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Dissertation Presentation and Defence

(under article 19 of the University Regulations for PhD Programme enacted by Rectoral decree on 17th May,2017, n.25549)

Presentation of the thesis to the PhD Programme
  1. To take the final exam# and present the dissertation to PhD Programme, the PhD student shall submit an online application to the secretarial offices by the end of the third year
  2. Within 15 days after the end of the academic year# and upon the acquisition of the supervisor's opinion, the PhD programme Council deliberates, with motivated assessment, the dissertation submission to the appointed asessors. If the submitted dissertation is not suitable for submission to the assessors, the PhD programme Council may postpone this assessment granting additional time (maximum of two months) from the resolution.

# N.B. In the case of doctoral students who have requested an extension month, the third year ends on November 30, 2020; in the case of doctoral students who have requested an extension of two months, the third year ends on 31 December 2020.

Furthermore, for PhD students having requested the further extension (law no. 176 / 2020):
1 in the event of a one-month extension. the third year will end on 31 January 2020;
2. in the event of a two-month extension, the third year will end on 28 February 2020;
3. in the event of a three-month extension, the third year will end on 31 March 2020.

Final Dissertation Submission
  1. The candidate is requested to submit the final version of the doctoral dissertation, along with the documentation herewith following, on the database of electronic theses (ETD) at  within 3 days from the date of eligibility resolution adopted by the PhD programme Council. IF the date of the resolution is close to the final exam, the dissertation submission cannot take place after the day of the final exam. The dissertation shall:
    1. have a summary in Italian or English;
    2. be written in Italian, English, or another language with the permission of the PhD programme Council;
    3. annex a report on the activities carried out in the PhD programme and eventual publications. The PhD student must write the report; it is not possible attached the document issued by the Coordinator pursuant to paragraph 10, article 19 of the university regulation.
      Under the approval of the PhD programme Council, parts of the dissertation can be unavailable, if the use of data is protected by industrial secrecy according to current legislation on the subject, as well as in other cases provided for by the regulation for electronic dissertation.
  2. A copy of the "Electronic Frontispiece" produced during the submission procedure on ETD, signed by the doctoral candidate and all the supervisors indicated on the title page shall be submitted to the "PhDs" Unit* at least 3 days before the discussion.
    With the acquisition of the "Electronic Cover", the staff will verify the files uploading on the ETD system and will close the access. The procedure shall also be applied if the Office receives the aforementioned "Electronic Title Page" by ordinary post.
    Under no circumstances can the transmission of the "Electronic Title Page" take place after the final exam day.
    * To submit the survey receipt please use one of the following:
    a) by certified e-mail (pec) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    b) by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    c) by post to the address of the PhD office (Unità “Dottorati di ricerca”, Edificio E, largo Bruno Pontecorvo 3 Pisa), with the copy of the identity document.

Dissertation Defence

  1. Within three months from the defence eligibility in front of the evaluators (or after the referral period requested by the evaluators for the necessary additions and corrections), the PhD programme Council will set the defense session of the doctoral dissertation.
  2. The defence is public and shall take place in front of a board which may approve or reject it with a motivated written decision. The eligibility to a second defense shall be excluded.
  3. The defence may also take place in videoconference session upon request of the PhD student and prior authorization of the PhD programme.
  4. The thesis final assessments are: sufficient, good or excellent. In the presence of particular scientific relevance results, the awarding of the honors with unanimous vote of the examination board shall be considered.

University Fees

The completion of the procedure is subject to the regularity of the fee payment status for the whole duration of the PhD Programme.

Please note keep constant contact with the Coordinator or the supervisor to be informed about the date of the eligibility, from which the above the Final Exam Board the dissertation uploaded on ETD.


Please note: given article 9, paragraph 11 and 12 of the University Regulations on Research Doctorates:
The doctoral candidate shall be declared revoked, with the provision of the director in charge, when, without showing any justification, does not provide the dissertation within the abovementioned time limit. The doctoral candidate shall also be declared revoked when does not sit, without showing any justification, the final examination on the scheduled date for the discussion. (paragraph 11)
To avoid the revocation referred to in paragraph 11, the doctoral candidate must submit severe and documented personal reasons. In this event, the PhD Programme Council may grant a maximum delay of six months for the delivery of the dissertation. (paragraph 12).