There are two key milestones in the first year:
1. First Six-Month Progress Report
A particularly important element of the first year is the production and approval of a First Progress Report to be completed by the end of March.
DCs must take responsibility for keeping their research project on track so that it is completed within the normal timeframe prescribed by the programme. Problems hampering the smooth development of the research project should be promptly brought to the attention of the supervisors.
2. Admission to the second year
At the end of their first year, during the Annual Workshop, DCs will:
a) present their research proposal and related achievements orally in front of the AB and of the other DCs. The presentation will demonstrate the aims and objectives of their research, the way in which it builds on previous work, and the expected impact of their work
b) hand in a hard copy of (i) their research proposal, duly signed by the proposer and the supervisors; (ii) their up-to-date Doctoral Record including their Six-Monthly and Annual Progress Reports (respectively covering the periods to March and to September)
Note: The research proposal must be relevant for the chosen discipline; have clear aims and objectives; be an innovative contribution; and be consistent with the skills, knowledge and attitude of the candidate, in order to enable them to successfully complete their research project within the 3 year time frame of the programme.
Should the AB find the presentation and accompanying documentation of insufficient detail or quality, the DC has the possibility to give a further presentation and submit updated paperwork within a maximum of two months (re-sit).
There are two key milestones in the second year:
1. Six-Month Report
Students are required to prepare a six monthly progress report on the research activity undertaken during the first half of the second year and submit it to the AB (via the Secretariat) by the end of March.
2. Admission to the third year (interim assessment)
At the end of their second year:
a) DCs will have acquired 40 educational credits with details included in their Doctoral Record
b) DCs will prepare a written Annual Report with a write-up of a completed piece of research appended. They will also have prepared an oral presentation to present the latter completed research element. At the same time, the DC’s supervisors will prepare a 1 page report summarising their views on the DC’s achievements and progress.
c) Each DC will give an oral presentation (prepared under 2) above) at the Annual Workshop. This will describe a piece of completed research and how it fits with the remainder of the DCs research programme
d) The written items under 1) to 3) together with an up-to-date Doctoral Record will be delivered to the AB, who will assess the student’s progress
These are compulsory steps to confirm that the student has reached a threshold of academic performance. If the AB assesses that the threshold has not been achieved, the student will be provided with reasonable assistance and will undergo a repeat Interim Assessment including a repeat oral presentation within a maximum of 3 months (re-sit).
There are three key milestones in the third year:
1. Final Report and DR sumbmission
By the end of March, students must deliver to the AB (via the Secretariat) the six monthly report that, in the third year of the programme, must also include the contents (index) and introductory chapter to their thesis.
2. Admission to the final examination
At the end of the third year PhD students will be required to present their work and the results of the research done so far in front of a Committee composed of three members of the AB. This will be a public presentation.
The DCs AB will request also a written recommendation from the supervisors regarding the status and quality of the candidate's draft thesis.
The candidate will be admitted to sit the final examination after the AB positively evaluates the submitted paperwork, the presentation and the evaluation of the supervisors. Should the AB find the documentation of the thesis unsatisfactory, the candidate can re-sit the admission within 3 months.