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Doktorant
 

 Almost all about PhD theses

 
  • What is the conspectus of PhD dissertation?

Before starting to write dissertation, the conception has to be prepared. The conspectus of PhD dissertation (the research proposal) is a written embody of the conception. It is a base for a discussion on planning research at doctoral seminar, meetings in the Department, meetings of the committee, which is giving opinions needed to commence a doctoral degree conferral procedure (they are in same collegium at the Warsaw Schools of Economics) and by commence a doctoral degree conferral procedure

The conspectus of PhD dissertation is evolving more and more mature form as a progress of writing the dissertation is more and more advanced. The conspectus of PhD dissertation should include information about reasons why particular topic is interesting and important for economics studies and business practices with showing recent knowledge and scientific gap. Additional, it should include objectives, thesis and hypothesis. Researcher should indicate rage for empirical studies and methods, which will be used in the research process.

The conspectus of PhD dissertation should include also list of chapters and subsections, which should be embody of the idea on dissertation. Helpful for understanding the idea of the conspectus of PhD dissertation and recognition principles rules in preparing it can be found in papers published at the Warsaw School of Economics: “Doktoranci o przygotowaniu pracy doktorskiej” (ed. M. Strzyżewska-Kamińska) and „Selected methodological issues for doctoral students” (ed. M. Strzyżewska-Kamińska), where PhD students can find very interesting article on formulating a research proposal („Formulating a research proposal” – p. 9-28).

 

  • What are thesis and hypothesis?

Each PhD dissertation has to have clear research thesis. This is so important, that in the Anglo-Saxon culture they are saying about doctoral thesis, which is presented and defended but not about doctoral dissertation.

Doctoral thesis is an assumption, clam, question or conclusion on research subject, which has to be confirm based on empirical studies. Doctoral thesis is formulating based on literature review and it mostly refers to knowledge gap. It something what we think that we know, but we need to justified it or something what we do not know, but we want to know.

Based on doctoral thesis we prepare hypothesis, what rely on changing grammar of research questions to a theorem or conjecture. Idea of hypothesis is to formulate some conjecture on coexistence or co-variation studied subject (descriptive hypothesis) or on it genesis (reason-effect hypothesis). Number of hypothesis should not be large, because they have to be proven in the dissertation. In practice, number of hypothesis is equal to number of chapters in the dissertation.

Formulating thesis and hypothesis is one of the toughest phase on preparing dissertation. Doctoral students can find more information about it in many papers, for example “Metodologiczne uwarunkowania pracy naukowej” (J. Apanowicz) – more information about formulating thesis and hypothesis can be found in pages 73-79. 

 

  • What is commencing a doctoral degree conferral procedure?

Commencing a doctoral degree conferral procedure means that the Collegium Scientific Council (or the Council od Department or Institute), which has the right to confer the degree of doctor, start a procedure aiming to give a person this scientific degree.

Commencing a doctoral degree conferral procedure requires that doctoral student submitted to Dean an application with a request for the commencing a doctoral degree conferral procedure. In the application should be included title of dissertation, which has to be a subject of the doctorate and request for assignment supervising responsibilities to the proper supervisor. To the application, doctoral students should attach a supervisor agreement and statement of the Department Director confirming that research proposal was discussed at the department meeting and it accepted by department employees. In some collegium at the Warsaw School of Economics, it is required to receive a positive opinion from a commission to commencing a doctoral degree conferral procedure. To the application it should be attach a conspectus of PhD dissertation.

The application is included in the agenda for the Collegium Scientific Council meeting and it is a subject of the discussion, in which applicant is involved. Sometimes a dissertation title, thesis and hypothesizes or a range of research can be change due to discussion, which take place on the meeting of the commission to Commencing a doctoral degree conferral procedure or the Collegium Scientific Council. Then the Collegium Scientific Council, in a secret vote, make a decision on commencing a doctoral degree conferral procedure and supervisor, who can be chosen from the member of the Collegium Scientific Council or outside the group. The title, which is accepted by the Collegium Scientific Council should not be change. If it is a merit necessary to change the title, all procedure has to be done one more time. 

 

  • When a doctoral student can commence a doctoral degree conferral procedure?

 Commencing a doctoral degree conferral procedure should not be done too early or too late. It should be done when a half of dissertation is written. The main point of this it that is a relatively easy opportunity to make changes in the conspectus of PhD dissertation as well as certainty that research proposal will be realize with success. The Collegium Scientific Council and Deans established what percentage must be advanced dissertation to commencing a doctoral degree conferral procedure. It is generally 50% or 60%. If this threshold exist, in application with request to commence a doctoral degree conferral procedure, applicant should attach confirmation, form recent tutor, that present dissertation meet all requirements.

Rationality, opening of a doctorate should be done after empirical studies and after collecting all required materials.

 

  • What are doctoral exams?

After assembling finished dissertation, which is accepted by a supervisor, and receiving two positive reviews, doctoral student are able to take a doctoral exams. Doctoral student is obliged to pass exam of main and additional discipline as well as foreign language. At Warsaw School of Economics the main discipline is economy or management depends on in which discipline PhD Candidate apply for the degree. Usually additional discipline is management, when the main discipline is economy and vice versa, unless the Collegium Scientific Council decided differently. Some students decided to choose as additional discipline a philosophy.

Exam on main discipline should be pass to the committee, which consists of examiner, supervisor, reviewers and 2 or 3 people indicted by the Collegium Scientific Council as independent researcher. Committee is led by a Dean or person indicted by him and who is an independent researcher and member of the Collegium Scientific Council.

In commission, expect chairman, is involved an examiner of a particular subject and supervisor. Exam last around 30 minutes and examined person should answer 2 questions. In a foreign language exam questions are about issues taken in the dissertation. 

Answers for a particular questions are evaluated in scale from 2 to 5 and when examined person receive a positive mark it is say that exam is pass with satisfactory result regardless of marks received from each question. Passing exams with satisfactory result, as well as positive reviews, give a basis to bring to the Collegium Scientific Council meeting application to accept doctoral dissertation and set a date of public defense. Application is taken by a secret vote and it requires a simple majority of votes.

  • What are criteria of accept a doctoral dissertation to a public defense?

The dissertation has to be written and it has to receive an acceptance of the supervisor, two positive reviews as well as pass all doctoral exams.