28.06.2018

Dissertation and graduating

The schedule of dissertation

Before setting a date for the dissertation

  • At the end of the third year of the doctoral training (36 months), the doctoral student gives a plan for the dissertation date to the Doctoral Programme
  • The supervisors discuss about the potential preliminary examiners and opponent with the head of the division.
  • Contact Tiina Hakanen (tiina.m.hakanen (at) jyu.fi, tel. 040 805 3856, YAC320.3) to book a lecture hall for the dissertation

Three months before the dissertation (at latest)

  • The custos and doctoral candidate fill in a form in which the information of the preliminary examiners, the custos, the opponent and the dissertation date is given. The completed form is return to the departmental office (Tiina Hakanen).
  • The doctoral candidate contacts the scientific editor of "the Jyväskylä Studies in Biological and Environmental Science and informs the Publishing Unit of the University about the upcoming dissertation (see the detailed publishing schedule of a dissertation here).
  • Tiina Hakanen will contact the doctoral candidate concerning the thesis to be checked with the plagiarism detection software at the latest before submitting the thesis for a preliminary examination (in Finnish, in English).
  • The doctoral candidate returns the thesis manuscript to the departmental office (Tiina Hakanen) to be sent to the preliminary examiners.

About two months before the dissertation

  • With 6 weeks preliminary examiners will give their statements of evaluation in which they propose either that permission be granted for the dissertation to be publicly examined or not.
  • The doctoral candidate gives his/her opinion on the statements.
  • The Vice Dean will give the permission for a public examination of the dissertation
  • The doctoral student makes the final revisions to the thesis.
  • The doctoral candidate contacts the scientific editor of the Jyväskylä Studies in Biological and Environmental Science and ask for publishing permission.

A month before the dissertation

  • The doctoral candidate submits the material to the Publishing Unit.
  • Permission for online publishing (verkkojulkaisusopimus in Finnish, in English)
  • The doctoral candidate gets the last proof to be read.
  • The doctoral candidate distributes dissertation copies to the Rector, the opponent, the custos, the scientific editor and other people. To make an appointment with the Rector, please contact Rector's assistant Anna Rantanen (Tel.: 0400 247 435). In accordance with good practice, dissertation copies are distributed before the dissertation date.

The main steps of examination process

Preliminary examination of doctoral dissertation

According to the Degree Regulations of the University of Jyväskylä (in Finnish, in English), at least two preliminary examiners are nominated to review a dissertation manuscript. The examiners shall be at least docents or holders of equivalent academic status. At least one pre-examiner shall be from outside the University of Jyväskylä.

At the end of the third year of the doctoral training (36 months), the doctoral student gives a plan for the dissertation date to the Doctoral Programme. The supervisors discuss about the potential preliminary examiners and opponent with the head of the division. If the supervisor is the head of the division, she/he will discuss about potential names with other professors of the division. The Faculty Council evaluates the thesis on the basis of the statements of evaluation of the  preliminary examiners and the opponent. Thus, the selection of the pre-examiners is a key check-point of dissertation approval process and it is very important that the  preliminary examiners are carefully selected, and that they have a broad and in-depth expertise in the field of the thesis.

The Faculty Council nominates the custos (the chairperson in the public defence) who must be a docent or have equivalant qualifications and must be a present staff member of the University of Jyväskylä. She/he will contact the preliminary examiners and the opponent and agree about the preliminary dissertation date.The custos informs dissertation requirements at the University of Jyväskylä (in Finnish, in English) to the preminary examiners. She/he will also introduce the faculty instructions of the public examination to the opponent, and ensure that particularly international opponents become familiar with the Finnish dissertation practices (in Finnish, in English), the grading scales and their criteria and dissertation requirements at the University of Jyväskylä (in Finnish, in English). Please note that the doctoral student should not be in contact with the preliminary examiners and the opponent. The doctoral candidate can, however, give comment on the selection of the preliminary examiners and the opponent (Degree Regulations of the University of Jyväskylä: Chapter 7, Section 38 and 39).

