Frequently asked questions about doctoral studies (FAQ)
Table of Contents
Information for applicants
InSIS information system
Mandatory and other administration related to the study
Research and publishing activities
Development of skills for successful completion of doctoral studies
Working for the department
State Doctoral Examination (SDE)
Failure to fulfil obligations (conditional registration)
Interruption of studies
Colloquium and small defence
Dissertation and the (big) defence
Information for applicants
1. Who are doctoral studies suitable for?
You should enroll for doctoral studies mainly if you want to pursue research or an academic career in future. Alternatively, you may aim at a future career in strategic management and consultancy, where the strong analytic skills are required. To maintain motivation during your doctoral studies, you will need to have an area of interest that you will devote yourself to and invest a great portion of time into for four years.
You will also need to have a strong desire for gaining knowledge and learning new skills (e.g., deep understanding of theories, advanced scientific methods, writing articles, etc.), self-discipline, strong will and motivation to complete projects, willingness to work with other people (on projects, grants and publications), vigour to help with advancement of knowledge, diligence in studying literature and courage in preparing project applications and sending expert articles for review. PhD studies provide wide opportunities for international collaboration, freedom of exploration, and inspirational environment. You will be able to apply your PhD degree in an academic career, when joining a research institution or when working abroad, where it is usually highly valued.
If you prefer to focus solely on practical questions related to your business or management and leadership and gaining deeper understanding of these skills, MBA or DBA study programs may be a better option for you. MBA studies are now available through FBA Prague University of Economics and Business (VŠE), see HERE for more information. A brand new Program Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) has been launched, for more information see HERE (if you are interested in DBA, please contact Ing. Marie Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org).
2. Why study a PhD program at the Faculty of Business Administration (FBA) of the Prague University of Economics and Business?
As the only faculty in the Czech Republic, we can take pride in having an internationally recognized EQUIS accreditation. We offer a newly accredited four-year doctoral study program Management and Managerial Economics, which, under the guidance of experienced professors and supervisors, provides high quality study and support for own research activities.
To support research activities, we have a Research Support Centre and a Research Club, whose goal is to share scientific research information, experience, tips and suggestions, and to discuss upcoming articles, etc. The FBA financially supports participation in respected international conferences such as SIOP (Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology), European Academy of Management (EURAM), European Group for Organization Studies (EGOS), European Operations Management Association (EUROMA), AIMAC (International Conference on Arts and Cultural Management) and other conferences which are related to the field of study of the respective PhD student, who can meet there colleagues from universities from around the world who work on similar topics. The FBA provides financial rewards for publications of high merit, especially to those published in international scientific journals. Research projects submitted by students within the school are also financially supported (approximately 20 research projects per year).
3. What is the difference between full-time and part-time study?
Both types are for four years long with the possibility to extend up to five years. Combined (part-time / postgraduate research) postgraduate students mainly work on their own doctoral studies, full-time postgraduates also participate in the teaching and operations of the department (they are part of examiners committee, attend department meetings, etc.), for which full-time doctoral students receive a scholarship (15,000 CZK monthly, see the question 10 below for more details). Full-time study is significantly more often associated with further work in the academic sphere after successful completion of study. Some forms of support are available only for full-time PhD students (e.g. Erasmus internship abroad funding).
4. Can I work part-time or full-time elsewhere? Is it manageable?
Full-time students should not work more than part-time outside school due to time constraints. Full-time students are expected to devote min. 20 hours per week, otherwise study conditions are difficult to meet. We recommend that they pursue their doctoral studies to the fullest. The Prague University of Economics and Business offers a number of possibilities to improve financial situation of the students, for example by enabling them to engage in internal grant-funded projects and subsequently through rewards for excellent publishing activities. Full-time students must live in Prague or its vicinity during their studies, it is not possible to commute only once in a while.
External students usually do not teach and the workload at the department is significantly lower, so the time load is reduced. Otherwise, the same rules apply as for full-time doctoral students. Experience has shown that a significantly larger share of successful doctoral students consists of full-time students; students from the other group often do not complete their studies due to limited time capacity. External students sometimes commute to Prague from other countries. However, it is necessary to be present at the Prague University of Economics and Business at least once in a quarter, rather more often than not. During such visits, the student participates in lectures, consultations with the supervisor, exams or colloquia.
5. What are my chances of being admitted? What should I do to increase my chances?
The average success rate for admissions for the years 2017 to 2019 was 56%. It is advisable to elaborate a well-written outline of your dissertation and consult it repeatedly with the selected supervisor in sufficient advance. Feedback from your potential supervisor helps significantly when developing an outline that would later be realisable during your study and has a higher chance of passing the entrance examination. Your dissertation outline (required to be written in English) is one of the requirements set by the Faculty of Business Administration (FBA), with expected length of approximately 5 pages (excluding bibliography). The presented text contains an overview of the state of scientific knowledge in the given field (i.e. demonstrates primarily knowledge of relevant and current scientific articles in prestigious international scientific journals, especially those registered in Web of Science – here is where your selected supervisor can help you again) and outline of the goals and expected added value of your prospective doctoral dissertation.
6. How do I choose a suitable supervisor and dissertation topic? Can I propose my own topic?
To choose a dissertation topic, we recommend that you first look at the dissertation topics listed HERE. You will find names of supervisors with each available topic entered there. Choose the topic you are most interested in, develop an initial idea of how you would like to approach the topic and contact the respective potential supervisor. After reaching out to him/her, you can discuss the text together and make revisions accordingly. To choose a supervisor whose professional interests match your interests, we recommend looking at their publishing activities and experience with research projects. The supervisor must have an academic degree as associate professor or professor. During your study, the dissertation can also be discussed with other professionals who are not your supervisor (only one supervisor per student), but they can act only as consultants to the thesis. You may also propose your own topic, but it is usually better to select from the topics offered by individual supervisors and to specify your chosen topic after consulting with them. For Research Proposal Template, click HERE.
7. What do entrance exams look like? How is knowledge of a foreign language tested?
The entrance examination consists of a discussion of your dissertation’s goal. It is important to have a very good grasp of the issues you want to explore (i.e. especially of relevant and current scientific articles published in top international scientific journals). You must be able to defend the expected added value of your prospective work and convince the committee about its feasibility. The interview will be held in English. This verifies the candidate’s ability to study and conduct relevant professional discussions in English. English language cannot be replaced by another language. No further language test awaits you.
8. What documents do I need for the admission procedure?
For the admission procedure, you must submit the following documents by the specified date (mid-December or late May):
- Fill in the electronic application form in InSIS HERE and pay the administrative fee for the admission procedure, information on which you will receive after submitting this application form. In the electronic application form, you include, among others, the name of the supervisor. The FBA requires the supervisor’s approval to supervise the dissertation (email confirmation from the supervisor is sufficient).
- Application addendum and Statement of Previous and Concurrent Studies, available HERE.
- A certified copy of your diploma including the addendum and the final certificate (not the original, the certified copy will be kept at the Prague University of Economics and Business) even if you have studied at the University of Economics, nostrification of the diploma for students abroad. If you have not yet completed your degree, you must inform your Student Affairs Department agent and submit the document by the time of the university’s issuing of letter of acceptance at the latest.
- Your own idea about the focus of your research and dissertation work specified according to the FBA requirements: FBA requires an outline of your prospective doctoral dissertation in the extent of 5 pages in English. The presented text contains an overview of the state of scientific knowledge in the given field, proposal of an interesting research question and delineation of the goal and expected added value of your prospective doctoral dissertation. For Research Proposal Template, click HERE.
9. How much is the tuition fee? Do I have to pay it all myself, or does the school support me?
There is a charge for studying in English. Tuition per one year is 5000 €. Applicants whose articles were published in respected scientific journals in the field of business management (in journals in Q2 in Scopus or in Social Science Citation Index of Web of Science) may be exempt from half or all tuition fees. Each case will be evaluated individually and the decision to waive the tuition fee fully or partially is solely up to the Faculty. In addition, various scholarships can be obtained, whether for full-time students (see question 10) or scholarships based on publications in quality scientific journals (indexed in Scopus or Web of Science) and others. It is also possible to get an internal scientific grant for PhD students (see question 43 for more details).
10. Will I get a scholarship?
Yes, if you are a full-time student, you will receive a full scholarship per month (4 years) in the amount stipulated by the Scholarship Decree for the given academic year. For the academic year 2020/21, this scholarship is CZK 15,000 per month (approximately EUR 600 per month). The scholarship is not taxable, so it represents net income. Regular scholarships will be reduced first to a half in the event of non-compliance with the duties or at the request of the supervisor, and later down to CZK 1,000 per month at the event of second conditional warning.
In addition to the regular scholarship, you can also receive an extra scholarship for being published in highly-regarded journals, specific assistance at the department, teaching beyond the scope of duties. Additional funding can be obtained through internal research grants or active participation in conferences (see question 66 for scholarships).
For potential PhD students who already have published papers in international journals, there is a limited offer of additional scholarships. See more information HERE.
11. Do I need to submit a certified copy of the diploma? Can I apply even if I have not completed my Master’s degree? And do I have to hand it in, even though I studied at VŠE?
