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Three tutorial profiles are foreseen for each PhD student: the supervisor, the internal advisor and the external advisor, that represent the supervising team.


The Supervisor is the scientific head of the laboratory in which you work. The supervisor offers guidance with respect to:

  • The definition of important scientific issues;
  • The research and experimental plan;
  • The exploitation of technological and experimental resources;
  • The preparation of documentation and the communication of the project results;
  • The research development plan;
  • The writing of scientific articles.

The supervisor is responsible for your activity in the laboratory.

The supervisor can appoint a senior scientist of the group as added supervisor, who will follow your experimental work. The added supervisor will always be present during any official circumstances in which you have to discuss the experimental work.


The internal advisor will be chosen at the end of the 1st year in agreement with the supervisor among the group leaders of the Campus. The internal advisor should become a reference point for you, contribute to your training and guide your choices.

You will have two formal meetings with the internal advisor along the four years. In particular, you must meet the internal advisor together with your supervisor at the beginning of the 2nd year before the preparation of the probationary report, and during the 3rd year after your public seminar. However, according to the reciprocal availability, you can meet your internal advisor at any time to discuss the progress of the experimental work as well as any problem may arise during your study course.


The external advisor belongs to a foreign scientific institution (preferentially in Europe) chosen, at the end of the 1st year, jointly by you and the supervisor, based on the recognized scientific experience, his/her scientific affinity with the project and his/her availability. It is recommended to choose young and valid scientists that will probably be more available to follow you during the PhD course. Italian and overseas external advisors can be exceptionally accepted when supported by a strong motivation.

You have to meet the external advisor at least once along your study course. This meeting must be held at the beginning of the 2nd year at his/her site, before the preparation of the probationary report.

A second meeting is recommended, but it is not mandatory. It can be held:

  • On occasion of the public seminar scheduled between March-July of the 3rd year;
  • At the end of the 3rd year for the approval of the 3rd-year report.


How to contact the external advisor

The first contact should come from the student and/or the supervisor. The SEMM Graduate Office will then send him/her a formal communication explaining their duties and clearly asking for a formal acceptance of the supervision.


Duties of the external advisor

  • To meet the student at the beginning of the 2nd year at his/her site
  • To write a report on the student’s probationary period and approve the relevant report before 1st of April of the 2nd year
  • To approve the 3rd-year report at the end of the 3rd year
  • To provide a report on the student's final thesis at the end of the 4th year


Duties of the student

You should update him/her on the status of the project and be sure to provide any needed documents in due time for the deadlines to be respected.