Dean’s Provision No. 1/2023
Details regarding the organization of study in doctoral programmes of study at the Second Faculty of Medicine of Charles University
In compliance with the Code of Study and Examination of Charles University (hereinafter “the Code of Study and Examination CU”) and the Code of Admissions Procedure of Charles University, along with Article 15 of the Rules of Study at the Second Faculty of Medicine of Charles University (hereinafter “FM2”, this Dean’s Directive complements and regulates other details regarding the organization of study in doctoral programmes of study at the FM2 (hereinafter “DPS”).
Study in Doctoral Programmes of Study
- Study in DPS is monitored and evaluated by the subject-area board (hereinafter “SAB”) constituted under section 47 (6) of Act No. 111/1998 Sb., to regulate higher education institutions and to change and amend other laws (hereinafter “the Higher Education Act”) and under Article 22 (13) and (14) of the Constitution of Charles University. The SAB is headed by a chair who is, in compliance with section 47 (6) of the Higher Education Act, the guarantor of a given programme of study.
- The SAB is responsible for the content and implementation of DPS.
- The administration of doctoral studies is ensured by the Doctoral Studies Office of the FM2 and coordinated by the Vice-Dean for the Doctoral Programme of Study.
- The admissions procedure for the FM2 is carried out in compliance with the Code of Admissions Procedure of Charles University.
- The conditions of the admissions procedure are different for each doctoral programme of study and are modified annually according to requirements of a particular subject-area board for a doctoral programme of study. The conditions of the admissions procedure are published by the deadline determined in a Rector’s directive. The schedule for the admissions procedure for a given academic year is published in the central application of the Study Information System (hereinafter "SIS") and on the website of the FM2 in the admissions procedure section.
- The deadline for the submission of applications for study is 30 April of the relevant calendar year. Entrance examinations to the FM2 are held only once a year, always in June.
- All DPS can be offered and implemented as full-time study or combined study, in both the Czech and English languages. The standard period of study is four years.
- DPS accredited at the FM2 are offered without specialisations within the sense of Article 2 (6) (a) of the Code of Study and Examination CU.
- According to the conditions of the admissions procedure, an applicant will submit a brief professional CV, a completed application, a supporting document indicating a promise from the proposed supervisor to perform this role, an annotation of the dissertation project, notarised documents proving the education attained (or, as the case may be, proving the studies), proof of recognition of foreign education (in the case of obtaining a diploma at a foreign university), and proof of payment of the fee for acts related to the admissions procedure (a bank statement).
- The attachments to the application must always be in the language of the programme of study for which the applicant is applying, i.e., if the applicant is applying to study in a Czech doctoral programme of study, the attachments must be in Czech (or in Slovak, provided that the SAB for the particular doctoral programme of study agrees), and if the applicant is applying to study in an English doctoral programme of study, the attachments must be in English.
- The application with all required attachments must be submitted electronically via the SIS no later than by 30 April. The attachments must be uploaded to the SIS in a legible form. Only pdf and docx files are accepted. For documents proving the education attained, proof of studies, and payment of fees, the jpg format may be used.
- At the same time, all the above-listed attachments must also be submitted in paper form by said deadline. Printed and signed forms with original signatures (not scans) should be delivered either by post (the postmark date is relevant) or in person to the Doctoral Studies Office at the FM2. Submissions sent only electronically will not be accepted. Exceptions may be granted only to applicants residing abroad. Where an exception is granted, signed originals of all documents must be delivered no later than on the date of the admission procedure.
- The information on the application form must be true and complete. If the conditions of the admissions procedure for a given programme of study require or award bonus points for a document prepared by the applicant (e.g., a motivation letter, annotation of a doctoral project, etc.), it must be the original work of the applicant. If the document submitted is assessed by the examination board as plagiarism of someone else’s text or as the result of other fraudulent conduct, the consequence thereof is non-satisfaction of the conditions for admission to study. If the board discovers this fact before the examination date, the applicant will not be eligible to sit for the examination, i.e., they will not be invited to the examination or the invitation, if already received, will be cancelled. The candidate is not entitled to an alternative date of the examination or part of it. A record of the reasons for failure to meet the conditions for admission to study will be made in the entrance examination report which forms part of the applicant’s file.