You can apply for the studies before completing your Master’s degree, but you must be aware that you can only be accepted after submitting a certified copy of your diploma, including the diploma supplement and the final transcript of records (even if you have studied at another faculty at VŠE). Only graduates of Master’s degrees at FBA VŠE are exempt from this duty. For students abroad it is necessary to add “recognition of higher education” for their diploma. These documents (certified copies, not originals) must be delivered to your Student Affairs Department agent in paper form by the date of issuing of the letter of acceptance at the latest.
12. How is recognition of higher education (nostrification) done?
There are two ways of getting foreign education (master’s degree) verified:
- As a higher education institution, with institutional accreditation, the Prague University of Economics and Business is entitled, pursuant to Section 48 (4) to (6) of the Higher Education Act, to refrain from requiring a verification documents and is entitled to assess whether the given prospective student fulfils the condition of the law for admission to study. In this case, the applicant submits the application through https://edu.vse.cz/ .
- If you want your degree in the Czech Republic to be verified for use for purposes other than admission to doctoral studies at the Prague University of Economics and Business, you must apply for nostrification. Since this process can be very time consuming, it is recommended to start as soon as possible. Here is how to do it: https://www.vse.cz/english/about-vse/information-and-regulations/recognition-of-the-previous-foreign-university-degree/
13. When will I get the results of the entrance exams?
The results of the entrance exams will be available to you within thirty days from the examination. Applicants will be informed by e-mail. In the case of rejection, applicants are also informed by e-mail, if they have an address in the Czech Republic, then also by registered letter.
14. When do I become an official student? When does the enrolment take place? Is the enrolment procedure mandatory?
You become a student only after enrolling in the studies, which normally takes place in the first week of the semester, i.e. usually the third week of September for the winter semester or the third week of February for the summer semester. Only after the enrolment will the teacher or IT department with access to access card management be able to see you in InSIS. Yes, enrolment is obligatory, your signature on the attendance list gives your consent to enrol in the study.
15. Will you accredit my subjects from a different doctorate study?
No, as the specific subjects and their content are directly related to the accreditation of PhD studies at the University of Economics. The courses should prepare you for adequate work on the dissertation.
16. What do I need to get a “Student Mode” visa? (It is faster than applying for it just yourself.)
“Student Mode” facilitates the visa procedure for a specific group of students from third countries. It applies to students from the following countries: Philippines, Ghana, Iran, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, India, China, Pakistan, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Brazil, Colombia and Peru (the list is regularly updated and more countries are gradually added). If you are interested in being nominated for this special mode, it is necessary to inform the PhD Study Officer at FBA. Should you pass the entrance exam and should your diploma be recognized, you may be nominated for this mode. Responsible person: Ms Sabina Zukalová (email@example.com) from the Department of Science and Research. For more information have a look HERE.
Important: If you are enrolled in Student Mode, do not apply for a Visa appointment by yourself – it will be done for you automatically, so please wait for the embassy to contact you. Being on the list of Student Mode does not guarantee a positive response to the visa application.
17. Where can I learn more about life in Prague? How expensive is life in Prague?
In general, Prague provides a safe and exciting environment with high quality of life and low cost of living. We recommend reading the website https://studyinprague.cz and especially the Life in Prague section. You can find more information about living https://studyinprague.cz/life-in-prague/cost-of-living/ , health system https://studyinprague.cz/life-in-prague/health-system / and other useful information.
InSIS information system
18. InSIS: Where and when do I get the InSIS login and password? I forgot my InSIS password, what should I do?
The login and password for the InSIS system will be handed over to you by your Student Affairs Department agent after enrolment. You should change this password. It may occur that you forget your password. If you have not changed your original password, the Student Affairs Department agent can provide it again. If you have changed it, you need to come in person to the IT Centre located at SB 22.
19. I need to do something in InSIS and am not sure if I know how to do it, what do I do?
The respective operation can be tested in the InSIS-test.vse.cz application, where the current data is downloaded every day and it is only a training version of InSIS. https://insis-test.vse.cz/
Here are some InSIS tutorials: https://ci.vse.cz/english/services/insis/ .
20. Which subjects are mandatory and which are optional? How many of them do I need to have?
The study plan for the study program Management and Management Economics, which can be found here: https://fba.vse.cz/students/doctoral-study-programmes/management-and-managerial-economics/, determines compulsory, compulsory-optional and elective courses. In any case, you must enrol in the compulsory subject, i.e. Scientific Research Methodology (3CV901). You can choose one of the following two subjects from the compulsory-optional courses after consultation with the supervisor: Statistical Methods for Quantitative Research (3CV902) or Qualitative Research (3CV903). And you also choose between Management (3MA901) or Business and Industry Economics (3MI910). You choose the fourth subject from your department’s available elective courses. Upon agreement with the supervisor, we recommend enrolling for another subject(s) of doctoral study at FBA. For each successfully completed subject beyond the four aforementioned ones you will get 10 credits (for further details about credit requirements, see the Dean’s decree N09/2019 15 10. 2019 – https://fba.vse.cz/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/PhD-Student-Standard-Measures-N09-English.pdf).
For students of the study programs Business Economics and Management and Economics, compulsory and elective courses are listed at https://fba.vse.cz/students/doctoral-study-programmes/program-business-economics-and-management-peme/study-obligations-peme/courses/ and https://fba.vse.cz/students/doctoral-study-programmes/economics/. Courses must be in accordance with the Provision of the Dean N3 / 17 of 3. 4. 2017 completed by the end of the first year of full-time study and by the end of the second year of part-time study.
21. How can I register my selected subjects?
You register your selected subjects by filling in Registration of courses and hand it in to the Student Affairs Department or email your Student Affairs Department agent which subjects you would like to study – individually for winter and summer terms. Subjects are always enrolled in the current semester (not for the whole year in advance).
22. Where can I find course timetables?
The schedule of courses for the program Management and Management Economics can be found here: https://fba.vse.cz/students/doctoral-study-programmes/management-and-managerial-economics/study-obligations-mme/courses/. The subjects of the Business Economics, Management and Economics program take place at the moment in an individual form.. The timetable is published at least 1 month before the beginning of the semester.
23. What happens if I enrol in a subject and do not manage to study it during the semester?
It is strongly recommended to complete the course during the semester in which you have enrolled in it. The course will automatically switch to the next semester, but it is necessary to check whether the course is taught every semester or only every second semester. In this case, you would not meet the study requirements.
24. How many times can I retake an exam?
The examinations in doctoral studies usually take an oral form and focus on verifying specific knowledge that is a prerequisite for adequate work on the dissertation. A term paper is usually submitted before the oral exam, which can be returned to student several times. Oral exams usually take place only once, after the teacher of the subject considers your output sufficient.
25. Can I study a foreign language?
Compulsory subjects of doctoral studies are taught in English, no other language is required as part of the study. Any study of foreign language courses is therefore not related to the accredited doctoral study as such and does not count towards meeting the study requirements. However, you can enrol in foreign language courses at VŠE. Just keep in mind that the enrolled courses must be completed before the state doctoral examination. Do not forget how time consuming the study can be already without additional duties.
Foreigners are highly recommended to study Czech language courses offered by the University of Economics, but this again does not count towards meeting the study requirements.
Mandatory and other administration related to the study
26. What do I have to do at the beginning of my studies? And by when?
As soon as possible after the enrolment for study, it is necessary to arrange a meeting with your supervisor and to prepare an individual study plan in InSIS on the basis of the Provision of the Dean N09 / 2019 of 15. 10. 2019. The Individual Study Plan (ISP) is discussed in more detail see question 30. The ISP is submitted by you and the supervisor 14 days after enrolment.
With that comes the necessity to settle on a selection of subjects with your supervisor that you will then be enrolled in by your Student Affairs Department agent in the respective semester. The completed Enrolment Form is also submitted within 14 days of enrolment.
For more information about the ISIC card or student ID, please see the following question.
The assignment of the dissertation is submitted at the end of the first year (see question 34 for details).
27. Do I need a student card? Where can I get it and how much does it cost?
Upon entering the Prague University of Economics and Business, all students are required to have their own identification card. The student card serves both for the purpose of identification in the premises of the University of Economics, and also allows for paying with it. You will find it useful in the canteen (partially subsidized lunches for students), the library or the computer room. The card is issued at room SB22 for 290 CZK. The second option is an ISIC card for 370 CZK, which offers many discounts in the Czech Republic and abroad. For more information see: https://ci.vse.cz/english/services/other/id-cards/ and https://ci.vse.cz/english/informatics-centre/regulations/using-the-identification-cards-at-vse-pr-9-2011/.
