Thesis prospectus and supervision

Thesis prospectus and supervision

All doctoral students must submit a thesis prospectus outlining their research plan before the end of the academic year during which they enrol. The development of this plan will be monitored and supervised until the time of the thesis defence.

To continue on the doctoral program, each student must submit their research prospectus during the first year of enrolment. The prospectus is a piece of work that allows the Academic Committee to verify that the student has an appropriate research plan for the preparation of the doctoral thesis. The prospectus can be drawn up with the assistance of the supervisor(s) and may take the form of:

  • (a) A detailed table of contents of the proposed thesis.
  • (b) A state-of-the-art report on the research topic and an attached work plan.
  • (c) A section or chapter of the thesis and an outline of the remainder.
  • (d) Any other format approved by the supervisor(s), which must demonstrate that there is a clearly defined research topic and that the student has sufficient background knowledge to begin research on this topic, as well as outlining the work plan for successful completion of the research.

The prospectus must be presented to an ad hoc committee appointed by the Academic Committee, consisting of the thesis supervisor(s) and another PhD holder, which will forward an evaluation report for final approval by the Academic Committee.

If the thesis prospectus is not approved, the student will be given six months in which to make any necessary amendments, following the suggestions made by the committee. If the resubmitted prospectus is not approved, the student will be removed from the doctoral program and must re-apply the following year.

Each student’s scientific work and thesis preparation will be assessed on an annual basis by the Academic Committee, which will issue a detailed assessment report based on the individual report submitted by the corresponding supervisor(s). The report will cover the following aspects of the student’s work:

  • (a) Progress with preparation of the thesis.
  • (b) Scientific activities carried out.
  • (c) Any other aspect of the student’s work considered relevant to the planned research activities.
  • (d) A general evaluation.

Students must receive a positive evaluation to continue on the doctoral program. Those who receive a negative evaluation must write and submit a new research prospectus within a period of six months from notification of the evaluation result. If the new prospectus is not approved by the Academic Committee, the student will be removed from the doctoral program and must re-apply.

Other responsibilities

In addition to meeting the standard requirements for successful completion of doctoral studies, students will be expected to take part in the main activities organized as part of the doctoral program:

  • (a) The annual Aphil talk, which opens each new academic year.
  • (b) Other talks organized within the program structure.
  • (c) Seminars held by the research groups whose work supports the doctoral program, when they are considered to be of value as formative activities.
  • (d) Mobility activities considered relevant to the student’s progress through the doctoral program.