EDOC About the Thesis Jury

How to choose a jury president
Every doctoral programme draws up on a yearly basis, the list of jury presidents. This list is validated by the Doctoral School.
The doctoral program assigns the jury president.
About de Jury president
The Jury president cannot be part of the same research unit (chair or lab) as the thesis director(s).
About the Jury members
The jury members hold the title of PhD
However, for some theses or disciplines (notably in architecture) a desirable jury member might not hold a PhD, therefore:
If a jury member does not hold a PhD, a dispensation can be requested, case‐by‐case, by the program director to EDOC ([email protected]). The request must be justified with a letter from the program director and CV of the person in question. The person’s qualifications will be evaluated based on his/her CV.
The doctoral school will not keep track of the dispensations’ requests. Therefore, even if an expert without a PhD has already served on an EPFL thesis jury, a new dispensation has to be requested for each exam.
The internal examiner cannot be part of the same research unit (chair or lab) as the thesis director(s).
A thesis jury examiner cannot be a previous or current, official or de‐facto, (co‐)director of the
thesis being evaluated
Jury examiners must not have hierarchical relations to one another; they are not employees of the same company.
Jury examiners must not be in the same laboratory as the thesis director or the candidate (also
for external students, examiners, and thesis directors)
Jury examiners must not have a close personal or professional relationship with the candidate
or thesis director (married, etc.)
About retired professor
  Retired professors from the EPF, are considered as internal examiners. They cannot act as president of the jury.
If the professor is retired for more than 4 years, an up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV), demonstrating that s/he is still active in the research field, is required.
Retired professors from other universities are considered as external examiner. An up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV), demonstrating that s/he is still active in the research field, is required.

Who is eligible as an internal or an external examiner?

Internal Examiners
External Examiners
EPFL Outpost
Retired professors from the EPF
EPFZ and ETH Domin’s research institutes
Can be considered as internal or external examiners
at the thesis director’s choice
PSI – Paul Scherrer Institute
WSL – Bellinzona / Birmensdorf / Davos / Sion
EMPA – Dübendorf / St. Gallen / Thun
EAWAG – Dübendorf / Kastanienbaum
Innovation Park
The status depends on the worrking contract.
Contrat = internal examiner
Contrat = external examiner even if the thesis director is a MER or an Adjunct Professor
Other research institutes
CERN – Geneva
CSEM – Neuchâtel
IDIAP – Martigny
Max Planck Society (MPS)
Payment of jury members’ expenses
  • The thesis director reimburses the external examiners’ expenses using the research unit’s own funds
  • The retired Professors who are a part of the EPF domain are considered as internal examiners.
  • The jury members who are a part of the EPF domain are not reimbursed.
  • Tarifs et Remboursement – Fees and Reimbursement.docx

Good to know

About Internal eximaners

If, exceptionnaly, the jury president and the internal examiner are part of the same research unit (chair or lab)

  • The internal expert should not be the superior of the jury president
  • The president of the jury is not involved in the thesis work
About invited professors at EPFL
  • Invited professors at EPFL could not be considered as examiners (neither internal nor external). Thesis directors who want to have an invited professor as a jury member, should send a motivated request to the doctoral school.
About PATT
  • It is agreed that PATTs may preside thesis exam juries but that this will be managed with care by doctoral program directors, whose responsibility it is to ensure that PATTs be prevented from presiding exams that might lead to confrontation with senior professors (this can for example be checked by reading the thesis evaluation reports from the exam committee members ahead of the exam).