Governance - see +
EPP is coordinated by the Director of the Program at IST. The Director maybe be assisted by a Deputy Director and an Executive Committee, together with a professional secretariat. The Director of the Program at IST is assisted by the Scientific Committee at IST, making use of a group of Full Professors.
In addition, the goal is to create an International Scientific Board, with advisory purposes involving representatives of several collaborating institutions, namely IST; FEUP; CMU, EPFL, Harvard, MIT, Tsinghua, Hong Kong, UNICAMP, USP and UFRJ.
Monitoring of the students - see +
A record of the student's progress is kept in the form of the Curriculum Progress Sheet and reviewed each semester to ensure that course requirements are being met, and to enable the student to document progress in his or her program. Formal review and approval of the program takes place as part of the student's Ph.D. thesis proposal. The review certifies that an acceptable level of mastery of the chosen core area has been attained; otherwise, additional course requirements are specified.
The PhD students will be mentored by two supervisors, each from different participating institutions to promote not only interdisciplinary but also complementarity of mentoring styles and approaches. Moreover, through this method of two supervisors, we expect that several research collaborations will emerge with the PhD student work at their core. Other ways to follow-up and monitor the progress of the PhD students, not only by the supervisors but also by faculty associated to the program, is described below.
Self-monitoring - see +
Student self-monitoring is a major concern throughout the program at two distinct levels, as follows.
Level 1: at the level of self-monitoring by the students, in terms of collecting and analyzing students' feedback and implementing necessary changes. The program management will assign a great importance to this area by acting at two different levels. On a first level, this will be done by recognizing that the programs at FEUP and IST possess already their own instruments in place, designed to hear the students and to act promptly on problems that they identify, and on their suggestions for improvement. Close contact with the program directors in each school, who are themselves members of the Board of Directors, will allow a bottom-up collection of relevant information and timely reaction to problems identified on a local basis. A second level of activity in this respect will happen at the program management level, by setting up regular meetings with the students and team-building activities designed to give a sense of belonging and to enable the sharing of students program-related experiences both in Portugal and in the foreign groups where they will conduct part of their research.
Level 2, regarding self-monitoring by the students regarding how far their research is shaping up to a successful completion of the program. This is achieved by providing students with clear specifications of the different phases and milestones, and by making sure that adequate information is given to the students by their supervisor(s) and their PhD Committees. A major first step in this process is a written thesis proposal, a document that describes in detail the thesis problem statement and proposed plan and method of research, as well as a brief review of the background of the topic and a tentative schedule for the completion of the work. The proposal presentation to the graduate committee serves also as an occasion for a detailed discussion of the proposed research between the student and their graduate committee.
The second and final major step in student self-monitoring process is related to the work throughout the development of the thesis. The document should be a coherent presentation consistent with standards and documentation requirements (such as references) expected of scholarly work. The student is encouraged to consult with all the committee members on a regular basis in order to benefit from their different backgrounds and experiences.
The work is usually equivalent to that which would result in three or four publishable papers. In certain cases, when the student's research has led to the publication of a number of significant peer-reviewed journal articles, the manuscripts for these papers may be directly submitted as the major text for the thesis, with brief introductory and concluding chapters describing the overall theme and context of the papers. Approval of the student's thesis committee is required for this type of thesis.