- The entrance examination is held before the examination board appointed by the Dean of the Faculty on the proposal of the Chair of the SAB. The entrance examination takes the form of an oral interview in the language of the programme of study for which the applicant submitted an application. The examination is single-round and consists of one or more parts. Further details are determined for individual programmes of study. The entrance examination includes a discussion about the proposed dissertation project and the conditions enabling the research. It is advisable for the proposed supervisor to attend the admissions interview.
- Foreign applicants applying for study in a programme in the Czech language must demonstrate sufficient command of the Czech language (or the Slovak language) by passing an entrance examination in the Czech language (or the Slovak language if the SAB of the particular doctoral programme of study agrees).
- The examination board assesses the applicant’s readiness for independent scientific work in the chosen field.
- Specific dates and deadlines are published on the website of the FM2.
- The Dean may allow an entrance examination to be held on an alternative date for a candidate who requests it within three days of the regular date of the examination. The request must be submitted electronically via the SIS and must be duly justified. Only compelling reasons, particularly health reasons, will be accepted. No other alternative date is allowed.
- Applicants may request that the entrance examination be modified due to their disabilities, including specific learning difficulties. The application must specify how the examination is to be modified and the need therefor must be evidenced by a medical report or a statement from a relevant specialist department. The application is decided on by the Vice-Dean for the Doctoral Programme of Study. If the application is found to be lacking, the Vice-Dean may request that another document or a more detailed document be added. The application is to be submitted and processed via the SIS and must be submitted no later than by 30 April of the relevant calendar year.
- If the payment for the admissions procedure is not credited to the faculty’s account by 30 April, the faculty will invite the applicant to pay the fee and will set a reasonable time for the applicant to do so. If the deficiencies are not remedied within by the set deadline, the procedure shall be discontinued. The admissions fee is non-recoverable at any stage of the procedure.
- If there are other deficiencies in the application (e.g., the application is incomplete, attachments are missing, etc.), the faculty will invite the applicant to remedy the deficiencies and will set a reasonable time for doing so. If the deficiencies in the application are not remedied by the deadline set, the procedure will be discontinued.
- Invitations to admission interviews for individual programmes of study are sent to applicants electronically via the SIS.
- The Dean decides on the results of the admissions procedure. Within 30 days of the verification of fulfilment of the requirements for admission to study, the applicant will receive a decision on admission or non-admission to study in accordance with the Code of Admissions Procedure of Charles University.
- Upon notification of the Dean’s decision on the result of the admissions procedure, the applicant has the right to inspect his/her own file. The organisational and administrative conditions for inspecting their own file are set out by the Dean in a Dean’s directive. The decision on the result of the admissions procedure may be appealed within 30 days of the date of its delivery. The appeal is submitted to the Dean. The Rector is the appeal authority.
Supervisor and Advisor
- The supervisor is an academic or researcher and an expert on the given issue, who should, given their expertise both nationally and internationally, guarantee the high-quality and proper guidance of a student, and who, at the same time, has the space and capacity to guide the student.
- The supervisor is appointed and dismissed by the Dean pursuant to Article 10 (6) of the Code of Study and Examination CU upon a proposal of the SAB of the given doctoral programme of study. The appointment of supervisors at the FM2 is regulated by the relevant directive of the Dean. The individual requirements for a given doctoral programme of study are specified by the relevant Subject-Area Board.
- When assessing the proposed supervisor (or advisor), the SAB, and subsequently the Dean, take into account:
- whether the supervisor’s research focus is consistent with the topic of the dissertation (i.e., the supervisor has demonstrated unquestionable results in the given scientific field through outputs in WOS and Scopus, scientific monographs, and accepted scientific grant projects);
- whether the number of students guided by one supervisor in doctoral programmes of study does not exceed five; any exceptions are to be approved by the Vice-Dean for the Doctoral Programme of Study.
