PhD supervision

The doctoral researcher-supervisor relationship includes obligations and rights that apply to both the supervisor and the researcher. Some of the rights and obligations are affected by whether the PhD research work is done under employment, on a grant or at the researcher’s own expense alongside other work.

Researchers are professionals throughout their careers. That is why we recommend using the title doctoral researcher or early career researcher for researchers working on their PhD theses.

The Early Career Researchers’ Committee of FUURT has compiled essential guidelines for both doctoral researchers and thesis supervisors to support a positive researcher-supervisor relationship.

Checklist for doctoral researchers

Rights regardless of funding

  • Recognition as a fully fledged member of the scientific and work community.
  • Right to the electronic services of the university (e-mail, basic service credentials, etc.) and access to the university’s relevant mailing lists throughout the thesis project and for a reasonable amount of time after the project.
  • High-quality supervision. The right to switch supervisors in the event of a serious conflict.


  • Ensuring the progress of the work as agreed.
  • Informing the supervisors of the work stages and factors affecting the work.
  • Tending to personal energy levels and well-being.
  • Participating in the funding application process for the thesis.
  • Listening to and taking into consideration feedback from the supervisors and the scientific community concerning the research.
  • Complying with good, responsible scientific practice and high-level research ethics.

Checklist for thesis supervisors


  • Right to expect the work to progress as agreed.
  • Right to have the supervisory work taken into consideration in the work plan.
  • Right to receive sufficient information, resources and pedagogical training for the supervisory work.
  • Right to be heard in the interaction with the doctoral researcher and the faculty.


  • Reserving sufficient time for supervising the PhD research.
  • Offering the doctoral researcher constructive feedback, support and information related to the research and its funding.
  • Treating all the supervised doctoral researchers equally.
  • Agreeing on the rights to potential co-authored publications, the role of the doctoral researcher and credit in the co-authoring process with the doctoral researcher.
  • Defending the realisation of the doctoral researcher’s rights in relation to the superior and the university.
  • Setting an example for the doctoral researcher in complying with good scientific practice and the norms of research ethics.