Three months before the dissertation the custos and doctoral candidate fill in a form in which the information of the preliminary examiners, the custos, the opponent and the dissertation date is given. The form with the thesis manuscript (full electronic version of the thesis) should be returned to the departmental office (Departmental Administrator Tiina Hakanen, Room: YAC310.1) to be accepted by the Vice dean. Latest at this point the doctoral candidate should contact the scientific editor of "the Jyväskylä Studies in Biological and Environmental Science" where the thesis will be published. At the same time, the doctoral candidate should also inform the Publishing Unit of the University about the upcoming dissertation.

Departmental Administrator together with the Pedagogic Head of the Department will send the thesis to the preliminary examiners who are asked to send their evaluation statements to the Department. With 6 weeks preliminary examiners will give their statements and the doctoral candidate will have an opportunity to give his/her opinion on the statements. The Vice dean will give the permission for a public examination of the dissertation if both preliminary examiners propose that the permission should be granted. In other cases, the Faculty Council will decide further procedure. After the doctoral candidate has got the permission for a public examination of the dissertation, she/he submits the material to the Publishing Unit a month before the public defence date, at the latest. The doctoral candidate must ensure that the dissertation will be publicly available at least ten (10) days before the public examination.

Please note that doctoral candidate should allocate enough time for editing the thesis according to the suggestions made by the preliminary examiners.

After the permission for the public examination of the dissertation has been granted, the doctoral candidate should contact the scientific editor of the Jyväskylä Studies in Biological and Environmental Science and ask for publishing permission.  Please note that the Department has its own template for the dissertation which you find at S-driver: bio-staff/Bio-common/VÄITÖS-DISSERTATION. Thus, do NOT use the template at the web pages of the Jyväskylä University Library.

More information:

Public examination of doctoral dissertation

An opponent is nominated for the public examination of the dissertation (Section 39 in The Degree Reguations of the University of Jyväskylä). The public examination of the dissertation begins with the doctoral candidate’s introductory lecture on the subject (lectio praecursoria, 20 min) after which the opponent presents his/her comments on the dissertation. The lenght of the examination is usually 2-2,5 hours (max 6 h). The language of the public examination is usually Finnish or the language in which the doctoral dissertation was published (The Degree Reguation, Chapter 6, Section 29).

More information:

  • Information and advice for the examination day of your dissertation (in English, in Finnish). On these pages you can find description of the progression and formalities of the public examination.
  • Instructions of the Department for hospitality of the opponent and the opponent's travel costs (in English, in Finnish).

Assessment and grading of doctoral dissertation

Within one month of the public examination, the opponent gives the statement of evaluation on the dissertation to the Faculty Council. In her/his statement she/he gives a proposal for the grade (fail – accepted -  accepted with honours). The custos will prepare a report for the Faculty Council on how the doctoral candidate succeeded in defending the dissertation. The doctoral candidate will be given the opportunity to respond to the statement of evaluation of the opponent and the proposal for the grade. When the Faculty Council assesses the dissertation, it takes into account the views of the opponent, the preliminary examiners, and the custos. (Degree regulations of the JyU Chapter 7, Section 40: in Finnish, in English)

Check here see the dates of the Faculty Council meetings.

Notes

Please note that the doctoral student should not be in contact with the preliminary examiners and the opponent. The doctoral candidate can, however, give comment on the selection of the preliminary examiners and the opponent.

Applying for the degree certificate

After completing all studies and theses included in the degree (i.e. the Faculty Council has assessed and accepted the thesis, postgraduate studies  are completed and the credits are entered into the study record), the student applies to the faculty for a degree certificate (Doctor of Philosophy). Download the application form here. Before applying for a certificate, the doctoral student must ensure that all study attainments have been entered into the register. Please return the completed form to Tiina Hakanen (the department's office, room YAC320.3). A vice-dean gives the  certificate for the degree.