Doctoral Studies

Microbiology - Field

Brief description of field

The field of Microbiology focuses on the study of phenotypic and genotypic properties of prokaryotes (bacteria, archaea) and eukaryotic (yeasts, fungi) microorganisms. It also focuses on the impact of these organisms on the external environment, as well as their use in biodegradation of organic pollutants. This field integrates modern methods of microbiology, molecular biology, and biochemical and analytical chemistry. These approaches allow a quicker and more accurate identification of clinically, environmentally, and technologically important microorganisms.

Profile of a typical graduate

The graduate should master the principles of microbiology as well as microbiology application possibilities on both a theoretical and practical level. During the course of this study the student will obtain new knowledge and skills, including a wide range of information in the selected area that is the subject of his PhD thesis. The level of acquired knowledge and experience guarantees the student will be suitable for working in various fields of microbiology. Graduates of the MU doctoral degree programme in Microbiology have found jobs mainly in ASCR institutes, laboratories in medicine, food, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries, as well as in laboratories of agricultural and veterinary companies, and companies focused on the environment, including the Ministry of Environment offices at different levels.

Requirements for applicants

Student must show very good knowledge of general microbiology, molecular biology, and biochemistry related to theme of PhD thesis. Student submits a brief project proposal of PhD thesis in which specifies the topic, designates possible problem and proposes the experimental procedure. Good knowledge of the English language is essential, which will allow the student to not only read scientific literature, but also to talk and write about their scientific research.

The entrance examination is organized as oral discussion, when the committee evaluates and assigns points for the applicant’s expertise and abilities for scientific work (0-100 points) and skills in English language (0-90 points). Minimum requirements for successful examination are 85 points for scientific part and 60 points for language part of the entrance examination.

Study requirements and completion of studies

Individual Study Plan

Doctoral study is organized as the Individual Study Plan (ISP), which is updated and specified before each semester by a student together with his/her supervisor and they are in agreement with Study and examination Plan of Masaryk University. ISP should allow to successfully graduate within standard duration of the study, and during the first four semesters it should optimally allow to student receive all necessary credits for exams from advanced courses aimed at broadening knowledge in the chosen scientific field (courses in English recommended). Student has responsibility to obtain altogether 240 credits within standard duration of the study (4 years).

During the PhD study, student preferentially works on doctoral research project (XD100) and credit value of this project is increasing in each semester (120 – 160 credits per 4-year study). In the first year of study the main focus is aimed to professional literature study (XD101) related to dissertation work and resulting in summary (XD104) or thesis (English is preferable). Students are responsible for active participation at specialized seminars (1st to 4th year of study) and demonstration of good English skills (XD106) (e.g. giving a talk in English at a professional seminar or international conference).

In the first four semesters the students have obligation for teaching (XD102) and eventual other duties (workshops, summer school etc.). In the second half of PhD study one long-term stay in abroad (study visit XD103 or study stay XD110) is required; credit value is 10 crs per month and 30 crs per semester. During the 5th semester, student optimally requests the theoretical state doctoral exam, and ISPs for following semesters preferentially include work on doctoral research project and publishing the results.

For students in a combined form, ISPs are prepared correspondingly and may contain alternative duties or tasks such as preparation of special lecture to seminar, literature research, preparation of materials for lectures or exercises, ad hoc help with organization of summer school(s) or similar activities.

Progress and performance according to ISP is evaluated after each semester. In case the student does not fulfil the obligations of his/her ISP, the supervisor, doctoral committee and/or doctoral board can disagree with continuation of student’s studies.

Scope of the theoretical state doctoral examination

During the “Doctoral State Exam” the questions asked are from the fields of microbiology, molecular biology, virology, microbial ecology, biochemistry, including questions from the topic chosen for the PhD thesis. The exam is usually in a form of debate rather than a typical exam, where the applicant need not demonstrate knowledge of all the details, but should prove to have a good grasp of the issues and literature. The state exam is not possible to execute before 5th semester of study and following points must be fulfilled:

  • credits of XD100 from every semester
  • credits for exams from advanced courses aimed at broadening knowledge in the chosen scientific field
  • at least 1x credits of XD101
  • at least 4x credits of XD102
  • at least 1x credits of XD106
  • credits of specialized seminars
  • at least 1x credits of XD104 (or „Thesis“)

In case that the theoretical state exam is separately from doctoral dissertation, the student prepare Thesis (10 – 20 pages) and pass 4 copies of thesis to committee chairman one week before state exam.

Requirements for the Ph.D. thesis

The Ph.D. thesis must be submitted in printed as well as electronic form and is written in Czech or English (if part of the work was carried out abroad and the supervisor agrees). The preferred form of the dissertation is a collection of published papers or manuscripts accepted for publication, but the traditional form is also acceptable.

A Doctoral thesis submitted in the form of a set of papers and manuscripts must contain at least three papers or manuscripts of papers, supplemented by an Introduction in the extent of 10 - 20 pages and by comprehensive part (10 – 20 pages) that logically connects the individual papers and puts them into context of current knowledge. In this part of the thesis the student must demonstrate their professional perspective and broader orientation in the field than as discussed in the individual papers. The Ph.D. thesis contains Introduction, General knowledge, Goals, Results and discussion, Conclusion, References. If the article/s and manuscript/s included in the thesis are written with co-authors, the student must clearly state their own contribution to the paper/s and must specify his/her participation of percentage proportion.

The PhD thesis submitted in the tradition form (singe body of text, the extent of 30 - 40 pages excluding references) must contain the published papers in the appendix.

The Doctoral Committee of Microbiology has stated the minimum requirements that need to be met in order to submit ones PhD thesis:

  • three scientific paper accepted for publication in a journal with an impact factor (IF) with a sum of IF at least 2.5 value according to the ISI Journal Citation Reports
  • the student must be first author on at least two of the papers and all the articles must be thematically related to the PhD thesis presented

The committee evaluate very carefully all study results in case PhD thesis which fulfil only the minimum requirements the and usually consider the result by lover mark.

Individual study plan

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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