Supervision, Planning and Reporting in Doctoral Studies

This page contains the information you will need once you have started your doctoral studies. Information intended specifically for the early phases of doctoral studies can be found in the section on getting started with your studies.

Further general information on the nature of the supervision and the organisation of doctoral studies can be found on the pages concerning supervision and the good practices of doctoral training, pdf.

The curricula of doctoral programmes can be found in the Curriculum Guide, while the teaching information is provided in the Teaching Schedule.

Please see Doctoral Dissertation for a detailed description of the dissertation.

More details on this page:

Doctoral dissertation supervisor

The Guideline on the Aims, Organising and Good Practices of Doctoral Training at the University of Tampere, pdf state that a doctoral student must have at least two supervisors or one supervisor and a follow-up group. One of the supervisors must be a faculty professor or docent employed by the faculty, and at least one of these supervisors must have a doctoral degree. The faculties supplement these instructions in their own regulations.

Faculty of Communication Sciences

Two supervisors are assigned to each admitted doctoral student. One of the supervisors must be a Faculty professor or docent employed by the Faculty, and at least one of these supervisors must have a doctoral degree.

For a justified reason, the supervisor can be replaced following a written decision by the dean. The replacement can be initiated by either the student or the supervisor. If a supervisor is replaced, the various parties involved must be heard and the supervisors and student must be informed of the matter. For the replacement to take place, it must be advocated by the person in charge of the doctoral programme. In contentious situations, the matter is processed by the postgraduate education committee. The replacement is confirmed by the dean.

If necessary, the steering groups of the doctoral programmes serve as observation groups.

Faculty of Education

Supervisors

Each approved postgraduate student will be appointed at least two supervisors, one of whom must be a professor, associate professor or docent employed by the University of Tampere. The second supervisor must have completed at least a doctoral degree. The second supervisor for the doctoral dissertation can also be an emerita or emeritus professor with a position at the University of Tampere.

The dean of the Faculty appoints the supervisors for the research.

In issues regarding the supervisory relationship, the supervisor or supervised student should contact the study coordinator who, after discussing the matter with the dean or the professor responsible for the doctoral programme, will prepare a dean’s decision on the replacement of a supervisor. Changes of supervisor are recorded in the Study Register. If necessary, the postgraduate education committee can take the matter in hand.

Voiding the supervisory relationship

In the event that a student fails to participate in the arranged supervision and further their studies during an academic year, his/her supervisory relationship will be rendered void. If the student wishes to return to active status, he/she must present the supervisor with an up-to-date HOPS plan and a ten-page literature review covering the subject of the dissertation. The literature must be international and recent (no more than 2–3 years old). If a supervisor is unavailable, the student must contact the research coordinator.

Faculty of Management

At least one of the supervisors must be a professor, docent or doctor with equivalent academic merits who is employed by the University of Tampere’s Faculty of Management.

Upon request, doctoral students must provide a written account of the progress of their doctoral studies once every academic year. The supervising professor evaluates the progress of the studies. If an account of the progress is not provided or the account is not acceptable, the supervisory relationship can be discontinued. The account must be appended with reliable proof of the studies completed for the doctoral degree if doctoral studies have been completed outside the University of Tampere and these studies are yet to be recorded in the Study Register.

Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences

Persons wishing to complete a doctoral degree must request a university teacher or researcher (professor or docent) to serve as their supervisor and agree with the supervisor on where the research will take place and the research subject, methods, feasibility and other similar matters regarding the research.

A dissertation must have 1–3 supervisors, at least one of whom must be a professor at the University of Tampere (active emerita or emeritus professors may act as supervisors as well) or a person with a docent’s title or equivalent merits at the University of Tampere or other university who is conducting research within the research community of the Kauppi Campus. The second or third supervisor can be a person with a doctoral degree but no docent’s title or professor’s position.

Established practices dictate that the supervisor’s tasks must be conducted in accordance with good scientific practices and without separate compensation.

