Doctoral center page of Faculty of Science and Technology

The Centre for Doctoral Studies in Science and Technology is a part of the Faculty of Science and Technology, and coordinates four doctoral programmes. The institutes that coordinate the specialities are: Institute of Computer Science, Institute of Physics, Institute of Chemistry, Institute of Genomics, Institute of Mathematics and Statistics, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Tartu Observatory, Institute of Technology, and Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences. Around 500 doctoral students are enrolled at the faculty, and 36% of them are international students.
The centre ensures the conduct of doctoral studies in the faculty in compliance with the regulations in force, a smooth exchange of information and counselling of doctoral students and supervisors on the organisation of doctoral studies, funding, selection of courses and training opportunities, and other associated activities.

Arrival ABC

Here are the fundamentals for those students who are about to arrive or have already arrived at the University of Tartu.

Transferable skills training

Information for the 1st year doctoral students

To-do list in the first semester

  •  Meet your supervisor for an introductory conversation and fill out the expectations management worksheet. Read more here

Expectations management worksheet - a list  of doctoral student’s and supervisor’s responsibilities

  • Enter the period plan for the first semester into the Study Information system on 27 September.

Period plan

  • The deadline for the supervision agreement is 28 September.

A supervision agreement is concluded between the doctoral student, the supervisor(s) and the university. The agreement indicates the division of responsibility and tasks between the supervisors. In addition, the agreement states basic conditions of the ownership of intellectual property rights and confidentiality of personal data. 

The signed copies of the supervision agreement have to be delivered to the Institute before the deadline. In the Faculty of Science and Technology, the Director/Head of Institute signs the contract on behalf of the University of Tartu. The agreement is registered, and one copy is kept in the Institute; other copies are returned to the parties of the agreement. There must be as many copies as there are signatories.

Supervision agreement

  • The individual plan for the whole period of doctoral studies is submitted together with the first progress review report.

Doctoral students individual plan

Competencies self-analysis
For learners in programmes opened from 2022/2023

As an appendix to the individual plan, a learner in doctoral studies must present a competencies self-analysis, a tool for planning the learner’s activities. The self-analysis must be submitted for the progress review of the first semester. Like the individual plan, the self-analysis is compiled by the learner in cooperation with the supervisor.

During the progress review, the progress of learners in doctoral programmes opened from 2022/2023 is evaluated based on outcomes (not in credit points). Besides research, the progress review committee also considers the acquisition of transferable skills that contribute to meeting the learning outcomes. This is why an overview of plans and development throughout the doctoral studies period is essential for both the progress review committee and the learner in doctoral studies. The pre-filled form, which can be completed cumulatively, will be taken as a basis for future progress reviews.


Document form



RPL in doctoral studies
For learners in programmes opened from 2022/2023

For learners in doctoral programmes opened from 2022/2023, RPL is no longer applied in the traditional way.

For recognition of prior learning and professional experience, the learner should present the learning outcomes recognition form. The application is coordinated with the representative of the specialisation of the doctoral programme and submitted with the competencies self-analysis for the second-semester progress review of the first year.

Based on prior learning and work experience, it is possible to consider specific competencies as acquired to the extent that they do not need to be focused on during the studies. The recognition of prior learning and work experience does not reduce the required volume of studies and research in the programme but allows for a greater focus on the acquisition or enhancement of other skills and knowledge.

Exceptions are doctoral students studying under a joint supervision agreement in two universities or matriculated to a vacant student place, as well as persons applying for the status of an external student. In such cases, it is possible to reduce the programme’s volume of studies and research by recognising prior learning and work experience.

Document form

Recognition of prior learning and experience, programmes opened before 2022/2023

Progress review procedure at the Faculty of Science and Technology


For prospective students

The Faculty of Science and Technology is an international research environment: one-third of our doctoral students are international students. Completing a doctoral degree in English is possible in all our doctoral programmes. From the 2022 year, doctoral students will be hired as junior researchers. No tuition fees are charged to doctoral students.

Doctoral programmes starting from study year 2022/23

Doctoral programmes before study year 2022/23

Organisation of doctoral studies

Doctoral studies are organised by the the Regulations for Doctoral Studies (RDS) at the University of Tartu. The regulations include general rules of supervision, individual plan, progress review and degree application procedure. The University good practices are a recommended reading for all doctoral students, especially Good Practice of Doctoral Studies. You can also find out more about course registration, recognition of prior learning, and related instructions and guidelines.


Planning your studies and assessing your progress: individual study plan, progress review, defence procedure

Beethoveni juuksesalk

Beethoven’s genome offers clues to composer’s health and family history

Allkirjastamine stock photo

University of Tartu and Ministry of Education and Research signed the higher education funding agreement

KuupKulgur - Tartu observatoorium - Tartu Ülikool

Scientists and students to develop the first Estonian lunar rover