Henry Narits

PhD studies

Doctoral studies aim to prepare students for employment as teaching or research staff in universities and other research institutions, or as lead professional specialists in non-academic establishments. Doctoral studies are research-based studies at the topmost level of higher education, during which the doctoral student acquires the necessary skills for independent research, development, and creative work. 

From 2022/2023 the doctoral students will be matriculated to the Mathematics and Computer Science curriculum. The doctoral students enrolled before 2022/2023 follow a Computer Science curriculum. 

Regulations for Doctoral Studies regulate doctoral studies, the requirements for a doctoral thesis and the procedure of applying for an awarding doctoral degree at the University of Tartu. 

Information for the 1st year doctoral students

Starting from the 2022/2023 academic year in most cases the admitted doctoral students will be drawn up a junior research fellow’s contract. The contract details will be specified with each doctoral student individually before the matriculation to the doctoral programme. 

Detailed information about the organization of doctoral studies can be found on the Faculty of Science and Technology Doctoral center page. On this page, you will also find the most essential forms, the supervision agreement, the period plan and the expectation management worksheet, which must be completed within the first month after enrollment. 

A signed supervision agreement must be sent to, the period plan must be uploaded to Student Information System (SIS). As for the expectation management worksheet, it is not collected or archived, but the attestation committee may ask the doctoral student about it at the first attestation.

The PhD attestation aims to assess doctoral students’ progress in research and studies. Doctoral students are assessed by the attestation committee, based on the attestation documents submitted by the doctoral student. 1st-year doctoral students are attested twice in the academic year, before the start of the spring and autumn semesters. Starting from the 2nd year, the doctoral students are assessed after two studied semesters. Doctoral students are attested following the Procedure of process review adopted by the Faculty of Science and Technology.

Attestation dates on the 2023/2024 academic year

  • Autumn semester attestation dates: attestation interviews will be held on the 23rd and 24th of January, attestation documents need to be uploaded to SIS (ÕIS) by the 5th of January.
  • Spring semester attestation dates: attestation interviews will be held on the 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st of June, attestation documents need to be uploaded to SIS (ÕIS) by the 29th of May. Attestation interviews will also be held on the 22nd, and 23rd of August, the attestation documents need to be uploaded to SIS (ÕIS) by the 1st of August.  

The required documents have to be signed by the student and the supervisor(s). If the documents are signed on paper, then the scans should be uploaded to the SIS (ÕIS) system.

Attestation process

If submitted attestation documents provide sufficient information and the members of the Attestation Committee have no additional questions for the PhD student, then the student is attested based on the documents. However, should the members of the Attestation Committee have additional questions, the PhD student along with the supervisor(s) will be invited for an interview on the dates above.

A student’s absence from the review is acceptable only on a reasonable excuse. The absence must be negotiated at least a week before the attestation interview with the Chair of the Attestation committee.

If the supervisor cannot participate in the attestation interview he/she must send a written evaluation of the student’s progress. The evaluation must be sent to the Attestation Chair no later than one day in advance.

As the Attestation Committee has very limited time to go through all the attestation documents, the final schedule for interviews is announced at the latest a day before the attestation interviews. Thank you for your understanding!

The process takes no less than 3 months + time for pre-reviewing:

  • Decisions by the Institute Council and the Academic Secretary.
  • Seminar presentation.
  • Agreement with the publisher at least 7 weeks before the defence.
  • The dissertation must be public at least two weeks before the defence.

PhD theses defended at the Institute of Computer Science



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