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The University of Helsinki uses the electronic Thessa tool for the planning, supervision and monitoring of doctoral thesis projects. With Thessa, you can plan your research 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.

Get started with Thessa

You can begin to use Thessa when your doctoral study right starts. 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 researcher.

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.

Supervisors and thesis committee members in Thessa

Doctoral programmes’ staff will handle connecting doctoral researchers and supervisors in Thessa. If there are errors or flaws in your supervisor information, please contact your doctoral programme’s planning officer.

You need to invite your thesis committee members to Thessa yourself.

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.

Creating an annual report

Once a year, Thessa asks you to create a report on your progress. 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.

You can find the annual reports at the bottom of your Thessa profile front page:

Screenshot: Thessa profile front page

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.

Press "Create report" to start drawing up the report:

Screenshort: Create report -button

Thessa creates the cumulative report automatically:

Screenshot: cumulative report

In the report, you must evaluate the progress of the work and the time spent on it:

Screenshot: progress evaluation

In the report, you should also write down for example the highlights and challenges of the previous year:

Screenshot: highlights and challenges

Once your report is ready, submit it it for review. You can also include attachments to your report (for example an updated research plan), but these are not compulsory unless you have been specifically asked to submit them.

Screenshot: submitting the report for review

Once you've submitted your report for review, 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:

Screenshot: discussion field

Closing the annual 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 (conclusion and recommendations). Saving the concluding statement closes the report and begins a new reporting period.

The concluding statement must be written during the thesis committee meeting and must indicate those present at the meeting:

Screenshot: conclusion and recommendations

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.