Final state doctoral examination and defence of the doctoral thesis
The State (national) Doctoral Exam (SDE) is not public. It is based on the topic of the thesis which is treated in detail in a subject review submitted to the committee prior to the SDE. The members of the SDE committee can ask questions from any related discipline. In addition to knowledge related to the doctoral student’s own research, the exam also focuses on the broader fields of botany, ecology including palaeoecology, and evolutionary biology. The aim is not to test detailed knowledge of facts learned by heart, but to assess student’s wider understanding of the field, ability to explain relationships, and to use critical thinking.
The dissertation is usually assessed by two reviewers who have a Ph.D. or an equivalent degree (CSc., Dr.); at least one of them is not associated with MU, and one of them is usually affiliated to an institution from abroad. The defence is public, evaluated by a committee, and usually takes place at the Botanical Seminar. It consists of approximately 30 min presentation that gives an overview of the results, followed by a discussion with the reviewers and responses to questions by the committee members or from the audience.
Requirements of the study
The doctoral study follows the Individual Study Plan (ISP), which is updated and specified before each semester by the student together with the supervisor. ISP is made to allow successful graduation within the standard duration of the study. During the first four semesters, students should (i) pass all the courses suggested by the supervisor, (ii) prepare a subject review, (iii) present their results at specialized seminars and at an annual meeting of the doctoral committee, (iv) meet their teaching duties, and optimally (v) register for the State Doctoral Exam (not later than in the seventh semester). By the end of the standard duration of the study, i.e. the end of the 8th semester, students have to: (vi) give a lecture in English at an international scientific meeting, (vii) make a stay at an academic or research institution abroad, and (viii) submit the dissertation thesis and register for the defence. The review of the study topic should optimally be written during the first year, depending on the supervisor’s recommendation, but has to be delivered to the Chair of the examination committee at least a week before the State Doctoral Exam. The students participate in the annual meetings of the doctoral committee during the whole study, in which they give a presentation in English on the progress of the PhD project.
The Individual Study Plan shall include:
1. Research activities, such as work on the dissertation, study of literature, preparation of publications, and the subject review. The doctoral student enrols in these subjects repeatedly throughout the study and these subjects take at least 50% of the working time.
2. Courses widening and deepening the understanding of the broader scientific field in addition to knowledge obtained during the master study programme. The doctoral student enrols in these subjects following the recommendation of the supervisor. One or two subjects from this group should be studied during each of the four semesters (ca 10% of the working time). Students can select from a variety of courses (http://www.sci.muni.cz/en/BcMgrStudium/Studijni-katalogy).
3. Subjects improving the student’s language skills. The student proves the ability of active communication in the field by giving a talk (in English) at an international conference and by a stay (or stays) at an academic or research institution abroad for at least 2 months in total (ca 20% of the working time).
4. Participation in Botanical Seminar and specialized seminars (Biosystematic Seminar, Geobotany Seminar, Plant Ecology Lab Meeting) over the whole four-year standard period of the study. The supervisor may suggest an alternative seminar that fits better the dissertation topic; in case of a combined study an alternative activity can be suggested (ca 10% of the working time).
5. Assistance in teaching in the bachelor and master study programmes. The student participates in preparing and conducting practical exercises or practical courses in the laboratory or in the field in cooperation with the responsible teacher. She/he can also help with supervising bachelor and master students. The recommended extent of this engagement is two hours per week during the first four semesters or corresponding total time in case of laboratory or field courses taught in blocks. The assistance must not exceed 150 hours over the whole study period (a maximum of 10% of the working time).
Progress and performance according to the Individual Study Plan (ISP) are evaluated after each semester by the supervisor and once a year also by the doctoral committee represented by the Chair. The annual meetings of the doctoral committee and the student’s presentation is the main basis for the annual evaluation by the doctoral committee. If the student does not fulfil the obligations of the ISP, the supervisor, doctoral committee or doctoral board may propose discontinuation of the study.
Suggestion of theses topics and the topics of defended theses
Diversity and ecology of epiphytic bryophyte communities on dead wood in forest nature reserves
Supervisor: Péter Odór, Ph.D., učo 422904
Student: Mgr. Markéta Táborská, učo 222793, PřF D-BI4 BOTA
Vegetation history of the Jeseníky Mts on local and regional scale
Supervisor: doc. Mgr. Michal Hájek, Ph.D., učo 16868
Studentka: Mgr. Lydie Dudová, Ph.D., učo 78088, PřF D-BI4 BOTA
Environmental drivers of fine-scale plant species richness in Eurasian dry grasslands: a macroecological
Supervisor: prof. RNDr. Milan Chytrý, Ph.D., učo 871
Studentka: Mgr. Salza Palpurina, Ph.D., učo 381747, PřF D-BI4 BOTA
Traditional management and its impact on the vegetation of open lowland woodlands
Supervisor: Mgr. MgA. Radim Hédl, Ph.D., učo 33068
Student: Mgr. Ondřej Vild, Ph.D., učo 151076, PřF D-BI4 BOTA
Have the largest plant genomes evolved as an adaptation to geophytic strategy?
Supervisor: doc. RNDr. Petr Bureš, Ph.D., učo 2635
Student: Mgr. Pavel Veselý, Ph.D., učo 106706, PřF D-BI4 BOTA