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You are here: UCT Prague  → Prospective doctoral candidates → Frequently Asked Questions
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Below are answers to the most frequent questions asked by prospective doctoral candidates. Already enrolled candidates, please check: Frequently asked questions for current doctoral candidates.

Abbreviations used:

DSP: doctoral study programme (or programmes)

ISP: individual study plan


When and how can I apply for doctoral studies?

Application deadlines are published here. Ask the Dean’s office at the Faculty where you wish to study for instructions about submitting an application at other times.

What must be included in my doctoral studies application?

Start by creating a new application in UCT Prague’s electronic information system. Fill out the application and submit the required documents online. You will then need to visit the Dean's office for the faculty you’re applying to with the following: 

  • Printout of your Admissions Form from the electronic information system signed by your future supervisor/mentor
  • Certificate of medical fitness (the certificate for download/printing is in electronic information system)
  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Evidence of education and previous experience
  • List of publications
  • List of other application-related academic or professional outcomes and accomplishments

For dual degree PhD programmes, you will also need to submit:

  • Certificate of English competency, at least B2
  • Cover letter in English
I am in the last year of my Master degree program. How do I fill out the “education” field in the electronic information system’s Admission Form?

Fill out both Bachelor and Master degrees. For the latter, just note your expected year of completion.

How do I document my publications, academic accomplishments, and professional experiences if I don't have any?

Just state that you have none of these.

Who is eligible to be my supervisor/mentor if I want to do a doctorate at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (CAS)?

Any academic employee of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS) with a PhD degree who is, at the same time, a faculty member of UCT Prague with minimally an Associate Professor (“Docent”) rank. If your potential supervisor/mentor from CAS is a faculty member of UCT Prague but doesn’t minimally have Associate Professor (“Docent”) rank, then mentorship for the topic must be approved by the Scientific Council of the pertinent UCT faculty.

If your potential supervisor/mentor from CAS is not affiliated with UCT Prague, then either:

  • The supervisor/mentor’s institute at CAS must have a “Partial Agreement on Mutual Cooperation in the Implementation of Doctoral Study Programmes” with the respective UCT Prague study programme. This makes potential supervisor/mentor eligible assuming that s/he has a PhD degree with minimally Associate Professor (“Docent”) rank elsewhere, or that s/he has a PhD degree approved by the Scientific Council of the pertinent UCT Prague faculty.
  • The respective institute of CAS does not have signed a “Partial agreement on mutual cooperation in the implementation of doctoral study programs” with the pertinent UCT Prague study programme. Then, the supervisor from the given institute of CAS can only act as an unaffiliated “thesis adviser-specialist” and you must find another, formally-assigned supervisor/mentor from the pertinent UCT Prague department.

What awaits me during my studies?

What are my doctoral study responsibilities? When am I due to complete the requirements?

Doctoral studies are supervised by a formally-assigned mentor, always according to an individual study plan (ISP) approved by the faculty’s Scientific Council and the Faculty Dean. During the course of doctoral studies, the candidate must pass the required examinations in given subjects prescribed by the DSP and approved in the ISP.

Active participation in professional conferences in the Czech Republic and abroad is an integral part of the studies. Since the 2020/2021 academic year, doctoral candidates are required to go abroad for at least 30 days during their studies.

During their studies, every doctoral candidate must give a professional lecture in English at UCT Prague’s scientific conference for doctoral candidates.

At the end of each academic year, before a given deadline, all doctoral candidates are required to submit an annual progress report to their mentor via UCT Prague’s E-doktorand evaluation system. The deadlines are available in the E-doktorand after logging in.

Doctoral studies are officially concluded with a state doctoral examination and a public defense of the dissertation. The essential part of the state doctoral exam, which takes place prior to the dissertation defense, is a theoretical oral exam verifying your knowledge of the professional subjects. The exam consists of three thematic areas chosen in agreement with your mentor and related with your ISP. The dissertation defense is the professional component of the state doctoral exam used to verify professional competencies related to the completion of your own doctoral research. The exam takes place in the form of an extended debate after the dissertation presentation. To schedule your dissertation defense, you must submit a list of at least two co-authored scholarly articles, preferably in peer-reviewed academic journals (note that each UCT faculty may have different requirements, so be sure to check it far in advance).

It is assumed that doctoral candidates will pass the exams in all ISP subjects at the latest by the end of their second year of studies (the assumption is included in the regulation determining the amount of the basic doctoral stipend). Each doctoral candidate is also obliged, usually by the end of the second year, to participate in the academic conference for doctoral students. At latest by the end of the second year of studies, doctoral candidates must choose the three thematic areas for their state exams. You are expected to successfully complete the state doctoral examination by the end of the third year of your doctoral programme.

Will I be able to apply for a grant from the Internal Grant Agency (IGA) if I work part-time at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (CAS)?

