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Doctoral study programmes


Doctoral studies are individual, provided under the direction of the Supervising Tutor and as a rule a Consulting Tutor as well, and are constituted by courses of lectures, seminars, self-study, and in particular solution of the assigned research project (the dissertation thesis). It is completed by the State Doctoral Examination and the defence of the dissertation thesis.

Graduates of a doctoral study programmes are given a diploma to certify the completion of studies, stating the particular study programme. Graduates are granted the degree of “Doctor” (Ph.D. affixed to the name). 

The 1st Faculty of Medicine of Charles University also carries out doctoral study programmes in cooperation with other faculties of Charles University and institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences, within the so-called "biomedicine" (DSPB), based on the agreement between Charles University and the Czech Academy of Sciences. More information about the DSPB study is available in the Doctoral study programmes in biomedicine section and on the website of the Czech Academy of Sciences.
These study programmes are: Biochemistry and Pathobiochemistry, Biomedical Informatics, Cell Biology and Pathology, Developmental and Cell Biology, Experimental Surgery, Gerontology, Human Physiology and Pathophysiology, Imaging Methods in Medicine, Immunology, Medical Biophysics, Microbiology, Molecular and Cell Biology, Genetics and Virology, Neurosciences, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Preventive medicine and Epidemiology.

Furthermore, it is possible to study the doctoral study programmes, which are accredited only at our faculty or in cooperation with other faculties of Charles University. Information about these programs is available in the Other doctoral study programmes section.
These programmes are: Addiction: Specialization in Health Care, Bioethics, Cardiovascular Science, History of Medicine, Medical Psychology and Psychopathology, Nutritional and Metabolic Sciences, Parasitology.

General information about the doctoral studies at Charles University is available on the Charles University website in the Doctoral Studies section. For further information on the study of a specific doctoral study programme accredited at the 1st Medical Faculty of Charles University, please contact the doctoral study officers at the 1st Medical Faculty of Charles University. 

Further education of doctoral students is offered by the Doctoral Study Platform.

I. Organization structure of doctoral studies

Field Boards
The content matter and organization of studies in particular study programmes are provided by Field Boards (thereinafter “Boards”) which are guarantors for quality of particular study programmes. Their members are appointed by the Rector at the Dean’s proposal and at the proposal from particular training institutions involved, following discussion in the Scientific Board. The chairperson of the Field Board summons and directs sessions of the Field Board and acts on its behalf when negotiating with the respective faculty’s authorities and in sessions of the Co-ordinating Board for Doctoral Studies in Biomedicine. The scope of authority of the Field Board ensues from the valid wording of the Act on Schools of Higher Education.

In particular, the Field Boards
- suggest the programme of lectures, courses and other forms of study in the given study programme;
- suggest that the dean of the respective faculty appoints the Supervising Tutors;
- suggest the composition of the entrance procedure boards to be approved by the dean;
- judge and approve the framework study plans (curricula) for students in doctoral study programmes;
- provide the requirements for State Doctoral Examinations;
- suggest that the dean appoints the members of boards for State Doctoral Examinations;
- suggest that the dean appoints the members of boards for defences of dissertation theses;
- suggest that the dean appoints the examiners of dissertation theses;
- observe and evaluate the progress of studies in particular students and give suggestions concerning changes in the amount of bursaries;

The chairperson of the Field Board settles any possible disputes between the student and the Supervising Tutor.

Guarantors of the programmes
The guarantor of a doctoral programme of study is the chairperson of the relevant Field Board.

In particular, the guarantor
is responsible for the Field Board activities; he is responsible to the dean of the faculty and the Rector of the University for the observation of Charles University regulations, the content and implementation of contracts – the so-called cotutelle (Agreement on Bi-national Supervision of a Doctoral Thesis between Charles University and a foreign university);
is appointed and removed by the Rector;
in the case of the appointment of a new supervisor performs the supervisory duties to the necessary extent if the risk of delay requires so.

The student of doctoral studies
A graduate in a Master study programme who was admitted on the basis of the entrance procedure.

Doctoral studies are provided in the full-time or combined form. Students in doctoral study programmes are students of the respective faculties where the study programme is taken. Students in doctoral study programmes are members of the academic community; their rights and duties are regulated by the respective provisions of the Act on Schools of Higher Education, the Statute of Charles University, statutes of the faculties and other internal regulations.

The standard duration of studies in doctoral study programmes is three or four years.

The maximum duration of the studies in a doctoral study programme is
- equal to the standard duration of studies plus five years for students who started their studies in the academic year 2016/17 or earlier;
- eight years for students who started their studies in the academic year 2017/18 or later (with the exceptions stated in the Code of Study and Examination of Charles University, Art. 6., part 10).

The applicant becomes a student at the moment of enrolment at the respective faculty. The student will be given a Study Record Book (index) and the Student’s Card.

Supervising Tutor
The student is guided by the Supervising Tutor, who is appointed by the dean of the faculty from among prominent specialists in the given field at the proposal by the Field Board; the appointment is subject to the Supervising Tutor’s written consent to perform this function and the consent of the principal of the training institution where the Supervising Tutor’s workplace is.

The Supervising Tutor’s duties:
frames, together with the Student, the draft individual study plan to be submitted to the Field Board for approval within two months following the start of the first year of study;
provides the topic of the dissertation thesis;
continuously observes the fulfilment of the Student’s study obligations and regularly consults his/her progress with them;
provides for the basic operating conditions of the doctorand’s studies;
regularly (at least once a year) evaluates the Student’s performance, in writing informs the Field Board of the evaluation, and in case of failure to perform the tasks required may suggest termination of the studies or another measure (according to Art. 10, part 8 of the Code of Study and Examination of Charles University) to be considered by the Field Board.