- A student and the supervisor are required to submit a draft individual curriculum (hereinafter “IC”) via the SIS within two months of the beginning of the academic year.
- The supervisor is responsible for the quality of the doctoral project (topic) and for the professional guidance of the student.
- The supervisor or the student may apply to the SAB for the appointment of an advisor from among experts in the given programme of study who can, thanks to their special expertise or methodology and technical capabilities, guide the student through a specific subject or time period of the doctoral studies. The application must be duly justified and signed by the supervisor, as well as by the proposed advisor. It is then forwarded to the SAB for consideration.
- The advisor, as a top specialist in a given field, is capable of guiding the student and complementing the expertise of the supervisor. A person other than an employee of Charles University or contractual organizations listed in the authorization to implement DPS can act as an advisor either based on an agreement to work and the agreement to perform a job or based on a contract of mandate.
- If the supervisor cannot continue to act as a supervisor, resigns, or is dismissed, the Dean will appoint a new supervisor for the student without undue delay on the proposal of the SAB. If necessary due to the risk of delay, the chair of the SAB will perform the role of a supervisor to the extent necessary.
- The content and time schedule of the study is prepared by the student under the guidance of the supervisor within the IC in the language of the programme of study in which the student is enrolled, i.e., a student enrolled in a Czech doctoral programme of study must keep administrative records in the Czech language (or the Slovak language, provided the SAB of the given programme agrees); a student enrolled in an English doctoral programme of study must keep administrative records in the English language (or in Czech or Slovak, provided the SAB of the given programme agrees). In compliance with the Code of Study and Examination CU, the IC is exclusively prepared electronically via the SIS.
- An IC includes:
- a list of all study obligations in accordance with the requirements for the relevant programme of study, along with deadlines for the fulfilment of study obligations; the obligations must be set out explicitly and in an assessable way for each academic year;
- a dissertation project, including the sequence of the dissertation project, broken down into individual years so that the progress can be realistically assessed;
- compulsory publications; it is a student’s duty to publish in compliance with the requirements of the relevant SAB. All original scientific works (publications) which form the basis of the dissertation must be affiliated to the FM2;
- active participation in the Scientific Conference of FM2, which is a mandatory part of the IC; the presentation of results is mandatory in the 4th (or 6th and 8th) year of study. If in exceptional cases the Scientific Conference is not held in a given academic year, the mandatory active participation is postponed to the following year;
- a foreign internship, which is a mandatory part of the study in accordance with the requirements of the relevant SAB for a particular approved doctoral programme of study. The SAB has the right to modify the requirement for a foreign internship, e.g., by proving direct participation in foreign cooperation, or representation at prestigious international congresses in the given field;
- an English language exam, which is a compulsory part of the IC;
- pedagogical activities, provided they are a part of the approved requirements for the relevant doctoral programme of study; pedagogical activities are not compulsory for students of other DPS;
- the state doctoral examination (hereinafter "SDE"), including the expected academic year of it being passed;
- the defence of the dissertation, including the expected academic year in which it will take place.
- The student is required to submit the IC to the supervisor via the SIS. The preparation and approval of the ICs of first-year students in the SIS must comply with the academic calendar for the given academic year set out in a directive of the Dean of the FM2. If the student fails to upload the IC and send it to the supervisor by the deadline in the academic calendar, he/she fails to fulfil the requirement set out in these rules and, in compliance with Article 10 (6) of the Code of Study and Examination CU, his/her studies will be terminated.
- If a student does not show at least minimum cooperation in the preparation of an IC (i.e., he/she does not respond to supervisor’s calls), and if a student fails to prepare the IC and send it to the supervisor by the specified deadline, it constitutes a reason for termination of his/her studies. The SAB may request an opinion on the IC proposal from the head of the department that provides operational and technical support to the student.
- The IC becomes binding upon being approved by the SAB.
