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. Additional to knowledge connected to the doctoral student’s own research, the examination focuses both on the broader field, e.g. zoology of invertebrates and vertebrates, ecology, ethology, entomology, arachnology, etc. 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 that 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 takes place at the Zoological Seminar. It consists of approximately 30 min presentation that gives an overview of the results, followed by responses to the questions by reviewers, committee members or from the audience.
Requirements of the study
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 successfully graduate 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 meeting, (vii) make a stay at a foreign academic or research institution, 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 form 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 according to the recommendations of the supervisor. One or two subject 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 her/his ability of active communication in the field by giving a talk (in English) at an international conference or by a stay (or stays) at a foreign institution for at least 2 months in total (ca 20% of the working time).
4. Zoological and a specialized seminars. Over the whole four-year standard period of the study the student attends these seminars. The supervisor may suggest an alternative seminar that fits well to 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 to fourth semesters or a corresponding total time in case of laboratory or field courses taught in blocks. The assistance must not exceed 150 hours over the whole study (a maximum of 10% of the working time).
Progress and performance according to the Individual Study Plan (ISP) is 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 her/his ISP, the supervisor, doctoral committee or doctoral board may propose discontinuation of the study.
Proposal of dissertation topics and topics of defended dissertations
Behaviorální strategie dvou poddruhů domácích myší (Mus musculus musculus, M. m. domesticus)
Vedoucí: prof. RNDr. Miloš Macholán, CSc., učo 31702
Studentka: Mgr. Zuzana Hiadlovská, Ph.D., učo 328868, PřF D-BI4 ZOOL
Genetic variation of selected pathogens in the house mouse hybrid zone
Vedoucí: doc. Mgr. et Mgr. Josef Bryja, Ph.D., učo 7775
Student: Wasim Uddin, Ph.D., učo 369160, PřF D-BI4 ZOOL
Evoluční ekologie annuálních ryb rodu Nothobranchius
Vedoucí: doc. RNDr. Martin Reichard, Ph.D., učo 7814
Student: Mgr. Milan Vrtílek, Ph.D., učo 184530, PřF D-BI4 ZOOL
Zdroje proměnlivosti standardního metabolismu u čolků
Vedoucí: doc. Mgr. Lumír Gvoždík, Ph.D., učo 249636
Student: Mgr. Peter Kristín, Ph.D., učo 395837, PřF D-BI4 ZOOL
Genetické a environmentální faktory ovlivňující fenotyp spermie u zebřičky pestré (Taeniopygia guttata)
Vedoucí: doc. Mgr. Tomáš Albrecht, Ph.D., učo 389628
Studentka: Mgr. Bc. Pavlína Opatová, Ph.D., učo 184657, PřF D-BI4 ZOOL
Srovnávací fylogeografie východoafrické oblasti Somali-Maasai na příkladu modelové skupiny hlodavců
Vedoucí: doc. Mgr. et Mgr. Josef Bryja, Ph.D., učo 7775
Studentka: Mgr. Tatiana Aghová, Ph.D., učo 416791, PřF D-BI4 ZOOL