Doctoral School

Doctoral Study Guide (effective 1 January 2017 onwards)

Doctoral students, whose study plans have been approved before 1.1.2017, can follow the guidelines in the previous Doctoral Study Guide. For these students, the previous study guide is valid until 31.12.2021.


1. OBJECTIVES OF DOCTORAL STUDIES

2. APPLICATION AND REGISTRATION FOR DOCTORAL STUDIES

3. SUPERVISION OF RESEARCH

4. STRUCTURE OF DOCTORAL DEGREE

5. EXAMINATION OF DOCTORAL DISSERTATION

6. DOCTORAL DISSERTATION REQUIREMENTS

7. LICENTIATE DEGREE


Persons who have completed a master’s degree and are interested in undertaking scientific research - and are eligible for doctoral studies in a discipline represented at Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics (JSBE) - may apply for admission to doctoral studies at the school. Two doctoral programmes are offered at JSBE: doctoral programme in economics and doctoral programme in business. A licentiate degree is a potential, but non-obligatory, degree preceding the doctorate.

The JSBE Doctoral School operates under the University of Jyväskylä Graduate School for Doctoral Studies and thus complies with the principles and ethical guidelines of the University Graduate School.

In addition to this Doctoral Study Guide, please read the guidelines provided on the website of JSBE’s Doctoral school.

1. OBJECTIVES OF DOCTORAL STUDIES

Doctoral education aims at enabling students to

  • thoroughly familiarise themselves with their discipline
  • gain a profound understanding of their own field of research within the discipline, and demonstrate independent and critical scientific thinking in this research field
  • acquire the ability to independently yield new scientific knowledge.

2. APPLICATION AND REGISTRATION FOR DOCTORAL STUDIES

2.1. Eligibility and complementary studies

Candidates who have completed the advanced studies block (master level studies) in a discipline are eligible for doctoral studies in this discipline. A candidate may also be admitted to doctoral studies in one of JSBE’s disciplines, if the candidate is eligible for doctoral studies in a neighbouring discipline, and has additionally completed sufficient studies in the discipline for which s/he is applying the study right.

If the extent and/or content of former education do not qualify an applicant for doctoral studies, complementary studies can be added to the student’s study plan replacing or supplementing the minor studies. The necessity for complementary studies is assessed individually for each student. Complementary studies are separately defined for the doctoral programme in economics and for each discipline in the doctoral programme in business.

The key contact persons for a candidate seeking to be admitted to doctoral studies at JSBE are professors of the relevant major subject. Their contact information can be found on the JSBE website. Before contacting professors, candidates are encouraged to carefully read this guide and the University of Jyväskylä Degree Regulations, as well as University of Jyväskylä Graduate School for Doctoral Studies instructions.

Candidates who have completed a master’s degree apply for admission to doctoral studies from JSBE, using the online application form available on the website of JSBE’s Doctoral School. Applications are processed twice a year. Please see deadlines on the JSBE website.

2.2. Processing of applications and student selection

New doctoral students are admitted by the Dean of JSBE. The student is placed either in the doctoral programme for economics or doctoral programme for business by the affiliation of the supervisor-in-charge. For well-justified reasons, an applicant may be granted admission to doctoral studies outside of the normal application processing time frames. However, the doctoral study right shall not be granted before the applicant has completed a master’s degree.

The following general criteria are considered in doctoral student selection:

 Applicant’s skills and knowledge

  • success in completing master-level or equivalent studies
  • language skills required for completing the studies

Research topic

  • relevance of the research topic to the core research areas of JSBE
  • innovativeness of the research topic
  • quality and viability of the research and study plan

Supervision

  • availability of expert supervision and sufficiency of supervision resources
  • continuity of supervision
  • student’s commitment to completing the studies
  • student’s possibility to participate in doctoral seminars, other courses and/or graduate schools

JSBE complies with the general admission criteria of the University of Jyväskylä. An existing doctoral degree must not be duplicated. In case an applicant has a previous doctorate, JSBE evaluates the extent of similar content between the already existing degree and the proposed new degree, and requests a statement from the University of Jyväskylä Graduate School Steering Board on the issue.

