Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC)

At the onset of the PhD, a Thesis Advisory committee (TAC) must be appointed.


What is the TAC?

The TAC is a committee of experts whose role is to advise, support, and provide critical feedback on your thesis project and results interpretation.


Composition of theTAC 

The TAC consists of at least 3 members (maximum 5) including the PhD supervisorone internal expert (from the PhD hosting institution, but not involved in the thesis supervision) and one external expert (from an external institution). All members of the committee should hold a PhD and have expertise in the Thesis project’s research topic.

Once a committee as been formed, please complete the TAC registration form and send it back to the DSLS coordinator (ds.biology@unine.ch) for approval.


How often does the TAC meet?

The TAC meets once a year. First within the first four to six months of the PhD (ideally before the first field work or data collection) to evaluate the project feasibility and methodology. Then 18, 30, and 42 months after the onset of the PhD thesis.

We encourage these meetings to be held online. The PhD candidate and the supervisor are responsible for organizing the meetings.



  • Before the meeting, the candidate will send the committee a short progress report
  • During the meeting, the candidate will briefly present the thesis project (or progress) and its next steps. The TAC members will provide direct feedbacks and suggestions for improvement and continuation.
  • At the end of the meeting, the candidate should leave the (virtual) room so that the TAC members can discuss and evaluate the candidate and the project, and complete the online report form ("TAC meeting report form for committee members"), the candidate should also be offered the opportunity to discuss with the committee members in the absence of the supervisor.
  • After the meeting, the candidate is required to complete the online PhD report form summarizing the fedbacks and comments received from the committee ("TAC meeting report form for PhD candidate")

Both forms should be approved and signed by all TAC members and sent back to ds.biology@unine.ch

These meetings and forms are meant to evalute regularly the PhD progress, as well as the quality of the supervision, and to ensure a good follow-up of the candidate curriculum.