Life Sciences International Postgraduate Educational Center offers PhD program in various fields of Life Sciences. In the program the student takes the core courses required by the Department during the first year. During this period the student becomes familiar to the research interests of the Department and selects an advisor for the Ph.D. dissertation. The overall requirements for Ph.D. program are described in the following section.
PROGRAM LEADING TO THE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (Ph.D.) DEGREE
The objective of doctoral study is to develop each student's ability to conduct original, advanced research as an independent scientist. In keeping with this goal, each student is expected to guide his/her own research project, under the supervision of a Department member, with a high level of effort and accomplishment, and thereby gain the capacity to be self-teaching and the ability to design and conduct research on important issues in the student's field. The program typically entails three to four years (depending on the speciality) of full-time study.
The Program of Study and Research (66 credits, minimum)
1. Core courses, 15 credits.
2. Supporting courses as approved by advisor and Dissertation Committee, 12 credits minimum.
3. Dissertation research, 35 credits.
4. Seminar, 4 credits.
5. Satisfactory seminar and defense of an approved doctoral dissertation based on laboratory (clinical) and/or theoretical research.
The Department Chair will select a temporary Department advisor for each incoming student. The advisor will meet with the student whenever necessary to advise on course selection, advanced standing, course waivers, examination waivers, and selection of thesis/dissertation advisors. The School's and the Department Rules must be adhered to in making these decisions. Recommendations concerning advanced standing, course and examination waivers will be submitted to the Academic Committee and Department Chair for initial approval prior to submission to the Office of Graduate Studies of the School. Students must meet with all relevant Department members before selecting a dissertation advisor.
After selecting a dissertation advisor, the student together with the advisor will select Advisory Committee which will be composed of at least four other members, specifically including two Department members from the student's division, one member from outside the program area, and one member whose primary academic appointment is outside the Department and who may be from other institution. The Academic Committee and Department Chair will review the composition of the Ph.D. Advisory Committee for final approval.
Before the end of the second semester of study an oral examination will be conducted and graded by the Academic Committee. The examination will be administered by three member Department committee and will encompass broad general questions in relevant areas of the selected division. On the basis of the student's performance in the preliminary examinations and grades in courses, the Committee will recommend that (1) the student continues the Ph.D. program, (2) the student shall retake the examination once, at a time specified by the examination committee, or (3) the student shall leave the Department.
Qualifying Examination (Part 1)
Each student who has passed the preliminary examination will be examined by the student's Academic Committee, after all course requirements are completed. This examination will be in the major area of the anticipated research specialization. Each committee member will provide one written question to the student, with all questions being provided at the same time. The student will have one week to write a response to all questions. The student will, shortly after submission of the answers, complete an oral examination, administered by the Academic Committee. The Committee will assign a pass/fail to the student. A student who fails may be reexamined within one year with the scope of the examination being determined by the Committee. The student who fails to pass on the second try will be required to leave the Department. Part 1 of the Qualifying Examinations must be passed before proceeding to Part 2. Students who enter the Ph.D. program with a suitable MS degree usually should take Part 1 of the Qualifying Examination during their first academic year.
Qualifying Examination (Part 2)
This examination consists of an oral defense of a written research proposal prepared by the student. The proposal and the oral defense will be evaluated by the Advisory Committee (Pass/Fail). The exam will treat the student's depth of knowledge in his/her chosen area of specialization as well as his/her ability to write and defend a research proposal. This examination is to be on a topic intended to serve as a basis for the student's Ph.D. dissertation research.
The research proposal should be a detailed document outlining the background and conduct of the proposed dissertation research and should be designed to answer a significant question in the field of his/her study. The student may consult someone in the course of preparing the proposal, but the written document must represent the student's own work. The mentor may aid in the development of specific aims and construction of a topical outline for the dissertation proposal. The mentor also may direct the student to relevant literature and may edit an initial draft. However, the mentor should not act as a co-author. The research proposal will be judged on standard criteria, including, but limited to, the student's grasp of the field, significance of the proposed work, originality and depth of thoughts and feasibility of the experimental approach. The proposal will be submitted to the committee at least one month prior to an oral presentation of the proposal to the Advisory Committee. At the oral defense, the student will answer questions on related topics; the questions focus on (but are not restricted to) the student's program area. The Advisory Committee, chaired by the dissertation advisor, will administer the exam. The student must pass the exam by the majority of votes of the Committee. The Advisory Committee Chair to the Department Chair will communicate the data and results of the exam. If the student does not satisfactorily complete this part of the exam, the Advisory Committee will make appropriate recommendations, which may include modifying the proposal and re-taking the exam, completing remedial course work, or dismissal from the program.