The Supervising Tutor bears the crucial responsibility for the Student’s scientific education.

The Supervising Tutor may suggest a Consulting Tutor to be appointed from among specialists in the given field, who thanks to his/her special expert knowledge or methodological and technical capacities is able to direct the Student within a particular factual or time section of the doctoral studies. The Consulting Tutor is appointed by the Dean of the Faculty at the suggestion by the Field Board.

The List of Supervising Tutors of Charles University – the First Faculty of Medicine

II. Principles of admission procedure
For doctoral studies, applicants are admitted following the admission procedure, which is performed for particular study programmes at particular faculties within the period set by the Rector for the admission procedures, usually in June.

The opening of the admission procedure is announced to public by the faculties on their official notice boards not later than 4 months prior to the deadline for placing the applications, and at the same time the Rector Office of Charles University is notified.

In the announcements they shall state:
doctoral study programmes to be open in the given year;
terms and conditions set for admission, other conditions and extra conditions for bonuses;
content matter of the admission examination;
criteria for evaluation of the admission examination;
site where the application form and more information can be obtained;
deadline for placing the applications.

The applications are usually submitted electronically via university information system. All enclosures of the electronic application have to be sent also physically to the Dean Offices. The completed applications with all required documents enclosed are passed to the Chairpersons of the given Field Boards.

How to apply for studies - current information

Admission interviews take place by particular study programmes at commissions which are appointed by the dean of the faculty at the suggestion of the chairperson of the Field Board, usually from among members of the respective Field Board. The chairperson of the commission is usually the chairperson of the Field Board. The admission interview can also include discussion of the proposed project of the dissertation thesis and the conditions enabling its solution. The admission commission takes a vote on the result of the admission interview in a closed session: in case of equality of votes, the chairperson’s vote decides. The admission procedure is marked on the two-grade scale: “admitted” or “not admitted”. If the number of applicants exceeds the number that can be admitted, the commission shall set their standing.

The minutes of the admission interview will be passed by the chairperson to the Dean within three days following the interview. On the result of the admission interview, the Dean will decide. The Dean Office shall send the decision to the Student within 30 days following the admission interview. In case of being not admitted, the applicant can ask the Rector, via the Dean’s mediation, for appellation procedure to the effect of Article of the Act #111/1998. The application of appellation procedure can be placed within 30 days following the delivery of the Dean’s decision.

Other details are specified by the Admission Procedure Regulations of Charles University.

Enrolment of students of doctoral studies will be performed by the respective department of the faculty.

III. Course of studies

Individual study plan (curriculum)
The individual study plan is, following agreement with the student, designed by the Supervising Tutor, who submits it to the Field Board for approval in two months following the commencement of the studies. The individual study plan provides what courses of lectures are compulsory for the student, specifies the details and schedule of the studies, and possibly study stays at other institutions (including those abroad) and their programme, as well as the topic and direction of the dissertation thesis. The student’s individual programme includes, as a rule, two parts: the studying part and the part focused on work on the dissertation thesis.

The studying part, as a rule, is divided:
into the general sphere, with the focus on deepening the common basics of the study programme chosen by the Student, on study of scientific disciplines connected with the given programme, and on study of English, and
into the specialized sphere, focused on research into the specific scientific task and on work on the dissertation thesis.

Duties of the student in a doctoral programme
One of the student’s duties in a doctoral programme is mastering methodology of scientific work so that after completing the doctoral studies they will be capable of autonomous scientific research and publication of its results in internationally acknowledged periodicals.

During the studies, the student has to pass courses of lectures according to the requirements of the relevant study programme and an English examination. To be allowed to complete the studies by the dissertation thesis defence, the student must also have the appropriate number (depending on the study programme) of publications in professional journals, usually with an impact factor. The Field Board may impose some other study obligations upon them too.

According to the Supervising Tutor’s instructions, the Student must take an active part in scientific conferences, congresses and assemblies of scientific societies, and inform about his/her results in seminars. It is recommended that these assignments are incorporated in the Student’s study plan.

During studies, the Student can apply for replacement of the Supervising Tutor and/or change of the topic; such a change must always be well substantiated and approved by the respective Field Board.

The student may apply for interruption of studies. If a student applies for interruption of studies in writing and no disciplinary proceeding has been brought against him/her, the dean shall grant the application. In his/her decision, the dean shall also provide the terms and conditions of the repeated enrolment. The reason for interruption of studies is, in particular, maternity leave (now according to Act # 48/2013 Coll., i.e. Acknowledged Parental Leave Act), health problems or study stay abroad that is not incorporated in the study plan. For the period of interruption of studies, the person is not a student.

VI. Doctoral State Examination and Defence of the dissertation thesis

VII. Termination of the studies
The studies are regularly finished by completion of the respective study programme. The date of completion of the studies is the day when the dissertation thesis is successfully defended. Further, the studies may be terminated by:
leaving the study;
failure to meet the requirements resulting from the study programme;
withdrawal of the accreditation for the study programme;
expiration of the accreditation for the study programme;
expulsion from the studies.

A graduate of a doctoral study programme who has passed all the required examinations and defended the dissertation thesis shall be given a diploma issued by Charles University, stating the study programme, the training institution and the academic degree granted.

VIII. Studies of foreign nationals
The student of a doctoral study programme can be a national of any country, if he/she meets the conditions prescribed for the chosen form of study. Studies in Czech language are free of charge. Studies in a study programme in a foreign language are provided for fees. The actual amount of the fee is set out in the Appendix No. 2 to the Constitution of Charles University - Fees for Study for the relevant academic year. There is no fee for doctoral studies in English at the First Faculty of Medicine in the academic year 2020/21. The applicant’s state of health must meet the requirements concerning foreign nationals permitted long-term residence in the Czech Republic.


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