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Questions & answers from our video to doctoral studies

DOCTORAL STUDIES

Q: Is the deadline for submitting applications for doctoral study programmes (DSP) still valid? Are admission interviews going to take place on the previously planned dates?

A: The previously announced dates are valid. Information is available at faculty website. Admission interviews will take place. Due to the current situation, they may take place in a different regime that would be similar as for the state examinations. The dates set by subject boards will be published in the next couple of days.

Q: Is it possible to register for doctoral state examinations and thesis defence already now?

A: Yes, it is possible. Everything goes on except that it is preferred that all necessary documents be submitted electronically and after a previous arrangement with the relevant person at the Department of Science.

Q: What is happening with doctoral procedures that had already started?

A: These procedures are continuing. Most matters are performed via electronic communications. For instance, in the case of submitting a dissertation thesis: it can be presented in an electronic form that is identical to the printed one. In advance, that must be arranged with the guarantor of the subject board whether an electronic form is sufficient. For submitting a printed version, a doctoral candidate must contact (by mail or phone) the relevant person at the Department of Science and arrange with her or him when and how the printed thesis will be submitted.

Q: When and how will the cancelled April doctoral state examinations and dissertation defences take place?

A: They will take place as soon as possible, once the state of emergency of lifted. Cautiously, we would say possibly already in May. The date will be in principle announced by the guarantor or head of the relevant area board. Assuming that it will even then be necessary to observe strict hygienic measures applied also to other kinds of state examinations, these examinations, too, may take a ‘semi-distance’ form. For this moment, however, we do not believe that the entire doctoral state exam or defence would take place entirely online (i.e. in a distance form).

We believe that May and June dates of doctoral state examinations and these defences hold although we cannot exclude the possibility that they may be postponed.

Q: Are the cancelled courses of doctoral study programmes going to be replaced?

A: If they were supposed to run during the period of the state of emergency, they will not be replaced. If, however, they did not take place during the state of emergency, they also will not be required for meeting the study obligations and they will be replaced in the following academic year. There are many reasons for this decision: it may be, for instance, difficult to organise a course that was supposed to include external lecturers.

Q: Will the annual assessment take into account the epidemiological situation?

A: Yes, it will, but only if students had some objective reasons for not meeting study obligations that would have taken the form of, for instance, participation in a course or conference that took place during the state of emergency or if they were supposed to do an internship or traineeship during that time. Obligations such as completion of a publication or research results do not belong to this category, although here, too, is may be possible that student evaluation will be more benevolent. That, though, is fully under the purview of the field board. It should be noted that Rector’s measure issued in March this year emphasised that adopted measures are not supposed to disrupt scientific activity.

You can find video here (only Czech version).

FURTHER INFORMATION:

– ‘Providing aid in the current situation’ cannot be recognised as meeting the demands of a course. This is due to the specific content of courses as well as the fact that the SIS does not include any actions linked to volunteer activities that could be fulfilled in this way.

Violation of the maximum duration of study in doctoral programmes. For students in the 9th year of study in doctoral programmes who probably will not be able to conclude their studies (defend their dissertation) by 30 September 2020 and will thereby exceed the maximum duration of study:

According to the proposed legal act on special rules for education and decision making at universities in 2020 and assessment of duration of study for the purpose of other legal, study in a study programme from 1 March 2020 until 31 August 2020 (henceforth ‘period of disrupted study’) does not count towards the maximum duration of study for the purpose of meeting study obligations.

In connection with this abovementioned legal measure, the Charles University is preparing an extraordinary measure that will extent the maximum duration of study. In case a student would have exceeded the maximum duration of study during a period between the introduction of the state of emergency until the end of calendar year 2020, this maximum duration of study is extended until the end of calendar year 2021.

It must be emphasised that at the moment, neither of these legislative proposals has been adopted yet.

Professor Libuše Kolářová, Vice Dean for grant projects and postgraduate doctoral studies at the First Faculty of medicine of the Charles University

 

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