Admission to Candidacy
A student is admitted to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy upon meeting the following standards:
· A minimum of a B average.
· Completion of course requirements.
· Satisfactory completion of both Parts of the Qualifying Exam.
· Completion of any additional requirements specified in the School's Graduate Bulletin.
· If the student gets a B or lower in a required course, he/she must retake the course.
Dissertation Research, Role of the Ph.D. Dissertation Committee
The student 's dissertation Advisory Board will meet regularly with the student throughout the course of his/her dissertation research to evaluate progress and advise. It is the responsibility of the Dissertation Committee Chair to ensure that the candidate schedules these periodic reviews twice yearly. The Advisory Board should submit a brief progress report summarizing each periodic review shortly after the meeting. These reports will become a part of the student's academic file. The Dissertation Committee is responsible for evaluating and accepting the final written dissertation and conducting the student's oral dissertation defense. Acceptance of the dissertation will be by majority of votes of the Dissertation Committee.
The aims of laboratory (clinical) rotations are:
*To allow the student to interact with scientists of varied disciplines.
*To introduce the student to laboratory (clinical) techniques and principles.
*To give both the students and the Department an opportunity to interact intellectually.
*To aid the student in selecting a mentor for graduate research.
It is advisable that all students regardless of their previous laboratory (clinical) experience participate in lab (clinical) rotations and should not repeat a rotation in with the same mentor. Exceptions to this plan are subject to the approval of the Department Chairman. The student is expected to put at least 12 hours per week during each rotation.
Ph.D. students usually will take two rotations for three credits. Students entering the graduate program in September will register for lab (clinical) rotations in fall. The grading system is S/U. An unsatisfactory grade in any rotation will result in a U for that semester. Please, note that a satisfactory grade in two rotations must be attained to fill the rotation requirement.
The rotation schedule is designed to obtain the maximum lab (clinical) experience within the framework of courses and additional graduate responsibilities. There is a Summer Rotation for students who enter the program early or those who enter in January and wish to satisfy their rotation requirement before the fall semester. Data for these alternate rotation schedules may be obtained from the Department Office.
A student may choose to work in the laboratory (clinic) of any Department member within the divisions of the Department. Special permission may be given to the student who wishes to do a lab (clinical) rotation with a Department member in one of School's other departments. At the end of each rotation the students are required to write a brief report (3-5 pages) describing their project. This report should be given to the research mentor and, after his/her final draft, must be submitted to the Department Office one week after the end of the rotation. The student is responsible for submitting this report and the failure to do so will result in an incomplete grade.
Research Mentor Obligations
The mentor is responsible for filling a Laboratory (Clinical) Rotation Evaluation Sheet. In order to meet School's grading deadlines, this evaluation must be submitted to the Department Office one week after the end of the rotation or on the last day of the Final Exam Week. These forms may be obtained from the Department Office.
Duration of Ph.D. courses is from 3 to 4 years (depending on the speciality).
Courses are conducted in compliance with PhD international program providing the students 66 credits. The courses will be given by the international team of distinguished scientists. PhD students will have the opportunity to complete their dissertation in foreign laboratories. PhD dissertation will be supervised by four leading scientists. The graduates will receive an appropriate diploma of the state standard, a certificate of UNESCO Chair for specialized short practice and training courses. The best PhD students will be engaged in the Center lecture personnel.
The students will be involved in research grant projects that are implemented in the Center. English and modern computer courses are included in the program.
APPLICATION and ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS
The applicants will be interviewed according to their major and will have to take an English language test.
The applicants should present MS degree diploma; 4 photos; 2 letters of recommendation from advanced scientists of the appropriate area.
Those applicants who have publications in international journals will have priority in being accepted to the program.