Thesis defences during coronavirus epidemia

Instructions for organising doctoral thesis defenses 14.5.2020 onwards during the corona epidemic [updated 8.5.2020]

Since the doctoral thesis defense must be public, it must be arranged at the time indicated in advance and at the place indicated in advance. The doctoral candidate and the custos must be present, otherwise the event must be postponed. Opponent participates in the defense remotely via video connection, or is present on the location. The technical functionality of the remote connections shall be carefully checked before the event and the availability of technical support throughout the event shall be ensured.

The public will be offered the opportunity to follow the event only via video connection, or both via video connection and on the location, according to the custos’s decision. If the public is allowed in the lecture hall during the defense, the instructions given by the government about assembling limitations, safety distances, high risk groups and hygiene must be followed.  The general instructions of the university for example storing the minimum distance are valid (

The premises-specific risk assessment is carried out by the custos. The personal risk assessment must be done according the University’s instructions. Superior is responsible for making the personal risk assessment for an employee who participates the defense and belongs to the risk group ( If the custos or the doctoral candidate belongs to the risk group, it is advised to contact UniOGS well in advance. In sudden occasion, the custos decides whether the doctoral thesis defense takes place or is cancelled.

Public participating the defense must be offered a chance to pose questions to the doctoral candidate. The event should not be recorded for distribution.

Coffee event after the defense and karonkka party are not part of the official thesis defense and it is the responsibility of the doctoral candidate to make decisions about them. Arranging these events during the epidemic requires careful consideration and following the instructions given by the government.

These instructions are valid for the time being.


Practical instructions:

  • The public must be clearly informed in advance of the virtual location where the doctoral thesis defense can be followed. In practice, especially video conferencing software Zoom and Teams are possible. The link to the meeting should be clearly indicated. The link must also be provided well in advance to the University Communications so that it can be communicated on the university's website in conjunction with the press release prior to the defense.
  • It is recommended that only the technical support staff member would be present in the same room as the custos and the doctoral candidate, and if the custos so arranges, a person who follows public questions and informs the custos accordingly.
  • By default, the opponent participates in the defense remotely via video conference software. However, it is possible for the opponent to be physically present if the opponent so wishes and is able to arrive at the site.
  • The doctoral candidate, the custos and the opponent can sit during the whole remote doctoral thesis defense.
  • By default the public participates remotely via video conferencing software.
  • The remote connection has to be open during doctoral thesis defence. The public must be able to participate at any stage of the defense.
  • It is considered sufficient that potential questions by audience are posed using chat. Posing questions verbally is not necessarily required. Person asking the question has to however present himself / herself. The custos has to give enough time to write the question in chat.
  • The lecture halls in Linnanmaa with remote connection capabilities are L2-L10. In Kontinkangas the lecture halls with remote connection capabilities are 101A, 102A, 103A, 105A, 289B, F202, 337B ja 338B.
  • To facilitate the the premises-specific risk assessment, the information about the lecture  halls with remote connection can be obtained from the UniOGS.
  • The custos does not necessarily have to be a supervisor.
  • The (physical) venue of the doctoral thesis defense need not be at the premises of the university.

Last updated: 8.5.2020