Phd program in Physics - Guide

Phd program in Physics
The main purpose of our PhD program is to help our students to develop independent research abilities, fostering creative originality and rigorous approach to the scientificmethods and, at the same time, providing them with advanced professional state-of-art capabilities.

The stages of the PhD training program are as follows:
1^ year
    January
1) choice of the thesis Director
2) choice of the Advisor insidethe PhD Teaching Board.
3) submission of the Study Plan, a set of courses and relative examinations, to be agreed in advance withthe thesis Directorand approved by the PhD Advisor (12 credits).
    October
4) submission of the Project Plan for the thesis, max 2-pages + separated references.
The PhD Teaching Board will decide the admission of students to the second year, on the basis of the results of the completed examinations and of the project plan presented during the first year.

2^ year
    October
1) Updating of the thesisProject Plan, max 2-pages + separated references.
2) Seminar on the thesisProject Plan (in presence of the Advisor, the whole PhD Teaching Board and all the doctoral students).
3) Report of the thesis Director on the advancement of the thesis work (at least half page).The report should focus any problems that may preclude a regular drafting of the thesis within the deadline set out in the PhD Regulation (October 31s of the third year).
The PhD Teaching Board will decide the admission of students to the 3rd year, on the basis of the seminar held in October, the presented updated project and the Director’s report.
 
3^ year
    May
Two External Evaluators will be assigned to each thesis by the Teaching Board Advisors.
    October
1) The candidates deliver their thesis to the External Evaluators and the Thesis Director.
     Within December15th, the Teaching Board will decide the thesis to be admitted to the final exam in the first session (to take place no later than February) and the thesis to be admitted to the second one (to take place within September). The Teaching Board will take into account the assessments received from the External Evaluators and the reports received from the thesis Director.
One month before the final exam the candidate will deliver the thesis to the Commission appointed by the Rector. The thesis defense will take place in the presence of the PhD Teaching Board Advisor, the whole Teaching Board and all the doctoral students.
 
The Role of the Thesis Director
As pointed out in the stages of the first year, the student has to choose the thesis Director by January. For each cycle of course the thesis Director can supervise only one PhD student, winner of a not thematic fellowship (provided by “Sapienza” or by any other Institution) of the current cycle competition. This rule can be waived by the PhD Teaching Board on request of the potential thesis Director, upon scientific documented reasons.
  The Thesis Director
- guides the PhD student in the research work and the writing of the thesis;
- informs promptly the Coordinator if any situations may arise that could jeopardize the regular thesis work;
- approves the PhD Study Plan of the first year;
- helps the candidate to prepare the second-year-seminar, focusing in particular on the didactic aspects (the motivations and objectives of the project must be explained to the whole Teaching Board and all doctoral students in a comprehensible way). Furthermore, the thesis Director has to ensure his presence during the seminar presentation;
-  at the end of the second year, for the admission procedure to the third year, sends to the PhD Teaching Board the report on the thesis progress focusing any problem that may preclude a regular writing of the thesis within the deadline set out in the PhD Regulation (third year, October 31s);
- at the end of the training, whithin October 31st, for the admission to the final exam, sends to the PhD Teaching Board the final evaluation of the work done by the student with explicit verification of the submission of the thesis to the External Evaluators;
-  ensures his/her presence at the thesis defense against the Board appointed by the Rector;
- in case of a PhD student’s research trip, sends his/her approval to the PHD Coordinator with an email to the secretary, 15 days before the departure. The email should contain the information about the length, the purpose (inherent in the PhD thesis) and the funds to be used for the trip.  The Coordinator will authorize the use of doctoral funds after checking the availability of the budget allocated yearly to the PhD students.
 
The Role of the Teaching Board Advisors
Starting from the first year, each PhD student will be assigned to one of the member of the PhD Teaching Board who will act as Scientific Advisor of the student. His/her tasks are as follows:
- in January of the first year he/she approves the Study Plan of the PhD student;
- he/she ensures his presence at the seminar that the PhD student has to held in October of the second year;
- he/she suggests the External Evaluators and contacts them in order to verify their willingness to accept the role;
- he/she ensures his presence during the seminar that the PhD student has to held in front of the final exam Board.
 
