Faculty of Medicine Masaryk University


Last update: 10. 12. 2015 8:40:53
Josef Kuře
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Document ID: 1553
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Created: 10. 12. 2015 8:40:53

PhD programme in Bioethics – Information for prospective students

About the programme

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Bioethics is a four-year research programme whereby you undertake a doctoral level research project under the guidance of your supervisor. The doctoral work culminates in a thesis that is defended in the form of an oral defence. Satisfactory progress through the PhD programme is checked regularly.

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of Bioethics, the doctoral programme in Bioethics is designed into four modules: a) Humanities, b) Medicine and Life Sciences, c) Law, d) Social Sciences. With regard to the previous studies, the module is chosen accordingly.
Entry requirements

  • Completed programme at the master level in Humanities (preferably Philosophy/Ethics), Medicine, Life Sciences, Law, Social Sciences.
  • Proven and potential academic excellence
  • Strong motivation


Applications will be assessed in the light of an applicant’s ability to meet the following entry requirements:

1. Academic ability

Proven and potential academic excellence

Applicants are normally expected to have achieved a high quality master degree (or an equivalent national or international qualification) in one of the relevant disciplines.

Applicants are also expected to be predicted to have a necessary academic ability to accomplish the programme.
Letters of recommendation
Two academic references are welcome. They should support outstanding academic achievement, excellent intellectual ability, critical thought, and strong motivation.

Research proposal
Applicants should submit an outline (approx. 5 pages) of their thesis, specifying topic, goals, methodology and relevant literature. An agreement with the potential supervisor is required.

Applicant presents the proposal for his/her thesis also orally in the front of the Admissions Committee.
Applicants are also expected to provide a list of the texts related to the proposed research topic they are already familiar with.
This will be assessed for:

  • clarity and accuracy of thought and writing
  • coherence and feasibility of the proposal
  • intellectual independence
  • ability and willingness to reach conclusions by reasoned argument rather than assertion
  • a critical and attentive reading of the texts provided as a supplement to the research proposal (see above)
  • understanding of important bioethical issues.

Personal statement

Applicants submit a professional CV. They are also expected to provide a Personal Statement, supporting evidence of motivation for this particular doctoral programme.

You may wish to make reference to your personal/academic achievements, interests and aspirations and the relevance of the programme to your future career development plans.

In Personal Statement (one page), explaining your motivation for applying for doctoral programme in Bioethics at Masaryk University, you may wish to consider the following questions:

  • Why are you applying to this particular doctoral programme?
  • What relevant academic and/or research experience do you have?
  • Which areas of study within Bioethics interest you?
  • Why would you be an excellent candidate for this programme?
  • How does this programme fit in with your future career plans?

This will be assessed for evidence of motivation for study and understanding of the proposed area of study.

Applicants are not required to have any publications, but they may be an advantage as admissions are competitive.

2. English language requirement

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to provide evidence of proficiency in English (exam) at the higher level required by the University.


  • Bioethics
  • Contemporary Issues in Bioethics
  • General Ethics
  • Bioethics Methodology
  • Health Care Law
  • Ethics of Biomedical Research
  • English Language

Requirements for the Doctoral Examination

  • Good orientation in General Ethics
  • Detailed knowledge of individual areas of Bioethics
  • Deep knowledge in the area of doctoral thesis

The Doctoral Examination consists of general and special Bioethics, topically with focus on the area of the doctoral thesis.

The goals of this examination is to demonstrate deep knowledge of literature related to the topic of doctoral thesis and to present and discuss the main thesis of the doctoral project. 

Minimal publication requirements

Medical module:

  1. At least one original publication in scientific journal with Impact Factor or two original publications in extenso (at least one of them related to the doctoral project) in peer-reviewed indexed journal (Medline, Web of Science, Scopus, ERIH …)
  2. At least one publication in peer-reviewed journal – also in the case of publication with IF.

All other modules:

  1. At least two original publications in extenso (at least one of them related to the doctoral project) in peer-reviewed journal.
  2. At least one publication in extenso in peer-reviewed indexed journal.


If you have any further questions regarding PhD programme in Bioethics, please contact the Director of the programme:
Assoc. Prof. Josef Kuře, Dr.phil.
Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University
Kamenice 5
CZ – 62500 Brno
Tel: + 420 549494913
Email: jkure@med.muni.cz


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