Good Practice of Doctoral Study at Tallinn University of Technology

Approved at the meeting of 07.06.2012 of the Committee for Research of TUT Council

1. General principles

1.1 The purpose of doctoral study is to ensure that as a result of collaboration between a PhD student as an early stage researcher and a supervisor as a senior research fellow the early stage researcher would be able to provide new ideas for the development of the society, science, technology and economy.

1.2 The purpose of doctoral study is also to ensure preparedness for professional activities in the academic sphere (as a teacher and researcher) as well as outside it.

1.3 The topic of a doctoral thesis shall be original as well as be of interest to the PhD student, his or her supervisor and wider society and meet other criteria for research.

1.4 Trust-based collaboration between a PhD student and a supervisor arises out of mutual respect.

2. Prerequisites for supervision and obligations of a supervisor

2.1 A supervisor shall be a professionally competent researcher, who is well orientated in the university’s as well as in international research system and is able to give practical advice for a PhD student on applying for scholarships and grants.

2.2 A supervisor shall ensure availability of the infrastructure, materials and supplies and financial resources required for doctoral thesis.

2.3 If necessary, a supervisor shall help a PhD student to find a co-supervisor or involve experts in writing a research article.

2.4 It is recommended for a supervisor of a PhD student to ensure additionally payment of a salary or scholarship to the PhD student from research projects related to the topic of the thesis.

2.5 A supervisor shall recommend and help a PhD student in involving students of Bachelor’s study and Master’s study in order to establish a link with research in various cycles of higher education.

2.6 A supervisor shall recommend the conferences and seminars to be attended to and the scientific journals to be focussed on upon writing articles.

2.7 As a rule, one supervisor shall have up to five PhD students to be supervised in order to make sure that adequate attention is paid to each student supervised.

3. Obligations of a PhD student

3.1 The first priority of a PhD student is the completion of the curriculum on schedule and the research related to Doctoral study.

3.2 Participation in the Doctoral seminars/conferences of the structural unit is mandatory for a PhD student.

During his or her study, a PhD student shall perform at least at one international conference and participate actively in professional conferences and seminars in Estonia.

3.3 A PhD student shall be active in applying for support measures and funding intended for completion of doctoral thesis (e.g. DoRa, Kristjan Jaak etc.)

3.4 A PhD student shall operatively solve scientific and organisational problems arising in the framework of a Doctoral thesis and immediately notify his or her supervisor thereof.

3.5 A PhD student shall be actively involved in activities promoting science.

4. Attestation

4.1 Attestation is one of the most important events for a PhD student during an academic year, where the student receives feedback from recognized experts in the field concerning the quality and content of the research carried out.

4.2 For attestation a PhD student shall submit a summary of the content of the research conducted in the previous year, overview of the published articles and an action plan for the next year.

4.3 In the course of attestation feedback is provided on the quality of supervision and completion of the Doctoral thesis and the problems that have arisen, if necessary, in order to ensure systematic review of the quality of supervision.

5. Involvement of a PhD student in studies

5.1 A supervisor involves or recommends teachers to involve a PhD student in studies in the framework of the student’s specialization.

5.2 As a rule, a PhD student shall supervise at least one Bachelor’s and one Master’s thesis during Doctoral study.

5.3 As a rule, a PhD student shall review one Bachelor’s and one Master’s thesis during Doctoral study.

6. Communication

6.1 A PhD student and his or her supervisor shall collaborate in drawing up an individual study plan, verification of implementation of the plan, developing a research project, preparation for attestation and adjustment of work schedules in accordance with the deadlines.

6.2 Meetings between a supervisor and a PhD student shall take place by mutual agreement on regular basis (as a rule, not less frequently than once a week).