Dissertation and Defense

Essential information about the Dissertation
 
Rules for writing the dissertation

Dissertation has paper format of A4, suggested margins are of 2,5 cm. Recommended line spacing is 1,5. The font should be proportional serif 12pt (Times New Roman). The font for headings should be slightly larger.

Tables and figures should be numbered and labeled. All tables and figures are referenced in the text (see Fig. 3…). Under the table or figure, the proper source should be mentioned (including the author, if necessary). Tables and figures should be directly related to the text. Otherwise, they should be located in appendices at the end of the dissertation.

Single print is strongly recommended. The referencing style has to be consistent. It is inappropritate to put references to footnotes. The list of references  at the end of the dissertation should be sorted in alphabetical order.

1. A dissertation in the classical form includes the following parts:

  • front page – arranged to the given pattern (see the enclosure)
  • affidavit of independent authorship of the dissertation (the enclosure)
  • identification record (the enclosure)
  • introductory survey of literature and overview of the problem
  • outline of objectives of the dissertation, including formulation of hypotheses
  • description of the experimental methods used, including statistical ones
  • survey of own results, duly documented and adequately statistically evaluated
  • discussion of methodological procedures and results, including comparison to the literature
  • conclusion and evaluation of the objectives and hypotheses of the dissertation
  • summary (in Czech and English language)
  • list of literature used

2. Citations in the text should be given by the name and year (e.g. Author J., 1989). If there is only one author, then one author and the year is given; if there are two authors, both of them are given plus the year; in case of three or more authors it will say e.g. “Author J. et al., 1989”. The standard of citations should be as follows: year of publication, yearly volume of the journal, number of the journal, pages (from – to).

3. A dissertation based on a set of at least 4 scientific publications that is consistent in terms of the topic must be compiled in the classical manner (see Paragraph 1, also including the summarizing discussion of all particular publications). Even the commented dissertation should include diagrams and visuals documenting the principal discoveries done in the thesis. Part of the dissertation are the previously published articles and the author’s abstract.

4. A classical dissertation should consist in 60 – 80 pages as a minimum, excluding the list of literature and the enclosures. A dissertation based on a set of at least 4 scientific publications should consist in 60 – 80 pages as a minimum, excluding the list of literature and the enclosures. 

5. Summary of dissertation -  is a short description of the main content of the whole dissertation, usually booklet in A5 format approx. 20 pages long, stating the objectives, results of the dissertation and the characteristics of the original research methodology, the literature used and concluded with an English, or other foreign language

Example of summary structure:

  • Introduction
  • Objectives of the dissertation and their justification; research questions or hypotheses
  • Contents of the dissertation
  • Methodology
  • Literature review (brief summary of the state-of-the-art)
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion (which summarizes the achievement of goals, answers to research questions or hypotheses testing, theoretical and practical implications, future directions of research, and alternatively, the publication of the author, which are related to the dissertation topic and published during the doctoral studies)
  • Literature (used in the abstract, not in the dissertation itself)

1. As a rule, the dissertation is written in Czech language; use of any other language is permissible by internal regulations of the faculty. The language of the dissertation shall be specified in the individual study plan. 

2. The dissertation can be compiled by the student in the "cotutelle” regimen (under joint supervision). This is based on co-operations with universities abroad, enabling the doctorands to write part of their dissertation at institutions abroad, under supervisor of experts from both universities.

3. A prerequisite for the dissertation to be submitted is at least two original papers related to the topic of the dissertation and accepted for publication in internationally acknowledged scientific journals with a defined total “impact factor” higher than 1.0. In at least one of the publications the student must be the first author, if stated so in the individual study plan or an internal regulation of the faculty). The dissertation is submitted to the Subject Area Board via the department of the Dean Office, either in the classical form or in the form of a set of at least 4 scientific publications that is consistent in terms of the topic (and at least two of them having the “impact factor”), if stated so in the individual study plan or an internal regulation of the faculty. The dissertation must be submitted in four hard-bound copies to the deans for approval. Terms and conditions of publication of the dissertation in the electronic data base of dissertation are provided by the Rector’s Order #23/2016 and orders of deans of the faculties. 

4. Together with the dissertation, the author’s abstract in Czech or English (with an English or Czech summary, respectively) is submitted to the Subject Area Board; instructions concerning the author’s abstract are published on the web pages Doctoral study programmes in Biomedicine. The author’s abstract is to facilitate orientation of members of the Examination Board for the Defence of the thesis in the student’s scientific activities, and it must include the objective of the thesis, methodology, major results, summary and list of the author’s publications (see the enclosure). Replicated copies will be sent to the deans, members of the Examination Board and the presidium of the Subject Area Board by the respective department of the Dean Office. 

5. Rules of filing, submitting and publishing the dissertation are provided by the Studies and Examination Regulations of Charles University, Rector’s Order #23/2016 and Rector’s Order #15/2019 as well as orders of the dean of the faculty where the student is enrolled.

