rule, in 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. In addition, the examiners should represent different organisations. 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 supervisor (or the research director) makes a proposal for pre-examiners by using the electronic form. The doctoral candidate and research director accept the proposal electronically.
    • See attachments below.
  3. The doctoral candidate delivers a PDF of their thesis (as well as of all the included publications) to the faculty by using the electronic form.
    • See attachments below.
  4. The Vice 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.
  5. The doctoral candidate or the supervisor delivers the thesis work to the pre-examiners.
  6. Pre-examiners have one month to write the statement. The delivery address for the statement is sci-docstudies@utu.fi
  7. 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 (sci-docstudies@utu.fi).
    • If the candidate deems a statement unacceptable (for instance, a considerable disagreement over suggested corrections or the candidate disagrees on the proposed evaluation), they may lodge an appeal, which is delivered in writing to the faculty.
Attachments

Attachments which are required for the pre-examination process of the thesis.

Supervisor or research director delivers

Turnitin OriginalityCheck certificate

  • FairUTU Certificate
  • The supervisor attaches the signed and scanned Turnitin OriginalityCheck certificate to the electronic form which is used for proposing pre-examiners.
  • It is possible to submit the electronic form without a Turnitin certificate. However, the certificate must be submitted before the appointment of the pre-examiners is made. If the certificate is not attached to the electronic form, there are two ways to deliver the Turnitin certificate:
    • the original paper certificate can be delivered to the faculty by in-house mail to: Sanna Ranto, Maaherran makasiini
    • or the person who carried out the audit can send it as a scanned file to sci-docstudies@utu.fi.

Doctoral candidate delivers

Doctoral candidates submit their thesis manuscript by using an electronic form. The origin of the pictures and tables is asked in the form. The purpose of this is that the author pays attention to correct citations and asks permission to use the pictures or tables, if needed.

Attachments in different theses

Monograph

  • Thesis manuscript

Compilation thesis

  1. Thesis manuscript and publications belonging in it.
  2. Contribution statement (see the model)
    • A statement approved and signed by all supervisors, the research director and the doctoral candidate 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).
    • The statement will be delivered to examiners. Should one of the examiners not understand Finnish, the statement needs to be written in English.
  3. Clarification if an article in the thesis is also used in another doctoral thesis.  
    • If an article in the compilation thesis has been or will be used in another thesis, then a clarification of both doctoral candidates' contribution to the article is needed. The clarification is signed by both doctoral candidates and their principal supervisors.
    • The clarification exists for two purposes. It is an agreement between the doctoral candidates that they can both use the article. The contribution of both doctoral candidates is clarified in it.
    • The statement will be delivered to the examiners. Should one of the examiners not understand Finnish, the statement needs to be written in English.
  4. Permission to use an unpublished article
    • Should the thesis contain an unpublished manuscript, the doctoral candidate needs to acquire a permission to use it in the thesis from every author. Permissions received by email are acceptable if compiled into a single file.
    • The supervisors and the research director sign a contribution statement. Therefore, no separate permission from them is needed.

 

Language examination of the Thesis

A language examiner may be appointed to check a thesis written in a language other than Finnish or Swedish. The Faculty of Science and Engineering does not endow the language examination. Some doctoral programmes may endow examination, please contact your own doctoral programme. 

Permission for the defence of dissertation

The Faculty Council has authorized the Dean to grant the permission for the defence of dissertation. However, the Dean can bring, according to their consideration, permission issues to the faculty meeting.
The Dean has authorized the Vice Dean to grant the permission for the defence of 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)utu.fi).
  • 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.

 

Custos

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.

Publishing, printing, distribution and release of doctoral dissertation
Organising a doctoral dissertation
  • A doctoral candidate agrees with the Opponent and the Custos on the date of dissertation defence.
  • Doctoral candidate books a lecture room for the defence: varaukset@utu.fi
  • Please, inform the fate of defence to the faculty: sci-docstudies@utu.fi or add it into the UGIS system (there is a place for that).
  • Doctoral candidate organises (if wishes) and pays for a coffee event after the defence and a post-doctoral party.
  • See Guidelines for Dissertation Defence (procedure and dress code in dissertation defence, traditional post-doctoral party)
  • The faculty pays the fee of the opponent. The department or unit of the doctoral candidate takes care of travel and other costs of the opponent. In case, you need help with organising the opponent's trip please contact travelservices@utu.fi.
Graduation
  • The Opponent has one month to write a statement after the defence. The Opponent hands in the statement to the address: sci-docstudies@utu.fi.

  • After the defence, the Custos needs to inform the faculty (sci-docstudies@utu.fi) that correct proceducers were followed during the public defence.

  • As the faculty receives the Opponent's statement, it will be sent to the doctoral candidate by email.

  • If the Opponent recommends the acceptance of the thesis, the accpetance will be decided on in the next Faculty Council meeting. The date of this meeting is also the date of graduating.

  • A degree certificate will be issued without a request. The new PhD will be informed when the certificate is ready to be collected from the Office for Academic and Student Affairs (the Natura building). If specifically requested, the certificate can also be mailed.

  • See more information on: Guidelines for Dissertation Defence.

  • After graduating, remember to join the university's Alumni!

Forms

Proposal for pre-examiners, Opponent and Custos

  • The supervisor fills in the form, which then goes to the student for commenting. After that, an official receives the form and forwards it for the research director's acceptance (unless supervisor = research director). Finally, the faculty considers the nomination.

Delivering the thesis mansucript and the attachments

  • The doctoral candidate delivers the thesis manuscript and the required attachments to the faculty.

Application for the doctoral studies module final grade