17785 Arrangements relating to public examination during Corona-time

Public examinations during Corona-time

When the public defense is approaching

  • The doctoral candidate makes sure that the doctoral dissertation is on public display, as a link to the electronic publication or as a printed copy in the library, 10 days before the public examination. The library provides remote support for putting the electronic version on public display.
  • Live stream requires permission from the parties concerned (i.e. from the doctoral candidate, the custos and the opponent). When preparing for an online public examination, please fill in the order form for remote public examination.
  • The audience must be notified, in advance, of how they can follow the public examination. A link to the live streamed event must be made available in a clear manner. The link must also be sent to the university’s Communications and Media Relations well in advance of the event, so that it can be included in the doctoral dissertation press release on the university’s website.
  • The public examination must be organised on a weekday. Support from the IT-Services cannot be guaranteed on weekends.
  • The progression of the public examination follows the course of the traditional public examination (see below).
  • Coffee for the audience and the post-doctoral party, karonkka, are not part of the official public examination, and the decision on how to organise these is up to the doctoral candidate.

Alternative ways for carrying out public examinations of doctoral dissertations

1. All participants (doctoral candidate, the custos and the opponent) are online (recommended!):

  • The doctoral candidate, the custos and the opponent participate in the public examination either from their home or from the university's facilities, e.g. their own office via the Lifesize Cloud service.
  • At the end of the public examination, the audience can pose questions to the custos, if they have any remarks on the dissertation. In the case of a videoconference, possible questions from the audience can be taken via a chat function.

2. Public examinations held on campus

Public examination can be organized on campus in two alternative ways:

  1. In an auditorium, while ensuring the adherence to the physical distancing (2 metres) and hygiene guidelines, with the opponent participating online. The doctoral candidate and the custos participate in an auditorium that is videoconference-enabled, and the custos participates via the LifeSize Cloud service.
  2. The doctoral candidate, custos, opponent and invited guests participate in a videoconference-enabled auditorium while ensuring the adherence to the physical distancing (2 metres) and hygiene guidelines.

Additional instructions:

  • The capacity of the auditorium and the required safety distances (2 m) limit the maximum number of people that can be permitted in the auditorium.
  • It is recommended that only the invited guests are present in the public examination, and will be seated on marked places. It is recommended that the other participants than invited guests will follow the public examination outside the University.
  • Information about the number of people that can be permitted in the auditorium must be given to the doctoral candidate and custos upon booking the auditorium.
  • The doctoral dissertation press release is recommended only to contain only a link to the live stream, i.e. no auditorium information. If auditorium information is given in the press release, the press release should also state that the number of people permitted in the auditorium is limited. Other general coronavirus-related guidelines should also be included: no coming to the campus if one has symptoms, people belonging in a medical risk group are recommended not to come to the campus, and close contacts should be avoided.
  • Masks (provided by the university) are recommended to be worn by everyone present
  • University strongly suggests that people in the risk groups follow the public examination in the live stream and won’t come to the campus.

Videoconference-enabled auditoriums suitable for public examinations of doctoral dissertations:

  • Joensuu: AU100, E100, M100, N100, C2, AT100
  • Kuopio: MS300, MS301, MS302, MD100, SN200, SN201, CA101

In technical issues, always contact the IT Service Desk.

Progression of the public examination

Preparations for the public examination

Dress code

Men wear a tail coat or a dark suit. You as the doctoral candidate decide the dress code and inform the custos and the opponent about it. Women wear a dark dress or suit with long sleeves.

Other practices

Find out if your department has a habit to offer the opponent a dinner in the night before the public defense. Agree with the custos and supervisors on when and where you are going to meet before the public defense.

Coffee service

It is a habit to serve coffee after the public examination. The service can be ordered from the nearest campus restaurant. Alternatively, it is possible to, for example, drink a toast to the opponent instead of serving coffee.

Progression of the public examination

The public examination begins 15 minutes past the hour, by which time the audience will have arrived in the room. When you, the custos and the opponent enter the room, the audience will stand up.

The public examination includes the following sections:

  • opening of the public examination
  • the candidate's introductory lecture, lectio praecursoria
  • the opponent's opening statement
  • public examination of the doctoral dissertation
  • the opponent's final statement
  • the candidate's concluding words
  • closing of the public examination.

Opening of the public examination

When everyone has taken their seats (you on the left of the custos), the custos will open the public examination by saying: "As the custos appointed by the Faculty of xx of the University of Eastern Finland, I declare this public examination open." After this, the custos and the opponent get seated.

The candidate's introductory lecture, lectio praecursoria

After the public examination has been opened, you stand up to give a short introductory lecture, lectio praecursoria, in which you introduce the background of the dissertation and its connections to scientific or practical problems. The lectio praecursoria may not last more than 20 minutes. You should begin the introductory lecture with the following words: "Mr/Madam custos, Mr/Madam opponent, ladies and gentlemen." The introductory lecture is usually given in the language of the dissertation. After the introductory lecture, you'll say: "I now call upon you, Mr/Madam opponent/Professor/Adjunct Professor/Dr NN as the opponent appointed by the Faculty of xx to present your critical comments on my doctoral dissertation."

The opponent's opening statement

The opponent stands up to give his or her opening statement on the dissertation under examination. The opponent then concludes the opening statement and begins to examine the dissertation in detail. After the opponent has given the opening statement, the opponent and you will sit down. If there is more than one opponent, the opponents will have to agree on a division of tasks and announce this in their opening statement.

Public examination of the doctoral dissertation

In the actual examination of the dissertation, the opponent first makes a general overview by discussing the choice of the topic, methods and data, and then moves on to a more detailed examination. At the end of the examination, the opponent makes a summary of the results of the dissertation to the discipline in question. The opponent may use approximately four hours for the examination so as to leave time for possible questions from the audience. If the examination seems to take long, the custos may announce a break.

The opponent's final statement

After having examined the dissertation, the opponent stands up to deliver the final statement. You will also stand up to listen. The opponent then takes his or her seat.

The candidate's concluding words

You thank the opponent and then face the audience and say: "If anyone present wishes to make any comments concerning my dissertation, please ask the custos for the floor."

Conclusion of the public examination

Finally, the custos stands up to announce that the public examination is completed.

The custos and opponent hold their doctoral hats in their hand when they leave the room. The audience should not applaud or cheer during the public examination. Congratulations should be extended to you only after you have left the room and have had the opportunity to thank the opponent and the custos.

Coffee service

After the congratulations, you invite the audience for coffee (or for a toast).