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Procedure for registering for a PhD defence
(Detailed information about the procedure of submitting a PhD thesis at the 1st Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University is available here.)
1. PhD thesis is usually written in Czech, but depending on regulations of the individual faculties, the use of other languages may also be permitted. Language of the PhD thesis must be specified in the PhD student’s individual study plan.
2. Students may work on their PhD theses in a ‘cotutelle’ regime, i.e. under double supervision. This approach is especially well-suited for collaboration with international universities: it enables doctoral students to complete part of their thesis at a university abroad and under supervision by experts from both the foreign institution and the Charles University. For more detail, see Methodical Directives Pertaining to Administration of Agreement on Joint Supervision of Dissertation Theses, So-Called ‘Cotutelle’, Between the Charles University and a Foreign University, available here.
3. A precondition for presenting a PhD thesis are at least two original studies (on issues relevant to the subject of the PhD thesis) which had been accepted for publication in internationally respected science journals with a defined impact factor higher than 1.0. If it is stipulated in the PhD student’s individual study plan or internal regulations of the faculty, the PhD candidate must be the first author. PhD thesis is presented to the Field Board via the relevant department of the Dean’s Office either in a traditional format or in the form of a monothematic collection of at least 4 scientific publications closely relevant to the subject of the PhD thesis. In this case, if thus stipulated in the individual study plan or internal regulations of the faculty, at least two of these studies must meet the condition of having been published in an impacted journal. PhD thesis is submitted in the form of a hardback copy in four exemplars to the deans. Publication of PhD thesis in an electronic database of final theses is regulated by Rector’s Directive No. 6/2010 and further regulations issued by deans of the individual faculties.
4. Together with the doctoral thesis, the PhD student presents to the Field Board a presentation written in Czech or English (and with a Czech or English summary) completed according to instructions published on the website of Doctoral Study Programmes in Biomedicine. The purpose of this presentation is to familiarise members of the committee for PhD thesis defence with student’s scientific activities. The presentation must include a description of the PhD thesis goals, methods, main results, as well as a summary and a list of publications by the PhD student (see attachment). Copies of the presentation are sent by the relevant department of the Dean’s Office to the deans, members of the committee, and the board of the Coordination Council.
5. Rules further specifying the process of registration, submission, and publication of final theses are defined in the Code of Studies and Examinations of the Charles University, Rector’s Directive No. 6/1020 and Rector’s Directive No. 8/2011, and further directives issued by the dean of the faculty at which the PhD student is registered.
Rules for writing a PhD thesis
1. PhD thesis in its classical form should include:
a) the first page organised according to a template (see attachment);
b) statement about independent work on the PhD thesis (see attachment);
c) thesis registration (see attachment);
d) introduction into the relevant literature and an overview of the subject;
e) definition of the goals of the thesis including working hypotheses;
f) description of experimental methods used, including statistical ones;
g) an overview of goals which were achieved, including proper documentation and adequate statistical evaluation;
h) discussion of methods and results, including a comparison with relevant studies by other authors;
i) conclusion and evaluation of thesis goals and hypotheses;
j) a summary in Czech and English;
2. References in the text should follow the author–year format (Author J., 1989). For one or two authors, both authors and the publication year are listed, for three and more authors, only the first author is listed followed by ‘et al.’, so the format is (Author, A. et al., year). In bibliography, journal articles are referred to by year of publication, year of the journal, number of the journal, pages from–to, in this sequence.
3. PhD theses based on a monothematic collection of at least 4 scientific publications must also follow a traditional form (see point 1, including a critical overview of relevant publications). Such PhD theses should also include figures and charts documenting the main results and discoveries achieved in the thesis. Published articles and the presentation are then viewed as integral part of a thesis.
4. Traditional PhD theses should be at least 60–80 pages long, exclusive of bibliography and appendices or supplementary materials. PhD theses based on at least 4 published articles should be at least 30–40 pages long, not counting bibliography and appendices or supplementary materials.
PhD thesis defence
1. At least five members of the committee must be present. Chair and members of the committee for PhD thesis defence are appointed by the dean of the relevant faculty based on Field Board’s recommendation.
2. The committee appoints two opponents. Only a Docent (assistant professor), professor, or a person who holds the title of Ph.D., CSc., DrCs., or Dr. may be appointed opponent. Opponent may not be a person who collaborated on the preparation of the PhD thesis in question or co-authored any of the published works presented by the PhD candidate.
3. The chair of the committee sends the PhD thesis to the opponents jointly with notification about being appointed opponent via the relevant department of the Dean’s Office. This must take place at the latest one month after a PhD student submitted the application for PhD thesis defence.
4. Opponents submit their evaluation of the PhD thesis to the relevant department of the Dean’s Office at the latest two months after receiving the thesis. If incapable of doing so, opponents notify the persons concerned that they cannot prepare the evaluation within 14 days of receiving the PhD thesis. If an opponent fails to deliver thesis evaluation by the deadline and fails to submit it even after a further reminder, or if an opponent states he or she cannot submit the evaluation, the committee appoints a new opponent. Prior to the defence (viva) proper, the relevant department of the Dean’s Office sends opponents’ evaluations to the PhD student and to the head of the Field Board. Appointed opponents may also function as members of the committee for PhD defence. At least one of the two appointed opponents is required to attend the PhD thesis defence (viva).
5. The PhD defence (viva) is open to the public. It usually takes place within 3 months after submission of the PhD thesis.
6. The committee decides on the classification of PhD defence in a closed (non-public) session immediately following after the defence (viva) in a non-public vote. PhD thesis defence is classified as either ‘passed’ or ‘did not pass’. The committee decides by the majority of votes of members present. In case the votes are split equally, chairperson’s vote decides.
7. PhD students are notified about the result of their PhD thesis defence publicly by the chair of the defence committee immediately after the committee’s closed session. In case of unsuccessful PhD defence, the committee also decides whether a thesis ought to be reworked or supplemented by further information. PhD defence can only be retaken once, no earlier than 6 months after the date of the original PhD defence.