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POSTGRADUATE STUDIES - Ph.D. Degree



 POSTGRADUATE STUDIES PROGRAM OF THE SCHOOL OF BIOLOGY, ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY OF THESSALONIKI


INTERNAL REGULATIONS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF DOCTORAL DEGREE

Article 1
Candidate evaluation and approval processes

a. Prospective candidates for the acquisition of a Doctoral Degree (DD) from the School of Biology should be qualified as dictated by the Law. They should have a Biology Degree or a degree in any discipline relevant to Biology, a minimum of 6,50 and a satisfactory knowledge of the English language.
b. Candidates should submit to the School’s Secretariat an application addressed to the Postgraduate Studies Committee (PGSC) of the Biology School, in which the supervisor and the topic of thesis for the acquisition of the doctoral degree are identified. Candidates must also submit a resumé, a detailed list of courses’ grades, any publications, recommendation letters or any other information that can be used to evaluate their candidacy.
c. Supervisors must submit a proposal to the PGSC, which includes (i) a statement of whether the candidate is accepted or not, (ii) the total number of the doctoral dissertations currently being supervised, (iii) a statement of whether financial and technical support for the satisfactory completion of the dissertation is available and (iv) the recommendation of two more members of the Advisory Board of the Dissertation (ABD).
d. After all the necessary legal documents have been verified by the School’s Secreteriat, the application is evaluated by the PSC.
e. If considered necessary, candidates may be summoned by the PGSC for an interview so that the level of knowledge, their personality or any other information concerning their candidacy can be assessed.
f. Candidates with a degree other than in Biology may be required by the PGSC in cooperation with the supervisor to attend courses offered by the School of Biology. The successful attendance is a necessary prerequisite for registration as doctoral candidates of the Biology School.
g. The PGSC submits the proposals to the General Assembly of the School for final approval.

Article 2
Completion of the Ph. D. dissertation

a. The ABD determines the requirements of the candidates for the doctoral studies, which are then submitted for approval to the PGSC of the Biology School. These requirements include the postgraduate courses candidates should attend, the research to be carried out and the writing of the dissertation.
b. The ABD in cooperation with the candidates select the topic of the dissertation. Candidates must present their dissertation proposal, including a literature review, objectives, methodology and chronogram to the ABD and postgraduate students of the Postgraduate Studies Program .
c. Candidates with no relevant Master’s Degree must attend at least 30 credit units (CU) of graduate level courses or relative cognitive fields relevant to the area of specialization of the dissertation. The courses are provided by one or more Postgraduate Studies Programs at the School of Biology (or other Schools), or are equivalent to courses or certified experience in recognized Research Centers of Greece or of abroad.
d. Candidates should successfully complete the courses during the first year of their studies and not later than the second year. Successful completion of courses is assessed by the members of the ABD, who will further present well-documented annual reports of progress. Candidates unable to fulfill their obligations successfully are no longer entitled to continue their doctoral dissertation.
e. At the ABD’s suggestion and following the PGSC’s decision, candidates are allowed to carry out part or all of their experiments in other Universities or recognized Research Centers in Greece or abroad.
f. The ABD is in contact with the candidate supervising the work at all stages. During the period from 1/9 to 30/9 candidates must submit to the ABD an annual progress report, which is forwarded to PSC. This report is used to assess the candidates’ progress in CUs (maximum CUs per year: 60). Candidates who are not credited with CUs for two successive years with no sufficient justification, instantly lose their right to continue their thesis.
g. Should any problems arise during the course of the dissertation, the matter is taken up by the ABD to the PGSC, who will bring it before the Postgraduate General Assembly of the School.