The supervisor must have a key role in the dissertation work, as evidenced by the supervisor being involved in many parts of the dissertation, for example. The supervisor(s) must contribute to ensuring that the study intended as a dissertation meets the set requirements in terms of content, quality and format. In addition to this, the supervisor approves the study and supervision plan and the doctoral studies encompassed by the degree (at least 30 credits in total).

The supervisor’s tasks also involve reading and approving the entire dissertation before it is submitted for pre-examination.

Faculty of Social Sciences

A dissertation project requires 2-3 Supervisors. A Supervisor can be a Professor or a Docent (Adjunct Professor), who works for the Faculty of Social Sciences. The second (or third) Supervisor can be an expert who has at least a doctoral degree, but this person can work outside the Faculty. The second and the possible third Supervisor should be appointed no later than during the first semester of doctoral studies, when the official Supervision Agreement is completed.

The Supervisors are listed in the study register, which is why any additions or changes to Supervisors or Follow-up Group must be done officially with a free-form application that contains signatures of all parties. The application should be submitted to the Head of Study Affairs. If necessary, the Scientific Postgraduate Committee can discuss the changes and decide if they are suitable.

According to common practice, supervising duties follow Responsible conduct of research and are completed without financial reimbursement.

The field of doctoral studies is determined by the choice of Doctoral Programme. At least one of the Supervisors must work for the Faculty in the field of the dissertation. The dissertation can be registered only in one field, even if the Supervisors came from different fields or different Faculties.  

The Supervisors must ensure that a manuscript intended to be published as a doctoral dissertation fills the set criteria in terms of content, quality and form. It is also the Supervisors’ responsibility to read and approve the dissertation manuscript before the student submits a preliminary examination application. The Main Supervisor also approves the study plan and doctoral studies for the degree.

Follow-up group

If the Doctoral Researcher and Supervisors so wish, they can establish a Follow-up Group. Its function is to support the dissertation work, provide additional professional perspective, give feedback and improve the quality of the dissertation. In addition to the Supervisors, the other Follow-up Group members can be researchers from other universities, companies, or research facilities/institutes. The Follow-up Group consists of the Main Supervisor who acts as a Chair and 2-3 other experts. At least two of these experts must have completed a doctoral degree.

The Follow-up Group should be appointed at the beginning of postgraduate studies. The group meets at least once a year by invitation of the Doctoral Researcher or the Supervisor. The Doctoral Researcher must ensure that a memorandum is drawn of each meeting.

If the Scientific Postgraduate Committee considers it necessary, they can request a report from the Follow-up Group about the progress of the dissertation. Furthermore, members of the Scientific Postgraduate Committee may attend the Follow-up Group meetings, if necessary.

Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences

In addition to supervisors, researchers from the doctoral programme or external bodies, such as other universities, companies or research facilities, are appointed to the follow-up group. A follow-up group consists of the dissertation supervisor as the chairperson as well as 2–3 experts, at least two of whom must have a doctoral degree.

In order to ensure that the follow-up group’s duties are fulfilled and the support provided to the doctoral candidate is as robust as possible, the group is established in the early phases of the dissertation work. This enables the group members to present their assessments on the subject, the research question and planned methods sufficiently early on.

If necessary, the postgraduate study committee can request the follow-up group to provide a statement on the progress of the dissertation. The statement must provide an assessment of the validity of the study in terms of content and form, a brief evaluation of the scientific level and other possible observations. Members of the postgraduate study committee are entitled to attend the follow-up group’s meetings if they so wish.

Faculty of Social Sciences

If the Doctoral Researcher and Supervisors so wish, they can establish a Follow-up Group. Its function is to support the dissertation work, provide additional professional perspective, give feedback and improve the quality of the dissertation. In addition to the Supervisors, the other Follow-up Group members can be researchers from other universities, companies, or research facilities/institutes. The Follow-up Group consists of the Main Supervisor who acts as a Chair and 2-3 other experts. At least two of these experts must have completed a doctoral degree.

The Follow-up Group should be appointed at the beginning of postgraduate studies. The group meets at least once a year by invitation of the Doctoral Researcher or the Supervisor. The Doctoral Researcher must ensure that a memorandum is drawn of each meeting.

