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Tampere University Student's Handbook

Doctoral student's well-being

The doctoral research process as means to strengthen well-being

Conducting research for the doctoral dissertation presents interesting challenges and problems to solve, opens up new opportunities for building your future, provides interesting national and international networks, opens up opportunities for sharing knowledge, and has an impact on issues that are important to you and society. A variety of skills and knowledge will grow on the way to becoming an expert. Writing a doctoral dissertation is a process that takes several years, during which you should pay special attention to your general well-being.

About challenges

When you are conducting your doctoral study, there may be periods and factors that test your well-being. The amount of work is not necessarily evenly distributed at different times. The nature of research work also means that not everything can be predicted, which requires flexibility and ability to adapt to uncertainties. Competition for research funding, uncertainty about funding, and lack of time can mean unforeseen extra pressures. Doing postgraduate studies and research part-time requires different time-use and planning compared to full-time work.

Ways to support well-being

It is important for postgraduate students to take good care of their general well-being. Social relationships, hobbies and a good physical conditon give you strength to withstand the stress. Sufficient rest, healthy food, and taking care of one’s overall health also maintain work ability. In addition to the postgraduate studies and dissertation, it is also important to do things that you enjoy. It is worth striking a balance between the different areas of life.


Our university supports the well-being of postgraduate students. Well-being is based on good teaching and supervision, which is assured in different ways. For example, each postgraduate student must have at least two supervisors or a supervisor and a monitoring group. It is important that the postgraduate student does their own part in maintaining the supervisory relationship. If you need support, you can also always get in touch with, for example, the coordinator of your postgraduate programme.

Read more about the rights and responsibilities of the student and the supervisor in the supervisory process.

Peer support

Peer support, meeting other doctoral researchers and discussions with them, are also important resources that support the research and writing process. The courses and other activities organised by Tampere University’s Doctoral School provide good opportunities for networking with doctoral students from other disciplines. The courses and meetings discuss the challenges of research and the dissertation process, which also directly supports your coping and well-being. One of the important goals is to support open discussion among doctoral students on how to grow into being a researcher and the doctoral research process as part of life. Sharing one’s experiences with other postgraduate students also supports spreading good practices in the promotion of well-being throughout the University.

In addition, many doctoral programmes have regular development days where experiences may be shared with other doctoral students. Futhermore, some faculties already have peer groups that were started by the doctoral researchers themselves.

Take a look at the courses and services offered by the Doctoral School


The postgraduate students’ mentoring programme is also an opportunity to reflect on one’s future goals. Tampere University organises mentoring programmes.

Read more on the page Mentoring for doctoral students

The Student’s Compass

The Student’s Compass is a research-based virtual well-being and life skills programme. The Student’s Compass (Opiskelijan Kompassi in Finnish) offers new perspectives and practical tools to everyday problems. The web-based programme consists of various themes and exercises that are available as both text and voice or video recordings. The programme is based on value-, acceptance- and mindfulness-related methods.

TREY: the Student Union of Tampere University

Postgraduate students may join Trey - the Student Union of Tampere University. Postgraduate student members are entitled to the Student Union’s services and some of the student discounts and other benefits. The Student Union also monitors and promotes the interests of postgraduate students, especially as regards teaching and supervision issues and the position of postgraduate students at the University. Postgraduate students also have access to the Student Union’s counselling services.

Read more: Joining TREY

Read more: Trey: Services for members

SportUni supports well-being

Postgraduate students at Tampere University can use the sports facilities as long as they are members of the Student Union. All degree students present at Tampere University and TAMK, and staff members are entitled to use the sports services with one affordable fee for as long as the study right or employment relationship is ongoing.

Take a look at Sportuni’s offerings:

Seek help

If you encounter several burdening issues that simultaneously occurr during your doctoral dissertation process, for which you need targeted help, here are some general health services that you may use.

In serious and urgent situations when you need immediate treatment, contact Tampere University Hospital’s accidents and emergencies department Acuta, which is open round the clock, telephone 03 311 611 or the emergency number 112. More information

The Osviitta Crisis Center in Tampere has a national crisis telephone number 010 195 202. Osviitta is an affiliate of the national Mental Health Finland association. It is a place where anyone in need of support can come in matters related to family or personal relationships, stressful work or study situations, and after traumatic experiences.


Sexual and gender-based harassment and other forms of discrimination, abuse and harassment are strictly prohibited in our community.

Contact persons in harassment situations/further information:

TREY’s harassment contact person: Read more from Trey webpage

Contact persons for employees: Seija Vehmasaho/Hervanta campus, Päivi Salojärvi/city centre and Kauppi campuses

The page is updated by opiskelijanohjaus.tau [at] (opiskelijanohjaus[dot]tau[at]tuni[dot]fi)

Published: 15.4.2019
Updated: 3.10.2023