The thesis will be discussed only after all credits required by the E.C.T.S. plan have been completed at the end of the three-year training programme, dating from the day of enrolment.
The procedures for presentation and evaluation of dissertations before the Final Jury were developed, structured and appropriately tested in the course of the first dissertation defences.
The authorisation for discussion of the thesis follows a multi-step process:
a. The main tutor and the co-tutors will perform a written evaluation of the thesis;
b. The thesis are then sent to two external examiners who will also perform a written evaluation to decide if the thesis is admitted for discussion or should be revised and re-evaluated to be defended by max additional 6 months
c. The thesis and the evaluations by the tutors and of the two external examiners are then sent to the members of the International Evaluation Board (Final Jury), who will make the final evaluation
The composition of the Final Jury (International Evaluation Board: see article 3) should respect the minimum requirements of the doctoral regulations of the founding university, the University of Rome Sapienza. The International Evaluation Board is responsible for evaluating research trainees’ final PhD dissertations and is composed of a minimum of three members chosen from a list of six academics designated by the participant universities. According to the last Regulation for Doctorate of the co-ordinating Sapienza University – at least two members of the Final Jury should not belong to the program and to Sapienza. The main tutor and co-tutors may participate in the discussion of the Thesis defence in front of the Final Jury , but not to the Final Evaluation.
The session is held in public.
The Jury elects its own President, and decides the speaking order of the other members of the Jury. The entire session should last about 2 hours. It begins with the candidate's presentation of his/her thesis (20-30 minutes), focusing not only on empirical data but also commenting on the theoretical issues and questions addressed in the thesis. Following this presentation, the Jury members will comment, moderated by the President of the Jury, who will then also speak. The doctoral candidate is then invited to answer questions and to respond to comments made by the Jury. The Jury will then withdraw to decide whether the doctoral candidate's work is acceptable and whether or not to award the degree, and to proclaim the candidate. After the session, the thesis presentation certificate is signed by all the members of the Jury. The President is asked to write a short final evaluation report on the final dissertation (1 or 2 pages), taking into account the assessments of the two external examiners and the thesis defence. The report should be approved and signed by the members of the Jury, and then attached to the certificate.
In accordance with the MIUR- Italian Ministerial decree 45/2013 art. 8, comma 6, the thesis discussion session can be held only once and the research trainee cannot ask for an extension of the date of the final examination.