2.3. Enrolment and annual registration

A student admitted to complete a doctoral degree must enroll as student at the University of Jyväskylä. Before the enrolment, the student and the supervisor-in-charge will write a postgraduate study plan regarding the contents and modes of completing the studies included in the doctoral degree. In addition, they will sign a supervision document for doctoral studies.

After the first registration for attendance or non-attendance, registration is done via the Korppi online system each academic year. See JSBE website for more details.

3. SUPERVISION OF RESEARCH

3.1. Supervision and supervisors of doctoral dissertation

In accordance with the Degree Regulations of the University, doctoral students are appointed one personal supervisor-in-charge, who is in employment relationship with the University of Jyväskylä, and has a doctoral degree and sufficient scientific qualifications. The supervisor must also have profound knowledge of the research area within the major subject. The University Graduate School for Doctoral Studies and JSBE Doctoral School recommend that each new doctoral student will be appointed at least two supervisors, of which one is nominated as supervisor-in-charge. Supervisors are appointed with the Agreement on supervision document simultaneously with the processing of the doctoral study plan. The student gives his/her consent on the choice of supervisors. If the supervision relationship terminates before the student graduates, a new supervisor-in-charge will be nominated.

Doctoral students must annually report on their study progress to their supervisors. The study plan is specified annually, and also more frequently upon student request. JSBE Faculty Office is responsible for keeping a register on postgraduate study credits, on which the students themselves should inform the office without delay.

3.2. The follow-up group

Each student pursuing a doctoral degree shall have a nominated follow-up group. In addition to the supervisors, the follow-up group includes at least one professor or docent external to the research group in which the dissertation is being done. The doctoral student and the follow-up group shall meet once a year. For part-time students, the meetings may be less frequent.

The detailed instructions for activities and documentation of follow-up groups at JSBE are described in a separate document,”Organization and working of the follow-up groups at the JSBE”.

The University of Jyväskylä Graduate School Steering Board has given additional guidelines for doctoral student follow-up groups and instructions for Monitoring the Progress of Doctoral Students in Follow-up Groups

Responsibilities of the doctoral student, supervisor and follow-up group are described in the University of Jyväskylä Graduate School for Doctoral Studies document “Appendix 1 of the supervision document”.

4. STRUCTURE OF DOCTORAL DEGREE

The extent of doctoral degrees is 240 ECTS credits. JSBE Faculty Council has defined the learning goals and objectives for the doctoral degree in a separate document, ”Learning goals and objectives of JSBE doctoral programs (pdf)”.

4.1. Economics

At the University of Jyväskylä, in economics it is possible to complete the degree of Doctor of Science (Economics and Business Administration).

The methodological initial level requirement for the doctoral degree is a basic studies block either in mathematics or statistics, or corresponding knowledge. However, gaining a higher level of quantitative skills is recommended. Minor subject studies of the doctoral degree may also contain methodological studies.

The doctoral degree consists of the following parts:

1) Discipline specific skills (30-45 ECTS)

Discipline specific studies constitute at least half of required studies. Discipline specific studies may include, for example, the following obligatory or freely selectable studies:

  • Advanced studies in the student’s field of science and doctoral training courses
  • Doctoral training seminars (obligatory)
  • Studies in the theory of science (obligatory, 3-5 ECTS)
  • Orientation studies for doctoral students
  • Researcher mobility to support the dissertation study

If the previous degrees do not contain a course in the history of economic thought, such is to be included in the doctoral degree.

2) Transferable skills studies (15-30 ECTS)

Transferable skills studies constitute at the most half of required studies.

2.1) Research competence

Studies to promote research competence may include, for example, the following obligatory or freely selectable studies:

  • Research ethics (obligatory, min 1 ECTS credit)
  • Research methods (obligatory)
    • Econometrics and quantitative methods
    • Studies in statistics, mathematics, information systems science or equivalent
  • Research project management
  • Academic publishing
  • Open science

All curricula of doctoral programmes must include obligatory research ethics studies of at least 1 ECTS credit.

2.2) Communication skills

Studies to promote communication skills may include, for example, the following obligatory or freely selectable studies:

  • Academic writing and communication
  • Interaction competence
  • Language skills and international competence
  • Media skills
  • Presentation skills

All curricula of doctoral programmes must include obligatory communication studies of at least 2 ECTS credits.

