Dissertation Process at the Faculty of Science

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 researcher, supervisors, and Research Director can find detailed instructions about the dissertation process in the UGIS system. On UGIS, the doctoral researcher is able to track the progress of their dissertation process.

Instructions about the dissertation process regarding the Faculty of Science

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.

Edit your dissertation manuscript according to the Annales style before submitting your work to the faculty to start the pre-examination process. Please note that your dissertation must include at least an abstract written in the language of the dissertation, not exceeding one page in length. In the final dissertation, the abstract must be written in Finnish and English.

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 researcher is able to find the instructions about applying for the final grade on  UGIS. The path is: "Dissertation process and graduation->Accepting a completed doctoral studies module (Peppi)"

Process for applying for and accepting a completed doctoral studies module.

  1. The doctoral researcher log in to the Peppi system
  2. The doctoral researcher modifies their personal study plan (PSP) to correspond to their final study module in the Peppi system.
  3. The doctoral researcher sends a message from Peppi to chief academic officer Sanna Ranto and ask her to check the final study module.
  4. When possible corrections are made, chief acedemic officer will forward the approval of the study module on the UGIS portal to the reserach director of the doctoral researcher.
  5. The research director will accept (or reject) the final study module on the UGIS portal.
  6. After the acceptance, the final study module is registered and locked in the Peppi system.
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). Collaboration with a supervisor that occurred more than three years ago may also cause a conflict of interests and prevent a proposed examiner from acting as examiner if said collaboration can be considered to have been long-lasting and established by nature. 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.

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.
The pre-examination process
  1. The doctoral researcher, 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 doctoral researcher checks from the UGIS portal information about their officially nominated supervisors and the research director. If something needs to be corrected, it must be done before the pre-examination process can be started. (See updating supervision plan)
  3. The supervisor (or the research director) makes a proposal for pre-examiners by using the electronic form. The doctoral researcher and research director accept the proposal electronically.
    • See attachments below.
  4. The doctoral researcher 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.
  5. 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 doctoral researcher, the research director, and other participants about the decision by email. Afterwards, the faculty also sends pre-examiners the necessary instructions.
  6. The doctoral researcher or the supervisor delivers the thesis work to the pre-examiners.
  7. Pre-examiners have one month to write the statement. The delivery address for the statement is sci-docstudies@utu.fi
  8. The faculty sends the pre-examiners' statements to the doctoral researcher by email. The researcher is asked whether they have anything to comment on regarding the statements.
    • If the doctoral researcher has nothing to comment on, they express that they do not wish to appeal by email (sci-docstudies@utu.fi).
    • If the doctoral researcher deems a statement unacceptable (for instance, a considerable disagreement over suggested corrections or the doctoral researcher disagrees on the proposed evaluation), they may lodge an appeal, which is delivered in writing to the faculty.
Attachments when starting the pre-examination process

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, please deliver the certificate to the faculty signed and scanned or electrically signed to sci-docstudies@utu.fi.
  • Please see, Fair UTU internet pages

Doctoral researcher delivers

Doctoral researchers submit their thesis manuscript by using an electronic form.

Attachments in different theses


  • Thesis manuscript

  • If the monograph is based on articles, then the same attachments are required than if the thesis were a compilation of articles.  Please, select in this case in the electronic form the thesis type is a compilation thesis.

Compilation thesis

  1. Thesis manuscript and articles belonging to it.
  2. Contribution statement (see the model)
    • A statement approved and signed by all supervisors, the research director and the doctoral researcher 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 researcher' contribution to the article is needed. The clarification is signed by both doctoral researchers and their principal supervisors.
    • The clarification exists for two purposes. It is an agreement between the doctoral researchers that they can both use the article. The contribution of both doctoral researchers 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 researcher 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.
  5. 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.
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 does not endow the language examination. Some departments may endow examination, please contact your own department. The doctoral programmes of the faculty do not endow language examinations.

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.



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 and distribution of doctoral dissertation
Communicating about the doctoral dissertation

Write a popularised summary of your dissertation

Please draft a popularised summary of your dissertation and send it to the University Communications in connection to the announcement of the public defence of a doctoral dissertation. The purpose of the popularised summary is to introduce the contents of you dissertation to the general public. Write the summary before you fill in the announcement of the public defence of a doctoral dissertation. The summary will be added to the University’s events calendar with the dissertation defence information and it will be used when information about the defence is shared in the University's channels. 

See more information in Guidelines for Dissertation Defence (Communicating about the doctoral dissertation)

Make an announcement of the public defence of a doctoral dissertation 

The faculty gives you the permission for the dissertation defence and appoints the opponent and Custos. Please make the announcement of the public defence of a doctoral dissertation once you have received the permission and know the date of your defence. 

> Make an announcement of the public defence of a doctoral dissertation 

Organising a doctoral dissertation

Practical arrangements for the dissertation defence (see the intructions of the university via the link)

  • The doctoral researcher agrees with the Opponent and the Custos on the date of dissertation defence.
  • The doctoral researcher books a lecture room for the defence: varaukset@utu.fi. The lecture room is paid by the cost center of the Faculty of Science 2606000.
  • Please, inform the date of defence to the faculty: sci-docstudies@utu.fi or add it into the UGIS system (there is a place for that).
  • The doctoral researcher 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 researcher takes care of travel and other costs of the opponent. In case, you need help with organising the opponent's trip please contact utu.matkat@certia.fi.
Graduation and degree certificate
  • The Opponent has two weeks 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.

  • The doctoral researcher is offered a possibilty to write an appeal of the statement.

  • 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.

    • During the Covid pandemic, the degree ceritificate will be mailed to a doctor's address in the study register (NettiOpsu). In connection with the submission of the certificate, you can contact: opintosihteerit-ml@utu.fi

  • See more information on: Guidelines for Dissertation Defence.

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


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 researcher delivers the thesis manuscript and the required attachments to the faculty.