Below is practical information and formalities for those of you who will be serving as a preliminary examiner or Opponent for a doctoral dissertation (thesis) being submitted at Åbo Akademi University. If you should have any questions, you can always turn to the supervisor or Head of Subject who contacted you as well as Research Services at Åbo Akademi University.
For preliminary examiners
At least two preliminary examiners are appointed by the Dean based on a proposal made by the head of subject for the doctoral candidate’s major subject. Preliminary examiners must possess the scientific competence of a docent or equivalent academic merits, and their primary occupation must be outside Åbo Akademi University.
A doctoral dissertation (thesis) manuscript will be sent to you after passing the plagiarism control.
When you have received the manuscript, you will have 60 days to submit a written, motivated report, which:
- is based on the assessment criteria,
- clearly states whether permission for a public defense will be granted or not, i.e. whether the manuscript is approved or not approved,
- may contain suggestions for improvement, but the suggestions may not be formulated as requirements for a public defense,
- is to be submitted to Research Services.
One or two Opponents are appointed by the dean based on a proposal made by the head of subject for the doctoral candidate’s major subject. Opponents must be docents or possess equivalent academic merits, and their primary occupation must be outside of Åbo Akademi University.
You will receive a digital version of the manuscript by no later than one month before the date of the public defense. The doctoral candidate will send a printed copy of the doctoral dissertation (thesis) to you 10 days before the public defense.
The procedure for the public defense of a doctoral dissertation (thesis) consists of:
- the Respondent’s lectio praecursoria
- your general statement on the doctoral dissertation (thesis)
- your detailed examination of the doctoral dissertation (thesis) and the Respondent’s defense
- your overall opinion of the doctoral dissertation (thesis), without a proposed grade
This part of the public defense should last at least two hours, but not exceed four hours. After this, the audience may also present comments on the doctoral dissertation (thesis). The total length of the public defense must not exceed five hours.
Immediately following the public defense, you will meet with the examination board to discuss the assessment criteria and grading scale.
After the public defense, you will have 14 days to submit a written report, along with a proposed grade, to Research Services.