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The University of Helsinki uses the electronic Thessa tool for the planning, supervision and monitoring of doctoral studies. With Thessa, you can plan your dissertation project, track your progress and draw up a supervision plan with your supervisors. Your supervisors as well as the members of your thesis committee can also use Thessa to check on your progress. The instructions on this page help you start using Thessa at the outset of your doctoral studies.

Using Thessa

You can begin to use Thessa as soon as you have activated your University user account. Here is how to start using Thessa:

  1. Open Thessa in your browser.
  2. Log in using your University username and password.
  3. Follow the instructions and confirm that you are a doctoral student.

My dissertation project

Once you are logged in, you can begin to record what you have already done and to plan the work ahead. List your previous and prospective publications, international activities, courses and the funding you have received or applied for. Use the Thessa calendar to schedule the work required for publications. In the future, information on completed courses and issued publications will be transferred to Thessa from other systems, but for now Thessa functions above all as a diary that supports you in planning your dissertation project.

Inviting supervisors and the advisory committee to Thessa

You can use the profile tab in Thessa to invite your supervisors and members of your thesis committee, if any, to Thessa. Once you are connected, you can plan your studies and cooperate with your supervisors and thesis committee in drawing up a supervision plan.

Each doctoral student and their supervisors are to conclude a supervision plan (often also called supervision agreement) at the beginning of studies. The supervision plan must describe the joint rules for the supervision relationship as well as the rights and duties of both parties. The supervision plan is to be concluded in Thessa using the supervisor’s user account. Arrange a meeting with your supervisor(s) to draw up the plan. If necessary, you can update the plan as your studies progress.

Annual reporting

Once a year, Thessa asks you to create a report on your progress. The majority of the content of this annual report is automatically generated using the information in the My PhD Project section. In addition, you must estimate the amount of time you have spent on your dissertation during the year, and describe the current status of your dissertation. The annual report must be completed in good time before the annual meeting of the thesis committee to ensure your supervisor(s) and thesis committee members can read it beforehand. When you submit your annual report in Thessa, your supervisor(s) and thesis committee will receive information about the report and can comment on it in Thessa. You will be informed of any comments via email and can also respond to them in the discussion field in Thessa’s report view.

Closing the report

Once you have completed your annual report and the thesis committee has approved it at a meeting, you must write a brief summary of the conclusions, i.e., a concluding statement to close the report and begin a new reporting period. This concluding statement must be written during a meeting of the thesis committee and must indicate those present at the meeting. If thesis committees are not yet used in your doctoral programme, you can write your own notes on the discussion with your supervisor in the field for the concluding statement, thus closing the report.

Who can see my information in Thessa?

Your annual report and supervision plan in Thessa are available to you and your supervisor(s) and members of your thesis committee as well as support staff for doctoral education.

Any questions?

For assistance in using Thessa, please see Thessa’s Help section. If necessary, you can also contact Thessa’s administrator at You can also give feedback on Thessa to the administrator to promote its continuous development.