Guidelines for assessors



The PhD dissertation is evaluated by two independent assessors, prior to the PhD defense.

The assessors are asked to write a report containing their evaluation of the candidate’s work, and to submit their report to the Director of the Doctoral Program.

The assessors should consider for evaluation the written dissertation and report in particular on the following:

  1. The candidate’s knowledge of the applicable literature;
  2. Whether the candidate displays adequate knowledge of his area of research;
  3. Whether the presentation of the dissertation meets the required standard of presentation in style, language, clarity;
  4. Whether the findings of the dissertation are suitable for publication;
  5. Whether the findings contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the specific scientific area addressed by the candidate.

Each assessor recommends admission vs. non-admission of candidate to the defense, using the assessor’s report form. If admission is proposed, a mark is given with the evaluation (range A to C). In case of mark A, the assessor may propose to the defense committee to award honors (cum laude). Non-admission must be motivated on the basis of the need for substantial amendments to the manuscript, i.e. significant integrations to the dissertation or significant corrections and changes. In the latter case, a period of additional maximum six months is granted to the candidate to complete the work and integrate the suggestions of assessors. The candidate sends the revised dissertation to the assessor, who in turn provides a new assessment of the dissertation, proposing admission or again non-admission. No additional time is granted to the candidate after this first round of revisions.

The assessors’ reports are put at the disposal of the defense committee and are made available to the student by the supervisor.


The duration of study for the PhD degree is three years. The PhD degree consists of the presentation of a dissertation and an oral defense with a defense committee.

A dissertation must prove the candidate’s ability to do, and report on, scientific research.

The PhD degree is awarded by the defense committee after positive evaluation of a PhD dissertation that contributes to the advancement of knowledge in the specific scientific area addressed by the candidate. The defense committee does not take part in the assessment process and, as such, does not include the assessors.

The assessors are not involved in the supervision of the candidate’s work. Their names are not kept confidential.

If an assessor should require any further information, she/he may contact the supervisor.

Link to the latest version of the assessor’s report form

Last update: February 23, 2017