All doctoral students have the right to receive guidance in all phases of the research work and graduate studies. Each doctoral student will be assigned two supervisor who are employed by the University of Vaasa.

The responsible supervisor can be a professor, or qualified professor, a docent or an associate professor. In exceptional cases, a senior researcher, a university lecturer, a senior university lecturer or a research director who has at least docent-level research merits, may be appointed as the responsible supervisor.

The second supervisor can be a researcher who has a doctorate degree and is well acquainted with the field. A third supervisor may also be appointed to the doctoral student, who may come outside the unit, eg. from the partner university or business.

However, one of the supervisors must be a professor.

The supervisors are appointed by the Dean of the School.

The supervisors are confirmed in the supervision agreement sign by the doctoral student and the supervisors. The supervision agreemen includes the basic principles related to the guidance and supervision. The principles clarify the responsibilities and duties of both the supervisor and the doctoral student. The supervisor should take only so many doctoral students that s/he has time to supervise.

The tasks of the supervisor are

  • to guide the student in preparing the study plan for doctoral studies
  • to give guidance related to planning and completing the research work
  • to assist and support the student in his or her applications for research financing
  • to give comments on the research texts produced by the student
  • to encourage the student to take own initiative and work independently
  • to help the student connect with other researchers of the field in Finland and abroad
  • to encourage the student to take part in international conferences and possibly to work for a certain period of time abroad

The doctoral students shall commit themselves to completing their studies. They shall

  • report the progress in studies to their supervisor regularly at least once a year
  • submit research texts to be commented on
  • keep the supervisor informed of the plans for financing the research
  • take part in seminars, meetings of researchers and conferences
  • also try to conduct the research abroad
  • take responsibility for the research work and studies actively
  • try to follow the agreed timetable without endangering the quality of the work

Changes in the Doctoral Student - Supervisor Relationship

During the doctoral studies, it is possible that the student - supervisor relationship changes due to e.g. a change in the research area or focus, or due to changes in the personnel. In such cases, a new primary or secondary supervisor may be appointed.

Problems related to graduate studies and guidance are solved primarily in discussions between the supervisor and the student or are reconciled in the unit that is responsible for the graduate studies (the head of the unit/dean). Changes in the student - supervisor relationship and the creation of a new relationship are confirmed by the Dean of the School and are recorded in the supervision agreement.