Protocol for the Chapter Defence


1. The doctoral candidate must complete the courses entitled Writing a (Sub)Chapter and Chapter Defence in the sixth semester. (Note: the document called “Order of the Chapter Defence” only regulates the first chapter defence at the end of the third academic year, which also counts as part of the mandatory qualification process. Candidates must take the course Chapter Defence in the seventh or eighth semester, too; Writing a (Sub)Chapter must also be taken at least once more, and can be chosen as a research credit 6 times from the third to the eighth semester.)

2. After consulting the subprogramme directors (SPD), the programme director (PD) makes a decision on the date and venue of the chapter defence and notifies the secretary of the doctoral school (SDS), who announces it to the doctoral school, by the end of the semester the latest.

3. Participation in the Chapter Defence is compulsory for the supervisors and subprogramme directors, the reviewers assigned from the programme as well as all PhD students (taking language competences into consideration). The chapter defence is a public event, open to all members of the doctoral school.

4. The doctoral candidate sends their dissertation chapter in a pdf format – accompanied by the written approval of the instructor – to the secretary of the subprogramme by 31 May (31 December for cross-semesters) or 10 days prior to the appointed date of the chapter defence, with the approval of the supervisor. The secretary of the subprogramme forwards the chapter to the members of the committee and the secretary of the doctoral school. The minimum length of the dissertation chapter is equal to that of the dissertation proposal, i.e. 4000-4500 words (plus bibliography).

5. The chapter defence is chaired by the programme director (or the subprogramme director). First, the two appointed reviewers present their evaluation, then a discussion follows with the rest of the participants. The candidate responds to the questions or comments from the reviewers. The debate is followed by an official evaluation.

6. The candidate’s performance is evaluated by the previously appointed three-member committee, which consists of the chair, the relevant subprogramme director (or the programme director in case of the supervisor’s involvement or hindrance), and the two reviewers of the chapters. The evaluation consists of a grade and a detailed oral evaluation, which is given at the end of each debate or at the end of the doctoral event.

Updated: 2021.05.04.

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