The guide En route to the Doctorate by the University of Helsinki: a general guide for what to do when you finish your thesis, the procedures of the dissertation, and thereafter. The same page is a good aid for foreign opponents.
Recording credit modules
When a PhD student has completed all the courses belonging to his or her PhD programme, he/she asks to have the module registered. The head of the department records the module on the recommendation of the supervisor. The PhD student compiles a list of which courses to include in the PhD module, e.g. picking them from a transcript of the study register, and presents this list to the supervisor for approval. Either the supervisor or the Phd students then forward the list to the head of the department.
- Compile a list of all the courses to include using this form
- Ask your supervisor to check the list and give his or her informal approval
- Ask your supervisor to send it (or send it yourself) to the research coordinator of the department, who first checks it and then sends it further to the head of the department for formal approval and registration.
Pre-examination of the thesis
- When an approximate schedule has been set for a thesis, the supervisor of the PhD student will contact potential pre-examiners.
- When selecting pre-examiners, competence requirements and disqualifying circumstances must be considered (please see the faculty's guidelines).
- When the pre-examiners have committed to the work, the supervisor will fill in a form, ask the PhD student to approve it, and then the supervisor or a professor of the department will propose the appointment of the pre-examiners to the faculty council. Please also send a copy of the form to the secretary of the PhD studies committee of the department (i.e. the research coordinator of the department).
- When the pre-examiners have been appointed at a meeting of the faculty council, the faculty will send a letter to the selected pre-examiners. The letter will announce the decision, give instructions on the contents of the statement, and include the forms necessary for payment of fees and a template for the statement. The statement can also be written in the examiner's own words.
- Officially, the pre-examiners have 3 months to write their statement, but if there is a drive to arrange the dissertation sooner, the supervisor may negotiate a quicker schedule with the pre-examiner.
- In addition to their statements, the pre-examiners may want to give more detailed feedback to the respondent.
Appointing an opponent
The supervisor will contact potential opponents when the thesis is being pre-examined, at the latest. Please see the faculty's instructions on the public examination of Doctoral theses.
- Once the faculty has received favourable statements from the pre-examiners (or it is known that the statements will arrive by the deadline), the supervisor will fill in the form proposal for opponent and custos, ask the respondent to approve it, and then the supervisor or a professor of the department will propose the appointment of opponent and custos to the faculty council. A copy of the proposal should also be given to the secretary of the PhD studies committee of the department (i.e. the research coordinator of the department).
- When the faculty council has appointed an opponent and custos and given permission for the dissertation, the faculty will send a package of instructions to the respondent.
Having the thesis published
- The Latex template for the department's PhD theses and other instructions
- The thesis catalogue of the department has to be attached to the PhD thesis. Make sure that the latest theses are included (check the A series list). If the list does not fit on two pages, you can remove the first ('oldest') year. It is customary not include your own thesis in the list.
- PhD theses are published in the A series of the department, and printed by the University Press.
- Respondents should contact Unigrafia (former: University Press) in good time, e.g. by filling the form for tenders available on the page of instructions for respondents (in Finnish). A liaison will calculate the schedule.
Respondents must make sure that their theses are furnished with an A series number and an ISBN number. The Kumpula Science Library (kirjasto [at] cs.helsinki.fi) provides the A series number and the Finnish ISBN centre provides the ISBN number on application (the form is here). The publisher is University of Helsinki and the publisher identifier is 978-952-10. The series number is ISSN 1238-8645 and the name of the series is Series of publications / Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki. A. You need two ISBN numbers, one for the paper version and one for the electronic version.
However, respondents should wait until they receive the faculty's permission to defend the dissertation at a public examination (aka "permission to print") before they apply for report and ISBN numbers.
- Respondents should negotiate with their supervisor on how many theses to have printed. The number of printed theses is affected by whether the thesis will also be printed electronically in the university's E-thesis service. Lately (2009) some 100-150 theses have been printed/respondent. The department is ready to pay its part (see below) for up to 150 theses. Please speak with your supervisor about how many to print and if you need to print more than 150.
- Unigrafia (former: University Press) gives the option of also having a few copies of a one-sided print version of the thesis that is enclosed in a folder (väitöskirjakansio). Such a version is usually not necessary.
The university compensates the printing costs of the thesis with EUR 1,000 on application. The department will pay the rest of the printing costs (for up to a total of 150 theses). In practice, this means that the respondent should ask the University press for two invoices, one in their own name (for EUR 1,000) and the rest addressed to the university. Respondents must ask that Unigrafia (former: University Press) to give the remit number of the department, 523, as reference on the invoice, along with the name of the respondent.
- Unigrafia (former: University Press) will send an invoice of EUR 1000 directly to the respondent. The respondent should pay the invoice, fill in the application form for a dissertation grant and send the application together with the invoice and the receipt to the return address mentioned in the form.
