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Sibelius Academy Guide for Doctoral Studies in Music: Student Counselling

Supervisor in Charge (OVO)

Each Doctoral student is assigned a supervisor in charge (opintojen vastuullinen ohjaaja, or OVO, in Finnish). The Head of the Doctoral School assigns each student a supervisor after consulting the staff of the Doctoral School. The supervisor in charge is a professor or a teacher at the Sibelius Academy who has obtained a doctorate.

The student prepares a written supervision agreement with the supervisors (cf. the link on the right) where the duties of the supervisors, pre-examiners, the student, and possible other persons are defined.

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Duties of the Supervisor in Charge (OVO)

  1. After being notified of the task, the supervisor contacts the student to set up the first meeting and advises the student on how to commence with studies.
  2. The supervisor meets with the student at least once per term.
  3. The supervisor monitors and supervises the overall progress of the student’s studies and advises the student on the content and organization of studies.
  4. The supervisor prepares a supervision agreement with the student. The agreement is kept in the DocMus office and both the supervisor and the student have a copy. The supervision agreement may be added to or revised later by mutual agreement. The supervision agreement is prepared by filling in the form (cf. the link on the right).
  5. The supervisor decides on the supplementary studies accepted as part of the degree and notifies the study administration of these studies and their ECTS credits so that they can be entered into the study record.
  6. The supervisor ensures that the content of supplementary studies corresponds to the regulations pertaining to the degree and that their nature and the proportion of different kinds of studies is appropriate.
  7. The supervisor negotiates with the student and considers whether he/she needs additional guidance at work and helps the student to obtain this, if necessary.
  8. If necessary, the supervisor guides the student to complete specifically tailored studies, such as philosophy studies.
  9. The supervisor asks the student to confirm that he/she is submitting a thesis for examination before the date of the last concert (the Arts Study Programme).
  10. The supervisor informs the study administration which of the completed studies are included in the postgraduate degree in question after discussing this with the student and once the demonstrations of proficiency for the student’s degree have been completed and plans for a public examination are underway.
  11. The supervisor notifies the Head of the Doctoral School of the completion of studies.
  12. The supervisor submits a proposition to the Board concerning pre-examiners and examiners after discussing the matter with other supervisors and the Head of the Doctoral School.
  13. The supervisor checks the programme of the public examination defence event and the press material prepared by the student.


Instructions for Applying for Supervision (Artistic or Thesis Supervision)

Supervision is primarily done by the staff of Doctoral Schools and the professors of Sibelius Academy, and there is no need to apply for it. Instead or in addition to this, the student may apply for consultative supervision from the Head of the  Doctoral School. Consultative supervisors may come from outside the Sibelius Academy, and also foreign supervisors have been employed to support both artistic work and research. Such a supervisor is formally employed as a part-time teacher.

Consultative lessons are only applied for according to need and they cannot be postponed to the following year. Instructions for applying for consultative teaching:

  1. The student discusses the need for consultative supervision with the supervisor in charge.
  2. The student requests for the supervisor’s (OVO's) approval.
  3. The student applies consultative supervision from the Head of the Doctoral School using an informal application usually at the beginning of an academic year for one year at a time or according to need.
  4. The student sends a copy of the application is sent to the supervisor in charge.
  5. The application must state
    • justification for consultative supervision
    • that the need for supervision and the proposed supervisor have been approved by the supervisor in charge,
    • the number of hours of supervision, and

the supervisor’s contact details for communication and payment of salary.

Additional Supervision

In addition to the supervisor in charge, the student can apply for other supervisors who contribute to the supervision of various aspects of the research and artistic work.

All lessons that are to be applied for and a potential supervisor are discussed with the supervisor in charge.

One or two supervisors are nominated to supervise a written thesis/dissertation. If a suitable supervisor for this cannot be found in the Doctoral School, an external supervisor is appointed (cf. below).

If necessary, the student may also obtain supervision for artistic work either from an external supervisor or from the artistic professors of the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes.

In the Applied Study Programme, studies are supervised by a supervisory group appointed by the Head of the Doctoral School and composed of experts in the field in question.

The supervisory resources differ between study programmes and their amount per academic year is 4 h (supervisor in charge) + 6–10 h (other supervision):

  • Arts Study Programme: supervisor in charge, supervision of artistic work, supervisor of, and an artistic committee for concerts; in addition, a pre-examiner approves of the degree concert prior to its performance
  • Research Study Programme: supervisor in charge, primary supervisor, secondary supervisor
  • Applied Study Programme: supervisor in charge, content supervisor of work, supervisory group (chairperson and two members)

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