28. Which Provision of the Dean decrees applies to me?
For students enrolled in 2020, it is the Provision of the Dean N09 / 2019 of 15. 10. 2019: https://fba.vse.cz/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/PhD-Student-Standard-Measures-N09-English.pdf
For students enrolled in 2017, 2018, 2019 it is the Provision of the Dean Decree N3 / 17 of 3. 4. 2017: https://fba.vse.cz/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/Deans-Order-PhD-Candidates-Faculty-Business-Administration-VSE.pdf
For students admitted in 2014, 2015 or 2016 the Provision of the Dean N1 / 14 of 10. 09. 2014: https://fba.vse.cz/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/Deans-Order-PhD-Candidates-2014-Faculty-Business-Administration-VSE.pdf
29. Where do I find my responsibilities? And what other documents should I read?
Study obligations for the entire study can be found in the Provision of the Dean (see previous question). These obligations must be copied to the Individual Study Plan, where they are further specified. More specific due dates may be added to them and they may also be made stricter. Other important documents are the Study responsibilities and Examination Regulations of the Prague University of Economics and Business. It is available here: https://www.vse.cz/english/about-vse/information-and-regulations/study-and-examination-rules/.
30. What should I fill in to my Individual Study Plan (ISP)?
The individual study plan is prepared after consulting with your supervisor – it is recommended to prepare it in InSIS based on the Provision of the Dean relevant to you (see question 28). The individual study plan contains the timetable of the student’s duties on a year-by-year basis, working title of your dissertation (which may change in the future) and the expected dates of the small and final defence of the thesis. Obligations may be stricter or made more specific, but none may be absent from the ISP. In the third part of the ISP, you and the supervisor briefly describe the goal of your dissertation. The student can edit it until its validation. The ISP will then be printed and signed by you and the supervisor. It is approved by the guarantor of the study program and on the recommendation of the Dean. Furthermore, the ISP (MMEE) has to contain these idents: 3KOL1 = department colloquium, 3KOL2 = faculty colloquium, 3SDZEN = state doctoral exam, 3ODPEN = dissertation defense.
31. What should I do if I find out that I cannot meet obligations for continuing to the following year set by the Individual Study Plan in time?
Obligations arising from the relevant Provision of the Dean entered in your Individual Study Plan for each individual year. At the end of the academic year, the supervisor, in cooperation with the student, completes a report on the course of study concerning what the student has accomplished throughout the past academic year. If not all obligations are completed, it is necessary to request conditional registration via InSIS (six-month’s deferral of the missing obligation). You can find the electronic application to the Study Department in the “eAgenda” section under “Contact Centre”. The application shall indicate which obligations are not met.
Approval of the application is not automatic; the application must be supported by the supervisor and subsequently by the Vice-Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies. If the conditional enrolment is approved, the student will be conditionally enrolled in the next year and must fulfil the missing duties by the end of the following semester.
Starting from September 2020, the existence of the first conditional enrolment in the course of study automatically means halving the paid scholarship in the following academic year for full-time doctoral students. If you have a second conditional enrolment during your studies, the scholarship is reduced to CZK 1,000 per month. If the conditional enrolment for the next year is not approved, the student will be expelled.
32. What if I had a conditional enrolment and failed to complete my missing duty?
If you have been granted a conditional enrolment (six-month deferral) and you still have not met all of the submitted study obligations, you have two options:
- apply for a second conditional enrolment and fulfil all obligations in the following semester (which entails a reduction of the scholarship to CZK 1,000 per month), or
- apply for interruption (intermission) of study and use the time thus gained to complete your missing duty. Please note that if you have interrupted your studies, the supervisors are not obliged to attend to you in any way, as you are no longer a student at the moment of doing so, see also questions in the section in the chapter on study intermission.
33. When do the winter and summer semesters begin?
The winter semester starts on 1 September. Summer holidays count towards the time of study, namely the summer semester. However, it cannot be expected to do any exams during this time.
34. When should I submit my Dissertation Assignment and where can I find it?
The assignment of the dissertation is completed in InSIS with the supervisor by the end of the first year. This is to ensure enough time to refine the topic that the PhD student will later focus on. The student does not have the possibility to edit the Assignment himself. The assignment of your thesis (outline) must be printed, signed (student and supervisor) and handed over to the Student Affairs Department. The assignment of the doctoral thesis will be further approved by the Vice-Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies and by the Dean of the FBA.
The following information is filled in to the assignment text after agreement with the supervisor:
- dissertation title,
- basic literature (on which the student based his work – usually current scientific articles),
- Estimated size (120-150 pages)
- expected date of submission (4 years from the start of studies),
- a brief annotation of the work, including the objectives of the work, the expected added value of the work for scientific research and practice, assumed methods and data used in the work and the outline of the work.
35. What do I need to do to enrol in the next year?
Every year, within the deadline set by the Dean, the student’s individual study plan is checked. The student is obliged to submit the prescribed documents for checking the fulfilment of the individual study plan in due time. Enrolment for the next year is based on the Report on the Course of Study (ZPS) for the past academic year. In the case of fulfilment of all duties, it is a recommendation of the supervisor to “continue studying”; The application for conditional enrolment is submitted to the Dean by the end of the academic year via InSIS (see the eAgenda section as the Contact Centre). The student is enrolled in a following year on the basis of the Dean’s approved Report on the Course of Study. The Report on Course of study (ZPS) is submitted once a year before enrolling in the next year, i.e. always in the second week of September (or in the second week of February for those who enrolled in doctoral studies during the summer term).
36. The supervisor asks me for the Study Report, what does it mean? Where can I find it in InSIS?
The student has no access to the ZPS. If the supervisor wants to inform him / her about its content, he / she must send him / her a message, they should fill in the message together. The report on the course of study is submitted annually before the end of the academic year. It serves for checking the fulfilment of each student’s individual study plan. For ease of processing, you should prepare a list of the following activities that you have done in the past academic year for your trainer:
- participation of doctoral student in pedagogical activities,
- participation of the doctoral student in research activities,
- publishing and active participation in conferences and seminars,
- domestic and foreign internships,
- other activities, obstacles in study and professional experience relevant to the course of study,
- state of development of the dissertation.
37. By when are Study Reports to be submitted? And what happens if it is not done in time?
The report on the Course of study (ZPS) is submitted once a year before enrolling in the next year, i.e. always in the second week of September (or in the second week of February for those enrolled in doctoral studies during the summer term). If it is not delivered, the supervisor is notified of failure to deliver the report and if it is not delivered soon after the notification, the supervisor will be advised to suggest that the student should terminate his / her studies.
38. When can I come to see my Student Affairs Department agent for consultations?
The Student Affairs Department agent office hours are posted in InSIS. It is advisable to monitor the current changes. During the year, office hours are as follows:
Monday: 8:30 – 11:30
Wednesday: 8:30 – 11:30, 14:30 – 17:00
Friday: 8:30 – 11:00
Meetings on other days or times can be arranged after prior arrangement.
39. Can I switch from full-time study to part-time study and vice versa, i.e. change the form of study?
Yes, with prior application approved by the Dean (previously approved by the Vice-Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies), it is possible to switch from full-time study to part-time study.
40. How can I get a certificate of study?
The certificate of study is issued by the study officer Ing. Blanka Helclová. Confirmation may be given only to active students (you are not a student during an interruption of your studies).
41. How is the application submitted (interruption or termination of studies, change of study form)?
The application for interruption of studies as well as any other application is submitted electronically via InSIS. The application forms can be found in InSIS in the eAgenda section of the Contact Centre. You can find the new application form in the section “I am looking for a solution”. The application guide is accessible via the question mark icon in the top-right corner next to the “logout icon”.
Your Student Affairs Department agent submits the application for a statement to the guarantor of the respective field of study and to the Vice-Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies and subsequently to the Dean. Only after the application has been approved is the relevant operation carried out.
Research and publishing activities
42. How can I get involved in research?
Research is the main and integral part of doctoral studies. In addition to your own research, which is usually subsidised, that is if you provide a satisfactory application, by an internal grant (see the following question), you can participate in other research. You can be part of other internal grants realized by other PhD students. You can also participate in a number of research projects by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TAČR, https://www.tacr.cz/en/ ), the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GAČR, https://gacr.cz/en/) and contract research projects carried out by your supervisor or at your department. Inform your supervisor or the head of the department that you are interested in participating in research activities more intensively and find out what are the possibilities of your further development in this field.
43. Does it pay off to apply for an internal grant (IGA) at FBA? What should I do if I want to submit a grant? Where can I find conditions for IGA?
It certainly pays off. The main reason is that you can get funding for something you still need to do as part of your dissertation. Sufficient funds are available, approximately 3.5 M. CZK annually. Individual projects typically receive funding within the range of 100-300,000 CZK annually, exceptionally, they may receive even more. In addition, you will receive 10 points in the Management and Management Economics program for successful submission of the project (i.e. when your project proposal is granted). Students of Business Economics and Management and Economics study programs are obliged to apply for a research grant.
The FBA offers detailed information on internal grants. You can find them here: https://fba.vse.cz/science/for-employees-and-ph-d-students/miscellaneous/internal-grant-agency-iga/
We recommend that you study these documents carefully.
44. Where can I find suitable literature to study? (electronic resources) Where can I get professional articles for my work? Where can I get a scholarly book that is not available at the library?
The VŠE Library has access to a large set of electronic resources through EBSCO, Proquest, Jstor and other databases. For more information see https://knihovna.vse.cz/english/e-resources/ . In addition, it is advisable to set up an on-line access to the National Technical Library (CZK 100 per year), which offers access to a number of journals published by Elsevier, to which the University of Economics does not have full-text access. Another option is Internet search, e.g. through Google Scholar.
