For supervising professor
Who can act as a supervising professor or a thesis advisor?
- The Doctoral Programme Committee assigns one of the professors in charge of the research field as the supervising professor for the student (Degree regulations of School of Science, Section 17).
- According to the Degree regulations, also a co-supervisor can be assigned by the Doctoral Programme Committee. A co-supervisor can be assigned only in exceptional cases on reasonable grounds because of multidisciplinarity of the dissertation or in Cotutelle-agreements (Doctoral Programme Committee of the School of Science 15.10.2013)
- The Doctoral Programme Committee assigns also one or more thesis advisors. The thesis advisor shall hold a Doctor of Science (Technology) or a similar academic doctoral degree. As necessary, the supervising professor of the thesis may also act as the thesis advisor (Degree regulations of School of Science, Section 20).
- According to the Degree regulations, an emeritus professor cannot act as a supervising professor, but he/she can act as a thesis advisor.
- More information about dividing the doctoral education result between Aalto schools or departments at the School of Science is available here. More information about principles of Double Aalto Affiliation and supervision of doctoral students is available here.
Accepting new doctoral candidates
- The Doctoral Programme of the School of Science can be applied to throughout the year with the exception of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, which can only be applied to once a year (the application deadline is in April).
- The supervising professor and the applicant shall go through the applicant’s research plan, study plan, supervision plan and funding. Full-time doctoral students must be able to spend 80 % of their working hours on doctoral studies. Those applying for a full-time study mode must write a funding plan. Full-time students are expected to complete their degree within four years.
- By recommending an applicant as a doctoral student, the supervising professor will commit to act as the applicant’s supervising professor throughout the doctoral studies.
- If you're recommending an applicant who has completed his/her Master's degree outside Finland, please make sure that the applicant brings along either certified copies or the original degree papers when he/she comes to Finland (if the papers are not sent via regular mail). Regular copies/colored, scanned pdf versions are not sufficient!
Supervision of doctoral candidates
- Duties of the supervising professor and thesis advisor; Rights and responsibilities of doctoral candidates
- The supervising professor is in charge of the supervision arrangements for the doctoral candidate until the degree has been completed. The supervising professor agrees upon the division of responsibilities between him/herself and the thesis advisor(s), and the duties of each party are stated in the supervision plan. The supervising professor may also act as the thesis advisor.
- The supervising professor and the doctoral candidate agree on the candidate’s personal study plan. The supervising professor and the candidate discuss the progress of the studies on a regular basis (at least once a year), and the theoretical studies need to be confirmed after all the theoretical studies to be included in the degree have been completed. It is possible to give the students credit for e.g. reading assignments, and attending conferences and summer schools, and these can be included in the theoretical studies. See also the doctoral programme's recommendations for credits given for individual study attainments (pdf)
- The supervising professor is responsible for ensuring that the doctoral candidate is aware of the general quality requirements for a doctoral dissertation and of the stages included in the preliminary examination and the public examination of the dissertation.
If the supervising professor or thesis advisor of the doctoral candidate changes
- If the candidate’s supervising professor or thesis advisor changes (e.g. if the topic of the dissertation changes, or the supervising professor retires), the new supervising professor or thesis advisor has to be confirmed officially by the Doctoral Programme Committee.
- To confirm the change of supervising professor or thesis advisor, form 309 must be submitted to the doctoral programme.
Examination and evaluation of licentiate theses
- The Doctoral Programme Committee decides on an independent examiner for the licentiate thesis based on the supervising professor’s proposal. The supervising professor is responsible for ensuring that the examiner is aware of the grading criteria of licentiate theses.
- The supervising professor submits the manuscript of the licentiate thesis to the examiner and requests its examination, and a statement of it. The Doctoral Programme Committee shall evaluate the licentiate thesis based on the examiner’s statement.
Pre-examination of doctoral dissertations
- The supervising professor examines the dissertation manuscript and, by signing the application for pre-examination, confirms that the manuscript is ready for pre-examination. The purpose of the pre-examination is not to improve the dissertation with the help of the examiners. The pre-examiners are to examine the completed dissertation and then write an independent evaluation on whether the dissertation is ready for publication.
- The supervising professor goes through the doctoral candidate’s written clarification of his/her contribution to the dissertation and approves the contribution as sufficient for a doctoral dissertation by his/her signature. It should also be written in the clarification if the author has used subcontracting or other outsourcing services in his/her thesis work.
- The supervising professor shall propose two independent pre-examiners to the dissertation by filling in the form for permission to publish. The Doctoral Programme Committee decides on the examiners based on the supervising professor’s proposition.
- After the pre-examiners have been decided on, the Doctoral Programme Committee takes responsibility on the pre-examination process and communicates with the pre-examiners. The Doctoral Programme Committee sends the manuscript to the pre-examiners and their statements to the doctoral candidate and the supervising professor.
- The supervising professor takes care of that the doctoral candidate makes all the necessary corrections to the dissertation manuscript that have come up as a result of the pre-examination process. The Doctoral Programme Committee grants the permission to publish.
The public defence
- The supervising professor proposes an opponent to the public defence. The Chair of the Doctoral Programme Committee decides on the opponent and the date of the defence based on the supervising professor’s proposition. The supervising professor acts as the Custos of the defence.
- Arrangements for the public defence along with the opponent’s travel arrangements and the opponent’s remuneration are taken care of at the department.
Evaluation of dissertations
- The supervising professor is responsible for ensuring that the opponent is aware of the grading criteria of dissertations, and also for making sure the opponent is familiar with the opponents’ instructions.
- The Doctoral Programme Committee shall evaluate the dissertation based on the opponent’s written statement and grade proposition along with other statements, if applicable. If the dissertation is proposed a grade of pass with distinction, the Head of the Department shall write a statement for the Doctoral Programme Committee. All the statements concerning the approval of dissertation are needed at the latest on Thursday before the DPC meeting at 9 am (please see the schedule).
- The dissertation will be evaluated as a whole, and the pre-examination process will be taken into account in the evaluation. For the dissertation to be awarded with the grade of pass with distinction it has to fulfill the criteria for grade pass with distinction and the pre-examination process has to be impeccable. This requires that the pre-examination statements did not suggest moderate or major corrections to the dissertation manuscript or to an earlier dissertation manuscript that is even partially based on the same material.