Protocol for the Preliminary Defence


1. The preliminary defence is arranged as part of the degree conferment procedure, maximum six months prior to the deadline to submit the doctoral thesis.

2. The participation of at least five researchers with academic degrees is required for the preliminary defence, out of whom a minimum of three form the defence board. At least one third of the members of this committee are not instructors at the doctoral school. The chairperson of the preliminary defence is a core member of the doctoral school. The chairperson and members of the defence board pertaining to the preliminary defence are appointed by the doctoral school.

3. Before evaluation, the secretary of the doctoral school shall send the dissertation submitted for preliminary defence to the University and National Library for screening for duplicate text/textual overlaps ( ). The library shall prepare the document containing the result of screening within 3 business days, and the secretary of the doctoral school shall forward it to the PhD candidate. The doctoral student and the dissertation supervisor shall submit a declaration in addition to the result of the analysis of textual overlap of the dissertation submitted for the preliminary defence. In this declaration, the doctoral student shall prepare an explanatory note covering each of the publications referenced in the dissertation, and the dissertation supervisor shall declare that the dissertation was prepared in accordance with the work plan previously drawn up, and in compliance with the norms of academic ethics.

4. The secretary of the doctoral school shall forward the result of the screening as well as the supervisor’s and student’s declarations to the preliminary opponents (an original copy of the documents shall also be sent for better legibility). In their written evaluation the opponents shall state that on the basis of available data, the dissertation meets the requirements of publication ethics. If the text of the dissertation is changed or expanded significantly from the version examined at the preliminary defence, the analysis of textual overlap shall be conducted again before the public defence. The form on screening for duplicate text (declarations both for the candidate and the supervisor) may be downloaded from

5. The subprogramme shall agree on a date for the preliminary defence with the chairperson and appointed opponents and create the invitation for the event. The secretary of the doctoral school shall forward this invitation to members of the doctoral school and advertises this event on the doctoral school’s website.

6. The preliminary defence is public within the doctoral school. Access to the dissertation is provided by the secretary of the doctoral school.

7. The preliminary defence is organised by the subprogramme. Travel costs incurred (in justified cases accommodation costs as well) are also reimbursed by the subprogrammes. An honorarium may be paid to the chair and the defence board, depending on the financial situation of the subprogramme.

8. A written record and an attendance register of the preliminary defence shall be drawn up. The form for the written record of the preliminary debate may be downloaded from this link:

9. The opponents’ previously written evaluations and the comments at the defence shall be attached to the record of the preliminary defence. The subprogrammes shall forward the record and the attendance register to the secretary of the doctoral school, who, after archiving the original copies, will forward all the documents (including the ones related to the text screening) to the secretary of the Faculty Doctoral Council and members of the Doctoral Council.

Updated: 2021.05.04.

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