- In addition to courses offered by the relevant SAB, the IC may include courses from units outside the faculty or foreign units.
- Continuation of studies is conditional on the student’s fulfilment of the IC, which is evidenced by a regular, usually annual, evaluation prepared in the SIS and approved by the supervisor. The evaluation must include information on whether the progress of the dissertation project complies with the timeline proposed in the IC. In accordance with Article 10 (8) of the Code of Study and Examination CU, the IC evaluation is considered and approved by the SAB. The outcome of the evaluation is a conclusion that the student:
- has fulfilled the IC;
- has failed to fulfil some obligations under the IC;
- has failed to fulfil obligations under the IC.
In the case of an evaluation “the student has failed to fulfil some parts of the IC without serious reasons” (i.e., evaluation according to subparagraph b), the SAB will determine how the student is to fulfil the unfulfilled obligations and will set the deadline therefor, or the SAB may propose a reduction in the bursary in compliance with the Scholarships and Bursaries Rules of Charles University currently in effect. In the case of an evaluation under subparagraph c), the procedure under the Code of Study and Examination CU applies. The student may also be evaluated in an extraordinary manner if this has been proposed in the annual evaluation by the supervisor or the SAB, or if the student has received a “B-” grade from the SAB. In such a case, the student must upload and submit the extraordinary evaluation to the supervisor between 1 March and 31 March, the supervisor then submits the extraordinary evaluation to the SAB by 15 April, and the SAB closes the extraordinary evaluation by 30 April.
- The evaluation is completed in the language of the programme of study in which the student is enrolled, i.e., a student enrolled in a Czech doctoral programme of study completes the evaluation in the Czech language (or the Slovak language, provided that the SAB of the given programme agrees), and a student enrolled in an English doctoral programme of study completes the evaluation in English (or Czech or Slovak, provided the SAB of the given programme agrees).
- The date of the evaluation is determined in accordance with deadlines in effect at Charles University, and with a directive of the Dean of FM2.
- A student may apply for a change of IC in principle within the framework of the annual evaluation of the previous unit of study, exclusively via the SIS. Changes in IC are decided on by the relevant SAB. Any change in IC must be justified or supported by relevant documents. The change must be recommended by the supervisor. Once approved by the SAB, the changes become binding.
- An application for a change in IC based on the care of a child by the student for a recognised period of parental leave can be made after a recognised period of parental leave has been entered in the records.
- If a student wishes to withdraw from his/her studies, he/she is are obliged to immediately submit a notice of withdrawal in hard copy form with a handwritten signature to the Doctoral Studies Office.
State Doctoral Examination
- A student submits an application to take the SDE after the assessment of the fulfilment of study requirements according to the prerequisites of the relevant SAB by the Doctoral Studies Office of the FM2. The application in hard copy (not electronic) form with the original signatures of the student and the supervisor must be submitted at least three months before the scheduled date of the examination.
- The SDE takes place before the defence of the dissertation. The date of the SDE is set by the Dean on the proposal of the SAB, which is obliged to provide the Doctoral Studies Office with the necessary information (i.e., the date and venue of the examination) at least two months before the SDE is held.
- The chairperson and members of the examination board for the SDE are appointed by the Dean on the proposal of the SAB. The number of members of the examination board present may not be fewer than three. Experts must be approved by the Research Board of the relevant faculty. At least one member of the examination board must not be a member of the academic community of the FM2.
- The SDE is carried out in oral form and must be conducted in the language of the programme of study in which a student is enrolled. If a student wishes to take the SDE in a different language, he/she must submit an application therefor along with the application to take the SDE. Taking the SDE in another language must be approved by the SAB and there is no legal right to do so, i.e., it is only possible in exceptional and justified cases.
- The SDE usually takes place within two or three months of the submission of a written application.
- A student may re-sit the SDE only once.
- The re-sit examination date is determined by the Dean upon a proposal of the SAB.
