Guide for Doctoral Students

At the beginning of doctoral studies

After receiving the right to study for a doctoral degree:

  1. The letter of acceptance is delivered with an enrolment form, which must be completed and returned to the office of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (coordinator Heli Niskanen). NB! According to the Universities Act, a student accepted into the programme can defer his or her studies only if 1) he or she is completing compulsory military service (1438/2007) or non-military service (1446/2007), or women’s voluntary military service (194/1995); 2) he or she is on maternity, paternity or parental leave; or 3) he or she is incapable of starting his/her studies due to an illness or an injury. 
  2. After the doctoral student's information has been entered in the student register, the student can activate a University of Jyväskylä user account: https://www.jyu.fi/itp/en/guides/tutorials/for-new-student/useraccount
  3. After the faculty has granted the student the right to pursue postgraduate studies, the supervisor-in-charge will, as soon as possible, meet the other supervisor(s), and together with the student they will outline the principles of their cooperation.  
  4. The doctoral student fills in the online postgraduate questionnaire (https://korppi.jyu.fi/kotka/assignment/assignmentOriginalInfo.jsp?origid=4959) (including the postgraduate supervision form) in the Korppi system. NB! This can only be done after your information has been entered in the register, your University of Jyväskylä user account has been activated, and you have had a discussion with your supervisors. 
  5. The dean has accepted the preliminary postgraduate study plan during the application procedure. The doctoral student must expand their study plan with the supervisor(s) within six months from receiving the right to study. The doctoral student registers changes agreed upon with the supervisor(s) in the postgraduate study plan. The expanded postgraduate study plan has to be sent to the coordinator Heli Niskanen. Any changes to the postgraduate study plan during the postgraduate studies need to be approved by the supervisor-in-charge. 

Annual enrolment

Doctoral students must enrol annually either for attendance or non-attendance. Enrolment must be done by 31 July. This should be done by using the Korppi system

Only a student enrolled for attendance may pursue their studies and receive credits. If a student does not intend to pursue their studies, he or she may enrol for non-attendance.

Enrolment includes:

  • answering the questionnaire about postgraduate studies (while doing it you are asked to report shortly on the past year and on your plans concerning the following year)
  • filling in/updating the supervision document

While enrolling in Korppi, doctoral students should also mark possible changes in their contact information and make sure that the basic information regarding their dissertation is correct. Check also your email at ’Other information’.

Enrolment takes only 5 to 10 minutes. Please make sure to read the Korppi instructions before filling it in (https://www.jyu.fi/itp/en/korppi-guide/tutorial/pgstudies ). Enrollment in Korppi, watch a short video at https://moniviestin.jyu.fi/ohjelmat/erillis/thk/ohjevideot/korppi-ohjevideot/registering-as-an-postgraduate-student-via-korppi

Korppi will automatically send your answers directly to your supervisors (i.e. the supervisors that you have marked in the basic information regarding your dissertation, so please make sure that this information is correct).  The information is confidential. Only the name of the research, short description given by the student and key words are saved as public knowledge in Korppi.

Supervisors will then mark supervision document as effective by signing it. At least the main supervisor must approve the document. The approval (and therefore the effectiveness of the document) is only valid for the present academic year, so the document needs to be reviewed and approved ("signed") at least once a year (normally while enrolling each autumn semester).


Late registrations (after 31 July)

Doctoral students not registered for attendance or non-attendance by the given date will lose their right to study. When a student loses his/her right to study, his/her user ID to the University’s IT network expires, unless there is another reason for keeping the user ID valid (e.g. for staff members).

If a doctoral student who has lost the right to study because of not registering for attendance or non-attendance wishes to continue his/her studies later, the student must pay the re-entry fee of € 35. More instructions about late registrations.


Supervision and the follow-up group


Supervision is an essential part of doctoral studies. Each doctoral student is entitled to supervision during the whole process of studying and research. Each doctoral student is assigned a supervisor-in-charge and an additional supervisor or supervisors who hold doctoral degrees and are familiar with the topic of research. The supervisor-in-charge must have an employment relationship with the University of Jyväskylä.

The responsibilities of the doctoral student and the supervisors are listed in Appendix 1 of the supervision document.

Dissertation supervisor's check list can be found in the University of Jyväskylä Graduate School for Doctoral Studies pages.