You can also get books in the library, or you can buy it from the internal grant that you are working on, or contact your department to ask the library to purchase specific publications.
45. What publications are expected from doctoral students in particular? What journals are suitable for publishing in?
The minimum required publication activity can be found in the Provision of the Dean relevant to you (see also question 28).
In particular, postgraduate students are expected to publish in journals listed in the Scopus and SSCI databases (see question 46). For the selection of journals, we recommend the Academic Journal Guide published by the Association of Business Schools (ABS ranking), available after registration at https://charteredabs.org/academic-journal-guide-2018/
This ranking of journals is the most respected in the world, providing an overview of journals in individual fields (e.g. Strategy, HR management, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, etc.) from the world’s best journals marked 4 *, or 4, which typically have a very high impact factor, to journals of internationally recognizable but rather average quality labelled with 1. At the same time, such journals should always be registered at least in the Scopus or SSCI database (at least one such output is required for successful completion of doctoral studies), or better yet in a journal with AIS within second or third quartile (only these data evaluate national methodology of scientific evaluations M2017 +) (see question 47 for more details).
Your supervisor should help you choose appropriate journals to publish in. You can also contact the Science and Research Centre.
46. What are Web of Science and Scopus? What does Impact Factor / Impacted Journal mean?
The Web of Science (owned by Clarivate Analytics) and Scopus (owned by Elsevier) include world-class academic journals. Once a journal is entered into a database of this kind, the database owner confirms a certain quality standard of the journal, based on the content of the articles, their citation rate, international cooperation on the management of the journal, etc.
The Web of Science database includes two sub-databases, the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) and the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) most relevant to us. There is also a Science Citation Index (SCI) for science and technology. The journals in the SSCI have an impact factor. If you hear about a journal with an impact factor, it means that the journal is listed in SSCI (or SCI). The higher the impact factor, the more (i.e. more cited) relevant the journal. ESCI also provides journals that do not yet have impact factor but are trying to achieve it, these are in a certain form of observation period. It should also be noted that there are also false impact factors where predatory journals in particular claim to have an impact factor, but such kind of impact factor is insignificant, since it has nothing to do with the SSCI database. Checking whether the journal is in the SSCI is possible via the Journal Citation reports, which can be easily accessed through the electronic resources of the University of Economics, see https://jcr-clarivate-com.zdroje.vse.cz/ . Checking whether the journal is registered in the Scopus database is also possible via the electronic resources of the University of Economics, see https://www.scopus.com/sources.uri?zone=TopNavBar&origin=searchbasic (select Title instead of Subject area in the top left and then enter journal’s title).
Generally, SSCI can be expected to have significantly smaller number journals than Scopus. Especially for journals in the Scopus database, it may happen that even if they are kept in the database, they are not of acceptable quality, sometimes also the so-called predatory journals.
47. What are the quality indicators of IF, AIS and SJR? What values do they acquire and what do they mean to me?
The IF, AIS and SJR indicators determine the quality of a journal, measured by how often the articles published in a given journal in previous years are cited by other journals held in the relevant database. Basically, the higher the indicator, the more the average article published in the journal is cited, i.e. the better it is.
IF (Impact Factor) is a basic indicator of the SSCI database; its value is usually between 0.1 and 10 in our fields. The mean value (median) in the year 2018 in the field of management was 2.2. The value above 10 had only two journals – Academy of Management Annals and Academy of Management Review.
AIS (article influence score) is an indicator that, more than the impact factor, takes into account the quality of the journals that cite the respective journal. It is typically lower than IF. In general, the worse or more local the journal, the higher the difference between IF and AIS. The methodology for evaluating science in the Czech Republic only considers articles in journals with AIS in the first quartile (approximately AIS> 1), the second quartile (approximately AIS> 0.5), partly in the third quartile (approximately AIS> 0.25). No domestic management journals achieve these values.
The values of AIS and IF can be found in the electronic resources of the University of Economics in the Journal Citation Reports. After entering the name of a particular journal, the values of both indicators can be found on the respective page, including a graph of their development. It should also be noted that for new journals, the AIS value appears no sooner than after 3-4 years of existence of the given journal.
The SJR indicator then marks the quality of the journal, but this time calculated on the basis of the Scopus database. SJR is slightly less sensitive to the quality of citing journals than AIS, but more than IF. The higher the SJR, the higher the quality of the journal, the SJR values around 0.1 to 0.2 indicate low quality journals. The value of the SJR indicator can again be found in the electronic resources of the University of Economics, this time under the Scopus link. Often, the SJR indicator can be easily found on Google by entering the journal’s name + “sjr”.
48. Do we have any journals suitable for publishing in within the school?
We recommend focusing more on journals published internationally outside the University of Economics. The FBA publishes the Central European Business Review (CEBR), which focuses on business topics from the perspective of Central Europe. It is indexed in SCOPUS ( https://cebr.vse.cz/ ). However, there is room for maximum 1 article by the author of the University of Economics, publication possibilities are therefore limited.
VŠE also publishes impacted journals Politická Ekonomie and Prague Economic Papers, but their AIS is very low and they are not listed in the ranking of the Academic Journal Guide.
49. How does the journal review process work and how long does it take?
The review process can be very long. There are cases where it stretched for several years, but it usually takes several months. In high-quality journals, you will get a quick response if the article is immediately rejected, the so-called desk-reject by the journal editor. When it comes to reviewers, it usually takes several months to get their reviews back, which tells you what you need to change in the article to get a chance to be published. Once finished with adjusting and editing, the manuscripts usually go back to the review process, where you wait again for several months. There may also be a third or exceptionally fourth round of comments.
It is also likely that the first journal will not accept your article, while you can wait for the decision for several months. It is therefore important to submit a manuscript to the journal at least a few months, preferably one year, prior to the scheduled date of the major defence.
50. How do I know what a predatory journal is?
Journals that do not adhere to the ethical rules of publication are described as predatory. They take different forms and try to capitalize on the need for authors to publish somewhere. Common features to identify a predatory journal include addressing authors through mass email, extremely fast review processing, high fees for each review processing, attracting a false impact factor (not related to SSCI – see question 46), or from an unknown or untrustworthy publisher. See also e.g. https://predatoryjournals.com/journals/ . When in doubt, contact the Science and Research Centre.
51. At which conference is it appropriate to present your paper?
The conference should be considered as an investment because it costs money to participate in it, but the national science evaluation methodology (M2017 +) does not count towards eligible scientific outputs. It is therefore necessary to attend those conferences that have a good ratio of potential benefits (to get inspiration on how top research is done in the rest of the world, to establish international contacts with which it is possible to prepare an international research project, show that we do top-quality research at FBA and that we are a good partner etc.) as well as total cost.
In principle, it is advisable to attend prestigious international conferences that are world leaders in their field, such as the Academy of Management Annual Meeting (AOM), the SIOP (Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology), the European Academy of Management (EURAM), the European Group for Organization Studies (EGOS) and the like. It is also possible to target clearly defined conferences in relevant fields (BCERC for business, EUROMA for operational management, AIMAC for arts management, etc.).
The second option is participation in domestic conferences that enable us to promote our work at home, such as conferences organized by FBA VŠE (IMES, MSED, CEECBE), where participation for doctoral students of the FBA is free.
Appropriate conferences should be recommended by the supervisor, or you can contact the Science and Research Centre. More information can be found on the web here: https://fba.vse.cz/science/for-employees-and-ph-d-students/activities/conferences/
52. What is an affiliate? What is dedication?
The article in the journal indicates which institution the author works for this is called affiliation. We recommend that all your articles include only FBA VŠE. If two schools or universities are entered, both can be reported, but the PhD thesis needs to have articles affiliated with FBA and, in addition, when multiple affiliates are listed, the remuneration for these articles is further reduced proportionally.
At the same time, the article mentions the so-called dedication, which is a reference to the research project in which the article was created. A typical example for PhD students is a reference to an internal IGA grant. Dedication then takes the following form: “ This research was supported by the Internal Grant Agency of the Faculty of Business Administration, Prague University of Economics and Business, the project number VŠE IGS F3/XX/20XX.“ This way you declare that your project was created as a part of internal grant and that you are thus fulfilling your commitment to your publishing activity that you made in your internal grant application. Dedication to other projects, such as projects of GACR, TACR and others is done in a similar way.
53. What is ORCID? How do I get it? Do I have to cite it?
ORCID is a unique researcher identification number (ID) maintained in an international database managed by Elsevier. It allows unambiguous identification of the researcher. VŠE regulations assume that every researcher will have this identification. Registration for ORCID is available at https://orcid.org/ . It is recommended to include this number in the published works, it allows for unambiguous identification and you do not risk confusion of authorship with another researcher.
54. What is the proper way of filing publishing activities? How do I enter my publication activity into the publication activity database? Where can I find the publication database?
