PhD assessment tests: poster session, final report and exams XXXI PhD Course Welcome Day Alberto Di Renzo Dottorato in Scienze ed Ingegneria dell’Ambiente, delle Costruzioni e dell’Energia Embarking in a doctorate… • Understanding PhD (philosophiae doctor) • Cultural growth at the highest level • Specialization vs. transferable skills • Training programme (courses) • Training by highly focused research • Advance research at the frontier and beyond • Communication, exploitation of results, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), research integrity and ethics, entrepreneurship • Project management, scientific writing, presentation abilities, team skills Expected program of the PhD Tasks in the course of a PhD • First year: training programme (a lot), individual study (literature survey), laboratory/instrumentation practice and start of the research work; • Second year: training, research activities (a lot), participation in events and conferences; • Third year: completing the research, exploitation of results, presentation at conferences, thesis writing (…a lot!) (Self) Assessment Three levels: 1. With (or against) the internal committee • Annual report, poster presentation, examination 2. At events/conferences • Presentations/posters, preparation of contributions 3. With (or against) scientific journal reviewers and editors • Preparation and submission of journal articles Formal assessment in SIACE Basic element: Career Development Plan (CDP) • Laid down initially, contains the plan for training/research/acquisition of skills/competences and is signed by the PhD student and the supervisor End of first and second year (September/October) • Poster session (this year informal) • Free presentation of the project aims, research activities and results and future directions. • Written report • A report must be submitted containing a detailed summary of all the training and research activities, participation in events, publications (format available) • Oral presentation • Presentation in front of the Examination Committee, generally followed by detailed questions Poster session Presentation of the research project in front of a printed poster • Experience with poster preparation, i.e. presenting the research in a structured, mixed text/graphics format • Practise with live communication of research aims, methodology and results to senior researchers from different disciplines • Gain abilities in catching collaboration opportunities and networking • Expected to be able to defend from questions and confront with criticism • Useful for getting comments/suggestions by experts. Written report Preparation and submission of a written report for evaluation • Length is 10-15 pages (format available) • Contents • Training activities • Detailed list of training activities (seminars, summer schools, stages or mobility periods, courses and tutorials) • Individual study (of journal articles, books, literature) • Teaching experience (optional) (lectures in courses, tutoring) • Research activities • Discussion of the research basis, the objectives, methodology, materials and methods, modeling/laboratory/field research conducted • Main results achieved • Plan for future (next year) activities Oral examination Live presentation using slides and Q&A session afterwards • About half an hour with questions • Focused on the research carried out, will present project objectives, methodology and discuss main results and future plans; • Prove your presentation skills both in preparing the projected material and communicating it clearly and effectively; • Prove ability to defend your work against critical evaluation and questioning and demonstrate your approach convincingly. Formal assessment in SIACE End of PhD assessment • Preparation of the thesis for external examiners’ evaluation (March of the third year) • End of third year final exam admission (October/November) • Oral examination/defence in front of the internal committee • Final live exam (Viva: viva voce) in front of the external experts’ committee (January/February after the end of the PhD) • Oral presentation and detailed defence of the thesis Assessment and grading scheme Assessment is carried out always with reference to the career development plan Detail grading will be given to • Clarity of the objectives and awareness of the state-of-art • Coherence with the activities in the CDP • Individual study • Training activities • Research activities (start or advancement of the activities, main results) • Quality of the presentation and communication • Dissemination and publications • (Experience in teaching) Final personal remarks • Don’t think about exams, rewarding from a career in research • • • • • • can be unparalleled if it’s done with passion! Build your professional development and your future Attend courses (not because you are required to), participate actively and squeeze everything you can from them Make contacts with colleagues, establish networks, be active Enjoy travelling and visiting different research/educational environments Always confront yourself with colleagues/supervisors/mentors and… Good luck!
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