Graduation

Completing a Degree

Doctoral dissertation

Requirements for doctoral dissertation

A doctoral dissertation can be described as a scientific presentation based on independent research that promotes knowledge in the discipline in question (monography). A dissertation may also be composed of several scientific publications or manuscripts concerning the same research problem that have been accepted for publication or are intended to be published, and a conclusion based on these (article-based dissertation). The university determines the sufficiency of the articles in the case of an article-based dissertation.

In the Faculty, an article-based dissertation is typically composed of 3 to 5 peer-reviewed scientific articles of which at least two or 50 % have been published or accepted for publication in international series using the peer-reviewing process.

In the doctoral dissertation, the doctoral candidate must write a clarification on her/his part in joint publications

Preliminary examiners

When the supervisors of the doctoral dissertation assess that the study is ready for reviewing, the doctoral student submits the work to be reviewed. The doctoral student fills in the form Application for Printing Permission and Proposal for Preliminary Examiners. The second page of the form is to be filled by the main supervisor of the doctoral dissertation: she/ he makes a proposition about the pre-examiners. The form shall also be signed either by the head of the department or unit or by the person in charge of the academic subject. The pre-examiners must come from outside the University of Eastern Finland and hold a professorship, docentship, or a corresponding scientific qualification. If a person holding a docentship is presented as a preliminary examiner, her/ his up-to-date list of publications must be attached to the proposal.The grounds for disqualification determined by the administrative law are considered when appointing the examiners.

Two copies of the dissertation manuscript and other required forms are submitted to the Administration Service Centre of the Faculty, to Head of Academic Affairs Kaisa Laitinen, kaisa.laitinen(at)uef.fi, tel. 050 432 7573 in Joensuu, or to Administration Secretary Satu Turunen, satu.turunen(at)uef.fi, tel.. 040 355 3698 in Kuopio.

The Dean of the Faculty makes a decision on the pre-examiners. The Administration Service Centre of the Faculty informs the pre-examiners about the decision and provides them with a copy of the doctoral dissertation as well as instructions for the preparation of the pre-examiners' statement. The doctoral dissertation can also be sent to the examiners via email. The pre-examiners must give their statements within two months after receiving the documents.

Permission for public examination of doctoral dissertation

When the statements arrive at the Faculty, they are forwarded to the doctoral candidate and his or her main supervisor by email. If the statements are favourable and the doctoral candidate has no objections to them, the Dean grants a permission for the thesis defence. If the pre-examiner/-s, however, require changes and/or corrections to be made to the thesis manuscript, the main supervisor submits to the Faculty his or her statement confirming that the doctoral candidate has made the required modifications. The Dean can not grant a permission for the thesis defence prior the Faculty has received the main supervisor's confirmation.

As the application for a permission to defend the doctoral thesis has  been submitted along with the proposition of the pre-examiners already, the student does not need to submit a separate application at this stage.

The Faculty sends the decision for the information of the doctoral candidate, the main supervisor of the doctoral dissertation, and to the Head of Departrtment or School of the doctoral candidate by email.

Appointment of opponent and custos

The Dean appoints the opponent and the custos. After receiving a permission for public examination, the doctoral student and the main supervisor fill in the form proposing an opponent and a custos. According to the Degree Regulations of the University of Eastern Finland, the opponent must come from outside the University of Eastern Finland and be at least a docent or hold a corresponding scientific qualification. The faculty recommends that the opponent be a person holding a professorship. However, if a person holding a docentship is presented as the opponent, her/ his up-to-date list of publications must be attached to the application. A professor from the faculty operates as the custos (chairperson) of the public examination.

Custos represents the University at the public examination. The Faculty recommends that the custos be a professor or an associate professor at the University of Eastern Finland, but a main supervisor holding a docent's qualification can also act as a custos.