- If a student fails to appear for the SDE for which they are registered without a proper excuse, they are not assessed and the examination date lapses. The validity of the excuse is to be decided by the Dean.
- In exceptional cases, the SDE can be done remotely under the conditions set out in the Code of Study and Examination CU. The chair of the SAB of the given programme of study must inform the student well in advance about the conditions for holding the SDE remotely.
- The date and venue of the SDE is published on the website of the FM2.
The Dissertation and its Defence
- The dissertation is to be written in the language of the programme of study in which the student is enrolled. The student may apply for the possibility to write the dissertation in another language. The student will submit a reasoned written application, with the approval of the supervisor, to the Doctoral Studies Office well in advance; the application is subject to the approval of the SAB. If the application is granted, the Doctoral Studies Office will change the language of the dissertation in the SIS. This application cannot be made at the time when the student is submitting an application to hold the defence. The application for the possibility to write the dissertation in a different language must be submitted at the end of the 3rd year of study at the latest.
- The approval of the supervisor to write the dissertation in a language other than the language of the programme of study in which the student is enrolled does not imply an a priori consent to holding the defence of the dissertation in that other language.
- The title (topic) of the dissertation, which is binding, is indicated in the student’s IC. An application for a change of the dissertation title/topic must be submitted in writing and must include the consent of the supervisor. If the application is approved by the SAB, the Doctoral Studies Office will make the change in the SIS. This application cannot be made while the student is submitting an application to hold the defence. The application for a change of the title/topic of the dissertation should be submitted no later than at the end of the 3rd year of study.
- The dissertation should be at least 60 and no more than 150 standard pages long, excluding references cited and appendices. The dissertation may be based on an annotated collection of at least four published communications on a common theme corresponding to the title of the dissertation. The student’s contribution to each of the publications underlying the dissertation must be clearly defined. The conditions may be regulated in the accreditation of the specific doctoral programme of study.
- The conditions for applying for the dissertation defence are the fulfilment of all study requirements determined in the IC, successful passing of the SDE, and submission of published scientific papers according to the requirements of the relevant SAB.
- The dissertation includes an outline. The outline of the dissertation is an A5-format booklet containing a brief summary of the whole dissertation, including the aim, content, results, characteristics of the original solution, literature used, and an English summary. The outline is written in the same language as the dissertation. The requirements for the format and content of the outline of the dissertation may be further specified in the accreditation of a particular doctoral programme of study.
- The dissertation must be prepared in accordance with the template provided in the appendix to this Directive and on the website of the FM2, unless otherwise expressly provided for in the accreditation of the relevant doctoral programme of study. It must comply with requirements in terms of language and form.
- The application for the dissertation defence in hard copy (not electronic) form bearing the original signatures of the student and the supervisor, including all required attachments according to the applicable regulations, and along with the dissertation, is to be submitted by the student after he/she passes the SDE at least three months before the planned date of the defence, however, no later than six months before the expiry of the maximum period of study.
- The chairperson and members of the dissertation defence board are appointed by the Dean on a proposal of the SAB from among professors, associate professors, and experts. The role of the chair of the dissertation defence board is incompatible with the role of a supervisor, advisor, and opponent. The supervisor may be a member of the board. At least one member must not be a member of the academic community of the FM2. The number of members of the board present must not be less than three. The SAB is obliged to provide the Doctoral Studies Office with the necessary information (i.e., the date and venue of the defence) at least two months before the holding of the defence.
- The supervisor nominates reviewers. The dissertation defence board will appoint two reviewers who will prepare a report on the dissertation submitted. The dissertation defence board may approve the supervisor’s nominees, but has the right to appoint other reviewers regardless of the supervisor’s nominations.
- Only an associate professor, professor, or a person who has been awarded the academic degree of Ph.D., CSc., DrSc., or Dr. can be appointed as a reviewer. No person from the unit where the supervisor works, nor a person who participated in the writing of the dissertation or is the author of any of the papers submitted by the student can be appointed as a reviewer. The appointed reviewers may be members of the dissertation defence board.