The condition for your publication activity (professional articles, giving speeches at conferences, etc.) to be counted towards the fulfilment of your duties is its inclusion in the publication activity database of the Prague University of Economics and Business. Affiliation to the Faculty of Business Administration is a prerequisite for registration in the database. The procedure is as follows: from the FBA website you can download the appropriate form (article in journal is here and contribution in conference proceedings is here), fill it in and send it to Ing. Blanka Helclová (firstname.lastname@example.org) in both electronic and signed paper form thereby confirming the truth of the data contained therein. In case of any issues, please contact Mrs. Helclová individually.
Based on the form mentioned above, your publishing activity will be listed in the PCVSE database, which is crucial for verification of compliance with study duties and allocating rewards for publishing activity. The data from the database are further transferred to InSIS, as well as exported annually to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and serve as a proof of research activities of employees and doctoral students of the Prague University of Economics and Business. The publication database is available at https://eso.vse.cz/~sklenak/pcvse/index.php .
At the same time, since April 2020 it is the duty to keep full text versions of reviewed articles in the VŠE repository (https://repozitar.vse.cz/english/). This repository serves as a permanent repository of scientific publications produced at the Prague University of Economics and Business, which will guarantee their availability. When entering a publication, public accessibility can be restricted. Data from the repository (link to text) is used when exporting batches to the RIV database.
55. What is a managerial summary? When is it done and what are its requirements?
Impact factor journals, Scopus journals and research reports are required to prepare a management summary and submit it together with a form for submission to the publication database. The reason is the subsequent communication of these summaries on the FBA website (the PR department regularly informs the practice and the public in the News section about the relevant research we are doing). You can find the template here: https://fph.vse.cz/veda/veda-a-vyzkum-na-fph/publikacni-cinnost/formulare-pro-zadani-publikacni-cinnosti-do-databaze-publikacni-cinnosti-vse-pcvse/. In case of any issues, please contact Ing. Blanka Helclová individually.
Development of skills for successful completion of doctoral studies
56. What is important to be careful about during my studies?
There are many things that you should not underestimate during your studies.
Firstly, regular consultations with your supervisor. We strongly recommend meeting with your supervisor at least once per two weeks. The greatest enemy of PhD students is procrastination. Regular meetings with the supervisor and continuous processing of tasks while meeting deadlines given to you by them will help you successfully pass your PhD.
The second key factor is the allocation of sufficient time for doctoral studies, completion of courses and subsequent research and writing of articles. Generally, it takes hundreds of hours to accumulate all the essential research and theoretical knowledge, hundreds of hours to develop your own research methodology, hundreds of hours to conduct research and evaluate data, and then hundreds of hours to prepare scientific papers and dissertations. Typically, it does not work to simply give your doctorate studies an hour a day, it is important to reserve blocks of time that will enable you to concentrate and will lead to greater progress.
The third essential recommendation is to plan well in advance. The time between starting your work on the article and its completion is only a few months, then the article is sent to the journal, where, unless it is immediately rejected, it takes several months to get feedback from reviewers, more time to incorporate adjustments according to received feedback, another portion of time for a new review process and it usually takes several months for the article to be published. Timely planning prevents problems with meeting deadlines. Advance planning is not only about articles, but also about conferences. For example, if large conferences are held during the summer break, it is usually necessary to submit your articles by December or January, more than six months in advance. Similarly, it is important to plan a foreign exchange in time. Again, you cannot expect to visit a foreign institution one week from submitting your request for a visit. Again, it is necessary to count with several months of advance.
The fourth important recommendation is cooperation with other PhD students at the FBA, VŠE, and abroad, as well as cooperation with other academic staff. Successful researchers typically do not carry out research on their own, nor do they publish just themselves, but form teams that complement each other’s strengths (e.g. a researcher with a deep theoretical understanding cooperates with a statistical modelling expert). It is important to find suitable co-workers. One of the recommendable steps is setting up a profile on researchgate.com, which is useful platform for researchers to present their research and connect.
57. What other possibilities do I have to develop my professional skills necessary to successfully complete my doctoral studies?
In addition to compulsory and elective doctoral courses, there are a number of other support activities for doctoral students in which they can develop their research skills. The main support activities include the following:
- Research club – regular meetings within the FBA, offer tips and tricks from research life, as well as friendly feedback on articles or grant projects (see the following question).
- Professional and methodological seminars organized by the Centre of Science and Research of FBA or other parts of the University of Economics – during the year there are a number of them, CVV always informs doctoral students by email; when it comes to courses organized at other faculties, we always let you know.
- We recommend that you attend regular colloquiums as well as small and large defences – they are open to public, you can learn a lot – see what the opponents and committees have to say, what you need to be careful about, what methods are used, get inspired by the right approaches, etc.
- On-line courses – there is a number of courses, such as the Coursera website, which you can also take for free.
- Summer schools and research stays – choose the most beneficial for you (see questions abroad).
58. What is a Research club?
The Research Club is a space for sharing scientific research information, experience, tips and suggestions, both in terms of publishing, grant-making, specific research methods and the like. Its purpose is to provide support to improve the research and publication activities of FBA staff and PhD students in an informal and friendly environment. Regular meetings are organized once a month (the first Tuesday or Wednesday of the month). Scientific articles, abstracts or topics for research or grant projects are also presented and discussed according to the interests of the participants. For more information see https://fba.vse.cz/science/for-employees-and-ph-d-students/about/research-club/. The Research Club meeting is currently organized by David Anthony Procházka. In addition to the Research Club, other activities of the Centre of Science and Research serve to support research activities.
59. What should I do if I cannot manage my doctoral studies?
Doctoral studies are challenging and it is natural that you are faced with difficulties of various types. Personal difficulties (lack of family support, lack of time, lack of self-confidence, lack of family security, etc.) can certainly be addressed with your supervisor, or contact the Centre for Academic Psychological Counselling, where trained psychologists will listen to you and offer solutions. More information about the counselling centre is available here https://ac.vse.cz/english/our-services/psychological-counselling/for-foreign-students/. Another type of difficulty concerns professional and administrative matters related to study. Your supervisor should be the first to come to. In methodological matters, you can also contact the Centre of Science and Research, for administrative matters ask your Student Affairs Department agent, in case of solving more complicated problems related to study, also the Vice-Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies.
Working for the department
60. Where will I sit? Is there a room where doctoral students can meet?
Full-time and also some combined doctoral students have their workspace in one of the offices. The head of the relevant department decides where the doctoral student will sit.
61. Do I have to teach?
Students in full-time form of study have in their study duties teaching students at FBA VŠE, usually in the range of 2 x 90 minutes per week, starting from the second year of study. In the first year they usually do not teach, or the lessons are realized only to a small extent after an agreement at the relevant department where you realize your doctoral study. Full-time students are also required to complete the Course of Development of Pedagogical and Socio-psychological Skills for PhD Students and Academic Staff of the University of Economics (for international students provided on an individual basis) organized by the Academic Centre. Students in the combined form of study do not have to teach, they usually enter the lessons only as guests.
62. Can I apply for a change of supervisor if he stops working at the University of Economics, for example? Or when communication with him is problematic?
Yes. It is possible to apply for a change of supervisor through InSIS, but you will be asked to provide reasons. Before submitting the application it is advisable to discuss the matter with the current supervisor and the head of the department. It may be beneficial to consult your situation with the guarantor of your study program prof. Martin Lukeš who is used to provide independent feedback with regard to such situations. You also need to obtain the consent of a potential new supervisor to whom you would like to move.
63. Can I receive a scholarship even though I have already studied a doctorate elsewhere?
Yes, but only for the standard period of full-time study, i.e. 4 years minus the number of years that you already studied, regardless of whether it was a full-time or combined study.
64. Am I eligible for a scholarship? Even if I do not fulfil my study duties?
Full-time students receive a scholarship each month at a predetermined value. Starting from September 2020, all full-time students who are properly fulfilling their study obligations will receive a scholarship of CZK 15,000 per month. This amount applies to students studying in the Czech and foreign study programs. The scholarship is paid in all 12 months and is paid in advance for the following month. It is paid even when the student is on an internship abroad during the summer holidays.
For students of the first year, the payment of the scholarship in full is conditioned by the confirmation of the supervisor, every three months, that the student continuously and properly fulfils his / her study obligations. If this is not the case, the supervisor is entitled to propose to halve the scholarship, i.e. The resulting amount would be CZK 7,500 per month, in exceptional cases when the student is not sufficiently engaged in doctoral studies, up to CZK 1,000 per month.
For the second to fourth year students, the payment of the scholarship in full is subject to the fulfilment of all previous study obligations according to the Individual Study Plan. If a student has his / her first conditional enrolment, the amount of the scholarship is automatically reduced by half for the next 6 months, i.e. to CZK 7,500. If a student has a second conditional enrolment during his / her studies, it is reduced to CZK 1,000 for the next 6 months. The scholarship can also be reduced to CZK 1,000 at any time during the course of studies, at the suggestion of the supervisor, if the student clearly fails to fulfil his / her study obligations. The payment of scholarships is always governed by the current Decree on Scholarships for the given academic year.
All of the above applies to regular scholarships for full-time doctoral students. Extraordinary scholarships may be awarded based on the results (for example, high-quality publication outputs, implementation of scientific projects, etc.). The scholarship is not paid during interruption period.
