PhD study at Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Kralove

Fifteen years of experience with PhD study programmes at Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Kralove (Czech Republic)

Miroslav Cervinka,

Charles University Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic.

The whole legislative framework for university education in the Czech Republic was changed dramatically immediately after the revolution. In the 1992, our Parliament approved new law dealing with University education, and one part in this law was dedicated to the doctoral training leading to the PhD degree. The process of accreditation started immediately and within two years our Faculty of Medicine obtained accreditation for 19 subjects covering majority of all theoretical and clinical subjects. Interestingly enough, at this time some other Faculties of Medicine accredited only theoretical subjects, and this evoked lot of discussion among different faculties about this issue. Currently all Faculties of Medicine have accreditation for some clinical subjects as well. Based on our long experience we can propose some recommendation for PhD study in clinical subjects.

When introducing the system for PhD training, several problems have to be addressed:

1) Established proportion between individual study (coordinated by the tutor) and general study (coordinated by the faculty). We adopted the scheme that the PhD training is very special study programme based on an individual approach. The extent of general studies is 20 % in the first study year and 10 % in the second year.

2) The criteria for the extent and quality of PhD thesis are to be carefully established and maintained.

3) The indispensable criteria for permission to defence the thesis have to be stipulated. This point, in particular has bee a matter of extensive discussion at our Faculty. Currently, student submitting his (her) PhD thesis has to have at least three full text research papers published or accepted for publication. The student should be the corresponding author in one of them; at least one of these articles should be published in a journal with an impact factor.

During the past 15 years we have enrolled more than 500 students into our PhD programmes. The success rate is about 25 %. In the near future, we would like to take some measures to increase the quality of scientific education. We believe that the most efficient way to achieve this goal is to increase contacts with other faculties within the EU at several levels: harmonisation of requirements for PhD thesis, obligatory long-term stay of all students at the laboratory abroad, enrolment of international students in our English PhD programmes, and organisation of an international conference of PhD students at our faculty.

Contact:

Miroslav Cervinka, Vice-dean for research and PhD training,

Charles University, Faculty of Medicine, Simkova 870, 50038 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic, cervina@lfhk.cuni.cz