Experts for the oral exams of Master’s projects (PDM)
An expert attends the oral exam for the Master’s project. The expert is chosen by virtue of his competence in the subject to be examined. Should the expert be an EPFL staff member, he should not have any link of subordination with the teacher in charge of the Master’s project. The expert can also be chosen amongst persons external to EPFL (not listed in the SAP salary system of EPFL). In any case the expert should not be a student nor a PhD student.
The role of the expert is to ensure that the exam proceeds smoothly. He has the role of supervisor and conciliator. He intercedes with the teacher in the event of any irregularity. He writes a summary of the oral examination and keeps the notes for six months after the end of the student’s studies cycle. He asks questions freely and participates in the evaluation. Before the exam, he examines the student’s project report, which has been transmitted to him by the program in charge.
The use of videoconferencing (e.g., Zoom) is highly recommended e.g. if the external expert is not in Switzerland and/or cannot be present at the oral exam. This rule can also apply to the EPFL teacher and/or the student if necessary.
The EPFL teacher decides on the examination procedure for the project. For a Master’s project carried out outside EPFL, he can validate the principle of an exam at the host institution, require an exam via videoconference, or request an exam in his presence at EPFL. In the latter case, the presence of the representative of the host institution is not necessary, a report from the latter being considered sufficient.
The remuneration/reimbursement of external experts (not listed in the SAP salary system of EPFL) is calculated according to the standard EPFL rate. An indemnity of CHF 100.- per project, as well as reimbursed costs for transportation, one meal, and if necessary a hotel room for one night may be claimed (for a maximum total of CHF 700.-). Internal experts are not remunerated/reimbursed.
The EPFL teacher should print out the claim form (“note de frais”) from his online IS-Academia portal and complete it together with the expert. The form, duly signed by both parties, should be sent, with all supporting documentation, including boarding passes when applicable, via internal post to: Registrar’s Office, SAC-PDM, Station 16. Any question regarding this form may be addressed to [email protected].
Internal observers for oral examinations conducted during exam sessions
All oral examinations conducted during exam sessions must take place in the presence of an internal observer. The observer should be an experienced EPFL staff member, but should not have any link of subordination with the teacher of the examined subject. The observer attends the oral examination and ensures that it proceeds smoothly. He has the role of supervisor and conciliator. He intercedes with the teacher in the event of any irregularity.
Once the exam schedules have been published on IS-Academia, each study program prepares its list of observers, ensuring that the designated persons are available and informing them of the exam dates. The SAC-Exams ([email protected]) office registers the observers’ names on IS-Academia. The office also notifies all observers by email that they can check their schedule on IS-Academia.
Any change of observer must be communicated to the study program, who will then inform the SAC-Exams ([email protected]) office accordingly.