Results of the doctoral student yearly follow-up survey 2022

Over thousand doctoral students answered the yearly follow-up survey at the turn of the year.
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They survey was sent to the 3200 doctoral students of Aalto University and 32% answered. 71% of the respondents studied full-time and about half had confirmed funding for the whole duration of their studies.

84% of the respondents were preparing an article-based doctoral thesis. 70% of them were planning to include 3-4 articles in their thesis.

72% had been able to follow their research plan during 2022. More than 80% of the respondents met their supervising professor and thesis advisor(s) frequently enough for their needs.

In their open answers regarding supervision many doctoral students stressed the inportance of regular schedule for meetings. Students tried to navigate having enough meetings while all parties have very busy schedules. Some felt that while support for their research work was good, they would need more help with planning their studies and career or support in any difficult situation they might encounter.

I appreciate that supervision is about supporting my work. It enhances my creativity. I found research capabilities beyond my expectations.

Yearly follow-up 2022


Almost one fifth of the respondents had completed one or several mobility period during 2022. Altogeher 230 mobility periods were reported in the survey. The most popular destinations were Germany, United States, France and Italy.

Half of the respondents had foreign nationality.

Different phases of studies

One third of the respondents were at the start of their studies, half were in the middle and one fifth either at pre-examination phase or about to graduate.

Over two thirds of the respondents who were about to graduate had clear plans for their near professional future.

The survey was good for checking my status and helping me to understand what should be done by now. It motivated me to check my plans.

Yearly follow-up 2022

Feedback and further action

It was possible to request for a personal contact through answering the survey. 15% of the respondents hoped to be contacted and two thirds of them have already been contacted. Doctoral education services has promised to contact those who so wished within one month of the end of the survey, at latest by 10 Feb 2023.

Many respondents thought that the survey was very useful for them to check their situation and get information on the various services and resources there are for doctoral students. Some were a bit perplexed why the survey was made. Overall the survey results were very positive, but many items for development were also brought up by doctoral students and will be taken into consideration.

We also received feedback on the questions and the answer options of the survey. The survey questionnaire will be developed based on feedback from doctoral students. We aim to better take into account the varying situations of our doctoral students and making answering the survey easier for all.

Processing of the results

The survey results are processed at general level in the doctoral education working group DEWG and in the Schools' Doctoral programme committees. The results are used to develop the support for doctoral students.

The yearly follow-up survey is organised by the Doctoral education services.

Privacy notice of the yearly follow-up survey (

Yearly follow-up of doctoral students

Doctoral students at Aalto University answer a follow-up survey of the progress of their doctoral studies and research yearly.

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