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Qualifying Seminars

Qualifying seminars

The development of seminar presentation skills is regarded as an integral part of the graduate training program for a Physics PhD at Pavia University. These presentation skills are essential to student’s future success as a teacher and researcher. Thus, at the end of the first and second year (October), students are requested to make a Powerpoint (or similar) presentation, in a public forum, of a topical research argument. The format of the presentation should be a talk that lasts 30 minutes (25+5 for questions). The goal of this public presentation is primarily for the students to practice communicating in a public setting, and to receive feedback about how to improve their presentation abilities. To administer and grade the qualifying seminars an ad hoc committee will be established by the Coordinator of the Graduate School. After the public presentation, the coordinator will prepare a brief report of the committee’s assessment of the student’s presentation, and present this to the student and Graduate School Board.

The grading will indicate performance according to the following scheme:

ACHIEVEMENT of a PASSING SCORE on the appropriate subject area:

  • Appropriate mastery of Subject Area Knowledge


  • Was the mastery of the subject adequate?
  • Was the message clear and accessible?
  • Was the message appropriate to audience?
  • Was the amount of material appropriate?


  • Were the slides clear and readable?
  • Were the slides balanced, not crowded?
  • Were the slides nice to see, creative?


  • Was the speech clear and the use of English approprate?
  • Were the timing and the speed of the presentation ok?
  • Was there an attempt to interact with the audience?
  • Was the seminar enjoyable and engaging?

BacioN.B. With respect to the past years we have decided to change the presentation strategy. In particular, the first year presentation should be  a comprehensible and concise review of the state of the art of the dissertation research field:  what has been done on the topic in the past, and how will the proposed dissertation differ from or expand upon previous work.Sorridente

The second year presentation is basically a dissertation progress report: a brief review of the field prior to the thesis research to provide context, a presentation of the goals and motivations of the thesis research, a description of the dissertation research progress.

Both presentations MUST be given in English: if you are not able to speak and write English fluently, you will find it very difficult to carry out your research, or write publications. You are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the English course opportunities available through our University system.