Essential information about the Dissertation Defence 

The course of the defence

  • Opening of the defense (usually by the Chair of the Board) 
  • Introduction of the Student by his Supervisor
  • Student´s lecture summarizing the main dissertation (max. 20 minutes )
  • Reading of the opponents' reviews
  • Student´s response to the opponents' reviews
  • General discussion
  • Non-public part of the board meeting (discussion about the course of the defense)
  • Vote
  • Public announcement of the vote results
  • The conclusion of the defense procedure

1. The number of the Examination Board members present must not be less than three. The Chair and Vice-chair of the Examination Board for defence are appointed by the Dean of the relevant faculty at the suggestion by the Subject Area Board.

2. The Examination Board shall appoint two Examiners. The Examiner can only be a full or associate professor, or a bearer of the Ph.D., CSc., DrSc. or Dr. degree. The Supervisor, or a person who took part in compilation of the dissertation or was a co-author of any of the student’s papers submitted, cannot be an Examiner.

3. The Chair of the Examination Board shall send the dissertation to the Examiners via the respective department of the Dean Office, together with notification of the appointment as an Examiner, not later than within one month following the application for defence.

4. The Examiners are obliged either to deliver their expert opinion in writing to the respective department of the Dean Office not later than within two months following the receipt of the thesis, or to announce within two weeks at the latest that they cannot execute such an opinion. If the opinion is not delivered in the said term, not even after a reminder, or if the Examiner announced that he/she cannot execute one, the Examination Board shall appoint a new Examiner. Before the defence, the respective department of the Dean Office shall deliver the expert opinions to the student and to the Chair of the Subject Area Board. The appointed Examiners can be members of the Examination Boards for defence. At the defence, at least one of the two appointed Examiners must be present.

5. The defence of the dissertation is public. As a rule, it is held within 3 months following the submission of the dissertation.

6. The Examination Board decides on grading the defence in a closed session, held immediately after the defence; this is done by ballot. If there is an equal number of votes or the required majority has not been achieved, the student gets the more favourable grade. The grades of classification are “passed” or “failed”.

7. The result of the defence is communicated to the student by the Chair in public, immediately after the closed session of the Examination Board. In case of a failed defence, the Examination Board shall state whether the dissertation is to be rewritten or supplemented. The defence of a dissertation can only be repeated once, not sooner than 6 months following the original date of holding the defence.

How to apply for the Dissertation Defence

Doctoral study ends up with a regular defense of the doctoral dissertation. The student who fulfilled all requirements for applying for the Dissertation Defense and uploaded its final version into the Study Information System (SIS) should appear in office hours in the Department for PhD Study and Foreign Affairs and furthermore submit all the compulsory enclosures:

  1. filled in and signed Application form for Dissertation Defence (is not located in the SIS but in the forms section)
  2. structured CV (signed by the student)
  3. list of publications (the number and share of authorship is set by the respective Subject Area Board)
  4. short report of the Supervisor on the course of study (signed by the Supervisor) 
  5. five (5) copies of Summary of the dissertation (A5 format, booklet) and also sent via e-mail
  6. offprints of at least two publications in scientific journals with an impact factor
  7. proof of language examination
  8. proof of State Doctoral Examination (unless provided to the Department of PhD Study and Foreign Affairs earlier)
  9. the Study Record Book or other proof of the study obligations fulfilled 

The following is a Dissertation Defence guide for students, listing the requirements for Defence of the Dissertation and its presentation:

Submitting the dissertation

Initially, student submits the final version of the dissertation electronically into the qualification theses database (in PDF format) in SIS. Only after this step, the dissertation and other requested documents may be submitted for a Defense. During submission, SIS requires abstract and keywords in English.

  1. in a printed form
  • four (4) hard bound copies of the dissertation to the Department for PhD Study and Foreign Affairs

2. in an electronic form

  • in the PDF format, version 1.3 or higher hrough the SIS web interface at the address: https://is.cuni.cz/studium in the module “Thesis (Selection of subject)”

The technical requirements for submitting final qualification theses are regulated by the Rector’s Directive No. 72/2017 on Accessibility of Electronic Database of Final Theses. A thesis must be submitted in a PDF/A version 1a or 2u format. This directive also changes the requirements pertaining to the formatting of appendices and supplements.

The dissertation must include: 

1. signed statutory declaration 

2. identification record 

3. abstract (one-page summary in Czech and English language)

  • is an inseparable part of the Separate Summary of the dissertation as well 
  • is entered in SIS both as part of the Separate Summary and alone 

4. short recapitulation of the conclusions of the dissertation 

5. list of literature or other sources quoted (including web pages) 

6. a separate bound 5 (five) copies of Summary in Czech and English language​ (booklet in A5 format)

Double-sided print, ring-bound abstract is recommended. The suggested size is 20 standard pages (36 000 characters including spaces). 

Student should submit all documents three months before the defense will be held.

Examples of all requisite formal parts of the presentation and dissertation are found in an appendix to the section jointly with the Rector’s Directive No. 23/2016, which defines the rules for registration, submission, and publication of final dissertation.

Published: 23. 3. 2016 / Last update: 6. 6. 2019 / Responsible person: ThDr. Jitka Sýkorová, Ph.D.