Rules of participation in seminars and compilation of the Study Plan
    Seminars
During the three years of studies the PhD students are required to attend all the general seminars held at the Department of Physics. They can be exempted if the seminars overlap one of the courses inserted in the Study Plan or is scheduled in conjunction with an authorized research trip of the student.In case of absence for an exceptional circumstance, the PhD students are required to justify themselves with an email addressed to the secretary office. Moreover, all the PhD students are required to attend the seminars held by the PhD students of the second and third years. 

Study Plan
During the first year, the student needs to compile the Study Plan to be agreed with the thesis Director and to be approved by the Advisor of the PhD Teaching Board. The Study Plan consists in a set of courses that the student decides to follow during the first year (and successfully passes the relative examinations) for a total of 12 credits. It includes:
- courses which are organized specifically for the PhD studies in Physics at the Sapienza University. These courses may vary from year to year. They are announced during the month of November. They are listed in the relevant web page, and the teachers present their contents to the PhD students in a general meeting at the beginning of the year. The courses offered are of 3 credits or of 6 credits (equivalent to 20 or 40 hours of classroom teaching);
- a maximum of 3 credits can be obtained attending a(summer, winter, spring, autumn) "Schools of Physics", with a minimum duration of 5 days. To obtain the recognition of the credits, the PhD student has to present the certificate of participation for the whole duration of the School released by the School authorities;
- a maximum of 6 credits can be obtained attending courses of the "Laurea Specialistica Magistrale". In case part of a course is being held during the first semester, it becomes impossible to attend it during the first year and the student can attend it at the beginning of the second year. In this case he will be conditionally admitted to the second year, provided he passes the exam in question within the month of February;
-  Courses of the PhD program in Physics of the University of Tor Vergata in Rome, of the University of Roma 3, and courses of the PhD studies which, together with the PhD studies in Physics, constitute the "Vito Volterra" PhD School of the Sapienza University (Astronomy, Analytical Chemistry, Chemistry, Mathematics, Material Science).
 
Finally, at least 3 credits have to be obtained attending a course (or a School) belonging to a field different from the one in which the PhD student intends to develop his/her thesis work. Alternatively, the PhD student with a thesis of theoretical natureneeds to obtain at least 3 credits from a course (or a School) of an experimental nature and the PhD student with a thesis of experimental nature needs to obtain 3 credits from a course of theoretical nature.
 
Subject to the authorization of the Coordinator, in justified particular situations (for example, in the event of a change of matter between the MSc and the doctorate), the rule for the compilation of the Study Plan above mentioned may be waived.
Partecipation in Competition for the assignement of tutoring activity
- The PhD student attending the second and third year can carry out supplementary tutoring and teaching activities. He needs in advance the approval of the PhD Coordinator;
-  The PhD student attendingthe first year can carry out supplementary tutoring and teaching activities. He needs in advance the approval of the PhD Coordinator, of the thesis Director and of the Teaching Board Advisor.
 
Approval of research trips
Any research tripof the PhD student needs the approval of the thesis Director at least 15 days prior the departure. The thesis Director will send an email to the Coordinator office, AnnaDeGrossi@roma1.infn.it, with the following details:  period and aim of the trip, information about the funds to be used. Before the departure, the student is required to hand in the Coordinator office the completed trip form. If the funds requested are different from the doctoral ones, the form must be signed by the owner of the funds to be used. In case the student asks for PhD funds, he/she should verify together with the Coordinator’s secretary if the amount needed, plus any amount previously used, doesn’t exceed the budget assigned to each student per year.
Once a week the Coordinator will sign the forms presented for the approval. Trips scheduled for summer or in conjunction with holiday time must to be presented to the secretary with greater advance.  After the Coordinator has signed the form, it will be delivered to the Trip Office of the Department of Physics, along with the approval email of the thesis Director. The Trip Office has the task to supervise and run administratively the procedures.
 
For further information, please refer to the following Regulation: Regolamento Missioni dell' Ateneo (Missioni - DD n. 4768/2014 del 03/12/2014)