Medical Microbiology and Immunology – Field of study catalogue MU
Medical Microbiology and Immunology
“Although invisible, they are still inside”
The four-year Medical Microbiology and Immunology doctoral degree programme aims to train expert researchers and academic workers in the fields of medical microbiology, clinical immunology, and related disciplines. During their studies, students learn to use scientific methods in medical microbiology and immunology, find relevant and current information, and publish their own papers in scholarly journals.
The study focuses on students’ own supervised research in medical microbiology and/or medical immunology labs with the view of producing results that can be published in a scholarly journal. As a part of the study, students also learn the skills needed for research work, such as the use of statistics, communicating in other languages, and basic general information about their field. Among the main skills are the ability to formulate a hypothesis; find and follow ways to test the hypothesis; and reach a relevant conclusion and put it in the context of other current related research. This also involves understanding the specifics of medical microbiology and immunology as opposed to other disciplines. Last but not least, students are also expected to be able to formulate their results and conclusions in a form that can be published in a scholarly journal.
The study programme is grounded in students’ research work and its regular evaluation by their supervisors, while all other parts of the programme support and promote this work.
The programme is designed for graduates of Master’s degree programmes, primarily in the fields of general medicine, biology, genetics, and related fields, who would like to expand their knowledge and competences in medical microbiology and immunology, and especially for those who aim for academic careers. Graduates of this programme can work in microbiology or immunology research teams and academic institutions.
Students will have the opportunity to learn from experts from Masaryk University as well as from other facilities and institutions that we work with.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- Use his/her knowledge of all areas within medical microbiology and immunology.
- Collect research data and prepare them for statistical processing.
- Follow current trends in medical microbiology and clinical immunology as well as in medicine, biology, and genetics in general.
- Share his/her experience in the form of scientific papers, lectures, and teaching.
- Correctly interpret the microbiology/immunology research results and discuss them with other researchers.
- Supervise the theses of students in Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes.
Students are trained primarily for careers in academic institutions, such as universities and other research centres. However, graduates can also easily find work in private companies, especially those that develop innovative devices, tools, and materials for microbiology and immunology research and education; in clinical microbiology and immunology; and in research management and transfer of technologies.
The structure of an individual doctoral student’s study plan is based on the requirements of the Medical Microbiology and Immunology programme and the topic of his/her doctoral thesis, but primarily on the requirements of his/her supervisor. Students must complete all courses that are required for PhD students at the Faculty of Medicine and can also choose from a range of elective courses. Other than that, the study plan also includes the following requirements: (1) working in the lab, data collection, and using equipment and IT technology based on the doctoral dissertation topic; (2) teaching medical microbiology and/or immunology; (3) publishing a first-author paper in an international journal with IF>0.8.
Practical training (other than the actual research work) is not a compulsory part of the study programme.
Students must pass a public state examination before an examination board of experts in medical microbiology and/or immunology, including international experts, if necessary. Questions differ depending on the student and are determined based on consultations with the supervisor and the doctoral committee. The exam consists of three questions that are broadly based in the PhD student’s specialization and focus on knowledge in the field and sound reasoning.
Students also need to defend their doctoral dissertation. The defence is also public before a board that includes a chair, the student’s supervisor and experts in the given area. During the exam, the student is introduced to the board by the supervisor and presents the main points of his/her thesis; the opponents then present their thesis reports and the student reacts to them. After the discussion that follows, the board holds a secret vote on the result and decides on a grade.