The doctoral programme, the discipline and the academic community partake comprehensively in the supervision of dissertations. The responsibilities are divided as follows:
- The doctoral students are expected to be active with regard to supervision.
- Each doctoral student must have at least one supervisor to assist them with the scientific content of research and to support them in their growth as independent researchers. A strong recommendation – and a requirement in many doctoral programmes – is at least two supervisors, at least one of whom is employed by the doctoral student’s home faculty.
- Other possible supervisors will be responsible for the supervision of the dissertation, especially from the perspective of the content.
- The staff and the steering group of the doctoral programme provide support in solving issues related to the supervision relationship when needed.
- Support services: The staff of doctoral student services will support and advise the students and, if necessary, also supervisors in the practical arrangements of the doctoral studies and the public examination of the dissertation.
For the supervisor, the supervision is usually simply another academic duty. Therefore, students should prepare for the meetings carefully. Any texts should, for instance, be delivered to the supervisor as agreed to give them time to prepare.
The supervisor must bear in mind that the student is usually conducting research for the first time. Therefore an experienced supervisor will ensure that the worst beginner's mistakes made by the doctoral student are pointed out clearly and in time.
The supervision can also be arranged so that some of the supervisors represent various disciplines, faculties or universities, or are from expert organisations outside the University. Outside supervisors should follow the practices of the doctoral programme and reach an agreement about the practical matters pertaining to the supervision relationship before they are assigned as supervisors.
The doctoral dissertation is the core of the doctoral studies, but they also include studies developing the student’s competence and expert skills in their own discipline. When considering doctoral education as a whole, the doctoral school, the doctoral programme, the faculty and the academic community all have a role to play. Doctoral schools and doctoral programmes organise teaching suited to be included in the doctoral degree and communicate on it. When necessary, the advisors at the doctoral programme and the faculty instruct doctoral students in problems with supervision and other issues related to the students’ rights.
Both the supervisors and doctoral students are expected to acquaint themselves with the guidelines on the responsible conduct of research of the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity TENK.