Article 3
Examination – Evaluation of the thesis
Award of the Doctoral Degree

a. Candidates will write their doctoral dissertation only after the ABD has granted their consent. The draft of the doctoral dissertation is submitted to the Secretariat of School of the Biology.
b. The members of the ABD are required to comment on the draft within a period of 3 months after submission to the Secretariat of the School.
c. After candidates have taken into consideration all comments raised by the ABD, they submit the final draft of the dissertation to the PGSC and to the Chairman of the School of Biology. At the suggestion of the PGSC, the Chairman proceeds with the evaluation of the dissertation. An Examination Committee (EC) consisting of seven members is then appointed by the Special School Staff Meeting. Within two months after appointment, the EC schedules the defense of the dissertations. This decision is made known to the candidate and to the Chairman of the School of Biology.
d. Candidates must give an oral presentation of their dissertation within one academic hour (45 minutes), after which the EC poses questions to the candidates. Subsequently the EC formulates the final decision in a closed session. The EC evaluates the degree of originality and the contribution of the dissertation to the progress and evolution of science as well as the candidates’ responses to the questions raised, and their overall knowledge on the subject of their dissertation and on other relevant matters.
e. The documented decision of the EC members present is recorded in the official minutes of the defense, including the names of all the EC members, their status and position, any absentees and the time and place of the defense. These minutes are signed by all the members present and forwarded by the supervisor to the Chairman of the School of Biology. All corrections indicated by any EC member must be taken into account in the preparation of the final version of the dissertation. The supervisor or the ABD certifies that all instructions have been followed and the procedure is thereafter regarded as completed.
f. The ceremony for the award of a Doctoral degrees is held by the PSC according to the Internal Regulations of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
g. In case candidates are unable to complete their dissertation, after submission of an application, the written suggestion of the ABD to the PGSC and the decision of the Postgraduate General Assembly, they are entitled to submit a thesis equivalent to that required for the Postgraduate Studies Program. If candidates successfully defend their thesis in public, they are awarded a Master’s Degree in the corresponding discipline.
h. In case the candidates fail to complete their dissertation for any reason, they may submit an application to the ABD so that all requirements for obtaining a Master’s Degree are determined, provided that they have successfully attended all classes (at least 30 credit units). The ABD further brings the issue before the PGSC.

Article 4
Safeguard of the Doctoral Dissertation quality

a. The supervisor is a member of the teaching staff of the School of Biology who is qualified as dictated by the Law and specializes in the proposed area of study.
b. Apart from the supervisor, the two other members of the ABD should be engaged in scientific activities that are relevant to the scientific area of the dissertation.
c. Members of the teaching staff are allowed to supervise up to three doctoral dissertations each. On well-documented grounds this number could be increased by two. Furthermore, each member of the teaching staff can participate in up to eight ABDs of the School of Biology or of other Schools.
d. Postgraduate students are credited with 30 CUs for a period of a 6-months full-time work, class attendance or research work needed for obtaining a Doctoral Dissertation.180 CUs are required for a PhD, which can be completed within a minimum of 6 semesters and a maximum time of 10.
e. At the end of each academic year, candidates must present the progress of their work either publicly or to the ABD.
f. The results of their research work done within the framework of the dissertation are announced and published by the candidates in collaboration with their supervisor and/or the members of the ABD and/or other researchers who participated in the research.
g. In order for an Examination Committee to be appointed, the candidate must have at least one paper published or in press from the candidate’s doctoral work in an international journal, a reprint of which or a letter of acceptance must be submitted to the PGSC.
h. The titles of all doctoral dissertations carried out at the School of Biology are included in the Postgraduate Studies Guide.
i. The text of the doctoral dissertations includes the title of the dissertation and a extensive summary in both Greek and English. The legends of all tables, drawings, figures and photographs of the dissertation must also be in both languages.
j. Hard copies of the doctoral dissertation together with electronic ones must also be submitted to the Library of the School of Biology and to the Central Library of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Article 5
Cases that are not anticipated by the present regulations are submitted by PGSC for deliberation by the Postgraduate General Assembly.

Article 6
Interim provision
All candidates are included in the Postgraduate Studies Program of the Biology School.