Industrial and Information Engineering PhD Programme

PhD Structure and Management

The following points provide a concise overview of the structure and organisation of the IIE-PhD programme. This is only an indicative description of the programme. In general, PhD applicants and fellows should always refer to the official and legally binding document Regolamento per i Corsi di Dottorato di Ricerca, which specifies the rules and procedures of all Doctoral Programmes at the Università degli Studi di Udine. Additional information and documents about the Doctorates offered by the Università degli Studi di Udine, can also be found in the Research Doctorates University main web page.


The IIE-PhD programme is organised in cycles, which start on the 1st of January and last for three years. Thus each IIE-fellow is expected to complete the research project and should hand in the final thesis by the end of the three-year cycle. In special circumstances, PhD fellows may be allowed a one year extension to finalise their research work and thesis write up.

Doctoral board

The research and training activities of the IIE-PhD are managed by the IIE Doctoral Board.
Indicatively the Doctoral Board meets every three/four months to discuss and plan the research and training activities of the doctorate and to assess and ensure the quality of the research work carried out by the PhD fellows.

Position and grants

For each cycle, the IIE-PhD offers a maximum of 18 PhD positions, some supported by three-year grants and others self supported. All positions are awarded through an official competition called “concorso”.

For each cycle, the IIE-PhD offers a limited number of grants, which are awarded to the best candidates participating at the “concorso”. These grants are normally supported by
the Ministero dell’Istruzione Università e Ricerca (MIUR)
the Università degli Studi di Udine
private industries and enterprises
EU – Education and Culture programmes (Marie Curie, Mundus)
EU – Research and Innovation programmes (Research Collaboration Projects)
Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia funding schemes
Other schemes

Advertisement and selection procedures

All PhD positions for each cycle are awarded through the official competition, the so called “concorso”. The selection procedures and criteria, as well as special terms and conditions for the positions, are specified each year in the Bando di Dottorato.

Normally the Bando di Dottorato is published at the beginning of August, the competition is carried out in October and the final ranking table is published by mid November. The selected fellows are then requested to formally enrol by the end of November and to start the PhD at the beginning of January.

In a few special cases where PhD positions are supported by national or international programmes requesting specific start and end dates of the grants (for example Marie Curie EU programmes, Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia funding schemes etc.), special “Bando di Dottorato” may also be advertised with different time-scales, terms and conditions.

Normally, the Bando di Dottorato and additional “Bandi di Dottorato” are advertised at the following link

Doctoral placement and activities

Each IIE-PhD fellow is formally supervised by a tutor who belongs to the Doctoral Board. In some cases the fellow can also be co-supervised by a co-tutor who does not necessarily need to be a member of the Doctoral Board.

Each IIE-PhD fellow is assigned a desk and a computer in one of the PhD offices. Also, when necessary, a working space is assigned in one of the DIEGM laboratories for the implementation of practical experimental work.

The IIE-PhD fellows are not required to comply with specific day-working-hours although it is recommended they carry out their activities at their desk following the University calendar and in case of absence they inform their tutor.

The IIE-PhD fellows are encouraged to keep a log book of their research activities. Also they are encouraged to interact and team up with their fellows.

Normally the IIE-PhD fellows define the subject of the doctorate and plan the research activities together with their tutors. During the three years of the PhD programme they are expected to carry out scientific and technical research work, which should lead to a monograph thesis that presents original and significant results.

The IIE-PhD fellows are requested to attend at least 200 hours of training activities during the three years of the doctorate, which should be planned within the comprehensive training programme offered by the IIE-PhD board and in collaboration with their Tutors.

Progress Reviews and Work Planning Meetings

Each year, the Doctoral Board assesses the yearly progress of each fellow in two stages:

in June with the yearly “Conferenza di Dottorato” where all PhD fellows are requested to provide detailed presentations of the research and training activities carried out in the previous 12 months (6 months for the first year fellows). The first- and second-year fellows are also requested to provide a detailed plan (Gantt chart) of activities for the following 12 months while the third-year fellows are requested to provide the index of their PhD thesis and a plan (Gantt chart) for the thesis write up.
in December with the revision of the yearly technical reports submitted by each PhD fellow. These reports are normally revised and assessed by the Tutors of the fellows and should contain detailed technical accounts of the work carried out during the previous year and will serve as a back log for the preparation of the final thesis.

PhD thesis and PhD award

The award of the final PhD is based on
a) the examination of the PhD thesis by two external experts and
b) the “viva voce” PhD defence in front of a PhD Examination Board that involves at least three external experts and one member of the Doctoral Board, which are selected by the Doctoral Board.

The PhD thesis is normally completed and submitted to two external experts by the end of December. The two external experts are jointly selected by the tutor of each fellow and the Doctoral Board. The two experts provide their comments and express a pass/non pass judgement to the Doctoral Board by end of January.

In case of a negative feedback from the external experts, the fellow may be allowed an additional year to complete the research work. Alternatively the PhD will be terminated with no award of the title.

In case of positive feedback the fellow will be admitted to the “viva voce” PhD defence in front of the PhD Board, who will award the PhD title on the basis of the reports provided by the two external examiners and the presentation and discussion they have with the fellow.

The IIE-PhD fellow are then requested to submit an electronic copy of their PhD thesis to the online PhD portal of the Università degli Studi di Udine