Preliminary (Small) Defense of the DBA Dissertation

During the third year (for start of studies in winter semester: February at the latest recommended; for start of studies in summer semester: June at the latest recommended), the student submits the complete final thesis to the DBA Support Center in electronic form and the supervisor submits a protocol on checking the originality of the work using the Validator program. In case the DBA Center requires it, the student will also submit a paper version. The finished doctoral thesis is to be submitted at least four weeks prior to the scheduled date of the preliminary defense.

The preliminary defense is usually attended by faculty representatives (academic staff and other DBA students, Ph.D. students), the appropriate supervisor and opponents, and faculty representatives with advanced knowledge of research methodology. Preliminary defenses are organized by the relevant Department, incl. finding a suitable date, and informing the participants.

There are usually two opponents, the student’s supervisor and an external opponent. Each opponent will prepare a review report. Opponents are proposed by the director of the DBA Center/Academic Director in cooperation with the supervisor.

The preliminary defense is basically a practice run for the final thesis defense; hence a finished final dissertation is to be submitted. The aim of the preliminary defense is to evaluate whether the final dissertation meets the requirements of this type of works. The preliminary defense also assesses the ability to present the results of the final work, meeting the objectives, defending the scientific methods used, including a convincing case for the benefits of the work.

A record (Report) is made of the preliminary defense (for the template, see bottom of the page), stating the conclusion whether the work is recommended for a main dissertation defense after the recommended amendments have been incorporated, or for revision and re-submission for retaking the preliminary defense. If the work is returned for revision and modification, it is possible to retake the preliminary defense in two months at the earliest.

Additional organizational arrangements:

  • Opponents and other academic staff addressed by the supervisor express their written comments on the student’s doctoral thesis and submit their comments and questions to the student at least one week in advance (the deadline for submitting comments can be individually adjusted by the DBA Center).
  • The minutes (Report; for the template, see bottom of the page) are usually prepared by the supervisor in cooperation with a faculty representative and approved by the director of the Center. Part of the minutes from the preliminary defense is, among other things, a statement as to whether the submitted dissertation is thoroughly explored and defendable by evidence, what other modifications are necessary and the opponents’ proposals for the final big defense.
  • The student prepares a presentation (15 – 20 minutes); a discussion and evaluation follow.

Planned Preliminary Defenses:

Mr. Hossein Rouhani – March 2024

  • Author: Marie Lopez Gutierrez
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