What is the PhD committee?
The PhD committee is responsible for the thematic and methodical monitoring of the thesis, for the formulation and supervision of the complementary course work and for the decision to continue or discontinue the thesis. If the requirements concerning these meetings are repeatedly not satisfied the student may be excluded from the program.
At least 3 members are needed
Within approximately 6 months of the start of the PhD, the thesis supervisor appoints a PhD committee that includes at least 3 members:
|1||Committee head (official supervisor)||Must have right to confer PhDs at MNF (Promotionsrecht)||Member of EBPhD program|
2nd committee member
|Either the 2nd committe member or the external member must have right to confer PhDs at MNF (Promotionsrecht)||Member of EBPhD program|
|3||External member||Expert in the field, Advisor||External to EBPhD program|
*For ETH PhDs, the ordinance on doctoral studies ETH and the respective department regulations apply
What if your direct supervisor has no right to confer PhDs at the Faculty of Science or ETH respectively?
If the direct supervisor does not have the right to confer a PhD at the Faculty of Science or ETH, an official supervisor from within EBPhD and with the right to confer a PhD at the Faculty of Science or ETH is necessary as committee head. This would mean that your committee would consist of 4 members.
The Doctoral Agreement
Within 6 months of the beginning of your PhD you should complete a doctoral agreement together with your doctoral committee. The doctoral agreement must be submitted to the coordinator and your students tracking system (MNF student admin for UZH students or DissGo for ETH students). Any changes or modifications to the agreement are to be reported. Doctoral Agreement (DOC, 101 KB)
The doctoral agreement should address the following points:
- Title or working title of the dissertation
- A short description of the research project
- Milestones and intermediate goals
- Curricular portion of the doctoral studies
- Teaching duties
When should you organize the meetings?
What should you present?
1st committee meeting: What's your plan?
Student submits, presents and defends a research plan, including key milestones, planned publications, planned teaching activities, and planned courses. The thesis committee chaired by the supervisor writes a protocol of the meeting, which is then signed by all involved parties and is used as doctoral agreement. If the committee has specific recommendations, they might be summarized and supplemented in an Appendix. All documents should be sent to the PhD coordinator.
2nd meeting/pre-doctoral exam: What's your progress?
Student submits and presents a progress report, including new results and major changes to the protocol, the publication status, an update on teaching activities and courses. The purpose of the second meeting is to verify that the student has the skills and the ability to carry out the planned research. The PhD committee writes a protocol of the meeting. If the student has passed the pre-doctoral exam the protocoll is signed by all involved parties and is used as doctoral agreement. In case of failure the exam can be repeated once within 3 months, repeated failure leads to exclusion of the program. All documents should be sent to the PhD coordinator.
Subsequent meetings can be organized as needed.