Doctoral Studies

The Second Faculty of Medicine provides doctoral studies in biomedicine together with the First Faculty of Medicine, the Third Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports, some Institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences oriented to biomedicine, and the departmental research institutes of the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic.

Doctoral study programmes are open in Czech and in English language too. The specific study programme is organized in a full-time (internal) or a part-time (external also known as “combined” study as it offers a combination of face-to-face interaction and distance learning) mode of study. Standard length of a full-time study course is 4 years. The maximum period of a part-time study course is 8 years. All study programs are without specializations.

The aim of this doctoral provision is the preparation of graduates of the Faculty for individual work throughout the range of basic and specialized research work in medicine. The design of studies and the requirements in each field are set by the Subject Area Board, composed of specialists from all participating institutes. The programme is open to both Czech and international graduates of the universities. The full-time doctorand has the status of a student in all legal and social aspects. PhD programmes are accessible to students with special needs, for whom the University operates a wide range of assistance services. Full-time doctoral students receive a scholarship, which is usually supplemented by other sources of income, e.g. by awards for participaton in grant projects or remuneration for teaching undergraduates.

Successful completion requires the passing of an examination in English and the State Doctoral Examination of the selected scientific field, and the Defence of Dissertation written on the basis of published papers.

Doctoral studies are individual, provided under the direction of the Supervisor and as a rule an Advisor as well, and are constituted by courses of lectures, seminars, self-study, and in particular solution of the assigned research project (the dissertation). It is completed by the State Doctoral Examination and the Defence of Dissertation.

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 diploma is issued by Charles University.

Doctoral study programmes

I. Organization structure of doctoral studies

Subject Area Boards
The content matter and organization of studies in particular study programmes are provided by Subject Area 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 Subject Area Board elects its Chair and Vice-chair from among its members. The Chair summons and directs sessions of the Subject Area Board and acts on its behalf when negotiating with the respective faculty’s authorities and in sessions of  the Coordination Board of Doctoral study programmes in biology and medicine (the Coordination Board of DSPB). The Vice-chair substitutes for the Chair in his/her absence in the full scope of authority. The scope of authority of the Subject Area Board ensues from the valid wording of the Act on Schools of Higher Education.

In particular, the Subject Area 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 Supervisors
  • suggest the composition of the entrance procedure boards to be approved by the Dean
  • judge and approve the framework individual study plans (ISP) 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
  • suggest that the Dean appoints the examiners of dissertation
  • observe and evaluate the progress of studies in particular students and give suggestions concerning changes in the amount of bursaries
  • settle any possible disputes between the student and the Supervisor

II. The student of doctoral studies

  • is 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 part-time (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 4 years. In the full-time form, it is possible to study for not longer than the standard duration of studies. The maximum duration of the studies in a doctoral study programme is equal to the standard duration of studies plus 4 years (with the exception of Act # 48/2013 Coll., i.e. Acknowledged Parental Leave Act).

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.

III. Supervisor

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

The Supervisor’s duties:

  • frames, together with the Student, the draft individual study plan to be submitted to the Subject Area Board for approval within one month following the enrolment
  • provides the topic of the dissertation
  • 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 Subject Area 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 Article 10 of the Studies and Examination Regulations of Charles University) to be considered by the Subject Area Board

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

The Supervisor may suggest an Advisor 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 Advisor is appointed by the Dean of the Faculty at the suggestion by the Subject Area Board.

IV. 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.

Admission interviews take place by particular study programmes at commissions which are appointed by the Dean of the faculty at the suggestion of the Chair of the Subject Area Board, usually from among members of the respective Subject Area Board.  The admission interview can also include discussion of the proposed project of the dissertation and the conditions enabling its solution. 

The minutes of the admission interview will be passed by the Chair 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.

V. Individual study plan (ISP)

The individual study plan is, following agreement with the student, designed by the Supervisor, who submits it to the Subject Area Board for approval in one month 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. The student’s individual programme includes, as a rule, two parts: the studying part and the part focused on work on the dissertation.

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

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 at least two courses of lectures and examination in English. The Subject Area Board may impose some other study obligations upon them too.

According to the Supervisor’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 individual’s study plan.

During the first year of the studies, the Student can apply for replacement of the Supervisor and/or change of the topic; however, such a change must always be well substantiated and approved by the respective Subject Area Board. Only in absolutely extraordinary cases the Student can apply for replacement of the Supervisor in later years of the studies.

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; thereby the studies can be interrupted for the term of at least one semester. 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. The longest possible total time of interruption of studies is 5 years.

VI. State Doctoral Examination and Defence of Dissertation

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 is successfully defended. Further, the studies may be terminated (see the Article 56 of the Act #111/1998) 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 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 and English language are free of charge. The applicant’s state of health must meet the requirements concerning foreign nationals permitted long-term residence in the Czech Republic.

Published: 6. 2. 2014 / Last update: 7. 9. 2018 / Responsible person: ThDr. Jitka Sýkorová, Ph.D.