- The dissertation, the outline, and an application for reviewers’ reports will be sent to the reviewers by the Doctoral Studies Office of the FM2 within two months of the receipt of the dissertation. In the case of foreign reviewers, a report in English may be accepted. The reviewer should immediately notify the relevant body if he/she is unable or unwilling to prepare the report. In such case, the dissertation defence board will appoint a new reviewer.
- If the reviewer fails to deliver the report on time, the defence will be cancelled. The student should receive the report no later than one week before the date of the defence.
- The reviewers’ reports are entered into the SIS where they are available for consultation. The student is informed about the reports having been uploaded by way of an e-mail notification. The reviewers’ reports are sent to the members of the dissertation defence board well in advance. At the same time, the date and venue of the defence are published on the website of the FM2.
- If both reports do not recommend the dissertation for the defence, the student may withdraw from the defence before it takes place. The dissertation defence date lapses.
- The defence of the dissertation is conducted in the language of the programme of study in which a student is enrolled. A student who is enrolled in a Czech doctoral programme of study does the defence in the Czech language (or the Slovak language, provided that the SAB agrees), and a student enrolled in an English doctoral programme of study does the defence in English. A student may submit a duly substantiated written application, which includes a supervisor’s opinion, to have the language of the defence changed; the application will be considered by the SAB. There is no legal right to have the defence held in a language other than the language of the programme of study in which the student is enrolled, i.e., it is only possible in exceptional and justified cases.
- A student may defend his/her dissertation thesis a maximum of two times, i.e., he/she has the right to one retake date. If the student fails to defend his/her dissertation even on the retake date, he/she has not fulfilled the requirement set by the Code of Study and Examination CU and the study is terminated. A resit for the defence is possible no earlier than six months after the original date of the holding of the defence. The dissertation defence board will determine whether the dissertation needs to be rewritten or complemented. The re-sit date for the defence is set by the Dean upon a proposal from the SAB.
- If a student fails to attend on the date of the defence of the dissertation for which he/she is registered without a proper excuse, the date of the defence lapses. The validity of the excuse is to be decided on by the Dean in accordance with Article 11 (15) of the Code of Study and Examination CU.
- In exceptional cases, the defence of the dissertation can be done remotely under the conditions set out in the Code of Study and Examination CU. The chair of the SAB of the study programme must inform the student well in advance of the conditions for holding the defence remotely. A student may apply that the defence be held remotely by submitting a duly completed application to the Doctoral Studies Office.
- If, for serious reasons, no reviewer can attend the defence even remotely, but both reviewers have timely and duly submitted their reports on the dissertation, the defence may be held in their absence. The student’s answers to the reviewers’ questions are then assessed by the entire dissertation defence board.
- Unless otherwise provided in laws, the Code of Study and Examination CU, or this Dean’s Directive, communication between a student and the Faculty regarding study issues takes place through submissions in the SIS, or, as the case may be, a student submits documents in person or by mail to the Doctoral Studies Office.
- This Directive repeals Dean’s Directive No. 15/2019.
- Article IV (3B) hereof repeals Article 4 (2c) of Dean’s Directive No. 11/2017.
- In compliance with Rules of Study at the Second Faculty of Medicine CU, in order to be valid, this Directive requires the opinion of the Academic Senate of the Faculty.
- The Academic Senate of the Faculty approved this Dean’s Directive on 21 December 2022.
- This Dean’s Directive becomes effective on 24 January 2023.
In Prague on 24 January 2023
Prof. MUDr. Marek Babjuk, CSc.
Dean of the Second Faculty of Medicine of CU
Attachment 1: Identification on the book binding
Attachment 2: Identification on the front page
Attachment 3: Author’s declaration
Attachment 4: Bibliography
Attachment 5: Outline of the dissertation – the jacket
Attachment 6: Outline of the dissertation – inside of the jacket
1 The frames in the attachments are of an illustrative nature. Do not insert frames into the dissertation itself nor into the presentation of the dissertation.