65. Do students receive any extra scholarships and rewards in addition to regular scholarships? And how much is it?
In addition to regular scholarships, there are several other opportunities to make extra money.
Extraordinary scholarships for excellent students of doctoral study program realized in English:
- Relatively high rewards for high-quality publication outputs are defined, e.g. the highest possible reward for an article is the reward for a solo-author for an article in the world’s leading journal in the field related to business and management (with AIS> 1.5), up to 280,000 CZK. Rewards are provided according to the quality of the journal in which the paper is published, mostly within tens of thousands of CZK for articles in journals registered in SSCI or Scopus.
- If you receive an internal research grant for doctoral students (there is actually a high chance of obtaining it for good projects), you can receive an additional scholarship. Usually it is in the amount of higher tens of thousands per year for the principal investigator, in the amount of lower tens of thousands for co-investigators.
- An extraordinary scholarship may be awarded for specific assistance at the department, e.g. in organizing conferences, admissions, etc.
- You can get scholarship in form of a share in a grant or project realised at VŠE, whether those are conducted by your supervisor or by some other academic staff.
- Most departments offer a reward for additional teaching hours above the expected range (i.e., more than 2 x 90 minutes per week on average). Above-standard extra income is also possible for teaching in English.
- FBA and VŠE also financially support active participation in conferences or a research stay at a foreign university that you are obliged to complete during your studies.
- Other options include a reward for successfully completing PhD studies (if you continue at FBA VŠE as an employee) or rewards associated with success in various competitions, such as the Rector’s Prize or the Dean’s Prize for the best PhD student publication or the Hlávka Foundation Award, etc.
66. How do I organise a research stay abroad? Will school help me with this?
This is strictly upon you and your supervisor. There are four main ways to find a relevant research stay abroad:
- Your supervisor or other colleague from the department has good contacts around the world and will recommend a workplace that is relevant to the topic of your dissertation. Thanks to the existing contacts, there is also a higher chance of them being interested in you.
- At the previous international conference, you have established a contact with a foreign expert, you will follow up with that contact and ask if you could come over for a research internship.
- Having done your review of literature you should know who the key experts for you are – their work are the essential constituents upon which your dissertation will stand, they highly influence your planned dissertation. You will approach these experts to apply for a research stay at their institution; because the dissertation is related to what they really do, there is a good chance that they will agree.
- Ask the Foreign Relations Department ( vse.cz/english ). They have good connections to other universities and experience in supporting research stays, although they may not help you directly with contacts in your specific field.
67. What are the conditions for getting your foreign research stay approved?
The research stay must be at a university or other research institution. Ideally after the first year, when you already have a clear idea of what you want to do in your dissertation. Your stay is mainly intended to get good feedback on your own research before you begin it. I.e. the aim is to obtain relevant recommendations on how to modify or extend the entire research to address the relevant research questions through relevant methods. It also means that the visiting institution must have proven expertise in the field of your dissertation, it is not possible to go to any department of any university abroad. Expertise is usually demonstrated by the relevant publishing activity of the host institution in world’s leading journals. The length of stay must be min. 1 month and, if necessary, it can be divided into several parts, it is not necessary to complete it in one bulk, i.e. you could go for two weeks in the first year, for example, and then do other two weeks in the second year. In justified cases, summer schools may be included, if they are relevant to the dissertation research. However, different types and lengths of stay have different (limited) funding opportunities (see question 69).
- Due to the limited possibilities to travel abroad from March 2020 to August 2021, the fulfillment of the foreign internship obligation is postponed until December 2022. Thus, students who could not travel abroad in the period March 2020-August 2021 and thus fulfill the foreign internship obligation, may fulfill and document this obligation by December 2022 at the latest.
68. Who should I consult the institution abroad with?
First with your supervisor, then, for approval, with the Vice-Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies.
69. Will the school help me fund my research abroad?
Yes, there are a number of options.
With the organizational support of the International Office of the University of Economics, Prague (OZS), it is possible to carry out short-term and long-term stays within the ERASMUS + program or individual mobility with the support from the Scholarship Fund. Ing. Gabriela Böhmová is the contact person for mobilities of doctoral students.
Within the new programming period ERASMUS + 2021-2027, it is possible to carry out short-term stays abroad for doctoral students lasting 5-30 days in the form of a study stay or research internship. Short-term research stays abroad within the Erasmus + program are both for full-time and part-time doctoral students. The research internship can take place at a foreign institution in the Erasmus + program country (ie in Europe) or in the Erasmus + partner country (ie also outside Europe). It is possible to draw a grant of 70 EUR / day until the 14th day of the activity and 50 EUR / day from the 15th to the 30th day of the activity. More information is available on the OZS website: https://ozs.vse.cz/english/employees-ph-d-students/short-term-mobilities/general-conditions/
For research stays of 2 months (or 3 and more months length, depends on the given country), Erasmus+ funding is available. This is usually associated with an additional scholarship of CZK 25,000 – 30,000 per month. However, the exact conditions for the minimum duration of the stipend and the amount of the scholarship paid may vary depending on the country in which the host institution is located and whether it is a partner institution of the Prague University of Economics and Business. For more information see https://ozs.vse.cz/english/employees-ph-d-students/long-term-study-and-research-mobilities-and-internships-abroad-with-a-financial-support-of-vse/erasmus/.
Another option is to travel via CEEPUS to a Central European university within the framework of PhD CEESENet consortium of which FBA is a member. Institutions included in this programme are, for example, the University of Vienna, Klagenfurt, Ljubljana and the Warsaw School of Economics. For more information, see https://ozs.vse.cz/english/study-abroad-options/how/other-study-abroad-programmes/ceepus/.
Finally, even if it is not possible to fulfil the conditions for the trip via Erasmus + or CEESENet, if the research placement is approved as being of adequate quality, the FBA offers PhD students a fixed one-time support of CZK 10,000 for a research placement or summer school lasting from 1 week to 1 month. On the basis of an approved application (again, it is necessary to submit it in advance), the trip can be supported from the university-wide resources of the Prague University of Economics and Business by another 10,000 CZK from the school-wide funds. For a template for application and further information and specification, see the Catalogue of Supports for the given year: https://science.vse.cz/science-research-support/catalogue-of-supports-for-scientific-and-research-activities/ .
Please note that the FBA reserves the right to financially support individual doctoral students only once. It is not possible to claim, for example, funding for four one-week-long research stays or summer schools four times. Possibilities of repeated funding depend on the currently available financial resources of the FBA, on the quality of the scientific outputs of the PhD student so far and on the quality of the research institution or summer school and its connection with the research focus of the PhD student.
70. What are all the administrative tasks connected with my stay abroad?
Administrative tasks are divided into three parts:
- Submitting an application to a provider of funds (depending on the provider) – different with funding from university-wide funds, from Erasmus+ and from CEEPUS – for links, see question 69.
- If it is financed or co-financed from the funds of the University of Economics, filling and submitting a travel order and billing a business trip (internal documents of the University of Economics, see https://zam.vse.cz/# – Travel Orders for further information), ask your department’s secretary for help.
- Preparation and submission of reports from abroad (to the Student Affairs Department + according to the provider).
It is always necessary to bring a confirmation from the host institution and a short report (approx. 2 pages) about the content of the research stay and its contribution. In addition, more information needs to be provided to providers in the case of funding from other sources, specific documents are specified on the websites of the respective providers.
71. Is it possible to replace research stays abroad with a different duty?
Yes, a research stay abroad can be replaced by demonstrably significant participation in an international research project with results published in international journals or presented at major conferences abroad.
72. Do I have to go abroad when I’m a foreigner? Can it be in the Czech Republic? Can it be in my home country?
Even foreign students have to go on a research stay, the same conditions apply to students studying in the Czech program – the condition is that the research institution must not be in the Czech Republic, so it can also be in their home country.
State Doctoral Examination (SDE)
73. What do I need to do before the state doctoral examination? And how do I enrol for it?
Registration takes place at least 4 weeks prior to the state examination. The deadline is then determined on the basis of the availability of the members of the committee (see question 75). It is necessary to have completed the draft of the first part of the dissertation (introduction and theoretical background, incl. envisioned sample and methods), in the length of at least at about 40 pages (not including cover page, title page, content and annexes), and to have at least one scholarly publication in the database of publishing activities of the Prague University of Economics and Business. The application for the state doctoral examination includes an overview of publishing activities and supervisor’s report on the student’s scientific activities, which must subsequently be approved by the guarantor of the relevant study program.
Regarding the source materials, it is necessary to bring a completed application for the SDE to the Student Affairs Department, 3 copies of the dissertation draft (see above, signed by the student), the supervisor’s report on the course of study and a list of publishing activities (signed by both supervisor and student).
74. By when do I have to have the state doctoral exam?
Your Individual Study Plan indicates when you should have a completed SDE. Usually, the date is some point towards the end of the second year.
75. What is the state doctoral examination? What should I learn and from what?
For students in the Business Economics and Management and Economics study programs: The student gets one question from a set of published questions of the faculty-compulsory subject he / she studied. Topics of State Doctoral Examination can be found here: https://fba.vse.cz/students/doctoral-study-programmes/state-doctoral-examination/. Detailed information about the SDE: HERE.