If the Scientific Postgraduate Committee considers it necessary, they can request a report from the Follow-up Group about the progress of the dissertation. Furthermore, members of the Scientific Postgraduate Committee may attend the Follow-up Group meetings, if necessary.

Any additions or changes to Follow-up Group must be done officially with a free-form application that contains signatures of all parties.

Forms of supervision

The most essential form of supervision is the arrangement of meetings between the supervisor(s) and the doctoral student, either face-to-face or otherwise upon agreement. The research seminars organised by faculties and doctoral programmes and meetings of one’s own research group or other research partners provide an opportunity to gain guidance and feedback from other more experienced researchers and peer guidance from other doctoral students. National and international seminars, summer schools and conferences, in turn, provide opportunities for networking and gaining guidance from the wider community of researchers.

Personal study and supervision plan

Doctoral students and supervisors plan and agree upon the progress and supervision of the studies in the study and supervision plan. The plan is based on the curriculum of your doctoral programme. The curricula of doctoral programmes can be found in the Curriculum Guide, while the teaching information is provided in the Teaching Schedule. The faculties decide on the content of the doctoral degree based on the proposals of their postgraduate study committees. The aim of the study plans for doctoral programmes is to ensure that students who complete the degree have the necessary research capabilities, and that the doctoral studies meet a sufficient level of quality.

The study and supervision plan:

  • improves the doctoral student’s legal protection;
  • helps the doctoral student to schedule his/her studies;
  • ensures the uniformity and quality of the doctoral education;
  • keeps the supervisor aware of the doctoral student’s study plans.

Within the scope of the transition period, students may complete their studies in accordance with an approved study plan even if changes are made to the doctoral study curricula and regulations concerning doctoral degrees.

Students have the right to complete their studies in accordance with an approved study plan in the event that their supervisor is replaced or retires. In this case, however, the form should be updated to indicate the new supervisor.

Responsibilities of doctoral students and supervisors

The rights and responsibilities of doctoral students and supervisors are detailed in the study and supervision plans.

Annual reporting

Doctoral students must issue reports on their progress annually. Depending on the faculty, annual reports are submitted either through the personal study and supervision plan or on a separate report form.

Faculty of Communication Sciences

The scope, education and supervision included in the doctoral programmes have been planned to take place over four years. The intended time for completing a doctoral degree is four years. Doctoral students are required to submit an annual report on the progress of their studies and research to the Faculty. The reports are provided via the personal study and supervision plan.

Faculty of Education

Progressing in studies

In order to further their studies, students must:

  • register as present;
  • actively participate in the supervision arranged;
  • annually present to their supervisor an updated HOPS study plan to demonstrate the progress of their studies.
Curriculum and structure of the studies

The curriculum of the Education and Society doctoral programme, pdf contains information on the studies required for a licentiate degree and doctorate.

Both the Doctor of Philosophy (Education) and Doctor of Philosophy degree consists of three parts:

  • Studies in education, theory of science and methodology (40 credits)
  • Studies supporting the development of scientific expertise (20 credits)
  • Doctoral dissertation (180 credits)

The curriculum provides more specific information on the required studies and the manner in which they should be completed.

Supervision agreement and personal study plan (HOPS)

During the first semester, you must prepare a personal study and supervision plan (HOPS) with your supervisor based on the effective curriculum of the Education and Society doctoral programme.

The study and supervision plan (HOPS) is updated annually with the supervisor, and it is verified by the professor in charge of the doctoral studies (see contact information below under “Supervisory parties”).

Please see the completion instructions for HOPS/supervision agreement form (rtf).

When filling in the HOPS/supervision agreement form for the first time, enter the courses and other studies you intend to complete on the form, along with an estimate of the semester of completion.

The course and seminar information can be found in the Teaching Schedule:

At the beginning of the studies, it is recommended you complete the courses arranged by the Doctoral School on applying for funding, managing the research process and preparing a research plan.

Save the HOPS form on your computer for any later changes.

Once you have filled in the HOPS/supervision agreement form, set up a meeting with your supervisor to review the HOPS and supervision agreement.

