Faculty of Natural
Sciences
Comenius University in Bratislava

PhD study

A Short Guide to Doctoral Studies of Genetics at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of Comenius University in Bratislava (PriF UK)

 

Guarantor:

prof. RNDr. Ľubomír Tomáška, DrSc. (lubomir.tomaska@uniba.sk)

 

Co-guarantors:

doc. RNDr. Andrea Ševčovičová, PhD. (andrea.sevcovicova@uniba.sk)

doc. Mgr. Miroslava Slaninová, PhD. (miroslava.slaninova@uniba.sk)

 

Most information about doctoral studies can be found on the website: https://fns.uniba.sk/en/study/phd/in-english/ However, below is some advice and recommendations for PhD. students of Genetics. In case of situations not listed in these two sources, ask your PhD. programme administrator or the guarantor.  

 

Notice: all publications used for the thesis defense and to obtain credit points must be registered in the PriF UK Central Database (also for PhD. students in Slovak Academy of Sciences - SAV).

For supervisors: if scientific publications (current (ADC, ADD) or in WoS and Scopus (ADM)) were sent to the magazine before the PhD. defense, they also have to be registered thereafter. Credits for participation in scientific conferences are granted only when abstracts are published in abstract books with an ISBN.

 

1st year – winter semester

 

until 30th September: Building the individual study plan together with the supervisor. Make the plan realistic and include other offered activities (more in study catalog) besides compulsory items. Consult with the guarantor if needed.

 

During September:

- general work safety training, fire safety training and training for working with chemical and biological materials (at your workplace – PriF UK or SAV)

- meeting with the head of your department - instructions about attendance, duties and other specific regulations of the work place

- instructions about record-keeping and handling GMO (the supervisor)

 

Course Doctoral seminar from Genetics 1: 15 min oral presentation + informal discussion about scientific aims of the PhD. project and scheduled experimental strategy (joint meeting of 1st-year PhD. students (compulsory attendance), supervisors, teachers and research assistants). The meeting is organised by the guarantor. The date will be specified by email (usually held during the last week before Christmas holidays). The guarantor is responsible for recording the assessment in the AiS.  

 

Course Genetics for PhD. students 1: consultations with the supervisor (who records assessment in the AiS).

 

Remember to register for all your winter-semester courses in the AiS. This enables your supervisor and respective teachers to record the assessments there before the end of the exam period.

 

Internal PhD. students of the Department of Genetics: facultative application for a grant from the Comenius University (the deadline is usually in December) 

 

1st year – summer semester

 

Course Doctoral Seminar from Genetics 2: 15 min oral presentation + informal discussion about more specific scientific aims of the PhD. project and preliminary results (joint meeting of 1st-year PhD. students (compulsory attendance), supervisors, teachers and research assistants). The meeting is organised by the guarantor. The date will be specified by email (usually held during the last week of June). The guarantor is responsible for recording the assessment in the AiS. 

 

Course Genetics for PhD. Students 2: consultations with the supervisor (who records assessment in the AiS). Organizing a workshop for 1st-year PhD. students is being considered. It would be organised by older PhD. students and the theme would be chosen by mutual agreement with the guarantor. Speakers would be experts in the chosen field. In this case the attendance at this workshop would be a precondition for the course assessment.   

 

Consider participating in the Student Scientific Conference (ŠVK) at PriF UK during this semester.

 

Remember to register for all your summer-semester subjects in the AiS, so that your supervisor and respective teachers can record the assessment before the end of exam period.

 

The supervisor is responsible for the PhD. student´s annual assessment as well as other assessments for which credits can be obtained. He/She can also record credits in the category „Other“. However, there has to be a good reason for awarding each credit point. The supervisor can change the number of credits in this category too. Courses listed in the category „Study Activity“ have assessments A-FX, pass/fail assessment is used in other cases.

 

The number of credits in the category Own Pedagogical Activities can be modified after the consultation with the guarantor.

 

2nd year – winter semester

 

Course Doctoral seminar from Genetics 3 – department or institute seminar about the preliminary results of the PhD. project.

 

Remember to register for all your winter-semester courses in the AiS. This enables your supervisor and respective teachers to record the assessments there before the end of the exam period.

 

Internal PhD. students of the Department of Genetics: facultative application for a grant from the Comenius University (the deadline is usually in December) 

 

Write a report for the dissertation exam (PDS; see below).

 

Dissertation exam:

Give your PDS to the guarantor and submit a filled form of application for the dissertation exam to the dean´s office. Both should be submitted latest by the end of February. The supervisor can nominate a reviewer of the PDS who has agreed with completing a PDS review. The reviewer has to hold at least a PhD., he/she can´t be from the same workplace as the supervisor or the PhD. student and can´t have common scientific publications or projects with them.

 

Report for the dissertation exam includes two parts: (1) review of present knowledge from the field of your PhD. project and (2) aims and experimental strategy. Total range is 40-60 pages including references. Proportions of the two parts should be about 2:1. The longer part (part 1) should be written as a scientific review article. The report can be written in English, but the guarantor and then the dean have to give approval for that in advance.  

 

For the dissertation exam, the PhD. student, together with the supervisor, proposes five topics from genetics and five topics from molecular biology. The committee will ask questions from these topics, so the PhD. student should study them closely. For that reason, the chosen topics should help the PhD. student with the realisation of the PhD. project aims. The topics should not be too wide (e.g. „cell“) nor too narrow (e.g. „nucleotide excision repair“). The PhD. student or the supervisor sends the chosen topics to the guarantor for approval together with the PDS.

 

The disseration exam is usually held for all 2nd-year PhD. students of Genetics on the same date, which is chosen by the guarantor in co-operation with supervisors and reviewers (usually the end of March/beginning of April). The oral presentation of the PDS lasts for a maximum 15 minutes and should be of the same structure and proportion as the PDS. After the presentation there is a discussion with the reviewer and the committee. Afterwards, the students anwer questions of the committe from the pre-selected topics.

 

The dissertation exam is the end of the „study activity“ of Doctoral studies at PriF UK. The PhD. student should check if all the compulsory subjects are recorded in AiS.

 

2nd year – summer semester

 

Activities according to the individual study plan

July – August: annual assessment, finalising the year

 

3rd year

 

Activities according to the individual study plan

July – August: annual assessment, finalising the year

 

4th year

 

Activities according to the individual study plan

 

Write the PhD. thesis (DP)

 

Submit the DP and the application for PhD. defense latest by the 30th of May, according to the PriF UK rules: https://fns.uniba.sk/studium/doktorandi/obhajoba-dizertacnej-prace/

 

The supervisor can nominate three reviewers who agreed with completing a DP review. At least one of them has to be a professor and/or hold a DrSc., others are at least PhD. holders. Neither of them can be from the same workplace as the supervisor or the PhD. student or have common scientific publications or projects.

 

According to the PriF UK rules, the guarantor will organize the PhD. defense usually during the last two weeks of August (however, the date of the defense depends on the date of the DP submission). The defense lasts for two hours. The oral presentation of the DP lasts for a maximum 30 minutes. There will be a discussion with the reviewers afterward, and then a general discussion with the committe and others. After the discussion, the committee will decide about assessment behind the closed door. Once the assessment has been agreed upon by the committee, it will be announced to the PhD. candidate in public.

 

Continuing the studies beyond the standard legth is governed by the official PriF UK guidelines.