Why a PhD. in Physics in Naples ?

The Physics Department has a long tradition on Ph.D. courses. It is among the top-rated (excellence) Ph.D. programs of the Federico II University. The students are involved in frontier research projects and may choose among all the main physics topics. At least two positions each year are reserved for non Italian students. There is a vast choice of Ph.D. courses, so that the educational offer can be tailored to cope with individual interests and needs.

How long does the Ph.D. last ?

  • Ph.D. program duration is three years (mandatory).
  • At the end of each year the student will write a detailed report on the activities. The faculty board will decide whether to admit the student to the next year of the course, or exclude him/her from the Ph.D. program.
  • The students must follow courses included in their educational program and pass the exams. The first year is mainly devoted to this activity, which should be completed before the start of the third (and last) year. Courses and limitations may vary for each cycle, as decided by the faculty board..

How is the Ph.D. educational program structured?

The overall educational program is approved for each cycle by the faculty members. Courses included in the educational offer catalogue will be activated if requested by a minimum of two students. If a course is requested by a single student it may be converted in a program of individual supervised study.

Is it possible to suspend the program?

  • Students my ask suspension of the program in case of pregnancy, serious illness, mandatory military service. If the suspension lasts more than 30 days the payment of the grant is suspended, too.
  • At the end of the year the faculty board decides if the suspension is such as to oblige the student to postpone the final exam. For one year suspension the student will be inserted in the next cycle class.

How is research activity managed ?

  • Usually within the end of the first year each student must define a research project for his/her thesis and choose an "advisor", i.e. a professor/researcher of the Department or a researcher of the wider research community linked to the Department (INFN, CNR, INAF, INGV and so on). The advisor will follow the student's research project.
  • All students need to have at least an international experience such as a stage in a foreign research centre/ university or, at least, attendance to an international school / workshop.
  • Scientific result obtained must be reported in the Ph.D. thesis, which the student will defend during the final exam in order to get the Ph.D. title.

How do I defend my thesis ?

  • Within the end of the program (which may vary from cycle to cycle, and will be communicated to students) the faculty board choose two external referees for each student, and sends them a copy of the thesis. Referees are highly qualified researchers/professors in the field chosen among people not employed by Federico II University. They will produce a  written report on the thesis proposing to accept it as it is or proposing a period up to six months for revision, suggesting amendments and integrations.
  • In case of need for a revision, the revised copy will be sent to the referees for a new evaluation. No further delay will anyhow be possible for the discussion. Delayed discussion never causes an extension of the grant or of the Ph.D: program itself.
  • Final exams will take place in two sessions. Ordinary session will be devoted to students whose referees accepted the thesis with no need for revision. An additional exam session will take place approximately six months later and will be devoted to students who need to revise their theses according to the referees' report.
  • After the thesis defense the committee will decide whether to accept the thesis or not. If accepted, the committee will express an overall evaluation of the student's career (including the thesis). Possible grades are "sufficiente" (sufficient), "buono" (good) and "ottimo" (excellent). In case some remarkable scientific result had been obtained, the committee may unanimously attribute a "lode" (with honors) grade.

What are a Ph.D. students rights and duties?

Rights and duties are specified by the Federico II University regulation on Ph.D. (in italian).  Please refer to that for all official information.

Few relevant points from the regulation:

  • It is forbidden to follow other courses (including masters and bachelors) during the Ph.D.
  • Students may ask to spend part of their research activity abroad, in Universities or research centres. The overall duration of these periods abroad must not exceed half of the duration of the program. Such periods abroad require authorization of the advisor and of the head of the faculty board. If the period exceeds six months the authorization of the full faculty board is needed.
  • During periods abroad the grant is increased by 50% in proportion to the time duration of the stay.
  • Doctoral students may optionally give limited support to teaching activities (less than 40 hours per year) ; this should be organized such as not to jeopardize their research activity. This optional activity gives no right either to increase the student's grant nor gives him/her any possible right to be hired by the University in future.

Which facilities should I expect as a Ph.D. student?

  • Each student has right to have a desk equipped with a PC, usually in a "open space" room (e.g. rooms 0G28, 1G10).
  • Each student has right to have an email account by filling the Computing Service form.
  • Limited and supervised access to the department store for consummables is granted. Ask your advisor for further information.
  • Travel and stay expenses for conferences, workshop and stages: travel should be to previously authorized by the head of the faculty board; part or all of the costs may be then paid by the Ph.D. program. Documents assessing the travel and stay costs must be attached to the refund request.