Progress of each doctoral candidate in the DPPS is monitored with the help of annual thesis committee or follow-up group meetings.

Committee members act as mentors to doctoral candidates, guiding and providing advice throughout the whole doctoral degree and education. Membership in a thesis committee is a position of trust, and all interactions between the doctoral candidate and the thesis committee are considered confidential.

The task of the thesis committee is to ensure that the doctoral candidate's coursework supports the thesis project and provides the expected skills; ensure that the doctoral work is scientifically valid and suitable for a thesis project; evaluate the progress and future plans of the thesis project including overseeing the timely graduation of the doctoral candidate; support the doctoral candidate in both scientific and other issues and identify any potential problems.

At least two external expert members in addition to the doctoral candidate and supervisor(s) make up the thesis committee. It is good to have these members already selected at the beginning or very early stages of your doctoral studies.

The external members must hold the necessary qualifications to assess the progress of the dissertation and research work and who are impartial in relation to the supervisor(s) and the doctoral candidate at the committee's appointment stage.

Although you and your supervisor are free to choose the external members, please bear in mind that at least one expert must hold the qualification of a docent (or equivalent) and all members must be impartial in relation you and your supervisor(s). Conflicts of interest are:

  • close personal ties (family members, other relatives)
  • joint research projects
  • same research group
  • joint funding
  • joint publications in the last three years
  • collaborators

External committee members may come from the University of Helsinki, but may also come from other universities or research institutes in Finland or abroad.

Thesis committee meetings should be held at least once a year until thesis defence, but may be organised more frequently if this is seen to be beneficial. Organising the meeting is the responsibility of the doctoral candidate. Remember to leave enough time to plan the date and time of the meeting as committee members are usually very busy and not able to reschedule their work at short notice.

Each meeting will vary in it's nature according to the progress and stage of the doctoral candidate. Each meeting should also allow time for the doctoral candidate to speak freely to the thesis committee members while his/her supervisor(s) is/are not present.

In the DPPS, annual thesis committee meetings should aim to take place between November and February.

An online report based on the meeting should be completed after the meeting. The information provided in the report is important for the the doctoral candidate, his or her supervisor(s) and the doctoral programme, where it is used in various administrative tasks and reports.

More information can be obtained from the doctoral programme office. Email reminders about follow-up meetings are sent in November of each year.

IMPORTANT: Doctoral candidates joining the DPPS during the spring and summer should hold a follow-up meeting in the first few months after starting.



DPPS alumni and their present employment positions can be found from this link.