Doctoral Studies

Physical Chemistry - Field

Brief description of field

Physical chemistry represents one of the fundamental chemical disciplines. It studies properties and behavior of the molecular sets by methods of classic and statistic thermodynamics, it utilizes theoretical and experimental methods for elucidation of the structure of particular objects – atoms and molecules, their micro- and macro-sets, and it analyzes rates and mechanisms of chemical reactions. The main effort of the research in physical chemistry is concentrated on thermodynamics, quantum chemistry, chemical structure, chemical kinetics, surface phenomena, spectroscopic methods (NMR, EPR, IR, MS), phase and chemical equilibrium and disequilibrium states. 

Together with the evolution of physics and biology and application of mathematical methods for data quantification, physical chemistry becomes an indispensable foundation for research in interdisciplinary fields (biophysics, biochemistry, material chemistry) oriented also on the study of the properties of complex molecules which are the base for live and dead matter (biomolecules, advanced materials).  

Aim of study

The aim of the doctoral degree program in physical chemistry is to prepare top experts who are capable of creative scientific work, further education, and who have a good overview of physical chemistry in general and deep knowledge in that research course which they have chosen for their dissertation. The experts should be able to present their work in public. The main emphasis is placed on the student’s research itself, improving their general knowledge in the field, ability to search novel relevant information which deepens knowledge in the subject processed within the doctoral project, and on the ability to summarize their results and to discuss them in the form of both oral and written presentations in a foreign language. Doctoral students also participate in teaching students of bachelor’s degree programs.

Profile of a typical graduate

A graduate of the doctoral studies program, who proved the skills in the autonomous work, has deep knowledge in fundamental chemical, physical and mathematical disciplines and practical skills in the field of computational and instrumental technology, data processing and gathering information and data from databases and all other information sources.

A graduate is able to present the results of his work to the expert community in foreign language. Thus, there the graduates should be successful in all branches of work where the highest expertise in utilization of physically-chemical methods in research and technology is claimed:

  • Chemical, pharmaceutical and food-processing industry and its inspectional and research laboratories,
  • Laboratories in environment conservation, health care, agriculture, projection and various commercial institutions,
  • Basic and applied research at universities and institutes of AS CR.

Regarding the broad content of physical chemistry, the graduates are capable of easy adaptation to prospective solution of interdisciplinary problems and of problems in another branch. With the work in research team and the educational work in bachelor’s and master’s degree program, the doctoral students also cultivate their ability to lead their younger colleagues. Thus, they acquire further essential experience for their expected professional role as the executives.

Requirements for applicants

  • The applicant must have completed a Master’s degree study program in a scientific or technical area.
  • The applicant will prove a sufficient knowledge of physical chemistry at the level of a graduate of Master's degree study program in the field of physical chemistry. The emphasis will be laid on the knowledge in the area of the dissertation thesis.
  • The applicant will prove the knowledge of a foreign language, preferentially English, by reading, translating and explaining a technical text.

Study requirements and completion of studies

The course of the program follows the individual study plan which is authorized by professional council (commission), according to the student´s proposal submitted through the supervisor mediation. The individual study plan takes precedence over the schedule of the academic year (Study and Examination Regulations of MU, par. 28, item 1). The individual study plan is assembled by the student on the basis of consultations and recommendations of the supervisor and in accordance with general rules of DSP. The supervisor is responsible for the content and extent of theoretical work and for the appropriate scientific level of the dissertation.

Suggested individual study plan – General description

The credit value of the following courses are determined by the regulations listed in the Masaryk University Study and Examination Regulations in force as of 1 September 2006 (http://www.muni.cz/general/legal_standards/study_examination_regulations?lang=en) as well as by the system of variable credit values ratified during the 2007 accreditation process for four year study of DSP in chemistry:

1. Compulsory

  1. Dissertation preparation XD 100: credit, 5 to 30 credits/semester.
  2. Teaching assistance XD 102: course-unit credit, (1 lesson teaching assistance weekly corresponds to 1 credit value).
  3. Lecture in foreign language XD 106: course-unit credit, 2 to 5 credits.
  4. DSP seminar in chemistry XD 107: course-unit credit, 1 credit/semester.
  5. Field seminar CD n01: course-unit credit, 2 credits/semester.
  6. Handling chemical substances C7777: course-unit credit, 0 credits/semester.

2. Compulsory optional

  1. Courses widening theoretical knowledge: implicit number of credits + number of credits upon course completion, for example 1+2, 2+2, 3+2.
  2. Knowledge deepening courses: implicit number of credits + number of credits upon course completion, for example 3+1, 2+1, 1+1.

3. Optional

  1. Literature study XD 101: course-unit credit, 1 to 5 credits.
  2. Internship XD 110: course-unit credit, to 30 credits.
  3. Search Project XD 104: course-unit credit, 1 to 5 credits.
  4. Publication preparation XD 105: course-unit credit, 2-10 credits
  5. Optional subject: implicit number of credits + number of credits upon course completion.