2.3) Other competence to support the construction of professional expertise

Other competence to support the construction of professional expertise may include demanding specialist work at the University or outside the University (excluding research and research visits related to the student’s dissertation). These include for instance teaching, research, participation in departmental or university development and work outside of the University. Credits earned through work are limited to max 20 ECTS credits. Other competence to support the construction of professional expertise may also include other activities or completed courses (max 4 ECTS credits),

A study module, which is not included in previous degrees, can be included in the doctoral degree.

Additional information with examples of suitable courses can be found in a complementary guide for doctoral studies in each discipline (pdf).

3) Dissertation (180 ECTS)

In addition to doctoral studies, a student admitted to doctoral training must write a dissertation and have a public examination of it. The writing of dissertations must follow the principles of the University’s dissertation requirements. The scope of dissertations must be limited so that it is possible to complete a doctoral degree within four years of full-time study.

 

4.2 Business studies

At the University of Jyväskylä, in business studies it is possible to complete the degree of Doctor of Science (Economics and Business Administration) in the following major disciplines: accounting, corporate communication, corporate environmental management, management and leadership, marketing, and strategy and entrepreneurship.

The doctoral degree consists of the following parts:

1) Discipline specific skills (30-45 ECTS)

Discipline specific studies constitute at least half of required studies. Discipline specific studies may include, for example, the following obligatory or freely selectable studies:

  • Advanced studies in the student’s field of science and doctoral training courses
  • Doctoral training seminars (obligatory)
  • Studies in the theory of science (obligatory, 3-5 ECTS)
  • Orientation studies for doctoral students
  • Researcher mobility to support the dissertation study

2) Transferable skills studies (15-30 ECTS)

Transferable skills studies constitute at the most half of required studies.

2.1) Research competence

Studies to promote research competence may include, for example, the following obligatory or freely selectable studies:

  • Research methods (obligatory)
    • Studies in qualitative and/or quantitative methods
  • Research ethics (obligatory, min. 1 ECTS)
  • Research project management
  • Academic publishing
  • Open science

All curricula of doctoral programmes must include obligatory research ethics studies of at least 1 ECTS credit.

2.2) Communication skills

Studies to promote communication skills may include, for example, the following obligatory or freely selectable studies:

  • Academic writing and communication
  • Interaction competence
  • Language skills and international competence
  • Media skills
  • Presentation skills

All curricula of doctoral programmes must include obligatory communication studies of at least 2 ECTS credits.

2.3) Other competence to support the construction of professional expertise

Other competence to support the construction of professional expertise may include demanding specialist work at the University or outside the University (excluding research and research visits related to the student’s dissertation). These include for instance teaching, research, participation in departmental or university development and work outside of the University. Credits earned through work are limited to max 20 ECTS credits. Other competence to support the construction of professional expertise may also include other activities or completed courses (max 4 ECTS credits),

A study module, which is not included in previous degrees, can be included in the doctoral degree.

Additional information with examples of suitable courses can be found in a complementary guide for doctoral studies in each discipline (pdf).

3) Dissertation (180 ECTS)

In addition to doctoral studies, a student admitted to doctoral training must write a dissertation and have a public examination of it. The writing of dissertations must follow the principles of the University’s dissertation requirements. The scope of dissertations must be limited so that it is possible to complete a doctoral degree within four years of full-time study.

 

5. EXAMINATION OF DOCTORAL DISSERTATION

5.1. Submitting the dissertation to preliminary examination

On the student’s request, and after hearing the supervisors of the dissertation, JSBE Faculty Council appoints at least two preliminary examiners, both of whom must have completed a doctoral degree and achieved sufficient academic merits. The faculty must also hear the head of the discipline before deciding the pre-examiners. At least one of these pre-examiners must be qualified to a professor’s or a docent’s position or have corresponding academic qualifications. The main post of the pre-examiners must be outside the University of Jyväskylä. The supervisor cannot act as a preliminary examiner.

The dissertation manuscript must be available at the faculty before appointing the preliminary examiners or examiners.

5.2. Pre-examination of doctoral dissertation; permission to print and publicly defend the dissertation

A proposal about the choice of preliminary examiners is made by the head of academic field or the supervisor-in-charge of the dissertation. The doctoral candidate must have the opportunity to comment on the selection of pre-examiners.

