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     Informations Guide

 Ph.D. programs – in the Doctorate School in Biology

Criteria of application and admission

The successful applicant must have a M.Sc. (in biology or chemistry), M.D., D.V. or D.D., and a good command of English. The Sub-Programs (see their list below) may restrict the range of degrees that they accept in order to ensure that the field in which applicant’s prior degree was issued, and the curriculum of applicant’s graduate studies meet the special expectations of the Sub-Program. On an interview by tutors in the chosen program, the applicant will be asked about her/his prior studies, M.Sc. (M.D., D.V. or D.D.) thesis work, motivation, theoretical knowledge, and practical-methodological experience, which might be relevant for her/his selected Ph.D. research project. The acceptance is followed by a consultation to assemble a Ph.D. research project for the student. For further information on application see “ Application and admission procedure”.

Documents to be enclosed to the application form: In addition to the application form, and the documents that are generally needed (see for these “The application form” and “Application and admission procedure”) the applicant should provide her/his M.Sc. M.D., D.V. or D.D. degree and documents about her/his earlier studies and accomplishments. These should be either originals or attested copies in English, or authorized English translations. A letter of recommendation in English from a former principal investigator is welcome, though it is not prerequisite for the application.

Features of the program

Duration Minimally six semesters (three years).
Objectives Except for the purely theoretical topics the programs are practice oriented: 90% of time is laboratory/field research. The special, one-semester courses and seminar series are organized on current scientific problems to deepen students’ knowledge on the theoretical background of their research project and the methods that they are using. Emphasis is also put on developing skills in publication (writing papers), in preparing grant application and in project management. Thus Ph.D. graduates will be able to pursue their own research project independently and to organize and supervise their own research group.
Curriculum For succeeding a program, candidate must have 180 credits, which can be earned for performance in the theoretical (16 credits) and the practical training.
In the theoretical part of their program, Ph.D. students have their own curriculum assembled from the permanent and temporary courses and seminar series, which are organized and announced yearly. After these, students prepare written and/or oral reports about selected topics of a course or a seminar series thorough reviewing literature. They can get help in this by (regular) consultations with the lecturer. Credit of the course or seminar series is earned if the lecturer finds the report acceptable and rates it at least as passing. For credit system and grading see “System of evaluation of students’ performance”.)
As their practical program, Ph.D. students have a research project. They work under the supervision of principal investigators (who have Ph.D., and are mostly professors or associate professors). An important criterion of obtaining a Ph.D. degree is authorship in two scientific papers, written from candidate’s work and published in international journals. The candidate must be first author on at least one of the papers.
As the culmination of the Ph.D. program, the candidate must go through a “Ph.D. procedure”. This involves: 1) an examination by a committee about topics in two selected fields of science; 2) writing and orally presenting a “Ph.D. Thesis”, which summarizes the results of candidate’s research work. Two independent referees (experts of the field) will review the “Ph.D. Thesis” and a committee from both teachers of the program and independent experts will evaluate the oral presentation, which is followed by an open discussion of thesis work. The performance of the candidate during the “Ph.D. procedure” will determine the quality of her/his Ph.D. degree. (For rating the performance and Ph.D. degree qualification see “System of evaluation of students’ performance”.)
List of the Ph.D. programs Ten Ph.D. programs are presently available in biology. More than 100 research projects are associated to these programs in both the departments of Eötvös Loránd University and in other research institutions outside the University. These are funded financially by a number of various sources, for example by the National Research Foundation, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and, in the case of international research collaborations, by various European and American grants. The programs are the following:
•   Theoretical Biology and Ecology
•   Ethology–Behavioral Biology
•   Immunology
•   Experimental Plant Biology
•   Classical and Molecular Genetics
•   Molecular Cell and Neurobiology
•   Neuroscience and Human Biology
•   Structural Biochemistry
•   Zootaxonomy, Animal Ecology and Hydrobiology
•   Evolutionary Genetics, Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation Biology  

·          Head of the Doctorate School in Biology:

Anna Erdei D.Sc. professor (MHAS)

·          Coordinator to be contacted:

Ádám Miklósi D.Sc. professor

For further information contact the coordinator of Ph.D. Programs