Although coursework is important, the main goal of the PhD studies is to impart independent research skills and to educate creative and successful researchers. Therefore, the main activity of each PhD student is to systematically work on the doctoral thesis project.
PhD students present their research progress every year at the PhD conference, where they can get valuable feedback from their peers as well as supervisors and the Doctoral Board/Committee.
Before the thesis defense, the PhD student must have at least one first author publication in an international research journal with an impact factor above the median IF in the field or have two first author publications with the IF in Q3. Importantly, the affiliation of the Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University must be listed.
A PhD internship gives the student the opportunity to apply his/her research expertise to a short project within their research field, gaining practical experience and building a professional network.
PhD students have to complete an internship abroad for at least one month during their PhD studies. Alternatively, they may actively participate in an international project with results published or presented abroad or may collaborate with international partners; this is evaluated individually by the vice-dean based on an official student´s application.
Ideally, students (supported by their supervisors) choose a foreign institution themselves. Supervisor´s personal and professional contacts can be of great help. Alternatively, students can use various mobility programs. Various scholarships and grant programs help the student to fund some internships abroad. When planning the internship, students can contact the Office for Quality – Faculty Welcome Office that will advise the student about funding options and other related paperwork.
In addition to valuable experience, students will also obtain credits for the internship once it is completed (the number of credits reflects the type and length of the internship, usually, the amount is 5 credits per month abroad).
Doctoral State Exam
The doctoral state exam takes place at the annual PhD conference and is compulsory during the 3rd year of studies. Students should summarize their research project and place it in the context of medical biology in a 20 min presentation. The presentation is then followed by a 20 min discussion that includes questions specific to the research project (hypothesis, methodology, planned outcomes) as well as general and basic questions from the field.
Teaching is a valuable experience that is especially important if a PhD student decides to pursue a career in academia. Many departments pay attention to an applicant´s teaching strength, both for postdoc and tenure-track positions.
PhD students are asked to take an active part in teaching within the maximum range of 150 hours during their studies. If students wish to teach above this limit, they shall be financially rewarded for it (however, teaching shall in no way limit the student’s research).
Students are asked to present their research outcomes (a talk or a poster) at the international conference of their choice at least once during their studies. Active participation at the conference is awarded by credits that the supervisor gives to the student within the course ´´professional training´´.