European Society for Translation Studies

PhD Contract, University of Helsinki

PhD Contract

University of Helsinki

(Report from the Lisbon Congress round table on supervision, September 2004. Convenor: Andrew Chesterman)


This is the PhD contract used in the Department of Scandinavian Languages and Literature at the University of Helsinki, developed in collaboration by supervisors and postgraduate students there.

In actual use, this document relates to another one (not included here) describing the particular rights and duties of a postgraduate student in the department concerned, such as:

  • theright to expect a total of at least 50 hours supervision per year (including reading of manuscripts, seminars etc.) for five years;
  • theduty to keep research and study plan up-to-date;
  • theright, if resources permit, to teach a course in the department (and be paid for it);
  • theright to help with the supervision of MA theses;
  • theright to apply for travel grants to attend conferences, e.g. once per year;
  • theright to use departmental copying machine etc.;
  • theright to language revision if necessary.


  1. Roles

  1. a) Supervisor’s responsibilities
  •  to supervise the doctoral student
  •  to be available for consultation at reasonable notice
  •  to provide the student with information about research training, academic networks etc.
  •  to write references and testimonials

  1. b) Student’s responsibilities
  •  to keep the supervisor informed of the progress of the thesis
  •  to take advice from the supervisor e.g. on choice of subject or limitation of subject
  •  to be prepared to present his/her work both orally and in written form, as suggested by the supervisor

  1. c) Second supervisor (name:___)

  1. Practice

  • How often will the student meet the supervisor? (E.g. two hours every second week)
  • How will contact be maintained? (E.g. email)
  • Deadlines? (E.g. the student shall hand in one chapter every second month from the third year on)
  • Timetable? (E.g. planned completion date 2010)
  • Is the student working on the thesis full time or part time?
  • Neutral party to whom appeal can be made in case of conflict: ____
  •   Deputy arrangements if the supervisor is on sabbatical / retires / is sick / dies. (E.g. second supervisor ___)
  • How often will this contract be updated? (E.g. annually in September)
  • How, and how often, will the contract be evaluated? (E.g. annually in September)

  1. Supervision content

  • (E.g. how much criticism or support is to be expected)

  1. External supervision

  • How much of the supervision will be the responsibility of an additional or external supervisor?
  • Special responsibilities of the second supervisor?

  1. Other issues


Signed …