Examination process for doctoral dissertations

The Faculty Council will appoint preliminary examiners of the dissertation, decide on the permission to defend the dissertation in a public examination and finally decide on the approval of the dissertation and on the grade. When planning the schedule for graduation, it is good look at the days of meeting of the Faculty Council.

  1. Once the doctoral candidate has finished the dissertation manuscript and has completed all the required postgraduate studies, the supervising professor and supervisor(s) will look for preliminary examiners.
  2. After hearing the doctoral candidate and the supervisors, the supervising professor will make a proposal for the appointment of the preliminary examiners of the dissertation (e-form). The doctoral candidate may submit an objection to the selection of the preliminary examiners.
  3. Before the preliminary examination a plagiarism recognition must be done the dissertation (Urkund).
  4. The Faculty Council will appoint the preliminary examiners.
  5. The candidate submits his/her dissertation manuscript as a single pdf-file including the published and unpublished articles to sci-phd-thesis@helsinki.fi within a week after the Faculty Council has appointed the preliminary examiners. At the same occasion, in the case of co-authored publications, the candidate submits an account of his/her contribution to them if it is not included in the manuscript. 
  6. The Faculty Office will provide the preliminary examiners with instructions about the process.
  7. The preliminary examiners have two months to give their written statement.
  8. The Faculty Office will deliver the statements forward.
  9. The doctoral candidate may submit an objection to the preliminary examiners’ statements.
  10. The supervising professor will propose the appointment of an Opponent, a Custos and a Faculty representative for the public examination of the dissertation (e-form).
  11. The doctoral candidate may submit an objection to the selection of the Opponent and the grading committee.
  12. The Faculty Council will decide on the appointment of the Opponent, the Custos and the grading committee and on the permission to defend the dissertation in a public examination.
  13. The PhD affairs will inform the Opponent of his or her appointment, provide instructions for the Opponent, and inform the doctoral candidate of the permission to defend. Also the instructions for the public defence will be sent. 
  14. The public examination, also called the public defence, of a doctoral dissertation.
  15. The Opponent will submit a statement on the dissertation to the Faculty within two weeks of the public examination.
  16. The dissertation grading committee will propose a grade for the dissertation and give an assessment of the doctoral candidate’s performance in defending it.
  17. The doctoral candidate will submit a written notification that he or she has read the Opponent’s statement and that he or she has no objections to it or to the grade proposed by the grading committee (e-form). The doctoral candidate may also submit to the Faculty an objection concerning the statement and appeal against the proposed grade.  
  18. The Faculty Council will decide on the approval of the dissertation and on the grade.
  19. The doctoral candidate will submit to the Faculty Office an application for a diploma
  20. Graduation ceremonies.

Please contact sci-phd-thesis@helsinki.fi in all matters related to PhD thesis.