The doctoral student submits the proposal, signed by either the head of the department/ unit or the person in charge of the academic subject, the main supervisor, and the doctoral student her-/ himself, to the Administration Service Centre of the Faculty: in Joensuu, to Head of Academic Affairs Kaisa Laitinen, kaisa.laitinen(at)uef.fi, tel. 050 432 7573 and in Kuopio, to Coordinator Anna-Leena Nylund, anna-leena.nylund(at)uef.fi, tel. 040 355 2882. On the basis of the proposal, the opponent and the custos are appointed by the Dean. The Administration Service Centre of the Faculty sends the decision electronically to the doctoral student, the opponent, the custos, the head and the study secretary of the department or school, as well as the Communications and Media Relations of the University (also to the main supervisor if she/he is not appointed as the custos). In the process, the opponent is given the faculty instructions for formulating a written statement regarding the public examination.

Publishing and printing the doctoral dissertation

The University of Eastern Finland has five publication series. Each of the four faculties has its own series, and the University has one general series. The main series are divided into two subcategories: 1. Dissertations, and 2. Reports and Studies. Dissertations (1), and other scientific reports and studies of the University (2) are published in the four main series. The general series is intended for publishing articles and reports pertaining to the university's operations.

The publication series of the Faculty of Science and Forestry is called Publications of the University of Eastern Finland. Dissertations in Forestry and Natural Sciences. Dissertations in the field of Forest Sciences are usually, however, published in the publication series Dissertationes Forestales that is a joint publication of the Finnish Society of Forest Science, Natural Resources Institute Finland, University of Helsinki, and University of Eastern Finland.

After the Dean has appointed the opponent and the custos, the doctoral candidate contacts the editor-in-chief or a deputy editor of the publication series of the Faculty of Science and Forestry in order to get permission to publish the dissertation (see separate instructions for dissertations in the Forestry field below). The editor gives further instructions on, e.g. how to formulate the layout of the dissertation manuscript.

The editor-in-chief of the publication series of the Faculty of Science and Forestry is Research Director Pertti Pasanen (Environmental Sciences), pertti.pasanen(at)uef.fi, tel. 050 400 6200 and the deputy editors (supporting all doctoral candidates, the field in brackets refers to the specialisation of the person) are Professor Matti Tedre (Computer Science), matti.tedre(at)uef.fi, Professor Jukka Tuomela (Physics and Mathematics), jukka.tuomela(at)uef.fi, tel. 050 442 4311, and Professor Matti Vornanen (Biology), matti.vornanen(at)uef.fi, tel. 050 442 4478.

You can request for an ISBN number after the publication has been agreed with the editor of the series. Remember to consult an information specialist of the library on the classification and subject headings for the abstract page according to the publishing instructions of your faculty.

For the publications, each faculty has layout templates of their own. The layout templates have readily defined styles for headings, sub-headings, body text, and tables. The layout templates of the publication series of the Faculty of Science and Forestry are available for:

For printing, the University of Eastern Finland primarily uses Grano.

The doctoral candidate shall have prints of the dissertation as follows:

  • 1 copy for the Rector of the campus
  • 1 copy for the Dean of the Faculty
  • 1 copy for the opponent
  • 1 copy for the Administration Service Centre of the faculty (Taru Nylund)
  • 1 copy for each supervisor
  • 1 copy for each pre-examiner
  • additional copies for distribution at the public defence and for interest groups

The printing press will print and deliver (without an order from the doctoral candidate):

  • 9 copies for the University of Eastern Finland Library (for the collections of the campuses, scientific exchange, and presentation)
  • 6 legal deposit copies (statutory; legal deposit copies must be delivered to the Legal Deposit Office in Helsinki)

The doctoral candidate ensures that one of the copies printed by the printing press is taken to the UEF Library for display at least 10 days prior to the public defence (archive copy.) Along with the archive copy, the doctoral candidate submits a print with the information of the time and location of the public defence.