- The other invoice will be sent directly to the Department.
Distribution of the thesis
- Please see the guidelines of the faculty on printing and distributing theses. Respondents should check with a representative of Unigrafia (former: University Press) which parts of the distribution the press will handle.
- The defendent can decide (with the supervisor) whom to send the thesis, e.g., to researchers in the same field (abroad and at home)
The defendent should distribute the thesis at the department at least as follows
- one copy to each professor
- one copy to each of the coffee rooms (B225, 2nd floor, Department) and (A308, 3rd floor, HIIT)
- one copy for the vitrine ("museum") on the 2nd floor
- some copies should be left in the post rooms (C226, A335) for anybody interested in the subject
- You must fill in the doctoral dissertation form at least three weeks before the dissertation. You need to write also popular abstracts in Finnish or Swedish.
- Please also read the instructions at the E-thesis service and follow the guidelines on how to submit your e-thesis and how to report your dissertation to the university events calendar.
Submit the popular abstract, date and place of the dissertation, and the names of the opponent and the custos to the following
- researchcoordinator [at] cs.helsinki.fi for archiving purposes, the web pages (event calendar, columns) and the posting list of the department, and
- the Press Officer of the Faculty (Kumpula) for a possible press release.
- If you are associated with Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT, please also send the popular abstract, date and place of the dissertation, and the names of the opponent and the custos to the Communication Officer at HIIT, hiit-info [at] hiit.fi. Also state clearly that you work at HIIT and would like the information to be published on HIIT's web site.
- If you are associated with any other organisation (e.g., with Aalto University, a company, or another department at the University of Helsinki), you should also inform that organisation about your dissertation.
Organising the dissertation
- When it is known when the pre-examiners' statements can be expected, the respondent can agree on the dissertation date with the opponent.
Respondents must book the auditorium through the university's booking service.
- Some auditoriums that are frequently used are e.g. Exactum CK112 and the ones in the old part of the Main Building, such as Auditorium XII. The PhD studies committee recommends using a lecture room in Exactum as there probably will be a larger audience attending the dissertation than if it is organised outside the department.
- The booking service will know which auditoriums are suitable for dissertations.
- Dissertations usually start at 10 or 12 on weekdays and at 10 on Saturdays. The auditorium is usually booked for six hours.
- The faculty will pay for the booking so respondents need not worry about that.
- The website En route to the Doctorate gives the official dress code.
- However, the dress code must always be discussed with the opponent.
- The Finnish dissertation tradition may seem very formal to foreign opponents.
- One alternative is to use university gowns; reservations: the porters in the old part of the Main Building (phone 191 22338). The gowns are stored in the cloakroom by the teachers' lounge in the Main Building. If the dissertation is held in the Main Building, this means that the gowns do not have to be fetched beforehand.
Respondents usually invite the guests for coffee after the dissertation.
- The menu usually consists of tea/coffee and cake, but there are other alternatives.
- To order, see http://www.unicafe.fi
- The staff of Unicafe will know which facilities are suitable for the coffee service.
- Respondents must estimate the number of guests, e.g. on the basis of how many guests they have invited from outside the department, how many people at the department are interested in the topic area, how well known they are at the department, etc.
- Unicafe will ask for an estimate of how long the dissertation itself will last, but they know that it can be hard to give an exact time period.
- Respondents must prepare a 20-minute presentation (lectio precursoria) of their work in fairly general terms.
Respondents should discuss how the dissertation progresses and how to act, etc, with their supervisor/custos beforehand.
- The site En route to the Doctorate describes the event and also offers some frequently used phrases.
The supervisor/custos takes care of guiding the opponent, especially foreign ones.
- The En route to the Doctorate site is a good aid for this, but the progress of the event itself, verbal cues, etc, should also be rehearsed just before the dissertation. The custos will inform you how long the dissertation will last, but may also say that most dissertations last only 2-3 hours.
- It is often useful for the respondent and opponent to chat for a moment before the dissertation, especially if they do not know each other at all.
Respondents should deliver a number of copies of their thesis to the dissertation for the audience.
- If the theses have to be transported e.g. from Kumpula to the Main Building, you can use the internal mail service (for the return trip, too).
Throwing the 'karonkka' (post-doctoral party)
- You can search for suitable locations e.g. on the Meet Helsinki website
- The En route to the Doctorate website has an introduction to the 'karonkka' traditions, but every respondent may organise their own party as they see fit.
Approval of the thesis and receiving the diploma
- The faculty's instructions on approving PhD theses.
- The faculty's instructions on receiving the diploma.
|dissertation||väitöstilaisuus tai väitöskirja||disputation eller doktorsavhandling|