Doctoral Study

The Ph.D. study is suitable for gifted students with a broad multidisciplinary perspective across the boundaries of the discipline with enthusiasm for deep and specialized studies and experimental or theoretical work in above-standard equipped workplaces. The program aims to provide the students with theoretical and practical knowledge, and essential experimental skills in organic chemistry, which will enable them to carry out rigorous scientific work in the future and help them advance the field. Senior students are expected to be more independent in their research activities and should be able to make analyses and draw conclusions from their experimental findings. An inherent part of this process is developing skills needed to produce high-quality scientific writings, both in Czech and English, and to prepare oral research presentations for scientific conferences. The ultimate goal of the chemistry program is to raise internationally competitive scientists capable of carrying out independent and creative work either in academia or in the applied research and industry.

As part of their studies, students have the opportunity to visit different research institutions in the Czech Republic and abroad, either under the umbrella of the student exchange programs (e.g., Erasmus) or through individual support by the institution or the principal investigator. Participation of the students at domestic and especially at international conferences is highly encouraged.

A graduate from the chemistry PhD program:

  • Possesses general as well as specific knowledge in the field of organic chemistry with an interdisciplinary overlap to other fields in life sciences.
  • Can effectively work with the primary scientific literature.
  • Is able to independently propose and carry out a synthetic route to new organic molecules.
  • Is able to propose and experimentally test mechanism of organic reactions based on the good working knowledge of physico-chemical relationships between the structure and reactivity of organic molecules.
  • Can work with basic physico-chemical techniques to determine the structure of organic compounds.
  • Possesses basic working knowledge of fundamental methods of molecular modeling and simple quantum chemical calculations using commercially available software.
  • Is able to independently work on a new scientific problem.

Successful graduates from the chemistry PhD program find jobs at research universities and the institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences, as well as in the private sector with focus on the process and pharmaceutical chemistry. They also possess skills and knowledge required to take on group leader and management positions.

The admission process to study a Ph.D. program in organic chemistry usually involves a personal interview with the applicant. The indicative range of requirements on professional knowledge is described in the characteristics of the master's degree in organic chemistry. The applicants for the doctoral studies are required to have a master’s degree in chemistry, pass an entry interview comprised of questions from a broader field of chemistry (e.g., on the reactivity of main functional groups, stereochemistry, methods of physical chemistry, main methods for the structure determination, fundamentals of synthetic planning, thermodynamics and kinetics, electrochemistry and quantum chemistry). Good level of written and spoken English is expected.  A formal process of the admission process is provided on the website of the faculty.

The course of study of a new registered student follows the individual study plan that was designed by a supervisor upon a discussion with the student and approved by the corresponding doctoral committee. The credit value of the courses is determined by the rules defined by the Study and Examination Regulations of the Masaryk University. In the course of study, the student is required to demonstrate proficiency in academic and professional English. Beside scientific work, important parts of the program are: (a) taking courses to enhance the knowledge in the field beyond the Master's degree programs, (b) taking more specialized courses, (c) participating in doctoral seminars, and (d) assisting in teaching in bachelor’s and master’s programs. The most important part of the study is to prepare a thesis. All study requirements are doscussed on this website.

The requirements for successful study completion are given by the Study and Examination Regulations of the Masaryk University, published on the websites of the Faculty. All PhD candidates are required to pass the state doctoral exam defined by the Regulations for Studies and Examinations. During the oral exam, the candidate needs to demonstrate good general knowledge of organic chemistry and specific aspects directly related to his/her PhD thesis. Particular attention is paid on the level of knowledge gained during the studies, on the level of understanding of individual research findings and their implications for the field, and on the ability to contrast the research outcomes with state-of-the-art information provided in the primary literature. If the exam takes place on a different date than the PhD thesis defense, the student is required to provide a short written overview of the planned thesis and give a 5-min overview of his/her research to the committee.

The subject areas of state doctoral exam:

  • Experimental and theoretical methods to study the structure and reactions of organic molecules
  • Synthesis of organic molecules
  • Applications of organic molecules
  • Modern trends in organic chemistry

During the PhD thesis defense, the student is expected to present the research findings and to demonstrate very good knowledge of literature on the particular topic. During the oral presentation, the student makes the committee and the audience familiar with the research subject, describes objectives of the project(s), discusses encountered challenges and used scientific methods, and presents his/her new research results. The student also addresses the comments and questions provided by the supervisor, the reviewers or the audience.

Useful Links

Doctoral study guide
Information board of the Study department
Study regulations
Forms (mostly in Czech)
Description of the field of Organic chemistry
Doctoral study committee
Dissertation topics
Information for students on the web of the Department of Chemistry

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