• Required outputs

    Presentations (includes slides)

    1. Topic presentation (Period 1/3)

    2. Main presentation (Period 2/4)

    3. Designated commenting of a main paper (Period 2/4)

    Written outputs

    1. Research plan (submitted a week before the topic presentation).

    Includes an introduction to the wider topic area around the specific research question of the thesis. 3-6 pages.

    2. Main paper (submitted a week before the main presentation).

    A reader of the main paper learns about the results of research in economics (either your research or the research that you review). The main content of the main paper could be adapted from a key chapter or two in the thesis. First page has the executive summary, and it should list 1-3 two-digit JEL codes , (e.g., D22 or J45). 15-30 pages.

    3. Online comments on other students' research plans and main papers, submitted before their presentations. 

    A comment is usually a short paragraph, sometimes 2-3 paragraphs. Minimum requirement is at least three substantially distinct comments to each member of your group.

    In-class outputs

    Participation in class discussions about papers and presentations. 


    The language of all presentations and discussions is English. Research plans are also in English. If you are writing your thesis in Finnish then you can submit the main paper in Finnish. If you are not comfortable reading Finnish you will only be assigned papers written in English. 


    Grading 0-5 based on activity in the seminar, quality of presentations (live presentation, accompanying slides, research plan/topic paper, and main paper), quality of discussion (both in class and on-line), and punctuality. Attendance is required for a passing grade, but one absence may be made up by completing an additional assignment. 
    • Student presentations and discussions will take place in subgroups. This survey only matters for period 3 (topic presentations). 

      Each group meets either on Mondays or Tuesdays. Please record your preference for Mondays, Tuesdays, or  "No preference". 

    • In this seminar the students who prefer to present earlier rather than later have always been a minority. Therefore those who prefer to present early will get to do so, and almost surely in the first meeting of their group. The presentation order of others will be randomized. 

  • Presenter

    Submit your research plan by first adding a discussion topic and then attaching your research plan and topic presentation as separate pdf files. Name the files  as YourName_Research_plan.pdf and YourName_Topic_presentation.pdf. The submission deadline is on the previous Thursday 24:00  before the seminar.

    Use the provisional title of your thesis as the title of the discussion, with the name of your group in parenthesis.  For example, "Regulations, prices and entry in Nordic pharmaceutical markets (Group T2)".

    Your plan and presentation must be approved by your supervisor. Contact him/her in time so that you have time to make required revisions. In your discussion entry write down the date when your supervisor approved your research plan and the accompanying slides, and her/his name

    Please appear in the seminar room well before the start. The classroom has a computer, which is open at the MyCourses course page through which all presenters have easy access to their slides.  

    For topic presentations the maximum uninterrupted duration is 12 minutes, which usually implies 5-9 content slides. Prepare to answer questions and comments from the audience after your presentation. If you anticipate some likely questions you may prepare additional "spare slides" that you can show during the discussion.

    Begin by presenting your research question, the reason why it is important and interesting, and the most relevant background information on your topic (e.g., institutional details, important prior research) that the audience needs to understand your question and its significance. Then summarize your plan of research: if you are doing original research, explain your planned approach(es) to answering the research question; if you are doing a literature survey, explain the main approach(es) used in the literature. 

    Other students 

    Add a reply to discussion of a member of your group with your comments on the research plan. You are discussing the written research plan, not the slides. One comment is usually a short paragraph, sometimes 2-3 paragraphs. You should give at least three substantially distinct comments to each member of your group. Comments must be delivered as plain text in the comment field, not as attached files. You must submit your online comments before the seminar meeting takes place.

    Read the Commenting guidelines for more information.

    Be prepared to discuss the topic in the seminar after the presentation, taking into account the actual presentation. Some comments that were inspired by the written plan might not be relevant after the presentation and the preceding classroom discussion.  The comments are meant to be legible to everyone, not just the presenter. Do not assume that the audience has read your online comments.

  • Information on picking a topic and getting started with the MSc thesis:  http://aalto-econ.fi/gradu

    To enroll in the seminar you must 1) have a thesis topic accepted by a faculty member at the Department of Economics and 2) notify the seminar organizer about your topic and the approver. The deadline for this notification for the Fall 2022 seminar is May 31st, 2022; for the Spring 2023 seminar the deadline is Nov 15, 2022. Obtaining advisor approval may require some back-and-forth between the student and the faculty, so make sure to start the process several weeks before the deadline. You must notify Kristiina Huttunen by email about the topic and the faculty member who approved it. (If you would like to participate, but have no idea for a topic, you can simply go and ask a faculty member for a topic of their choice). After that you still need to confirm your participation by enrolling in the seminar via Sisu. 

    The initial approved topic is provisional, i.e., it is not a binding commitment. Its purpose is to make sure that everyone who enrols is capable giving their presentation in the second week of the semester. The topic and the advisor can  be changed subject to the same approval procedure as the initial topic.