The signed HOPS form will be sent to the professor in charge of doctoral studies for verification.

Make a copy of the signed HOPS form for your own records. Deliver the original form to the study coordinator.

Supervision plan for the Education and Society doctoral programme (in Finnish).

Recording completed course units in the Study Register

An entry must be added to the Study Register for all completed studies to be included in the doctoral degree.

Register entries for all courses and seminars completed at the University of Tampere are made without a separate request (e.g. Doctoral School and EDU courses).

Information on studies completed in other ways (any possible articles, essays and teaching activities) and at other universities (official extract from the Study Register required) must be provided to your supervisor, who will then issue the appropriate credits for your studies and deliver the information to the study secretary for entry into the Study Register.

  • Conference presentations 3–5 credits
  • Article not included in an article-based dissertation 5–10 credits
  • University-level teaching and planning tasks 3–5 credits

You can view your study attainments, as recorded in the Study Register, via the NettiOpsu service. A Basic User Account is required to access NettiOpsu.

For an official Study Register extract, please contact the Registrar’s Office.

Completed course units, HOPS form and module grade

It is the responsibility of the supervisor to update the study and supervision plan together with the student annually at the end of the spring semester. Set up a meeting for reviewing the HOPS with your supervisor. Update the HOPS form with completed studies before the meeting, based on the Study Register (NettiOpsu).

The names of the courses organised by the Doctoral School and the Education and Society doctoral programme may vary year by year, so remember to correct the HOPS form with the course names and completion dates that match the Study Register entries upon completion.

Once all studies relating to a specific HOPS section have been completed, the form is dated and sent to the study secretary for a module grade.

Faculty of Management

Upon request, doctoral students must provide a written account of the progress of their doctoral studies once every academic year. The supervising professor evaluates the progress of the studies. If an account of the progress is not provided or the account is not acceptable, the supervisory relationship can be discontinued. The account must be appended with reliable proof of the studies completed for the doctoral degree if doctoral studies have been completed outside the University of Tampere and these studies are yet to be recorded in the Study Register.

Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences

Progress in Doctoral Studies

All doctoral students of the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences must hold a meeting with their follow-up group at least once a year. After the meeting all participants must fill out a form (the students have a separate version), which they must sign and submit either to the coordinator of the doctoral programme (henna.mattila@uta.fi). This ensures the follow-up group's support to the student, the continuity of the dissertation project, and possible problems can be recognized early. The student can also give the Faculty feedback on organizing the doctoral studies and present possible ideas for improvement. In addition, the feedback gained from these meetings will be used when processing applications to the fixed-term doctoral student positions at the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences.

Access to forms required for reporting is via the links below:

    Follow-up group report for students, pdf
    Follow-up group report for supervisors and other members of the follow-up group, pdf

Please note that if you run out of answering space on some questions, you can submit the information separately. Using abbreviations is allowed.

Faculty of Natural Sciences

The scope, education and supervision included in the doctoral programmes have been planned to take place over four years. The intended time for completing a doctoral degree is four years. Doctoral students are required to submit an annual report on the progress of their studies and research to the Faculty. The reports are provided via the personal study and supervision plan, pdf.

Faculty of Social Sciences

Every student must report once a year to the Main Supervisor about progress in research and in studies. Annual reporting is also required if the student wishes to apply to grants advertised by the Faculty. Doctoral Students should submit reports on a separate form once a year by the end of October. The form for annual reporting is available in the University of Tampere Study Guide.

A Follow-up Group (voluntary) is an important team that also monitors the Doctoral Researcher’s progress (see Section 2.5.) Furthermore, if the Scientific Postgraduate Committee considers it necessary, they have the right to ask the Doctoral Researcher or the Supervisor to submit a report about progress in the dissertation work and doctoral studies. If the Doctoral Researcher does not actively advance the dissertation or other studies, the Scientific Postgraduate Committee can, after hearing the Supervisors and/or the Follow-up Group, declare the Supervision Agreement terminated. A Doctoral Researcher can regain the right to supervision, if he/she is able to show the Committee that the dissertation has significantly moved forward since supervision was interrupted, and is able to show that the task can be finished successfully.