Overview of requirements for the four-year DSP in chemistry:

  1. Acquisition of a total of 240 credits during the whole study.
  2. Acquiring min. 120 credits for the course of Dissertation preparation (XD 100).
  3. Acquiring min. 150 credits in total for the following courses with variable credit value:
    • Dissertation preparation(XD 100).
    • Study of literature (XD 101) .
    • Publication preparation (XD 105).
  4. Acquiring min. 24 credits for the course Teaching assistance (XD 102).
  5. Acquiring min. 24 credits for the compulsory and compulsory optional courses, selected from the Study catalogue of Masaryk University, Faculty of Science, the Study catalogue of Masaryk University or other university:
    • Courses widening theoretical knowledge. Comprises courses defined in the Study and Examination Regulations of Masaryk University as „courses to enhance and amplify knowledge in the field beyond the scope of Master’s degree study“. Course is successfully completed with examination.
    • Knowledge deepening courses. Comprises courses defined in the Study and Examination Regulations of Masaryk University as „courses to amplify special knowledge“. Course is successfully completed with colloquium.
  6. Acquiring registered numbers of credits for the following seminars with compulsory attendance during the actual length of study:
    • Field seminar (CD n01, where n = 1 to k, while k is the number of actually completed semesters of DSP, maximum n = 8. Seminar is not compulsory for combined mode study.
    • DSP seminar in chemistry (XD 107), maximum total of 8 credits required during the actual length of study. This course takes place in the form of a student conference at the end of each semester. Students present two posters during the actual length of study. Moreover, in the semester prior to thesis defence, students deliver results of their dissertation work in the form of a lecture. The seminar XD 107 is compulsory for students in the combined mode of study during the actual length of study (the first 4 years), the lecture prior to thesis defence is compulsory for both modes of study.
  7. Acquiring registered number of credits for courses with variable credit value:
    • Internship (XD 110)
    • Search project (XD 104)
    • Lecture in foreign language (XD 106)
  8. Acquiring number of credits, which is completed with a number of credits acquired in section 1. to 7 in an overall value of 240 credits. The remaining number of credits can be acquired by completing one or more other optional courses:
    • Optional course 1 completed with examination.
    • Optional course 2 completed with colloquium.
    • Optional course 3 completed with course-unit credits.
  9. The successful completion of doctoral studies is conditioned by publishing of previously reviewed findings. The number of publications, which is a prerequisite for the final defence of dissertation, is determined by the following criterion, presuming at the same time that the student is the main author of at least one of the following publications:
    • 3 publications in a periodical with impact factor (IF); the value of the total IF is not specified.
    • 2 publications in a periodical with impact factor; the value of the total IF is minimum 4.

Comments on the study plan:

  1. The course CD n01 is a field seminar of respective doctoral fields of study (DFS) valid for DSP in chemistry. In case of a max. 8 semester study the credit value of uncompleted CD n01 seminars can be compensated by the credit value of a different compulsory, compulsory optional or optional course. Should the absence on seminars be caused due to prolonged illness, the seminar cannot be substituted, credits can be acquired by, say, performing XD 100 duties.
  2. DSP seminar in chemistry XD 107 is a common seminar for students of all DFS, falling under DSP in chemistry. In case of a max. 8 semester study the credit value of uncompleted XD 107 seminars can be compensated by the credit value of a different compulsory, compulsory optional or optional course. Should the absence on seminars be caused due to prolonged illness the seminar cannot be substituted, credits can be acquired by, say, performing XD 100 duties.
  3. For the following optional courses
    • XD 101 Literature study (1 to 5 credits)
    • XD 104 Search project (1 to 5 credits)
    • XD 105 Publication preparation (2-10 credits)
    the number of repeated enrolments is eligible and students can register the credit value after consulting their tutor, based on the scope and difficulty of the corresponding course.
  4. For the compulsory course Lecture in foreign language XD 106 (2 to 5 credits) the credit value is registered after tutor's consideration weighing the importance of the conference and difficulty of the paper.
  5. Internship XD 110 is registered as a course with a variable credit value up to 30 credits per semester. Depending on the duration of the internship the following credit values can be registered:
    • For every 2 weeks started of the Internship 5 credits are added to the total sum of length of 8 weeks.
    • For 9 to 12 weeks of foreign study 25 credits can be registered.
    • For more than 12 weeks of internship 30 credits per semester are registered.
    • The course can be registered repeatedly.
  6. The credit value of optional courses XD 110 Internship can compensate, under specified conditions, the credit value of selected study duties:
    • In case of a max. 12 week Internship (to 25 credits) the corresponding credit value compensates the credits for the course Preparation of dissertation XD 100.
    • If students undertaking an Internship register field seminar (CD n01) and seminar in DSP in chemistry XD 107 in the remaining part of semester, they are entitled to get credit value for the mentioned compulsory courses.
    • Should the internship last longer than 12 weeks (30 credits) the credit value is compensated by the credits acquired for compulsory courses of Preparation of dissertation XD 100, Field seminar (CD n01) and seminar DSP (XD 107).
  7. The credit value of optional courses XD 110 Internship does not recompense the credit value of compulsory courses:
    • Courses widening theoretical knowledge
    • Knowledge deepening courses
  8. The credit value of optional courses XD 110 Internship does not recompense the credit value of compulsory courses:
    • Teaching assistance XD 102
    • Lecture in foreign language XD 106
Example:
Courses ID Completion
of course
Semester TOTAL
credits
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Compulsory course cr. cr. cr. cr. cr. cr. cr. cr.
Preparation of dissertation XD 100 credit 8 11 12 12 20 20 16 27 126
Teaching assistance XD 102 credit 6 6 6 6 0 0 0 0 24
Lecture in foreign language XD 106 credit 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3
DSP seminar in chemistry XD 107 credit 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8
Field seminar CD n01 credit 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 16
Handling chemical substances
C7777 credit 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Compulsory optional courses cr. cr. cr. cr. cr. cr. cr. cr.
Courses widening theoretical knowledge yy nnn* examination 4 3 3 4 0 0 0 0 14
Knowledge deepening courses yy nnn* colloquium 3 2 2 3 0 0 0 0 10
Optional courses cr. cr. cr. cr. cr. cr. cr. cr.
Literature study XD 101 credit 0 2 2 2 2 2 3 0 13
Internship XD 110 credit 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Search project XD 104 credit 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Publication preparation XD 105 credit 0 0 0 0 5 5 5 0 15
Optional course 1 yy nnn* examination 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
Optional course 2 yy nnn* colloquium 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Optional course 3 yy nnn* credit 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
Total credits 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 240
*course code in conformity with the Study catalogue of Masaryk University, Faculty of Science

