23.11.2017

Instruction for writing the progress report

What is a progress report?

In the progress report, the doctoral student should describe the current stage of the PhD project, progress that has been made during the past year and future plans including schedule. She/he should also present any changes e.g. in his/her financing status (new grant applied or obtained etc.), in student status (part-time, full-time doctoral training) and/or supervision arrangements.

According to the statutes of the University of Jyväskylä, each doctoral student has to provide a progress report of the PhD project once a year until defence (in Finnish, in English). This rule applies to all doctoral students regardless of where their funding comes from. Once the date of the defence and the name of the opponent have been decided there is no requirement for further follow-up group meetings and progress reports.

The progress report in Korppi vs. the progress report submitted to the doctoral programme

When the doctoral students of the Faculty of Mathematics and Science register for attendance or non-attendance in Korppi portal, they are asked to make a report on their activities in the previous academic year and present plan for the coming year by mid-September. You do not have to make a complete progress report in Korppi. However you should write down in the first field in a questionnaire in Korppi the date when you submitted the progress report to the doctoral programme and the reporting period in question.

Where the progress report is used?

Please note that it is essential to submit an annual report at least 1 month before your contract of employment with JyU ends as the progress of your PhD project affects extension of your employment contract. Doctoral student will initially be given a one year employment contract or a personal grant. After the first evaluation and providing satisfactory progress is demonstrated, the contract can be extended for a further 3 years (maximum). Furthermore, the head of the department will not sign the employment contract if the progress report is not submitted by the deadline. The progress report is also used as a basis for decision about awarding short-term doctoral programme's doctoral student positions. It should be also noted that the doctoral programme will not grant a travelling allowance if the applicant has not submitted her/his accepted progress report annually to the doctoral programme by the deadline.

When is the deadline?

The progress reports are submitted to the doctoral programme once a year. The first report is submitted by the end of April regardless of when a doctoral student has started her/his PhD studies and then 12 month intervals after that. That is in 2018, the deadline for all doctoral students is 30.4.2018. Exception: Those whose contract of employment with the JyU is ending, submit their progress report at least 1 month before the contract ends. The doctoral student is responsible for informing about a different submission schedule.

What is the reporting period?

The first reporting period starts on the date that your doctoral study rights were granted. The end date of the reporting period is the date when the progress report is submitted to the follow-up group.

The form of the progress report and submission

You can download the template for the progress report here (2017-2018). The report has to contain information on the goals set for the past year and whether the doctoral student accomplished them (for example, as an list of aims). The report is written in English.

The doctoral student submits the progress report to all members of the follow-up group at least 2 weeks prior to the follow-up group meeting. The progress report must be accepted by the supervisor(s) before submission.

After the follow-up group meeting, the student updates the progress report to include: the date and place of the meeting, who were present and what was discussed (see instruction in the progress report template). The follow-up group meeting should be documented so that it is possible to return to it as a basis for preparing for the next meeting. Please note that the progress report should include a clear statement of the feasibility of the plan and evaluation of the progress of the PhD project. Before submitting the progress report to the doctoral programme, it should be proved by the follow-up group and supervisor(s). Note: no signatures are required but it should be indicated in the updated report that the report has been proved by the follow-up group. The updated reports are submitted to the doctoral programme via an online form 2017-18. Please do not send the report via an email. Name your report: Surname First name.

The process of reporting step by step (student's tasks)

  1. Write the progress report using the template (Please use the updated 2017-2018 progress report template)
  2. Show the report to your supervisor(s)
  3. Convene the follow-up group meeting
  4. Send the progress report to your follow-up group at least 2 weeks before the follow-up group meeting
  5. Hold the follow-up group meeting
  6. Update the progress report and show it to your follow-up group members and supervisor(s)
  7. Submit the updated progress report to the doctoral programme via an online form (2017-18) by the deadline

What is an unsatisfactory progress report?

A report can be unsatisfactory for several reasons. For example:

  • The progress report does not stand alone. For example, the description of the progress is not understandable without going back to the previous progress report. The report should include the list of goals set for the past year and whether the student has achieved them.
  • The plan for the coming year should be more detailed, for example schedule is missing
  • Precise goals are missing
  • Evaluation of the progress by the follow-up group is missing
  • The content of the report does not correspond to the guidelines

After being informed that your report was unsatisfactory, you will be asked to submit a revised progress report, by following the same process as the first version of the report.