Follow-up group for doctoral training

The responsibilities of the follow-up group are

  • support the progress of the doctoral reseacher’s doctoral training as scheduled
  • give constructive feedback on the research and studies
  • support in career planning
  • follow that the training environment and supervision are sufficient in the context of the announced plans
  • evaluate and comment the doctoral training plan, and recommend its acceptance to Doctoral Training Committee during the first year of studies
  • annually oversee how the progress of the training, both in the studies and research, proceeds in comparison to the doctoral training plan and schedule
  • submit a short written report of the follow-up meeting that will be send to doctoral researcher, supervisors and more detailed instructions are found in the Follow-up group meetings and reporting -form and instructions.
  • takes a stand on the proposed pre-examiners and opponent(s) of the doctoral thesis in the final follow-up meeting. The chair of the follow-up group also approves the pre-examiners proposed by the supervisor (the pre-examiners are then officially appointed by the Doctoral Training Committee).

Each student usually has his/her own personally appointed follow-up group, but doctoral programmes also have the possibility to arrange the follow-up whereby a group of experts follows the progress of a larger group of students. The group of experts should show enough interest in following the progress of individual students within the group.

Doctoral researcher must

  • write the doctoral training plan (includes research plan, career plan and personal study plan (PSP)) together with the principal supervisor before the first follow-up meeting
  • convene the follow-up group meeting annually and present his/her progress in research and studies
  • submits a brief report to the follow-up group before the meeting, describing the progress of her/his studies, as well as the plans for the following year (from 2nd meeting onwards)
  • present his/her research plan to the wider audience at least once at a research (plan) seminar organised by the doctoral degree programme, doctoral programme or equivalent.

The detailed instructions are in the forms and instructions library:

  • The follow-up group (instructions, nomination, meetings, reports)
  • Doctoral Training Plan instructions

Follow-up group structure

The chair of the Doctoral Training Committee formally appoints the follow-up group based on the proposals made by the principal supervisor and the doctoral student (OY KJ 3§). This must be done at the beginning of the studies, or, at the latest, during the first year of studies. Requirements for the structure of follow-up group:

  1. At least two doctor-level members that know the field of the doctoral thesis.
  2. A third member is recommended. He/she should preferably be at least a doctor-level member but may also be a master-level expert from outside the university with a strong knowledge of the field in a non-academic context (e.g. industry, government …).
  3. The chair should be at least docent-level (docent, Academy Researcher, or other that has been externally evaluated).
  4. At least one of the members is from the University of Oulu (has work contract or is a docent).
  5. Follow-up group members 
  1. may not be directly connected to the research, or to the doctoral student
  2. may not have joint publications with the student
  3. may not be his/her close relatives, or family members supervisor (Administrative Procedure Act 28 §)
  1. Supervisors cannot be members of the follow-up group. However, when expressly invited by the doctoral student, they may attend a meeting.
  2. Emeritus/emerita -professor, who has not made an emeritus/emerita –agreement, can be nominated as a member of the follow-up group, but not as a chair.  However, emeritus/emerita -professor, who has made an emeritus/emerita –agreement, can be nominated also as a chair.

Doctoral researcher have to follow the study requirements and fulfil the obligatory course requirements included. Without accepted doctoral training plan and the follow-up group meeting(s), the degree cannot be completed.

Last updated: 17.12.2019