Thesis committee meetings

Thesis committee meetings are compulsory for all MBDP students.

University of Helsinki instructions on thesis committee members.

Thesis Committee meetings are arranged annually throughout the thesis work and aim to:

  • ensure that the project is scientifically valid and suitable for a PhD project
  • ensure that the research plan is clear, feasible, relevant and appropriately addressed
  • ensure that the student’s coursework supports the PhD project and provides the expected skills
  • evaluate the progress and future plans of the PhD project including overseeing the timely graduation of the student
  • give the candidate constructive feedback on the progress of his or her postgraduate studies and research,
  • take up problems and/or issues that need to be addressed and notify the programme coordinator of them, and
  • help the candidate plan his or her post-dissertation career.

More info also in weboodi, course numbers MBDP-201 – MBDP-204.

Arranging the meeting

  1. The first thesis committee meeting should be completed within 3-4 months after beginning doctoral studies. The purpose of the first meeting is that the doctoral candidate introduces him/herself and the research plan to the committee.
  2. The candidate is responsible for arranging the meeting and he/she should start scheduling it well in advance due to the hectic schedules of researchers. It is also good to book a room for the meeting early on.
  3. Prior to the meeting the student prepares and sends the progress report to the Thesis Committee members.
    1. “Old” students who have not registered to Thessa yet: Link to the report: (Even though certain points in the instructions do not apply to a candidate that has only recently started his/her doctoral studies, the report should follow the listed points as closely as possible.)
    2. Students starting in Autumn 2018 or later: Thesis committee reporting should be made in Thessa ( See more about Thessa here.
  4. Thesis Committee members are expected to familiarize themselves with the report in advance.
  5. The Student, the Supervisor(s), and the Thesis Committee members must all participate in the TC Meeting. Participation can be organized e.g. over skype to reduce travelling.
    1. After or during the meeting, a second form is filled and returned.

      1. “Old” students: link to e-form:
      2. Students starting in Autumn 2018 or later: reporting of the meeting is made in Thessa.

    During the meeting

    1. The student presents the current status and future plans of the PhD project.
    2. Thesis Committee members evaluate the project and make suggestions for the project.
    3. The student and the participants of the Thesis Committee Meeting check the acquired skills and courses taken by the student and plan the studies to guarantee adequate knowledge of and expertise in the field.
    4. Part of the meeting has to be held in the absence of the supervisor to allow for possible confidential matters to be discussed between the TC members and the student.

    Thessa ( ) is a new online tool for planning and follow-up of PhD studies, and it will become mandatory for new doctoral candidates, their supervisors and thesis committees starting from Autumn 2018.

    There are three main parts in Thessa: Supervision agreements (mandatory for all doctoral candidates from August 2020 onwards), personal study plans and progress reports. Progress report can be used for annual reporting and be sent to thesis committee for thesis committee meetings.

    Also “old” students are welcome to join Thessa right away! Please note that in order for you to start using THESSA, your supervisor will first need to log in to the system. After your account has been activated, you can invite the thesis committee members to join. Please see ThessaHELP document for detailed instructions. You can also forward it to your supervisor(s) & TC members.

    More info:
    Thessa helpdesk:

    The two new student members on the MBDP board for 2018-2019 will be Mirka Lampi & Iina Nieminen. You can read about how they will serve the MBDP candidates here.


    MBDP salary funding has been awarded to the following people (1.1.2018):

    • Lauri Pulkkinen, Faculty of Biological & Environmental Sciences (4 years)
    • Tuulia Mali, Faculty of Agriculture & Forestry (2 years)

    Lists for doc­toral can­did­ates

    All MBDP doctoral candidates should join the MBDP-students(at) mailing list, which is used to advertise MBDP's activities as well as to distribute information relevant to PhD candidates. Another relevant mailing list is the YEB doctoral school list. Also, consult your supervisor for other relevant mailing lists to join.

    To subscribe, send an e-mail to majordomo(at) Leave the subject-line empty and in the message field write subscribe MBDP-students (or yeb-doctoralschool). Please note that you must use your email address or other official address (,, ect.) to join the list. Addresses like are not allowed.

    To unsubscribe the list send an e-mail to majordomo(at) and write in the message field unsubscribe MBDP-students and nothing else. Please note that you should send the email from the same address that you joined the list with.

    List for su­per­vi­sors

    Supervisors are encouraged to join the MBDP-supervisors(at) list. To subscribe, send an e-mail to majordomo(at) Leave the subject-line empty and in the message field write subscribe MBDP-supervisors. You are welcome to join the list even if you are currently not supervising a MBDP candidate.

    All group leaders who act as supervisors of doctoral candidates can be found from the University of Helsinki research database here.

    MBDP supervisor list

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