15 years of experience with PhD programme in biomedicine
B. Ostadal, J. Herget, M. Vizek
Centre for doctoral studies in biomedicine, Charles University and Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic
Foundation of the Prague Centre for doctoral studies in biomedicine was driven by the effort to provide for graduate students the highest possible level of scientific education. For this purpose, two main scientific institutions, the Charles University and the Academy of Sciences, concluded the agreement, ensuring the participation of the best experts and departments in the process of scientific training, independent of the original studentís school. This arrangement allows graduates from three Faculties of Medicine, Faculty of Science as well as interested applicants from other faculties to select the most convenient research programme from the spectrum of 19 theoretical biomedical disciplines. Each of them has its managing committee, responsible for admission of new students, selection of tutors, organization of courses, state exams as well as evaluations of PhD theses. The obligations of students include scientific training, completion of two methodological courses, state examination in the selected discipline, publication of at least two papers in journals with an impact factor and finally the defense of dissertation. Training in basic science is obligatory also for MD graduates who want to continue in clinical disciplines; they can apply for scientific training, e.g. in human physiology and pathophysiology, pharmacology, biology and pathology of the cell, molecular biology and genetics etc. In addition, they have a small workload in clinical departments, enabling them to maintain contact with practical medicine. The number of students accepted for postgraduate biomedical education in Prague each year is relatively stable and varies from 320 to 360. The ratio accepted students/successfully defended theses steadily increased and in the last year reached 25 %. We are convinced that the integration of intellectual and methodological capacities of different institutions in the Prague region as well as the training of MD students in basic science could increase the scientific level of clinical research.