First steps for doctoral students

Your first task is to choose a supervisor, who will agree to supervise your research activity and with whom you are expected to prepare a research plan.

Unless you are a doctoral student with an earmarked scholarship, your supervisor has to be a researcher from the University of Trieste. A list of possible research fields can be found in the RESEARCH section of the Department of Physics’ website.

Students with earmarked scholarships can be supervised by a researcher from the Institution financing the scholarship, who will then be assisted by a tutor from within the University. This option may be considered for students with free research scholarships, only if prior authorization has been obtained from the Director. 

As soon as possible, send the name of your supervisor to the Director (via e-mail), together with the title of your research project.
Your supervisor should also send the Director an e-mail confirming that he/she is prepared to be your supervisor, also enclosing the title of the research project.

If you should have any doubts about whether the researcher you wish to contact for supervision can actually be your supervisor, please consult the Director IN ADVANCE.

Addresses and e-mails

Once your enrolment is complete, you will be given an official e-mail address at the doctoral school: please pass this on to the Director and the Secretary as soon as possible and use it in all your correspondence with the various organs of the school. If you normally use a different e-mail address (personal or from the organization you work for), remember to set your mail-box (and check that it works) for automatic forwarding of messages from your official e-mail address, since the official address is the only one which will be used by the School and the Secretary to communicate information.

Taught courses
In addition to their research activity, doctoral students have to attend at least 80 hours of lectures,  sit the relative exams by the end of their first year and follow two doctoral schools . A more detailed description of doctoral students’ course requirements can be found at item number 7 of the minutes.

The taught courses on offer in the XXXVIII doctoral cycle can be consulted in the Taught Courses section of the School’s website.

Once you have chosen your supervisor and decided your research programme, you should begin to prepare – with your supervisor’s help – a study  plan which will be worked out with the Teaching  Committee and approved by the same. Your study plan should include, in the first place, doctoral courses held within the  Department, and on the second place, courses from the Master’s degree, especially where there are lacunae to be filled, should you have followed a Master’s degree in an area different from the one chosen for your doctoral research. It may be possible also to include courses taught  at the SISSA or within the ICTP’s diploma programme,  but only (i) if similar courses are not offered at the university, (ii) if the subject dealt with is essential for the student’s training , and (iii) if it does not interfere with the deadline by which time  course examinations must be completed.
Once you have prepared your proposed study plan with the help of your supervisor, it should be sent to the coordinator for your area in the Teaching Committee (look at the list of Teaching Committee members for the names and e-mail addresses of the various area coordinators).
Remember that the courses you follow all conclude with an examination, the result of which is to be recorded by the lecturer in your personal study-evaluation booklet.

Please download a copy of the Personal study-evaluation booklet and use it to record the results of all the examinations you take. Once it is complete, send it to the Course Director.
Seminar activities

All doctoral students are strongly encouraged to take part in the seminar activities organized by the Department of Physics, and participation in the  Colloquia  organized by the Department is compulsory.

Papers and end-of-year Seminars

The primary aim of the doctoral school is to guarantee high standards in the quality of research carried out. For this reason, besides being continuously assessed by their personal supervisor, at the end of each academic year every doctoral student must write a paper –signed by their supervisor-   containing a summary of the work done over the year.

Every doctoral candidate is also required to   report on his/her research activity  in the course of a presentation seminar  attended by a reasonable number of members of the Academic Board, of the other students and- in the third year- of the school’s Scientific Committee.

The end-of-year seminars are an important occasion in the life of the school, so participation is obviously compulsory for all doctoral students. It should be borne in mind that the content of the seminars should be comprehensible to all participants, both members of the Academic Board and your doctoral students, whether they are expert or not in the subject of your research.

Scientific publications

Whenever a doctoral candidate publishes any of their own work in a journal (or as conference proceedings or in any other form of publication) a copy of the same must be included in the University of Trieste’s  U-GOV (login) catalogue, which can be accessed using your personal credentials (student enrolment number and password). The latter can be obtained by e-mail or fax (enclosing a  legible copy of an identity card) from the Accreditation Office of the ISI Division for University Credentials; e-mail: (fax: +39 040 558 3333), specifying that they are needed to access U-GOV.

Final exam

Before the end of the third year, every doctoral candidate must produce a thesis which illustrates the research work done, providing a detailed account of the original results obtained. One month before the end of the cycle (by the end of November), a preliminary version of the thesis should be sent to two external independent reviewers assigned to the candidate by the Academic Board. These reviewers will write a detailed review of the thesis and may ask for it to be revised or modified. Subsequently, usually within 4 months from the end of the third year, the 'final exam will take place to obtain the doctorate, in which the candidate is required to defend his/her own work before an independent panel, with the presence of one internal member.

Doctor Europaeus

On condition that a series of requirements' are met, it is possible for doctoral candidates to request the additional label of Doctor Europaeus. Candidates who are interested in obtaining this additional title should forward their request through the Director to the Academic Board, at least one month before the end of the second year of their course.

Last update: 10-03-2018 - 17:17