An Innovative Model for Health Sciences PhD Education in Turkey


An Innovative Model for Health Sciences PhD Education in Turkey

G¸l G¸ner -Akdogan Director, Dokuz Eylul University Graduate School of Health Sciences


Dokuz Eylul University is one of the leading universities in Turkey, with its number of students, its role in the implementation of problem-based-learning in its Medical School and other faculties, its leadership for other schools in Turkey, its impact on biomedical research, and being one of the pilot Turkish universities in the Socrates (Life-Learning) scheme.

The Graduate School of Health Sciences (Health Sciences Institute) of Dokuz Eyl¸l University, which coordinates twenty PhD and thirty-eight MSc programs in Health Sciences, made an institutional reform (in 2005) in its PhD education, restructuring its PhD programs, based on the following important points:

  • The PhD education starts with agreement about the thesis topic and supervisor.
  • The supervisor and the student are matched before the admission of the student for the PhD training;
  • The thesis and the courses are intertwined with the thesis work;
  • PhD supervision is possible only if the candidate supervior has an approved research project;
  • The courses are carried out in blocks of one, two, or three weeks;
  • The teaching techniques comprise a hybrid of the following: lectures, small-group interactive sessions, problem-based learning, project-based learning, and laboratory practicals
  • The Graduate School coordinates a multitude of interdisciplinary courses taken by the students coming from different programs. Some of these courses are: ìThe Cellî; Laboratory Methods and Techniquesî; ìResearch Principles and Methods in Healthî; ìPlanning, Carrying Out, and Evaluation of Experimental Researchî, ìMedical Ethicsî. These courses provide a learning environment for the sharing of information and experience between faculty and students, thus supporting the interdisciplinary approach.
  • The PhD candidate is responsible for submitting all or part of the research in a SCI -cited journal and showing proof of acceptance of the article, wih his/her first name.
  • The diploma supplements are prepared including the ECTS credits for each course taken.

Turkish universities are in the process of adaptation to the Bologna-Bergen process, and Dokuz Eyl¸l Graduate School of Health Sciences, with its innovative change of its PhD program, has taken an important step for adaptation towards the harmonization of European PhD degrees.