The minimum edition of the doctoral dissertation is 30 copies financed by the department or school. Copies exceeding this limit are to be paid for by the doctoral candidate, unless settled otherwise with the department or school.

The printing instructions for the doctoral dissertations of the Forest Sciences are at the website of the Doctoral Programme in Forests and Bioresources.

Press release

For the purposes of the press release to the media, you should write a short and clear description of your dissertation. The press release should highlight the main results of your research. Tips for writing your press release.

The press release needs to be translated into Finnish so that it can be distributed to the Finnish media. You can turn to the supervisor of your thesis to get help with the translation. Save the text in the .rtf format and send both the English and the Finnish versions of the press release as an email attachment to vaitos(at)uef.fi.

Both the English and the Finnish versions will be published on the university website. The Finnish version will also be distributed to the Finnish media. If you wish to have the English version or a version in another language distributed to specific media abroad, e.g. in your home country, please contact vaitos(at)uef.fi for details.

It is not recommended to use the abstract as the press release. The abstract is written for scientific purposes, whereas the press release aims at popularizing science.

Approval of doctoral dissertation

Within two weeks after the public examination, the opponent issues her/ his written statement on the doctoral dissertation and on the public defence of it to the Faculty, to Coordinator Anna-Leena Nylund. In the statement, the opponent presents a proposal to accept the doctoral dissertation on the grading scale of ‘approved' to ‘approved with distinction'. The statement is sent to the doctoral candidate, and if she/he has no remarks on the statement, the doctoral dissertation is submitted to the Faculty Council for approval. If the opponent proposes the grade ‘approved with distinction', the pre-examiners of the doctoral dissertation will be consulted with regard to grading.

Finally, the Faculty Council approves and grades the doctoral dissertation. The final thesis will be recorded in the study register in the Administration Service Center of the Faculty.

The Dean has been delegated the right to approve and grade doctoral dissertation on the basis of the opponents’ statements between the semesters, that is, between the last Faculty Council meeting of an academic year and the first Faculty Council meeting of next academic year.

Competence of post graduate student supervisors, preliminary examiners, examiners, opponent and custos

Competence of post graduate student supervisors, preliminary examiners, examiners, opponent and custos

One or more persons are appointed on application as the supervisor for post graduate studies. Of these, all must hold a doctoral degree and at least one must be a professor, associate professor or assistant professor (Tenure Track) in the Faculty. If a person other that a professor, associate professor or assistant professor (Tenure Track) in the Faculty is proposed as the main supervisor for a doctoral dissertation, his or her up-to-date list of publications must accompany the application.

The preliminary examiner of a doctoral dissertation may not be a supervisor, nor may he or she work in the same research group or be otherwise disqualified. The preliminary examiner must be a professor, a docent or a person who should hold a corresponding qualification. They all must come from outside the University of Eastern Finland. If a person holding a docent's qualification is proposed as the preliminary examiner for a doctoral dissertation, his or her up-to-date list of publications must accompany the proposal.

The examiner for a licentiate thesis must hold a doctoral degree.

According to the Degree Regulations of the University of Eastern Finland, the opponent must come from outside the University of Eastern Finland and hold at least a docent's qualification or a corresponding academic qualification. The Faculty recommends that the opponent be a person of professorial level. If a person holding a docent's qualification is proposed as the opponent for a doctoral dissertation, his or her up-to-date list of publications must accompany the proposal.

The Dean shall appoint a custos to represent the University at the public examination. The Faculty recommends that the custos at the public examination be a professor or an associate professor at the University of Eastern Finland, but a main supervisor holding a docent´s qualification can also act as a custos.

Unless there is an extremely important reason, the public examination of a dissertation is to be held in premises administered by the University of Eastern Finland.

Examination and acceptance of licentiate thesis

When the examiners have submitted their statements, they are sent to the student for information purposes. If the student does not have any comment to make concerning the statements, the licentiate thesis will be graded at the meeting of the Faculty Council.