Roles and responsibilities of doctoral researchers and supervisors

This page describes the most important roles and responsibilities of doctoral researchers and their supervisor(s). The overall goal is to encourage the doctoral researchers and their supervisors to discuss common principles and views with respect to the organization of the research, funding, studies and other topics related to doctoral education, as well as the detailed division of labor best suited to the needs of training relationship.

Doctoral researchers

  • Work systematically to complete the doctoral research and other studies within the overall target period of four years (full-time equivalent);
  •  Design and conduct research independently and on their own initiative, with the support of their supervisor(s) and other members of the academic community;
  •  Prepare themselves carefully for meetings with the supervisor(s) and respect the agreed schedules;
  •  Are responsible for the progress, quality, and reliability of their own research work and report to their supervisor(s) about the progress of their research regularly;
  •  Are responsible for reporting and publishing the results of their research work in forums agreed upon with the supervisor(s);
  •  Familiarize themselves with, and observe, good ethics and ethical principles of research;
  •  Become acquainted with practical matters related to academic work and other scientific activities;
  •  Inform and discuss with their supervisor(s) about changes affecting working conditions, progress, or the agreed schedule;
  •  Are responsible for assembling a follow-up group, with the Principal Supervisor, and for convening annual meetings with the follow-up group;
  •  Should assume responsibility for applying for funding to support their own research and thus acquire the necessary skills in finding and applying for funding; a more detailed division of responsibility must be agreed separately between each doctoral researcher and the Principal Supervisor.

Thesis supervisor(s)

a) Commit to the supervision of the doctoral researcher's research and its planning throughout the whole four-year training period (full-time equivalent) and to comply with the agreed schedules;

b) Treat the doctoral researcher and other supervisors well and provide regular feedback on the work;

c) Develop their own leadership and supervision skills through, for example, student feedback and supervisor training;

d) Agree with each other and with the doctoral researcher on the responsibilities of supervisors and, where appropriate, on the rights with respect to the research results (e.g. thesis publication principles, sharing of degree points and funds, and possible industrial property rights in cases of inter-institutional cooperation);

e) Give doctoral researchers the just merits for their own contribution to the work;

f) Adhere to good scientific practice and ethical principles of research and guide the doctoral researcher to adhere to them;

g) Acquaint themselves with the practicalities related to academic studies and other scientific activities and ensure that the doctoral researcher takes care of them;

h) Inform and discuss with the doctoral researcher and other supervisors about any significant changes affecting the conditions under which their work is carried out;

i) The Principal Supervisor is responsible, together with the doctoral researcher, for assembling the follow-up group;

j) The Principal Supervisor assists and advises the doctoral researcher in applying for research funding, providing information about how to find funding opportunities and, when required, a recommendation letter;

k) The Principal Supervisor assesses the suitability of the doctoral thesis manuscript for submission for pre-examination;

l) Guide doctoral researchers in career planning by discussing post-graduation career options and helping to target their training to meet their career goals.

Last updated: 24.11.2020