Joint doctoral degree between two or more faculties

A doctoral dissertation may be supervised by supervisors from two or more faculties or independent institutes of the University of Jyväskylä. In addition, dissertations may have supervisors from other universities or research institutes. When the degree is being applied for (after the public examination), a university faculty or other unit providing doctoral education that has participated in supervising the student may apply for compensation for the completed doctoral degree. NB: A requirement for paying the compensation is that the supervision of the completed degree by two or more faculties, the name and faculty/unit of the other supervisor and a description of work distribution between the supervisors are indicated in the doctoral student’s supervision document. Read more about joint doctoral degree between two or more faculties.

Supervision document

At the beginning of the process, the supervisors and the doctoral student discuss the principles of the cooperation. Based on the discussion, they fill in the supervision document which includes an agreement about the goals and the schedule of the thesis. The form also includes information about the practices of supervision and about the postgraduate studies stated in the syllabus, as well as other issues which may influence the progression of the thesis. Postgraduate study plan should be designed so that the doctoral degree can be completed in four years when studying full time.

When filling in the supervision document, it is important to read the following documents:

The supervision form should be filled in and updated in Korppi as part of the post-graduate questionnaire. The questionnaire is filled each autumn when students register for either attendance or non-attendance (see the guide’s section on enrolment).

It is possible, for good reason, to draw up a temporary supervision document on paper form (docx). However, in such case, the primary document should be completed also in Korppi as soon as possible. 

Changes in supervision

During the research process, a need to change the existing supervision arrangements may arise. This may happen for various reasons, for example, a supervisor may retire. Primarily, any changes in supervision should be negotiated between the student and the supervisors. The changes in supervision can be proposed by the student or the supervisor(s).

Having heard the doctoral student and the supervisors, the main representative of the subject and the head of the department oversee the nomination of a new supervisor. The head of the department confirms the change by announcing it to Heli Niskanen at the Faculty Office. The announcement must include the name and subject of the student as well as the changes made (names of the new and the former supervisors and the supervisor-in-charge). After the announcement, the changes are registered in the Korppi system. 

Follow-up group in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

In accordance with the general principles of the University of Jyväskylä School for Doctoral Studies, a follow-up group is formed for each doctoral student. Appendix 1 of the supervision document lists the tasks of the follow-up group. Additional information and instructions on follow-up groups can also be found on the university website. 

There are six follow-up groups in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences:

Part-time doctoral students have a follow-up group, but it does not necessarily meet every year.

Each follow-up group meeting is documented. The doctoral student and the follow-up group save the report. 

In regards to potential problems with the progress of the doctoral studies, the follow-up group reports once or twice a year, or immediately if needed, to the Faculty's board of research and especially to the board’s head.

The departments provide more information about the practices of their follow-up groups. 

Postgraduate study plan

The preliminary version of the postgraduate study plan is made during the application procedure. The postgraduate study plan must be updated  during postgraduate studies. The making of the postgraduate study plan is guided by the career goals of the doctoral student. 
The postgraduate study plan contains

The postgraduate study plan is created using a form.

The doctoral student must expand their study plan with his or her supervisor(s) within six months from the granting of the study right. After this, further amendments can be done later as necessary. Changes made in the postgraduate study plan during postgraduate studies are approved by the supervisor-in-charge. 

The doctoral student independently, and with the supervisors, follows the fulfillment of the postgraduate study plan. 

Research plan

The preliminary version of the research plan is made during the application procedure. The structure of the research plan is similar to the final report of the research, i.e. the doctoral thesis. The form of the research plan may vary among disciplines and subjects. However, the introduction usually presents the research question, the goal of the research and the relevancy of the study. The theory chapter explains what is already known about the research topic and presents the preliminary results of the literature review. The method chapter focuses on the methods and data used in the research. In addition to this, the working schedule should be included in the research plan.

Note that different purposes call for different versions of the research plan.

If the research plan is meant to be an attachment of a grant application, the instructions of the announcement should be taken into account. Usually this kind of a research plan should include a budget of likely expenses. The research plan of a grant application should be sent to the persons writing the recommendations (usually supervisors) well in advance in case they want to comment on it.

The research plan is also to be presented in doctoral seminars and it is to be discussed with the supervisors and other researchers. If updated often enough, the research plan is a useful tool in organizing the work of the individual researcher and the research group. In addition, the research plan can be useful when contacting other researchers. 

