Council of the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences

The Council is the highest decision-making board of the Institute.

The Council approves PhD theses for defence.

Meeting times of the Council

1.1. Members by virtue of office:

Maarja Öpik, Professor, Director of the Institute, Head of the Council

Tõnu Meidla, Professor, Head of the Department of Geology

Meelis Pärtel, Professor, Head of the Department of Botany

Miia Rannikmäe, Professor, Head of the Centre for Science Education

Toomas Tammaru, Professor, Head of the Department of Zoology

Evelyn Uuemaa, Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Geography

1.2. Representatives of academic staff:

Aveliina Helm, Professor

Marko Kohv, Research Fellow

Ain Kull, Associate Professor

Asko Lõhmus, Professor

Ülo Mander, Professor

Mari Moora, Professor

Jüri Plado, Associate Professor

Urmas Saarma, Professor

Arne Sellin, Professor

Tuul Sepp, Associate Professor

Tiit Tammaru, Professor

Oive Tinn, Associate Professor

1.3. Appointed member:

Urmas Kõljalg, Professor

1.4. Student representatives:

Katariina Kurina

Anne Merzin

Agnes Rosenberg

Ilona Tamm

Brigitta Taling


2. Mandates for the Representatives of academic staff start at 01.07.2020 and end at 30.06.2023.

3. Mandates for the Student representatives start at 01.07.2022 and end at 30.06.2023.

Approved by the Council of the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences on 18 January 2016,
amended on 26 August 2020
amended on 11 October 2021

1.  These rules of procedure govern the work of the council of Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences.
2.  The council chair convenes council meetings as needed but at least four times a year. The council chair also convenes an extraordinary council meeting at the request of at least one third of the council members. To convene an extraordinary council meeting, a written request must be submitted at least one week before the meeting.
3.  The council secretary sends council meeting invitations with an agenda of matters for discussion and decision to the council members at least seven days before the meeting. The materials of the meeting are made available to council members at the same time on the university’s intranet. A council member must inform the secretary of non-attendance at the meeting no later than one day before the meeting. The council may, by decision of the members present, discuss urgent matters that have not been mentioned in the invitation.
4. The working language of the council is Estonian; if necessary, speeches and discussion may be held in English.
5.  The council has a quorum if more than half of the council members are present at the meeting. The decision is adopted if more than half of the members present at the meeting have voted for it. When deciding whether to accept a thesis for defence, the council has a quorum if more than half of the council members with voting rights are present. The council secretary determines the number of council members present according to the meeting attendance sheet.
6.  The meeting is chaired by the council chair. When an agenda item is discussed, first the presenter and the co-presenter are given the floor. Then council members may ask questions. The chair gives the floor to all who want to express their opinion in the order they request it.
7.  If a speaker deviates from the discussed matter or uses indecent or offensive language, the chair of the meeting may give them a warning or cut them off.
8.  When the chair considers that a matter has been sufficiently discussed, he or she will close the negotiation and propose that the matter be put to the vote. If a council member wishes to continue negotiations, the meeting will decide. The presenter has the right to make a closing statement before the vote on the draft resolution or its items.

9.  The procedure of voting proposals:
·    an item that is put to vote must be formulated so that it can be answered “yes” or “no”;
·    council members have the right to demand that a matter be put to the vote in parts;
·    when discussing a proposal in parts, after the single parts have been voted, the decision must be put to the vote in full;
·    the proposed amendments and additions are voted before the main proposal. If several proposals have been made, the fundamentally divergent ones are voted first. If the main proposal is rejected, all its amendments and additions that have been adopted are dismissed;
·    if there are several independent proposals that are fundamentally different from each other, the chair will put them to vote in the order of submission;
·    proposals for the postponement of discussion or referral to the committee are voted before proposals concerning the content.
10.  Council decisions are adopted by public vote, unless the majority of members attending the meeting request otherwise, except in cases listed in clause 11. It is possible to vote for or against, or abstain.

