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Guidelines for written material submitted for the doctoral examination

With the doctoral examination application it is necessary to submit an analysis of current work on the dissertation topic. This document will serve as one source of material for discussion/queries during the doctoral examination. When preparing the analysis, you should adhere to the following guidelines:
  • The purpose of the submitted text is to demonstrate (i) the intellectual background of the doctoral work and the candidate’s relationship to it, (ii) the methodological approaches used to conduct the work and their justification, and (iii) the progress being made in conducting the doctoral work. Therefore, the analysis must state the initial definition of goals and comment on the current progress made and any possible changes to the research approach or objectives.

  • The intellectual background of the doctoral work must describe the starting point and current state of knowledge, as well as important areas which are currently blank which will be addressed by the work. It is advisable for this section to be supplemented with quotations from key works.

  • The analysis of methodology must pertain to fundamental questions, not technical ones. It is pointless to describe what kind of buffer dilution will be used; however, it is important to write why a particular technique will be used which requires the buffer to be diluted. For every method, make it clear which questions stated in the introduction are being answered.

  • In the part about the progress being made on the doctoral work, clearly state how far individual methodologies have progressed, what else must be done to fully answer questions, and what else you plan to do.

  • The analysis can also include prepared articles or articles which have already been published to which the introductory analytic section will refer.

  • The document should be between 5-10 pages in length (probably ten – it may be shorter if the analysis includes an article). You should find a balance between wordiness and brevity (being able to select what is important is also part of the examination).


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