 
 

Supervision plans for doctoral programmes

The principles observed in the context of doctoral programmes are described in the supervision plans for each respective doctoral programme.

Replacing or adding a supervisor

The Guideline on the Aims, Organising and Good Practices of Doctoral Training at the University of Tampere, pdf state that a doctoral student should have at least two supervisors or one supervisor and a follow-up group. One of the supervisors must be a faculty professor or docent employed by the faculty, and at least one of these supervisors must have a doctoral degree. The supervisors agree upon the division of duties and responsibilities with the student in the supervision agreement. The assignment of two supervisors ensures that the doctoral student is provided with diverse support in terms of both substance and process supervision and that the supervision can continue in extraordinary circumstances.

In the event that the need arises to replace or add a supervisor during the doctoral studies, the relevant faculty guidelines are provided below.

Faculty of Communication Sciences

For a justified reason, the supervisor can be replaced following a written decision by the dean. The replacement can be initiated by either the student or the supervisor. The proposal for replacing a dissertation supervisor must be submitted on the relevant form.

If a supervisor is replaced, the various parties involved must be heard and the supervisors and the student must be informed of the matter. For the replacement to take place, it must be advocated by the person in charge of the doctoral programme. In contentious situations, the matter is processed by the postgraduate education committee. The replacement is confirmed by the dean.

A replacement or addition of a supervisor must be applied for on the appropriate form.

Faculty of Education

In issues regarding the supervisory relationship, the supervisor or supervised student should contact the study coordinator, who, after discussing the matter with the professor responsible for the doctoral programme or the dean, will prepare a dean’s decision on the replacement of the supervisor. Changes of supervisor are recorded in the Study Register. If necessary, the postgraduate education committee can take the matter in hand.

Faculty of Management

In issues regarding the supervisory relationship, the supervisor or supervised student should contact the Head of´Administration, who, after discussing the matter with the professor responsible for the doctoral programme or the dean, will prepare a dean’s decision on the replacement of the supervisor.

Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences

In issues regarding the supervisory relationship, the supervisor or supervised student should contact the study planner, who, after discussing the matter with the professor responsible for the doctoral programme or the dean, will prepare a dean’s decision on the replacement of the supervisor.

Faculty of Natural Sciences

A supervisor can be replaced for a justified reason, which can be a refocusing of the research subject, a personal conflict or a stagnation of the research progress, for example. The initiative for the replacement can come from the student or the supervisor. If necessary, the initiative can also be made by the person responsible for the doctoral programme or the Faculty dean. The consent of the person responsible for the doctoral programme must be requested for the replacement. The decision on the replacement is made by the Faculty dean.

The proposal for replacing a dissertation supervisor must be submitted on the appropriate form. The same form is also used to propose an addition or the removal of a supervisor(s).

More information on supervisor replacement is available from the study secretary and the director of education.

Faculty of Social Sciences

The Supervisors are listed in the study register, which is why any additions or changes to Supervisors must be done officially with a free-form application that contains signatures of all parties (the doctoral researcher and the old and new supervisors) indicating their consent for the replacement. The application should be submitted to the Head of Study Affairs. If necessary, the Scientific Postgraduate Committee can discuss the changes and decide if they are suitable.

Supervisory parties

In addition to your own supervisors, you can always turn to the person responsible for your doctoral programme, your faculty’s administrative persons responsible for doctoral studies or the University’s Doctoral School.

