Tutors and supervisors

At the beginning of the first year each student is assigned a staff member as tutor, who will be the advisor for the selection of the exams and guide the student in the choice of a research project for the Ph.D. thesis.

In order to be admitted to the second year, students must pass the exams of the first-term courses, and an additional number of exams as to achieve at least 60% of the overall credits. We strongly encourage our students to complete their exams within the end of the summer in the first year.

After completion of the coursework, students start a research project under the supervision of one or more members of the APC staff. Co-supervisions with people from other SISSA groups or external scientists are encouraged on topics of interest to the APC staff members.

Admission to the following years and annual report

By the spring of the second and third year, after a 45 minutes presentation of the research activity by the student, the Scientific Board makes a decision regarding the admission of students to the third and fourth year.

Further information can be found on the Regolamento Didattico of the Astrophysics and Cosmology curriculum (Italian only) and on the Regolamento Didattico of SISSA Ph.D. courses (Italian only).

Ph.D. Thesis and defence

The thesis should comprise original results, which have been published in articles on highly qualified scientific publications. The defence usually takes place in September/October.

The APC staff agree on at least two external referees, experts in the field, with typically one not Italian. The Ph.D. defense Committee will include two external auditors plus at least three members of SISSA, among which the Ph.D. Coordinator.

The thesis should be submitted within a fixed deadline, typically August 15th. A copy should be given to the Student Secretariat and an electronic version has to be uploaded on a protected website for the external referees. After the deadline the referees and members of the Commission for the Ph.D. defense will be contacted so they can download the thesis or ask for a paper copy to be sent to them.

The examiners are asked to give a global opinion on the candidate and on the thesis, and in particular to make clear whether they see major problems and/or think the thesis is not adequate for a Ph.D., within 4 weeks. The candidate might be asked to contact the external examiners to discuss any major issues. Other (not crucial) criticisms and comments can be either sent by email or discussed at the time of the Ph.D. examination.

The candidate should introduce any corrections suggested by the examiners in the thesis and within two weeks produce the final version to be given to the Student Secretariat (in hard copy) and uploaded in the Library storage system.

The Ph.D. defence consists of a presentation of the work done (around 45 minutes) and then questions from the examiners, Committee and audience. A discussion among the Committee follows, during which the decision on whether or not to award the Ph.D. is taken. In case of particularly relevant scientific results, a Ph.D. cum laude may be awarded.

A list of the Alumni of the APC Ph.D. course can be found here.