Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry: submitting the doctoral thesis

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This page provides detailed instructions to the students of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry on how to submit a doctoral dissertation for preliminary examination. Remember to first read the general instructions on the planning of the timetable and the preliminary examination aimed at all doctoral candidates at the University.

Should you have any questions on how to launch the preliminary examination process, you can always contact the doctoral student services of your home faculty.

Submitting a dissertation for preliminary examination

The Faculty Council appoints two preliminary examiners for the dissertation manuscript. The proposal on the preliminary examiners is made by the coordinating academic (previously called also responsible professor), who also ensures that the preliminary examiners have agreed to their appointment. The preliminary examiner proposal must be approved by the doctoral candidate.

The impartiality of the preliminary examiners will be verified at Viikki doctoral study services. The education officer acting as the presenting official will prepare the matter for the agenda of the Faculty Council. The timetables of the faculty councils of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry are decided on a yearly basis. They are available on the website of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.

For the purpose of appointing preliminary examiners, the doctoral candidate must submit a dissertation manuscript with the documents listed below to Viikki doctoral study services by email  (viikki-phd@helsinki.fi) by the deadline set for the submission of materials to the Faculty Council:

1. The dissertation manuscript in one PDF file. The manuscript includes the summarising report and the component articles of the dissertation. Should the file be too large to send by email, the doctoral candidate can send it, for example, with Funet FileSender.

2. Report on the division of labour, if the dissertation contains co-authored publications. The division of labour between the authors must be explained briefly in such a way that it is possible for the preliminary examiners and the Faculty Council to assess the sufficiency of the doctoral candidate’s independent scientific work in the dissertation. The report on the division of labour is to be signed by the doctoral candidate and the main supervisor. It is possible to include the same co-authored publication in more than one dissertation, so the report on the division of labour must include information on whether the publication has been used or will be used in another dissertation. If the preliminary examiners are not proficient in Finnish, the report must be written in English.

3. The doctoral candidate will submit the dissertation manuscript and the unpublished articles to the plagiarism detection system Ouriginal (previously called Urkund) before submitting them for the preliminary examination. The manuscript is to be sent to the coordinating academic’s Ouriginal address, which is usually in the format: firstname.lastname.hy@analyysi.urkund.fi.

The coordinating academic checks the Ouriginal report and notifies the Viikki doctoral study services that the dissertation has passed the plagiarism detection test. Further information about Ouriginal is available in an article about plagiarism detection.

4. Theoretical studies, i.e. Discipline-specific studies -module and Transferable skills -module, must be completed and registered in Sisu before the pre-examination process can be started. The instructions are on the web-page Registration of doctoral studies. 

You can find the degree structure and required studies on the page Scope and structure of doctoral degrees. Note, choose your own doctoral programme from the site's degree programme menu.

5. The coordinating academic makes a proposal on the pre-examiners to the Faculty Council using the electronic Proposal for the preliminary examiners form. The completed form will be printed and sent to be signed by the coordinating academic and the doctoral candidate, after which they can be scanned and sent to Viikki doctoral study services (viikki-phd@helsinki.fi).


Once the preliminary examiners have been appointed, the presenting official will provide the preliminary examiners with preliminary examination instructions and will inform the doctoral candidate and the coordinating academic about their appointment.

The time limit for the preliminary examination is two months. The doctoral candidate has an opportunity to object to the preliminary examiners’ statements. If you wish, you may acquaint yourself with the general guidelines pertaining to doctoral dissertations and the instructions given to examiners on the website of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.