3rd & 5th/7th Semester Evaluations
During your time as a PhD student you will have 3rd and 5th semester evaluations in or shortly after your 3rd and 5th (3 year contract) or 7th (4 year contract) semesters as a PhD student.
What is the 3rd Semester Evaluation?
The purpose of the 3rd semester evaluation is to identify factors that may contribute to delaying your work, as well as identifying potential issues at an early stage. As the evaluation is comparatively early in the project, the committee does not expect research results on a large scale. The 3rd semester evaluation is not a test which can be passed or failed, the main goal is to make sure you and your project are on the right track, and in case of problems, to offer you guidance and assistance.
What is the 5th/7th Semester Evaluation?
The 5th (for PhD students on a three years contract) or 7th (for PhD students on a 4 years contract) semester evaluation will mainly be used to ensure that the potential problems noted at the 3rd semester evaluation have been addressed. The focus should now be more on the research results, and to make sure that you are on track towards wrapping up your PhD work. At this point, you and your supervisor ought to present a time schedule for the writing of the thesis and the final articles.
The Evaluation Committee
The committee should consist of two members nominated by the main supervisor. The members of which must not have a formal role in the candidate’s PhD work, i.e. subsidiary supervisors or collaborators may not serve on the committee. In general, it is encouraged and advised to invite the same evaluation committee for both the 3rd and 5th/7th semester evaluations if possible. The IBV PhD Council has the right to join the committee if they desire. Supervisors must also be present for the 3rd or 5th/7th semester evaluations.
You should prepare a 30 minute presentation for the Evaluation, and send it to the committee at least a week before the evaluation so they can prepare. Your presentation should cover the following points:
- A general description of the status of the projects so far, including a description of and comments on eventual deviations/changes regarding:
- The research projects
- The educational component
- Teaching duties
- A description of what has been achieved so far in the project, including how latest research in the field has influenced the direction of the project.
- An overview of publications that are accepted, submitted, or in progress.
- An updated time schedule for the research project/thesis writing with timed sub-goals, and an assessment of which points in the plan may be the most time-critical.
- A discussion of the probability of the project being completed on time according to the (revised) plan.
- Desired changes of terms to ensure the success of the project, enhance the quality of its outcome, and increase the job satisfaction etc.
Your main supervisor is in charge of organizing your evaluation. After they pick committee members, they should let the PhD advisor know, and the PhD advisor will send the committee their instructions and forms and your original application to the PhD program. Then, at least a week before the meeting, you have to send them your presentation (or a written report covering the same topics if you prefer that).
The meeting is open only to the committee and your supervisors, although you may invite other lab members if you want to. IBV's PhD counsel may also sit in if they want to, or if you request their presence.
At the meeting, you first give your presentation. After this there is an open discussion with the committee and supervisors about your progress and timeline.
The supervisors then leave the room and questions related to supervision and your progress are then discussed privately between you and the committee.
Then the supervisors are also allowed to speak to the committee in private.
On the basis of the presentation, the discussion, and their private discussions with both the candidate and the supervisors, the committee then files a report with the PhD advisor who follows up if necessary.