Research ethics

Important links to different instructions on research ethics can be found on the University of Jyväskylä Graduate School for Doctoral Studies Research ethics pages

Familiarize yourself with the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board of Research Integrity (TENK), especially with the Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland (RCR guidelines)

Deactivation of postgraduate students' study right

1) Failure to register for attendance: to retain his or her study right, the doctoral student is required to register for attendance or non-attendance every academic year in the manner decreed by the University. Unless the registration is not completed by the registration deadline, the student will lose his or her study right. Deactivation of the study right will also mean the expiration of the university network user account, unless a reason to maintain the account exists (such as employment by the university).

More information about the annual registration and the reactivation of the study right can be found on the Admission and Student Services website.

2) Deactivation of study rights: the dean may, upon the proposal of the supervisor, decide on the deactivation of the study right. In such a case, the student has no possibility to register for attendance. Before taking a decision, the dean must hear the follow-up group and the student. Alternatively, the doctoral student may request the deactivation of his or her study right by contacting the head of academic affairs. The dean decides on the deactivation of the study right.

If a postgraduate student whose study right has been deactivated wants to resume his or her studies later, the student must provide the supervisor with a legitimate and scheduled study plan for the continuation of postgraduate studies and fill in or update the supervision document. Once the supervisor has validated the supervision document, the dean decides on the student’s right to register for attendance and continue his or her studies. 

Detailed information: University of Jyväskylä Deactivation of Doctoral study rights page.

Tips for doctoral students

NB: read also University of Jyväskylä Graduate School for Doctoral Studies Tips for doctoral students page.

The rights and duties of the doctoral student

The rights, duties, and opportunities of doctoral students depend heavily on whether their research is funded with a research grant or through an employment relationship with the university (see the graduate school page Practical information for University staff members and Practical information for a grant researcher).

Additionally, departments have different practices regarding office rooms, teaching and departmental duties, proofreading services, and online presence. More information on these are provided by the supervisor-in-charge or the main representative of the subject or the head of the department.

Membership of the student union is voluntary for doctoral students. Paying the membership fee will not provide doctoral students with all the benefits enjoyed by the undergraduates, such as student health services and discounts in transport, but it enables them to apply for accommodation in the student village and to vote in the student union elections. Read more on the student union website.

The student card or the certificate of registration as a student, available for free from the admission and student services, make doctoral students eligible to certain discounts at Sonaatti and in, for example, museums. The certificate is also available in English.

Office space

The department and the doctoral student may agree on the research being conducted at the university with equipment provided by the university. For the possibility to obtain an office and a workstation, consult the head of department.

Email groups for doctoral students

Korppi contains a mailing list for all the Faculty’s doctoral students. The list is automatically updated based on the information available at Jore (students registered for attendance are included on the lists).

The Humsocdoc mailing list is the main source of information for the students at the Faculty. For example, information on grants and courses for doctoral students is disseminated through this list. See: http://lists.jyu.fi/mailman/listinfo/Humsocdoc 

If you are not a member of the University of Jyväskylä staff, you can join the email group of your faculty to ensure that you get the University’s internal info messages and bulletins. The email groups for grant researchers are all included on the jy-staff delivery list.  

Departments may have their own mailing lists for doctoral students and/or doctoral students may be added on the staff mailing list. Consult your supervisor(s) for more information about these and other important mailing lists.

Information on joining the mailing list of the Methodology Centre for Human Sciences (IHME) can be found on the centre’s website.

TUTKA / Converis

TUTKA is the research and publication data system of the University of Jyväskylä. Doctoral students must register their publications, presentations, and other scientific activities in TUTKA. Information is submitted using an online form. TUTKA username and password can be obtained from the departmental main user.

Converis research information system will gradually replace TUTKA. All doctoral students at the University of Jyväskylä will create a project announcement in Converis research information system when planning on applying for complementary (from outside the University) research funding (e.g., foundations’ research grants) for doctoral studies at the University of Jyväskylä. Project announcement is created before the application is submitted to the funder. In the future, information on publications, international research mobility and significant scientific awards are also registered in the system. Converis is logged into using the university login details. Therefore, no new username or password is required. Read also the Converis guide.


Every researcher at University of Jyväskylä is strongly encouraged to get an ORCID researcher ID. Get your ORCID Researcher ID already now: https://kirjasto.jyu.fi/news/orcid-id?set_language=en.


JYX is an institutional repository of the University of Jyväskylä.  It provides access to research created by the researchers affiliated to the JYU. The University requires open access publishing to JYX (self-archiving). You can deposit your articles easily by using the TUTKA submission form. More information: https://openaccess.jyu.fi/en.

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