Dissertation Defence (Viva)

Applying for Defence / Viva

The application procedures are indicated on a dedicated page on the University website. Third-year students must pay close attention to the essential requirements that must be met in order to be admitted to defend the dissertation. This includes:

    • submitting the certificate of completion of the Survey called “Rilevazione sui dottori di ricerca. Valutazione dell’esperienza di studio e di ricerca e prospettive future” to the Administrative office “Unità Dottorato”;
    • uploading to the Electronic Thesis Database (ETD) (http://etd.adm.unipi.it/)
      • the final draft of the dissertation,
      • an abstract of the dissertation (in Italian or English) and
      • the report on the activities carried out during the three-year programme including publications (a list of activities and publications). Please use this form.

      These tasks must be completed at least 3 days prior to the defence / viva.  Please read the instructions published here very carefully.

      Sample minute forms for the Committees are available on the University website  (facsimile of the minute; facsimile of the minute for co-tutored dissertations) as well as detailed instructions for the signing procedure.

External examiners

Once admitted to the final exam (the dissertation defence or Viva), third-year students are required to submit their dissertation to their supervisor, the coordinator and the secretary of the programme.

Within 20 days from receiving the final draft, the supervisor will inform the Coordinator whether the dissertation is ready to be submitted to two external examiners or if it needs some revision (max. 60 days).

The supervisor must indicate two leading experts in their field by sending to the Coordinator and the secretary their name, title, affiliation and email address. These examiners will be officially appointed by resolution of the Council. PhD Faculty members cannot perform this role.

Once the dissertation is ready to be sent, the supervisor will send it in pdf format to the external examiners, alongside the notice of appointment and the model form for the review.

The review must be completed within one month of  the submission and by means of a written report returned to the supervisor and the Coordinator, in which the examiners will state whether the dissertation is ready for the defence or needs more revisions. Any recommendation must be motivated. If the dissertation needs major revisions, examiners can recommend a specific amount of time for the necessary integrations and corrections (max. 6 months).

The evaluation must be addressed to the coordinator of the Programme and sent by email to the supervisor, who will forward it to the Coordinator and the secretary as well as to the student.

Defence / Viva Committee

Once the examiners’ positive evaluation has been received, the supervisor will propose a shortlist of possible names for the final defence / Viva committee to the Council. For each defence / viva, the Committee must include three members (at least two must not be part of the PhD Faculty) and at least two substitute members. The supervisor must provide their name, title, scientific sector, affiliation, and email address, as well as the date and place for the defence.

If the Council approves the proposal, the Director of the Department will officially appoint the experts indicated to form the Defence / Viva Committee. If available, examiners may serve as Defence / Viva Committee members.

Back to top