Doctoral School

Organization and working of the follow-up groups at the JSBE

In accordance with the operating principles of the University of Jyväskylä Graduate School (see ANNEX 1), a follow-up group has to be formed for each active doctoral student at JSBE. At JSBE, the follow-up groups operate under the guidance and supervision of the JSBE doctoral school.

Note to supervisors and doctoral students: Failure to comply with these instructions may be a reason to deactivate the student status at the JSBE doctoral school.

Structure and formation of the follow-up group

In addition to the student’s supervisors, the follow-up group should include at least one professor or docent who is external to the research group in which the dissertation is being done.

The main supervisor is responsible for making sure that for each of doctoral student under his/her supervision, there is a follow-up group in place. The main supervisor is also responsible for selecting the follow-up group members external to the research group, who may also be external to the University.

The structure (i.e., names of the members) of the follow-up group has to be documented in two places:

  • Written agreement on supervision: When a doctoral student is enrolled and admitted to the JSBE doctoral program, the doctoral student has to sign a written agreement on supervision with the main supervisor. Follow-group members must be named in this written and signed supervision agreement.
  • Online Korppi supervision document: After the student's postgraduate status has been added to the student register, she/he must fill in a postgraduate questionnaire in the Korppi system. Using this online form, the doctoral student must document the members of the follow-up group in the Korppi supervision document.

Purpose and duties of a follow-up group

The follow-up group meets the doctoral student at least once a year and provides supervisory support. It promotes and monitors the progress of postgraduate studies and dissertation work, as well as supports the doctoral student’s career planning.

The duties of the follow-up group are described the appendix 1 of the supervision document (see ANNEX 2) and in the additional guidelines for doctoral student follow-up groups (see ANNEX 3) that are provided by the University of Jyväskylä Graduate School.

In addition to the duties outlined by the University of Jyväskylä Graduate School, the follow-up groups at JSBE are requested to verify, in collaboration with the student, that all the information in the (Korppi online) supervision document is up-to-date and provided as requested and that the student has complied with the registration and other administrative requirements of the University and the JSBE doctoral school.

The follow-up group at JSBE should take immediate action,

  • if for some reason, the agreement on supervision between the doctoral student and the main supervisor terminates: The remaining follow-up members have to actively provide help and guidance in finding a new main supervisor for the doctoral student.
  • if there are serious problems with the progress or funding of the doctoral studies of the student: If such problems are identified, the follow-up group ought to actively try to solve them and to report them to the coordinator of the JSBE doctoral school.
  • if structure of the follow-up has to changed (e.g. member changes): the main supervisor and the student have to update the written agreement on supervision and the online Korppi supervision document.

Organization of the follow-up group meetings

The follow-up group meets the doctoral student at least once a year in an annual meeting. Part-time doctoral students may have a longer interval between meetings.

At JSBE, each follow-up group can decide when the annual meeting is organized: This may depend, e.g., on the needs of the student, progress of the studies and availability of funding to her/him. However, each academic year, the annual meeting should be held, at latest, by the end of June.

The doctoral student is responsible for the practical organization of the meeting(s): After consulting the main supervisor, the doctoral student calls the follow-up group for a meeting. She/he has to make sure that all the members are able to contribute to the meeting: If necessary, video calls or other technical solutions may be used to facilitate the follow-up group meeting(s).

The doctoral student is expected to provide an agenda for the follow-up group meeting and prepare for it in advance. In the follow-up group meetings, the doctoral student has an opportunity not only to present how the dissertation work proceeds but also to discuss his/her concerns related to doctoral studies.

For more information (e.g. on the possible agenda of the meetings), see “Monitoring the Progress of Doctoral Students in follow-up Groups” (ANNEX 1) provided by the University of Jyväskylä Graduate School.

Documentation of the follow-up group’s meetings at JSBE

At JSBE, the follow-up groups have to document their meetings as follows:

  • Internally, for the follow-up group: After each follow-up group meeting, the doctoral student should prepare a short summary document of the issues discussed in the follow-up group meeting so that it is possible to return to them later (e.g., in next meeting). This short summary document should be sent to the follow-up group by email within two weeks after the meeting. The short summary document should include, at minimum, the following: Name of the student, date of the meeting, members of the follow-up group who contributed to / participated in the meeting as well as brief description of the agenda and issues that were discussed.
  • Externally, for the JSBE doctoral school: The doctoral student must also report to the JSBE doctoral school that a meeting has been organized. This information has to be sent to the JSBE doctoral school using an online form.

For more information, see the Graduate School website

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