Doctoral Studies

Structural Biology - Field

Brief description of field

Structural biology is a modern interdisciplinary and largely methodologically focused branch offering to those who are interested a possibility to study the structure and function of biologically active macromolecules – proteins, nucleic acids and their functional complexes. Information on spatial arrangement of biomolecules together with information on their behaviour and function in a living system are the basis for defining their roles in both physiological and pathological processes in living organisms, and therefore they are in research focus of many world-famous scientific teams whose results lead to the present-day revolutionary discoveries.

Owing to an exceptionally high quality of infrastructure which is connected to the CEITEC project, the students of Structural Biology can make use of a wide range of methods with different spatial and temporal resolutions (e.g. single crystal X-ray diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance, cryo-electron microscopy and tomography, etc.) from the very beginning of their studies, and thus gain experience in the evaluation and interpretation of measurement results. Moreover, the students get insight into functional assays and gain practical experience, often based on in-vitro studies, using a variety of methods of molecular biology, biochemistry and biophysics, and last but not least, they learn how to use complementary information in experimental studies which represent the results of theoretical methods included in the scientific disciplines of chemo- and bioinformatics.

Profile of a typical graduate

Structural Biology graduates get comprehensive experience in dealing with research projects in various scientific fields covered by Life Sciences. The aim is to prepare leading experts in a particular study field who, in addition to obtaining the necessary education, will be able to independently design and run significant scientific projects including their financing. Without any problems, they will be able to participate in international research teams using their language skills that will enable them to present their results in English language, not only in written form such as scientific papers, but they will also be able to discuss various issues with scientific experts around the world and successfully present their results.

Besides having the opportunity of education in a modern field of study with a wide range of opportunities in various fields of biomedicine and biotechnology-oriented firms, after completing this study field, the students will be particularly prepared for their future scientific careers. An innovative approach to teaching along with highly qualified and current curriculum is the best prerequisite for the smooth integration of graduates in major international research teams.

Requirements for applicants

For doctoral studies of Structural Biology: graduates of the Master’s Studies with knowledge in fields of biochemistry, molecular biology, physical chemistry, pharmacy and other related are acceptable. It is assumed that the selected topic corresponds to the expertise of a particular candidate. The candidates are not required to have previous work experience. However, they should be able to demonstrate, using the thesis or their own publications, their capability for a creative work in the study field. The motivation and passion for science along with the assessment of the candidate’s scientific patterns and awareness of the basic rules of scientific ethics will also be verified within the admission procedure. An essential requirement for the admission is a very good knowledge of English language in written form (translation of texts from Czech to English and vice versa, preparation of scientific reviews and critical analysis of professional scientific English texts), and particularly in spoken language i.e. the ability to discuss scientific topics with potential trainers.

The requirements are described in detail here.

The applications for the academic year 2018/2019 can be submitted from 1 January 2018 until 15 March 2018. Next call will be open in January 2019.

The admission procedure is carried out in two rounds. Round 1 of the admission process is based on the application and background information. After that, the shortlisted candidates are invited for the round 2 - a face-to-face interview with members of the admission committee.

Assessment criteria

  • knowledge in the field of Life Sciences (40 points)
  • communication in English (30 points)
  • supplied materials and general impression (30 points)

The exam is passed by the candidate who gets at least 85 points out of 100.

Maximum number of accepted students is 30.

Application

Electronic application on https://is.muni.cz/prihlaska.

Mandatory parts:

  • Curriculum Vitae (specified form)
  • Letter of interest (specified form)
  • Supervisor Statement (specified form)
  • Copies of diplomas (BSc., MSc.) and diploma supplements / transcripts of records (in English or Czech language)
  • References (specified form)
  • Foreign language (English) certificate – optional, not compulsory
  • Two Recommendation Letters (specified form to be forwarded to two referees (one of them has to be the MS thesis supervisor/advisor). These two recommendation forms are mandatory and must be sent by the referees at
  • Paid admission fee in the amount of 400 CZK

Study requirements and completion of studies

To complete the studies successfully, the students are obliged to meet a prearranged individual study plan and demonstrate sufficiently the progress on a research project in regular annual evaluations. The study is completed after a successful completion of a final state examination and doctoral thesis defence. The students are required to publish the results of their dissertation in a foreign impacted journal and prove to be the main author of at least one of the three expected scientific publications. Only those publications whose Impact Factor is above the median of journals in the field are considered to be relevant.

Individual study plan

Annual individual study plans are formulated by students in cooperation with their supervisors. While creating and implementing a study plan, the following rules must be observed:

a / Students are obliged to complete the lecture C7777 Handling chemicals substances (holds no credit value) each year.
b / Students are obliged to complete each term the Field seminar S5003 (credit value 4, completed with a credit) and four times (each term in 1st and 2nd year of study) also Friday CEITEC PhD Seminar S5010 (credit value 2, completed with a credit).
c / Students re-enroll four times the subject Teaching assistance S5009 (credit value 1-10, completed with a credit), where they assist an authorized teacher providing seminar and laboratory teaching in Bachelor and Master’s degree programmes.
d / Students are obliged to enroll for and complete the subject S5006 Lecture for the scientific community (credit value 2-10, completed by colloquium), that demonstrates their ability to present the results of their research project at an international scientific forum.
e / Students enroll the subject S5007 PhD Thesis (credit value 5-30, completed with a credit, credit value 5-30, enroll repeatedly up to 160 credits) and the subject S5008 Scientific publication (credit value 2-10, completed with a credit, can be enrolled only once).
f / During the first three years of study, students are obliged to complete at least 3 courses designed to enhance their scientific and managerial competencies, so-called soft skills courses, such as S4001 International performance, S4002 Law, ethics and philosophy of science, S4003 Career management for scientists, S4004 Financing of research - training in grant applications, D01 Publish or perish: The art of research and scienfitic writing – lecture, S5040 Publish or perish: The art of research and scienfitic writing – practical course, C2110 UNIX and programming.
g / Students must finish at least 4 core subjects related to the research project during the first 2 years of study.

List of members of doctoral committee

List of supervisors

Commission for state doctoral exams and defenses

List of current doctoral topics


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