Intermediate (Midterm) evaluation

New format | Thesis committee | Old format (until 2017)
 

New format

Goal

The intermediate evaluations are organized by each PhD student who has been working on the project for 2-3 semesters, but not later than 18 months after the reception of LNDS acceptance letter. The goal is to evaluate the first part of the thesis project. Eventually, the thesis committee could make suggestions about the continuation of the project and the publications.

If the midterm evaluation is insufficient, a second meeting will be scheduled with the student, the thesis director and the members of the thesis committee.

Format

The exam normally lasts around 2 hours, for details check the section “Oral presentation” below.

The intermediate evaluation is based on:

• the report provided by the doctoral student,

• the oral presentation of the PhD student,

• understanding of the field of research (literature, methodology, importance of the work, limits, etc.),

• the originality and the advance of the experimental work,

• the projects formulated for the continuation of the thesis work.

In addition, the thesis committee asserts on the potential for publication of the results in the form of original articles in international journals with editorial policy, and makes recommendations thereon.

At the end of the exam and after deliberation, the thesis committee issues its conclusions, recommendations and other remarks in an ad hoc document signed by the parties involved and transmitted by the president of the thesis committee to the LNDS.

Reports

At least one month before the exam, both the student and the thesis director are asked to submit a report by e-mail to the LNDS coordinator, using the official forms:

Link to student's report

Link to thesis director's report

The student's report should describe how the thesis project has started and how it will develop in the next 1-2 years. The thesis project description (max 10 pages plus references) is organized as follow:

  • Aim of the project: 0.5 to 1 page
  • Background: 2 to 3 pages
  • Already published results (if applicable) and on-going work: 2 to 5 pages
  • Perspectives and timeline for completion and defense: 1 to 1.5 pages
  • References

The thesis director's report should describe the progress of the student, both academically and project-related, and the state of the student's publications.

Both the student and the thesis director can report any minor or major problems and describe in detail what these problems are. Yet, there will also be the possibility to discuss problems with the thesis committee during the exam session in private (see section “Oral presentation” below).

The reports and presentation should be in English.

Oral presentation

The presentation of the student should not last more than 30 minutes, and elaborate on the thesis project, i.e. its potential subprojects. Then they will discuss with the thesis committee members who will ask questions about the research plan, results obtained, the next steps in the project, and the state of publication(s). Questions touching on topics other than the thesis will be asked in order to evaluate basic knowledge of the student in the various fields of neuroscience. Moreover, including a timeline towards thesis completion is always a good idea to show the feasibility of the plans given the time constraints of the thesis duration.

Note: The LN doctoral school expects students to be able to discuss multidisciplinary neuroscience research with colleagues coming from different research backgrounds.

Before the thesis committee deliberates, the doctoral student and the supervisor are heard separately by the committee.

The exam will be held in the presence of the personalized thesis committee of the PhD candidate (see section below for details).

TOP ^

Thesis committee

Around the end of the first year of the PhD studies, students (after discussion with their supervisor) must communicate the members of the stduent's thesis committee to the doctoral school. This committee will be present during the intermediate exam, and follow the student’s progress during the thesis period.

The committee includes:

  • The thesis director, and co-directors if applicable
  • Two experts in the domain, who are professors or MER with PhD or MD. At least one is PhD; at least one is employed outside of the department the thesis director is attached to. None of the experts should have collaborated in the project
  • The president, who will be a representative of LNDS

Thesis committee composition must be communicated to the LN coordinator, using the official form below, once the date of the intermediate exam has been fixed, but at the latest 1.5 months before the exam takes place. The LN coordinator will send the student’s and director’s reports to the committee. The exam date must not be later than 18 months after LNDS enrollment.

TOP ^

Old format (until 2017)

Goal

The midterm evaluations are organized each year once in SPRING and once in AUTUMN for PhD students who have been working on their project around 2-3 semesters. The goal is to evaluate the first part of the thesis project. Eventually, the jury could make suggestions about the continuation of the project and the publications. PhD candidates are contacted by the LNDS coordinator once their evaluations are "due" and are then asked to discuss with their thesis directors about participation.

The thesis director's attendance is not mandatory, but he/she is welcome to attend as far as the student is responsible for answering all questions.

If the midterm evaluation is insufficient, a second meeting will be scheduled with the student, the thesis director and the members of the Doctoral School committee.

Format & Schedule

The midterm evaluation lasts 30 minutes for each student. During the first 12 minutes, the student presents his/her research project. This presentation is followed by 13 min of questions and discussion with the jury. The last 5 min are reserved for the jury to discuss in private.

Reports

One month before the midterm evaluation (if not stated otherwise by the LNDS coordinator) both the student and the thesis director are asked to submit a report by e-mail to the LNDS coordinator, using the official forms:

Link to student's report

Link to thesis director's report

The student's report should describe how the thesis project has started and how it will develop in the next 1-2 years.

The thesis director's report should describe the progress of the student, both academically and experimentally, and the state of the student's publications.

Both the student and the thesis director should report any minor or major problems that could exist and describe in detail what these problems are.

The Doctoral School strongly encourages to write the reports and present your project in English. Nevertheless, the use of French is also accepted. If you decide to present in French, the questions following your presentation will be done (and should be answered) in English. The idea is to evaluate your level of English and help you improve your presentation skills.

Please download the forms for the student and thesis director reports from the links above.

Oral presentation

The presentation of the student should not last more than 12 minutes, and elaborate on the thesis project, i.e. its potential subprojects. Students should keep in mind that jury members are not all experts in the field. That means, the context of the project and its major goals should be explained and abbreviations should be introduced. Moreover, including a timeline towards thesis completion is always a good idea to show the feasibility of your plans given the time constraints of the thesis duration.

This presentation is followed by 13 min of questions and discussion with the jury. The last 5 min are reserved for the jury to discuss in private.

Jury

The midterm jury is composed by 5 members:

  • The local co-director of the LN Doctoral School, Anthony Holtmaat in Geneva and Jean-Pierre Hornung in Lausanne
  • Two to three Lemanic researchers from different reseach fields
  • The LNDS coordinator.

The students will receive a short report from the jury ~ one month after their presentation.

TOP ^

Follow us:    

Form for submitting thesis committee composition to the LNDS coordinator

TOP ^

FBM Doctoral School - Amphipôle 316 - CH-1015 Lausanne
Switzerland
Tel. +41 21 692 40 14
universite_de_lausanne-logo.svg universite_de_geneve-logo.svg epfl-logo.svg hopitaux_universitaires_de_geneve_2015-logo.svg chuv-logo.svg