For students in the Management and Managerial Economics program: The supervisor delineates which areas should the student study for the examination before the SDE. Subsequently, the student is assigned one of these areas during the exam and presents his / her answers. Topics of State Doctoral Examination can be found HERE (for English, scroll to the second page of the document). Detailed information about the SDE: HERE.
In addition, the student must demonstrate the ability to defend the purpose of his / her dissertation and thus demonstrate knowledge of the relevant theories, the state of scientific knowledge in the given field, as well as acquiring methods of independent scientific work and ways of applying new knowledge in the relevant study program.
The state doctoral examination takes place before a committee consisting of three members. It consists of a supervisor and the other two members must be associate professors or professors approved by the Scientific Council as members of the SDE committees, of which at least one must be from another department. One of them is usually an examiner of the compulsory optional subject of the relevant study program. The committee is proposed by the guarantor of the respective study programme and is approved by the Dean of the FBA.
76. How many times can I resit the state doctoral examination?
The SDE is graded with “Excellent” – 1, “Very Good” – 2, “Good” – 3 and “Failed” – 4. Upon the outcome of the “Failed” classification, the student may apply for a resit. The resit of the SDE may take place no earlier than four months from the date on which the student failed the SDE. The SDE may be resat once (see Article 23). The student is assessed as “Failed” also if he / she did not attend the SDE for which he/she registered.
Failure to fulfil obligations (conditional registration)
77. How do I apply for a conditional enrolment? By when should the application be submitted?
The application forms can be found in InSIS in the eAgenda section of the Contact Centre. You can find the new application form in the section “I am looking for a solution”. The application guide is accessible via the question mark icon in the top-right corner next to the “logout icon”.
The application should be submitted immediately after the student finds that he / she does not meet the enrolment requirements in time. It is a follow-up to the Study Report, where conditional enrolment is recommended by the supervisor and precedes the enrolment deadline.
78. What does it mean if I get a conditional enrolment? When then do I have to meet the so far unmet obligations?
Conditional enrolment for the next year means that the student is advancing to the next year, but within half a year he / she must fulfil the obligations from the previous year that he / she was missing in order to be properly enrolled in this year (this is associated with a reduction in the scholarship; the payment of scholarships is always governed by the current Decree on Scholarships for the given academic year). Compliance is immediately reported to the supervisor and the study officer.
79. What if I cannot make it?
If you have been granted a conditional enrolment (six-month deferral) and you still have not met all of the submitted study obligations, you have two options: 1) apply for a second conditional enrolment and fulfil all obligations in the following semester (which entails a reduction of the scholarship to CZK 1,000 per month), or 2) apply for an interruption of studies and complete your duties during that time. Please note that supervisors are by no means obliged to attend to you during the period of your intermission, as you are not a student during that time (see the question area in the interruption of studies section).
Interruption of studies
80. How long can I interrupt my studies in total? Am I entitled to it? For what reasons may I interrupt my study?
The study may be interrupted for a maximum of two years in total. Interruption of studies is usually requested for a term’s length, maximum one year. In exceptional cases, interruptions for full months may be requested. The student is not entitled to interruption of studies for any reason other than parental leave, for other reasons the application is assessed individually. The student may ask for an interruption of studies in order to meet the obligations imposed by the Individual Study Plan before proceeding to the next year. Other reasons may be family problems, the childcare, or health reasons. In the case of parental leave, the leave may be extended up to three years of the child’s age (you will be asked to prove that with a copy of the birth certificate).
81. How can I apply for an interruption of study? And to whom is the application submitted?
Application for an interruption of study is submitted electronically via InSIS. You must enter a reason for the interruption. The supervisor and the Vice-Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies comment on the application. In the end, the Dean decides upon it.
82. What does it mean for me to interrupt my studies – scholarship, length study period-wise? How do I get back to my studies after a break?
You are not a student during the interruption period. You must not use your student status, in case of full-time study you do not receive a scholarship, the school library will block you from accessing electronic resources. The supervisor is not obliged to attend to you. The advantage of interrupting your studies is that you can complete some of your missing duties without having to risk conditional enrolment, which is reflected in your scholarship, and extend your study period – the interruption period does not count for the standard period of study, thus giving you extra time. During the intermission, you can publish articles, attend conferences, etc., but you cannot take exams, the state doctoral exam, colloquia or a small defence. If you want to do any of this, you need to enrol in the study again. Also, you cannot be reimbursed by VŠE or receive any scholarship.
The student is enrolled automatically after termination of the interruption period.
83. When does my student status expire? Does it remain during the intermission?
The student’s status expires on the day following the successful defence of the dissertation, or the date of termination of study, and during interruption of study.
Colloquium and small defence
84. What is a Colloquium? What is a small defence? What is the difference between them?
For the first colloquium (for Management and Managerial Economics students at the end of the first year, for Business and Management Economics and Economics students at the beginning of the second year), the student should have a completed literature review (approx. 80 most relevant sources, predominantly papers in scientific journals published in the last five years). Completed literature review creates a basis for research questions also presented as a part of the colloquium. Please note that literature reviews exist in the two most common types. The so-called systematic literature review (with a clear methodology of searching for resources, enumerations, tables, quantitative evaluation of published studies, etc.) is usually more suitable for publication in scientific journals. And we would fully recommend to do it as it may be the first PhD student’s scientific publication in international journal. On the other hand, the so-called narrative literature review is of a more qualitative nature, deals with the grasp of concepts and theory and is usually more suitable for transforming it into the theoretical part of the dissertation. A narrative literature review does not demand the completeness of the search.
The research questions are formulated on the basis of an overview of the existing state of knowledge in the field of dissertation. The contribution that the dissertation should bring, both for scientific knowledge in the world context and for practice, must be defined. You need to present also a concept of your empirical research – research sample, data collection methods, data evaluation methods. The colloquium will provide recommendations for further processing of the dissertation research. Template is available HERE.
For the second colloquium (for the students of the program Management and Managerial Economics at the end of the second year, for the students of the programs Business Economics and Management and Economics at the beginning of the third year) you present a complete theoretical part of your thesis, finalised methods part (methods already piloted on a smaller sample), schedule of data collection and completion of your dissertation. The colloquium will provide recommendations for further processing of the dissertation. Template is available HERE.
A small defence is basically a final rehearsal for the final defence, so your completed thesis is presented. The aim of the small defence is to evaluate whether the dissertation meets the requirements for this type of works, including originality check of the submitted work. For this purpose, the head of the department requires an assessment of the work by other experts; it may be recommended to use those who will be the expected opponents of your dissertation for the final dissertation defence. The small defence also assesses your ability to present the results of your dissertation, the fulfilment of the goals, your justification of scientific methods used and you must be able to convincingly present contribution of your dissertation. The committee at the small defence then provides a report where they state whether your work is recommended for the final (big) defence (after having incorporated recommended amendments) or whether your work needs further reviewing and you will need to re-attend the small defence. If the work is returned for revision, the resit of the small defence can be done a few months later at the earliest, as your changes to the dissertation are essential and large-scale revision is requested.
The report from the small defence is handed over to the Dean via the Student Affairs Department, usually processed by the supervisor (or other authorized person) and approved by the head of the department. The minor defence takes place till the date set by your Individual Study Plan, most often in the fourth year, for full-time students admitted to Acad. year 2017/18 – 2019/20, it is in the third year of their studies.
85. What is the procedure for the small defence? Do I need opponents?
The student submits the complete dissertation electronically to the relevant department and to the Student Affairs Department. Further, the supervisor submits a protocol on the dissertation’s originality check done via the Validator program (https://validator.vse.cz/index.php ). If requested by the department, the student also submits a paper version. The completed dissertation is submitted at least four weeks before the scheduled date of the small defence.
There are usually two opponents present at the small defence: at least one has to be an expert in research methodology and at least one has to be an expert in the respective research field. It is sufficient if the opponents have a PhD. However, it is possible to further recommend that these experts should be associate professors or professors, who will then participate as opponents in the big defence. Opponents are proposed by the head of the department in cooperation with the supervisor, we strongly recommend to get their prior approval by the guarantor of the respective study program.
Dissertation and the (big) defence
86. What is the required length of dissertation? Under what conditions can I replace the book-type dissertation with a set of scientific articles?
The dissertation usually ranges from 120 to 150 standard pages (excluding appendices, but including cover pages, tables, references, etc.) and is duplex printed. Recommended margins 2.5 cm. 1.15 spacing is recommended using a 12 pt with proportional serif font. The font of the headings of paragraphs and chapters is to be reasonably larger.
A set of at least 3 related scientific articles on a given topic already published or accepted into print in peer-reviewed journals registered in the Social Science Citation Index or SCOPUS can be recognized as a dissertation, providing the student provides it with a comprehensive introduction and unifying commentary (approx. 30-40 pages). The student must be the only author of at least one of these articles. The sum of authorship shares must be at least 3. (The student’s supervisor does not count towards the author’s shares; for example, it would still be a single author article if the student publishes the article together with his / her supervisor.) If some articles have not yet been published, but have already been accepted for printing, the doctoral candidate must provide a proof of acceptance for such articles before submitting the dissertation for defence.
