From January 1st 2013 midterm reviews have been introduced to the Department of Applied Physics for all new PhD students. This is part of the overall strategy of the department to standardize PhD study duration to 4 years. The specific aims of these reviews are as follows:
- Help in defining a structured research project by encouraging the discussion of objectives and the planning of steps towards publishable results.
- Strengthen the link between student, instructor and supervisor, and provide early identification of any problems.
- Provide training toward independence in key aspects of research: literature review, report preparation, analysis and oral presentation.
- Formalize aspects of PhD education by providing a compulsory course relevant to all students (passing the midterm review is worth 10 ETCS credits out of the minimum of 40 required).
- Give a significant head start to writing the final thesis by applying a similar structure to the midterm report.
- Offer general feedback from an external referee not directly involved in the project.
- Provide the official criteria for promotion to higher salary bracket.
- Allow early exit from the PhD programme if this proves in the best interests of the student.
There are currently three midterm coordinators (Prof. Adam Foster, Prof. Patrick Rinke and Prof. Jaakko Timonen) and one of them will be automatically assigned to a student upon enrolment.