11.  Secret voting is held pursuant to the Regulations for Secret Votes of the University of Tartu to elect or endorse employees to academic positions.
12.  All council members attending the meeting and holding the right to decide the matter that has been put to the vote must participate in the voting. If the voting is held to decide a matter concerning a council member (for example, electing to a position, accepting a supervisee’s doctoral thesis for defence), the person concerned will not take part in the vote. Only council members who hold a doctoral degree or equivalent qualification may participate in deciding matters related to doctoral theses. The quorum is reduced by the number of persons not taking part in deciding.
13.  A council meeting may be held in the form of an electronic meeting. A decision of the electronic meeting is adopted if more than half of the council members have voted in favour.
14.  The council secretary prepares the minutes of the meeting. Presenters submit the materials of their presentation electronically before the meeting or in writing at the meeting, and the materials are attached to the minutes of the meeting. Each council member has the right to add to the minutes their speech, dissenting opinion or a proposal to make an addition to the decision. The minutes are signed by the chair of the meeting and the council secretary. The minutes are published on the university’s intranet. Resolutions of the council are binding to employees of the institute.
15.  Committees may be formed by a council resolution to review issues and complaints. Members of the committee are council members. As an exception, with the consent of council members and other relevant people, also persons not belonging to the council may be elected as members of the committee. The first meeting of the committee is convened by the council secretary to elect the chair and secretary of the committee. The meeting of the committee has a quorum if at least half of the members are present. The members of the committee decide by simple majority. Dissenting opinions of the committee members are attached to the decision and submitted to the council.
16. The council of the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences awards doctoral degrees in accordance with the Regulations for Doctoral Studies of the University of Tartu and the terms and conditions laid down in these rules of procedure.

17. A doctoral thesis is usually an integrated collection of research publications which generally includes three research articles and a summarising review article. In this case, the research articles must meet the following requirements:
17.1. articles in leading international peer-reviewed scientific journals of the field of research, which have an international panel, are internationally distributed, indexed in several international databases and open to contributions (ETIS publication categories 1.1 and 1.2); articles or chapters in publications of recognised international research publishing houses (ETIS publication category 3.1); a monograph published by an internationally recognised research publishing house (ETIS publication category 2.1).
17.2. At least two of the three research articles (one article in the field of education) must have been published or accepted for publishing by a journal of category 1.1 or 3.1 in the ETIS classification. The third article may not have been accepted by a journal but in this case it must have been peer-reviewed by an international research publication of category 1.1 or 3.1; alternatively, the manuscript may be reviewed by two internationally recognised independent researchers appointed by the council. Considering the reviews and the doctoral candidate’s response to them, the council decides whether the manuscript qualifies as part of the thesis.
17.3. The doctoral candidate must be the lead author of at least one article published or accepted for publishing in a research publication of category 1.1 or 3.1 of the ETIS classification (in the field of education, of the article described in clause 17.1).

18. If an article included in the doctoral thesis has not been accepted by a journal or has not been peer-reviewed by the editorial board of a leading international research journal or collection, the doctoral student must submit the manuscript of the article and the request for the appointment of peer reviewers for the article at least two months before the decision is made on accepting the doctoral thesis for defence. The request must contain information on the article submission process to date, or a plan for submission to journals.

19. In the case described in clause 18, after receiving the request, the council chair appoints an internal reviewer from among members of the council, eliminating members affiliated with the same unit. The internal reviewer makes a proposal to the council to appoint international reviewers. The internal reviewer assesses the article, the reviews of the article and the author’s replies to them, and sends a summary opinion on the article to the council and the doctoral candidate. After the doctoral thesis has been submitted to the council, the internal reviewer will review the doctoral thesis as a whole.

20. The doctoral candidate must submit the following documents electronically to the council secretary 10 working days before the meeting:
20.1. an application to accept the doctoral thesis for defence, specifying the exact title of the doctoral degree applied for;
20.2. the text of the doctoral thesis, which complies with the requirements established for manuscripts by the University of Tartu Press;
20.3. a curriculum vitae containing the list of research publications related to or forming a part of the doctoral thesis;
20.4. (a) written opinion(s) of the supervisor(s) on the originality of the doctoral thesis, the contribution of the doctoral candidate and compliance with the requirements of the content and form of the doctoral thesis;
20.5. a brief popular science summary (up to 2,000 characters) of the doctoral thesis aimed at a broad audience in Estonian and English.

21. The council of the institute makes the decision to accept or not to accept the thesis for defence, to demand the reformulation and correction of the thesis, or to send it to an external reviewer based on the opinion of the internal reviewer. The council chair appoints the internal reviewer from among members of the council after the doctoral thesis has been submitted, eliminating the members affiliated with the same unit.

22. The meeting where the council decides on accepting a thesis for defence contains the following parts:
22.1. The council chair or head of department introduces the doctoral candidate.
22.2. Internal reviewer presents an opinion or the internal reviewer’s written opinion is introduced.
22.3. Discussion.
22.4. The council makes a decision.

23. After the thesis has been accepted for defence, the doctoral candidate presents to the council, in addition to the electronic text, at least 30 printed copies of the thesis.

24. The defence is usually organised by the department/centre in which the doctoral thesis was written. Defences of doctoral theses of the Estonian Marine Institute are organised by the Department of Zoology.


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