Content and range of doctoral state examination, required knowledge

One part of regular finishing of doctoral study is the doctoral state examination, whose essentials are given by the Study and Examination Regulations of MU, par. 31, and when the responsibilities given by par. 28 are fulfilled. At the examination, a complete knowledge level of physical chemistry in broad context is examined, while knowledge of area of dissertation work is discussed in detail. Depending on the character of dissertation, special topics may be tested. The examination emphasizes thorough understanding of interrelations and knowledge gained during studies, requires broad view of the subject, tests ability of independent orientation in the studied area of chemistry, and investigates the student interest in current information in specialist literature. In this examination, candidate specialization and disseration topic is taken into account. If the examination takes place in a different term than the doctoral thesis defense, submitting the dissertation theses is required.

A part of the doctoral state examination is the doctoral thesis defense, where candidate proves his/her abilities to present obtained scientific results and orientation in the area of specialization and broader discipline at the current level of knowledge. The doctoral thesis defense is an oral prezentation in which the candidate explains to the commitee and audience the topics and aims of the work, examined problems, methods used in research and obtained results. The candidate gives answers to the questions and comments raised in reports of the supervisor and reviewers and reacts to questions in public discussion.

Prerequisites for submitting an application for the doctoral state examination, which must be completed by the end of the 4th year of study:

  1. submission of dissertation topics
  2. demonstration of proficiency in academic and technical English by means of either completing two designated courses, or by gaining credits for a publication submitted to a journal or proceedings and gaining credits for giving a lecture in English at a conference (XD 106)
  3. gaining 12 credits for compulsory optional knowledge broadening and enhancing courses
  4. gaining 24 credits for XD102 Teaching assistance
  5. acquiring 2 credits per semester for Field seminar (CD n01) and 1 credits per semester for XD107

Requirements for doctoral thesis

One of the first requirements for doctoral thesis (DT) is a paper containing the overview of up-to-date literary knowledge in given scientific field, important impulses for the work itself, experimental part describing experiments in detail and results which are described, documented and discussed in the context of contemporary science knowledge. There shall be also the final summary of results, English abstract, literature, and the list of abbreviations used in the thesis. The results must be published, or at least sent and accepted for publication, in a renowned scientific journal. The number of publications implicating the admission of the doctoral thesis for the doctoral thesis defense follows these criteria:

  1. the student is the first author of at least one publication
  2. the student participated in 3 publications, published in a journal with impact factor (IF), whereas the value of IF sum is not set down, or 2 publications in a journal with IF where the value of IF sum is minimally 4.

An alternative of DT can be a paper containing the introduction and annotation for the set of published papers, which form a part of submitted DT as an appendix. In any case, DT is supplemented with the annotation which summarizes the themes and results of the work, list of publications and a resume in Czech, English, eventually in another language. DT can be submitted in Czech (Slovak) or English language.

Individual study plan

See above.

List of members of doctoral committee

List of supervisors

Commission for state doctoral exams and defenses

List of current doctoral topics

Department pages


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