Regulations for Doctoral Studies and Study Regulations

III.5.1. Documents submitted by the doctoral candidate

To be allowed to the thesis defence, the doctoral candidate submits to the council the following documents electronically or, if the original document is not electronic, on paper:

122.1. an application to allow the doctoral thesis to be defended, specifying the exact name of the doctoral degree applied for;

122.2. the doctoral thesis, which complies with the technical requirements established for manuscripts by the University of Tartu Press and clause 121 of these regulations, and the texts of publications;

122.3. written opinion(s) of the supervisor(s) on the originality of the doctoral thesis, the contribution of the doctoral candidate and compliance with the requirements of the content and form of the doctoral thesis;

122.4. a brief popular science summary (up to 2,000 characters) aimed at a broad audience in Estonian and English.

Guidelines for writing a popular science summary

123. After the doctoral candidate has been allowed to defend the doctoral thesis, the doctoral candidate submits the doctoral thesis to the council electronically and, if provided for in the faculty’s additional conditions for awarding the doctoral degree, also the required number of paper copies.

Timeframe and steps following the submission of the application

The amount of time from the submission of an application until the defence of the degree depends on the steps prescribed by the Regulation for Doctoral Studies, the nature of the thesis (whether it is a monograph or an integrated collection of research publications), the internal rules of the faculty/council and the schedule of the opponent(s). In the case of a monograph, the international pre-review of the thesis by two renowned researchers of the respective specialisation (RDS clause 113) is required. Thus, it may take a month or two before any assessments can be obtained from the pre-reviewers. In addition, intra-council pre-reviews and, in some faculties, pre-defences are used. The respective information can be obtained from the institute or faculty.

Points of refecence for planning you schedule:

  1. the council submits the materials to the academic secretary for assessment within three working days after receiving an application (RDS clause 124);
  2. the academic secretary responds to the council in writing within eight working days (RDS clause 124);
  3. the council makes a decision within six weeks after receiving the application (RDS clause 125, see also clause 126);
  4. check the dates of the regular sessions of the council and time the submission of your application accordingly;
  5. a paper copy of the thesis must be accessible in the university library and an electronic copy of the thesis must be available on the website of the university library at least two weeks before the defence unless the defence has been declared closed or restrictions have been established on the publication of the thesis (RDS clause 132).
  6. the author submits to the University of Tartu Press the electronic manuscript of the thesis and a brief popular science summary (up to 2000 characters) in Estonian and English aimed at a broad audience, and the separates or PDF files of the publications at least seven weeks before the date of defence (RDS clause 141).

Ask the University of Tartu Press for information on the waiting period and how fast the thesis can be printed – make an agreement with them beforehand. Seven weeks is not mandatory if the University of Tartu Press can fulfil the order faster, but the printed thesis must be available two weeks before the defence.

If the thesis is an integrated collection of research publications, ask the publisher of the articles for permission to publish the articles in the printed and electronic version of the thesis well ahead (see RDS III.6).