Faculty of Communication Sciences

Name Task E-mail Room Phone
Laatikainen Elisa Study Secretary

Faculties of Communication Sciences and Natural Sciences:
- study register and degree certificates in licentiate and doctoral degrees
- other tasks related to doctoral education
UTA Doctoral School:
- Doctoral School's communications and coordination of the doctoral admission
Elisa.Laatikainen@uta.fi PINNI B1052 050 318 6823
Tuominen Kirsi Coordinator of International Education

Faculty of Natural Sciences
- Master's degree programmes given in English (Computational Big Data Analytics, Software Development): admissions, general info
- international enquiries regarding Doctoral studies
- JOO studies
Kirsi-Marja.Tuominen@uta.fi PINNI B1057 050 318 6688

Faculty of Education

Name Task E-mail Room Phone
Raudasoja Sari Study Coordinator

Faculty of Education: matters concerning Licentiate's and Doctoral degrees as the following:
- presenting official of the Faculty Council
- secretary of the postgraduate committee
- study counselling
Sari.Raudasoja@uta.fi VIRTA 248 050 318 6666
Lehtisalo Anneli Research Coordinator Anneli.Lehtisalo@uta.fi VIRTA 357 050 437 7233
Söderkultalahti Seija Study Secretary Seija.Soderkultalahti@uta.fi VIRTA 244 050 343 5742

Faculty of Management

Name Task E-mail Room Phone
Saastamoinen Sari Head of Administration Sari.Saastamoinen@uta.fi PINNI A2036 040 190 1479
Björk Mirja Administrative Secretary Mirja.Bjork@uta.fi PINNI A2034 040 190 9782

Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences

Name Task E-mail Room Phone
Viilo Marjatta Head of Educational Affairs
(on job alternation leave starting from 1st of Jan, 2018)

Study affairs administration
Doctoral Programme in Medicine and Life Sciences
Marjatta.Viilo@uta.fi ARVO E160 050 365 7133
Orhanen Sari Head of Educational Affairs
(acts as a deputy to Marjatta Viilo starting from 1st of Jan, 2018)

Postgraduate medical education
Sari.Orhanen@uta.fi ARVO E160 050 437 2657
Salkolahti Pia Study secretary

Postgraduate medical education
Pia.Salkolahti@uta.fi ARVO E160 050 318 7275
Bodström Sari Study secretary Sari.Bodstrom@uta.fi ARVO E160 050 437 7334
Mattila Henna Coordinator

Doctoral Programme in Medicine and Life Sciences
Henna.Mattila@uta.fi ARVO D532 040 190 9756
Kähönen Mika Professor (Clinical physiology), Director

Mika.Kahonen@uta.fi F-MEDI1 3-322 050 318 6297

Faculty of Natural Sciences

Name Task E-mail Room Phone
Mäkinen Erkki
Koskinen Taru Head of Study Affairs
Faculty of Natural Sciences

- Study affairs administration
Taru.Koskinen@uta.fi PINNI B1051 040 190 1219
Laatikainen Elisa Study Secretary

Faculties of Communication Sciences and Natural Sciences:
- study register and degree certificates in licentiate and doctoral degrees
- other tasks related to doctoral education
UTA Doctoral School:
- Doctoral School's communications and coordination of the doctoral admission
Elisa.Laatikainen@uta.fi PINNI B1052 050 318 6823
Tuominen Kirsi Coordinator of International Education

Faculty of Natural Sciences
- Master's degree programmes given in English (Computational Big Data Analytics, Software Development): admissions, general info
- international enquiries regarding Doctoral studies
- JOO studies
Kirsi-Marja.Tuominen@uta.fi PINNI B1057 050 318 6688

Faculty of Social Sciences

Name Task E-mail Room Phone
Lumme-Sandt Kirsi research coordinator Kirsi.Lumme-Sandt@uta.fi ARVO B321 040 190 1606
Nikkari Leena Head of Study Affairs Leena.Nikkari@uta.fi LINNA 6055 040 190 9844
Kangasluoma Tiina Secretary, Doctoral programmes in Health Sciences
Tiina.Kangasluoma@uta.fi ARVO B324 040 190 1649

Doctoral School

Name Task E-mail Room Phone
Laatikainen Elisa Study Secretary

Faculties of Communication Sciences and Natural Sciences:
- study register and degree certificates in licentiate and doctoral degrees
- other tasks related to doctoral education
UTA Doctoral School:
- Doctoral School's communications and coordination of the doctoral admission
Elisa.Laatikainen@uta.fi PINNI B1052 050 318 6823