The doctoral candidate sends the dissertation to be checked with plagiarism detection software before submitting it for preliminary examination. The report produced by the software must be directed straight to the supervisor-in-charge, who is responsible for interpreting the results of the report.

Pre-examiners are asked to give their statement(s) within three months from the arrival of the official statement request.Information on the dissertation requirements at the University of Jyväskylä must be sent to all pre-examiners (see pdf in Finnish, pdf in English).

The pre-examiners give a joint written statement or separate written statements to the JSBE Faculty Council, as to whether the research has such value that it can be regarded as adequate for a doctoral dissertation. At the end of the statement, the pre-examiners are expected to clearly present their opinion regarding the granting of permission to print and publicly defend the dissertation, as well as the grade for the dissertation on the basis of the written output. The permission for public examination of the dissertation cannot be conditional.

The doctoral candidate must have the opportunity to comment on the statement(s) of the pre-examiners before the decision on the permission for the public examination of the dissertation is taken. The doctoral candidate has the right to interrupt the preliminary examination process before JSBE Faculty Council handles the permission for public examination. If the candidate is not granted the permission for a public examination of the dissertation, the preliminary examination procedure ends.

5.3. Printing and distribution of the dissertation

When the candidate has been granted permission to print and publicly defend the dissertation, the dissertation must be published. The doctoral candidate is responsible for taking care of printing arrangements and schedules. The dissertation can be published in the University of Jyväskylä publication series “Jyväskylä Studies in Business and Economics”. This publication process is free of charge for the candidate, provided that layout of the material submitted to the publication unit complies with the guidelines for university series, and that the candidate allows the dissertation (or the summary of an article dissertation) to be published online.

The dissertation must be publicly available at the JSBE Faculty Office at least 10 days before the public defence. The Dean of JSBE may shorten the period to a minimum of five days on the basis of a written request presented in advance.

5.4. Appointment of opponent and custos

JSBE Faculty Council appoints a custos and one or more opponents for the public defence of the doctoral dissertation. The opponent must be a professor or have a doctoral degree and sufficient academic merits. The main post of the opponent must be outside the University of Jyväskylä. The supervisor of the dissertation cannot act as an opponent. The doctoral candidate must have the opportunity to comment on the selection of the opponent(s).

JSBE Faculty Council nominates the custos, who serves as the chairperson of the public defence. The custos must be an employee the University of Jyväskylä. The custos introduces faculty instructions regarding the public examination to the opponent(s) and ensures that particularly international opponents become familiar with the dissertation practices and grading scale of the University of Jyväskylä. Information on the dissertation requirements at the University of Jyväskylä must be sent to the opponent(s) (see pdf in Finnish, pdf in English).

5.5. Preparing and implementing the public examination of a doctoral dissertation

After the preliminary examiners have issued their statement, JSBE Faculty Council decides on the timing of the public examination.

The language used in the public examination of the doctoral dissertation is decided by the custos in advance, after having discussed the matter with both the doctoral candidate and the opponent(s). It is possible to use several languages in the public examination, if it has been agreed upon with the doctoral candidate and the opponent(s).

More detailed information of the public examination progression is given in the Degree Regulations and in the separate guidelines for the examination day.

5.6. Opponent’s statement

After the public examination, the opponent(s) appointed by JSBE Faculty Council has/have 14 days to deliver written statement(s) proposing a grade for the doctoral dissertation. The statement(s), addressed to the JSBE Faculty Council, must be delivered to the JSBE Faculty Office which takes care of the further delivery to the doctoral candidate and the JSBE Doctoral Dissertation Committee.

5.7. Approval and grading of the doctoral dissertation

JSBE Doctoral Dissertation Committee consists of those members of the JSBE Research Committee who have doctoral qualification. The Committee will prepare a proposition about the approval of the dissertation and its grading. After receiving the written (joint or separate) statement(s) from the opponent(s) and proposal of the Doctoral Dissertation Committee, JSBE Faculty Council decides whether the dissertation is approved, and awards a grade for the doctoral dissertation. Supervisors of the doctoral dissertation cannot participate in the grading of the dissertation.