- ATTENTION to the procedure and publication of a dissertation if it is a set of published high-quality scientific articles with a unifying commentary – see SZŘ Article 31
87. What percentage counts as plagiarism?
Work or a part of it is plagiarism whenever resources are not properly cited. It does not matter the amount of match displayed by the software. The usual match varies from one to three percent, depending on the field. It is always up to the supervisor to assess the cause of compliance and to check that the submitted text is correct with regard to citation standards and ethics of scientific work. Please note that anti-plagiarism software can identify also potential plagiarism: even paraphrasing without acknowledging the source could count as plagiarism.
88. Can I change the topic of my dissertation once I have submitted the outline? How can I do it?
Yes, it is possible. If you want to change the topic of your dissertation, you must submit an electronic request via InSIS to change the topic. The application forms can be found in InSIS in the eAgenda section of the Contact Centre.
89. What and when should I prepare for the dissertation defence? How many copies do I have to submit?
Before the scheduled date of the defence, the following documents must be submitted to the Student Affairs Department at least 8 weeks in advance:
- 3 copies of the dissertation in hard cover, duplex print. Plus, you need to send it also in an electronic form to email@example.com,
- 10 copies of an extended summary (slightly below 30 pages) of your dissertation in printed form (just ring binding) with an additional copy in electronic form to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org,
- Structured CV (signed by student)
- a protocol of results from anti-plagiarism software signed by the supervisor (provided by the supervisor),
- a letter of request to the Dean in which the student asks for enabling of the defence of the dissertation,
- a brief report by the supervisor on the course of the whole study (signed by the supervisor) (non-binding template here: https://fba.vse.cz/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/Short-report-of-the-Supervisor-example.doc),
- list of published articles (signed by the supervisor and the student) – export from the PCVSE database; to be added to the supervisor brief report template.
The author’s extended summary is a significantly shortened version of the dissertation – it has less than 30 standard pages and should contain the most important elements (goal, main theoretical background, clearly described methodology, specific results of the dissertation, the main model tested in quantitative analyses, characteristics of the original solution and its contribution and bibliography used in the summary). The student should consult with the supervisor, as the report is sent in advance to the dissertation defence committee. It takes a few weeks to elaborate the summary and it is good to be prepared for it in advance.
90. Is there a template for writing a dissertation?
Not yet, the dissertation template is in preparation and will be provided soon. Regarding the citation standard, FBA recommends APA.
91. I cannot manage to complete my dissertation in time, what should I do? By when do I have to submit my dissertation at the latest?
If you are not able to manage to produce the dissertation in time, the same conditions apply as described in the section on Interruption of Studies. The length of study may be extended to 5 years upon successful completion of the small defence and all conditions given by the individual study plan. Study can be further interrupted in total for a maximum of two years. The student is not entitled to interruption of study for any reason other than parental leave, for other reasons the application is assessed individually. It should be borne in mind that, as the length of your studies increases, your research and the initial bibliography research you have done may become obsolete. At the latest, all dissertation materials must be submitted eight weeks before the scheduled date of the defence, which must be completed before the deadline for completion of studies.
92. I am experiencing problems with submitting my thesis into InSIS, why?
The system requires first uploading of the file, filling in keywords and abstract (insert in English instead of Czech), and only then can you submit the dissertation. Proper electronic submission must be confirmed by the following message: „Correct thesis entry confirmed – Correct submission of final thesis has been confirmed. Thesis cannot be modified any longer.” Only then can your dissertation and other documents be submitted for defence.
93. Who secures / approves opponents and how many are there? When do I get reviews of opponents and what happens when one of them (or both) does not recommend the defence?
There are two opponents, both proposed by the department (supervisor, head of department), approved by the Vice-Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies and subsequently by the Dean. At least one of them must be a professor or an associate professor and at least one cannot be employed at the FBA. If the second opponent is not a professor or an associate professor, it is necessary to submit his / her curriculum vitae demonstrating the compliance of his / her specialization with the topic of the dissertation and his / fer senior expertise. He / she should have at least a PhD.
The dissertation thesis is handed over to the opponents together with the official request for a review by the Student Affairs agent.
The doctoral candidate should receive the reviews at least two weeks prior to the date of the defence. The defence of the dissertation may also take place even if the opponents did not recommend in their assessments the thesis to be defended. However, if the PhD student has still time to complete the work, we recommend that you withdraw the defence application and make the required amendments to your work.
94. How is the date of dissertation defence set? Of whom does the dissertation defence committee consist? How much time will I have for the presentation and how does the defence go?
The student is informed about the date and place of the dissertation defence in writing at least three weeks in advance. The FBA publishes the date and place of the defence in the public part of its website. Usually, however, the term is tuned more in advance with the doctoral candidate as well as with committee members and opponents.
The dissertation defence committee can be professors, associate professors and other prominent experts in the field (or a related field) approved by the Scientific Council of the FBA. The committee has at least six members, at least two members of the committee must not be members of the academic community of VŠE. The dissertation defence committee is quorate if at least five of its members (including the chairman or his deputy) are present, of which at least one is not a member of the academic community of VŠE.
In addition to the members of the board, the supervisor or his / her deputy and at least one of the opponents must be personally present. Opponents have the right to attend a closed session of the committee, but if they are not members of the committee, they do not vote on the result of the defence. Defence of dissertations is public, at least part of the presentation and discussion (see below).
The defence takes place like so: the chairman calls on the doctoral student to present his / her dissertation. Recommended length of presentation is 20 minutes. Upon completion of the presentation, the chairperson invites the opponents to inform the committee and those present with the content of the reviews. At the same time, the opponents ask the doctoral student questions. The chairman invites the doctoral student to answer the questions, and then a discussion is opened in which individual members of the committee ask questions and the doctoral student answers. After the discussion, the dissertation proceeds to the non-public part. The doctoral student and guests must leave. The supervisor and opponents usually remain. A secret ballot follows, and the result is announced to the doctoral student.
The resolution that the student defended his / her dissertation is adopted if the majority of the committee members present at the vote voted for the successful defence. Otherwise, the student did not defend the dissertation. The student also did not defend the thesis if he / she did not attend his / her dissertation defence, except if the Dean granted his / her excuse request.
95. What happens after the defence? Starting from which date can I use my PhD title and when is the graduation ceremony? What if I do not defend my dissertation?
The PhD degree can be used starting from the day of the successful defence of the dissertation. By default, graduation ceremonies take place in June and December each year. The student confirms his / her attendance for the graduation ceremony to the Student Affairs Department agent and receives further specifications from the Department of Science and Research. If you do not want to attend the graduation ceremony, it is necessary to inform the Department of Science and Research. Furthermore, it should be borne in mind that your graduation certificate can be completed no earlier than one month from the date of defence, usually it takes longer. If the student needs information about his / her successful completion of studies faster, he / she should ask the Student Affairs Department agent for confirmation of successful completion of studies.
If the student has not defended his / her dissertation, the dissertation defence committee may recommend the date, method, scope and form of its revision. Resit may not take place earlier than four months from the date of the unsuccessful defence and under the terms of Art. 27 of the Study and Examination Rules, but you must be able to do that within the study period. The defence may be resat only once (see Article 30 (2e)).
96. Who can help me if I do not find the answer here?
If you need further information, please contact Ing. Marie Lopez Gutierrez (email@example.com) and Ing. Blanka Helclová (firstname.lastname@example.org). They will either provide an answer or they may connect you with the responsible person.
97. Can I park on the campus?
No, students are not entitled to parking spaces. They may be given exception if they are also employees of the University or if they participate to a large extent in major projects carried out at the Prague University of Economics and Business.
98. What are the housing options?
The Prague University of Economics and Business provides accommodation through dormitories. More information here: https://accommodation.vse.cz/dormitories/dormitories/. The procedure for applying for accommodation can be found here: https://accommodation.vse.cz/students-accommodation/applicants-for-accommodation/ . Another option is to find a sublease or room-mate in Prague.
99. And what next after the PhD?
If you have studied PhD externally (combined), it will probably open some opportunities in your career. You will gain the respect of your business partners or colleagues and you may grow on the corporate ladder, however, you will stay in the current field. Significant decision-making usually occurs when successfully completing full-time doctoral studies, where graduates often continue their academic career. Whether you agree to continue working for FBA in the form of an employment contract or go on to develop your career at other universities or research institutions in the Czech Republic or abroad, some key research-related skills and outputs that you have learnt throughout your study will be essential for you. First, your prospective employers will want to know in what quality journals you have published. The better the results, the higher interest you can expect both in the Czech Republic and abroad. Another key skill will be your ability to write project proposals. There are specific grant opportunities in the Czech Republic and abroad aimed at PhD graduates that offer so-called post-doc positions for them. One example of a specific grant scheme is the GACR’s junior projects. Out of foreign schemes, there are grants such as Marie Curie Sklodowska Individual Fellowships.
100. Do I need a bank account in the Czech Republic?
Yes, it is necessary to have a bank account in the Czech Republic to receive regular and extraordinary scholarships.