Yes, you can apply for an IGA grant if you are a full-time candidate in a doctoral study programme accredited by UCT Prague:

  • If UCT Prague is also where you conduct your doctoral research
  • If you conduct your doctoral research at another research institution (usually CAS) based on an agreement with UCT Prague. The condition for your IGA grant eligibility is that at least 50% of the points that you earned for publication activities come from the research papers in which you are explicitly affiliated with UCT Prague (related to the methodology used in the annual professional evaluation of doctoral candidates at UCT Prague, see E-doktorand evaluation system). IGA application deadlines are available in Rector's decree “Announcement of the internal grant competition of VŠCHT Prague” for the given year of the competition.

If you do not conduct your research at UCT Prague and there is no agreement between UCT Prague and the other institution for reporting publication activities, then you are not eligible for an IGA grant.

Will I have to go abroad in order to complete my doctoral studies, and for how long?

Yes, fulfilling a part of your doctoral study requirements abroad is obligatory (it has been since the 2020/2021 academic year). The minimum time for doctoral study/research-related stays abroad is 30 days. The 30 days do not have to happen at one time and they can be accumulated with international conference attendance or with a series of shorter study/research-related stays. This obligation can also be fulfilled by direct participation in an international project or work with an international research group, if the results are published in an international journal or presented to the international academic public in another way.

Is it possible to delete a course from my ISP that I no longer want to complete?

It is possible, but it does not happen automatically (there is no “entitlement” to such changes).

You must submit a request to cancel the course and state why. This request must be signed by your supervisor/mentor, the head of your department, and the Chair of the faculty’s Scientific Council and then forwarded to your faculty’s Dean's office for the Dean's approval.

Are there any activities at UCT Prague not related to doctoral studies?

There are many options. Start by learning about student activities at UCT Prague that you can participate in. Options range from active involvement as a student in the Academic Senate to various cultural and artistic clubs and groups. If you want to form a new group or club, you are welcome to submit a registration here.

Livelihood (and all about finances)

Will I still be entitled to student discounts/benefits during my doctoral studies? What kinds?

You will have student status for the entire duration of your doctoral studies, but you can only renew your international student identity card (ISIC) while you are studying full-time (usually for four years from the start of your doctoral studies). Note that many discounts and benefits are capped at 26 years of age and you need to check this with each discount provider. For example, public transportation discounts can be used during doctoral studies, but usually only up to the age of 26. Up to the age of 28, you can apply for discounts when filing your tax return if you are a full-time doctoral student. Nonetheless, some discounts have no age restrictions.

If I don't have a side job, will I have to pay for health and social security myself?

Starting 1 January 2018, a change in Czech Act No. 48/1997 Coll. came into effect, which decrees that if you are studying in your first doctoral programme full-time, Czech national health insurance is covered for you by the state. But only if you don't have any employment aside, then Czech national health insurance is paid for you by your employer according to a calculation based on your employment contract, i.e. how much you work part-time.

Over the age of 26, you are required to report to the Czech health insurance company (“Všeobecná zdravotní pojišťovna“, abbreviated as “VZP”) the fact that the state is paying for your insurance on the basis of your doctoral studies. UCT Prague should report this for you, but it is a good idea to double-check with your Dean's office or with your health insurance company directly.

If you end your side job (at UCT Prague or anywhere else) during your full-time doctoral studies, you must report this personally to your health insurance company. The insurance will then (if the conditions in the first paragraph are met) be again paid by the state.

By the way, most health insurance companies now offer policyholders electronic access to their data (similar to internet banking) so you can check what data and payments the insurance company has on record for you.

Paying social security insurance is not obligatory, assuming that you are enrolled in a full-time doctoral programme and you don’t have any side job (but you can voluntarily pay for it) and you do have to report anything anywhere. If you get a side job during your studies, social security insurance will be paid for you by your employer.

Can I still live in the dormitories even as a doctoral candidate?

Yes, during your doctoral studies, you still have student status and you are entitled to live in the dormitories at a discounted price.

How much is the basic doctoral stipend? What other stipends are available?

The basic doctoral stipend is 7,700 CZK/month. If you are engaged in teaching activities, an additional 3,500 CZK/month will be added to this amount. Your basic doctoral stipend may be reduced if you do not fulfill your individual study plan, as determined by UCT Prague internal regulations (see Determining the amount of the basic doctoral stipend, in Czech).

For the calendar year of 2023 the basic doctoral stipend has been raised by 2,900 CZK/month effective from 01.06.2023. Only PhD candidates satisfying the criteria stated in the Rectors decree (in Czech). These are:

  1. The student is at the time of enrolment part of the solver team of A1 grant of the Internal Grant Agency and is in their 1st year or in the 2nd to 4th year. If the latter applies, the student needs to the criterium in the yearly report grater/equal to 2.00 as of 30.11.2022.
  2. The student is in a given month part of the solver team of a running A1 grant of the Internal Grant Agency.
How many hours do doctoral candidates work? Will I be entitled to vacations or holiday pay?

Doctoral candidates work 40 hours per week, and you are entitled to 30 days of vacation. Working hours can be adjusted upon agreement with your supervisor/mentor.

Updated: 19.9.2023 14:35, Author: Jakub Staś

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