The author of the doctoral dissertation is given an opportunity to express an opinion about the propositions before the Faculty Council makes its decision.

An approved dissertation is graded on a scale of Failing, Accepted, or Accepted with distinction in accordance with the Degree Regulations of the University of Jyväskylä.

The doctoral degree is awarded by the Dean of JSBE.

5.8. Additional information

Different stages of the examination process are presented in more detail in JSBE’s guidelines for the examination of a doctoral dissertation.

6. DOCTORAL DISSERTATION REQUIREMENTS

6.1. General instructions

In order to be approved at JSBE, the dissertation must fulfil the dissertation requirements at the University of Jyväskylä.

Good scientific practice in the context of dissertations is defined in Ethical Principles of the University of Jyväskylä, Ethical Principles of Publishing at the University of Jyvaskyla and Code of conduct for preventing and dealing with academic fraud and plagiarism. In addition, JSBE is committed to the guidelines given by the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity in Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland (pdf).

6.2. Instructions for publishing an article dissertation

An article dissertation consists of scientific articles that deal with the same thematic area, in addition to a summarising section (introduction), in which the candidate presents the research problem, objectives, and an overview of the theme, research methods, data, and results.

An article dissertation must contain at least two scientific articles that have been published or can be accepted for publication in refereed scientific journals. In addition, it must include 1-4 other articles that have been published in a university’s or corresponding institution’s publication series or other scientific series (may include high-level conference publications).

The contents of the articles need to be assessed, even if they have been previously published in refereed scientific journals. Each article must include new results or considerations. The articles can be joint publications, in case the candidate’s independent contribution to them has been demonstrated to be sufficient. The doctoral candidate’s independent contribution to the joint articles of the dissertation must be clearly described in the summary of the dissertation.

Supervisors of the dissertation shall scrutinise the quality of the manuscript before the preliminary examination. The number and scientific level of articles, the number of authors involved, and other essential factors must be considered.

The preliminary examiners must evaluate in their statements whether the summarising section and the individual publications constitute such an entity that the research can be granted permission to be printed and publicly defended as a doctoral dissertation.

7. LICENTIATE DEGREE

For specific reasons, a postgraduate student may complete the degree of Licentiate of Science (Economics and Business Administration).

The degree structure is almost the same as the structure of a doctoral degree, the only difference being the smaller extent of the thesis. The extent of the licentiate thesis is 90 ECTS, thereby making the extent of the licentiate degree 150 ECTS.

JSBE Faculty Council appoints at least two examiners based on a preliminary proposal made by the head of the discipline or the supervisor-in-charge of the thesis. At least one of the examiners must be from outside of JSBE. A supervisor cannot act as an examiner for the thesis. The doctoral candidate must have the opportunity to comment on the selection of the examiners.

Within two months from the arrival of the statement request, the examiners must submit a joint or separate written statement(s) with a grade proposal. In case of differing grade proposals, the statements should be separate.

Once the examiners have submitted their written statement(s) to the faculty, JSBE Faculty Council will decide on the approval and the grade of the thesis. The thesis is graded in accordance with the Degree Regulations of the University of Jyväskylä on a scale of Failing, Accepted, or Accepted with distinction.

The doctoral candidate must have the opportunity to give a statement on the issue before the grading. The candidate has the right to request for the interruption of the examination process in writing before JSBE Faculty Council decides on the approval and grade of the thesis. In such a case, the examination procedure is cancelled.

A licentiate thesis can be published in the publication series of the Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics. A written statement by the supervisor including justifications for publication is a prerequisite for publication. A licentiate thesis can consist of separate publications, such as journal articles, proceedings articles, chapters in edited publications, printed presentations at scientific conferences, or working papers.

The licentiate degree is awarded by the Dean of JSBE. The licentiate degree certificate includes the grade of the licentiate thesis, based on the scale provided in the Degree Regulations.

This Doctoral Study Guide was accepted in the JSBE Faculty Council meeting on 15 December 2015. Section 5.1. updated in accordance with the JSBE Faculty Council decision from 24.2.2016. Sections 4.1. and 4.2 updated in accordance with the JSBE Faculty Council decision from 8.11.2016 (addition of corporate communication and removal of opportunity complete the degree of Doctor of Philosophy).

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