On the basis of Article 135 of the Statute of the UL (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 4/2017) the Senate of the University of Ljubljana, at its 39th meeting, on 27th June 2017, adopted the following
RULES AND REGULATIONS ON DOCTORAL STUDY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF LJUBLJANA
I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
These Rules and Regulations constitute a document that regulates doctoral studies at the University of Ljubljana (UL) and defines basic standards for doctoral studies.
In the Rules and Regulations the expressions used, written in the male gender grammatical form, are to be considered as neutral for both men and women.
The terms used in these Rules and Regulations shall have the following meanings:
Preparation and content of doctoral study programmes
Doctoral study programmes at the University of Ljubljana differ from one another in the level of interdisciplinarity and their organisation or implementation, comprising:
Minimal standards for definition of the scientific field of doctoral programmes are:
Scientific fields do are not duplicated in doctoral study programmes.
Doctoral study programmes last four years and comprise 240 credits (ECTS).
Study programmes must be compiled so that each year is valued at 60 credits. A definition of a semester study is not required.
Each study unit must be evaluated with a minimum of 3 ECTS; the recommended number of ECTS of a particular study unit is 5 or a multiple of this number.
The work of a doctoral student includes study units, individual study work, research work, preparation for exams or other forms of examinations, doctoral examination, doctoral dissertation and all obligations related to the preparation, presentation and defence of the doctoral dissertation, as well as the publication of at least one original scientific paper.
Organised forms of study account for 60 credits.
Organised forms of study in doctoral study programmes include study units that form theoretical, scientific and methodological parts, presentation of research work for doctoral dissertation and the preparation and defence of doctoral work.
Research study makes up 180 ECTS. These credits also include research work for at least one original scientific paper, published or accepted for publication with the student as the first author.
The application for accreditation of the doctoral study programme or study programme under the accreditation procedure must be, apart from the attachments that are mandatory upon the accreditation of the programme at NAKVIS, also accompanied by:
Trustees of doctoral study programmes and the board of trustees
In the case of interdisciplinary doctoral study programmes, the Member Senate or the Programme Council appoints a trustee of the doctoral study programme.
The basic tasks of the trustee of the doctoral study programme are management, coordination and presentation of the doctoral study programme.
The Board of Trustees is the consultative body of the Doctoral School, which consists of trustees of individual doctoral study programmes. The head of the Doctoral School directs it.
The Senate of the University shall determine the rules and operation of the Doctoral School in accordance with the Statute of the UL as regards the decision on establishment.
Call for entry
In accordance with the Higher Education Act and the Rules on Call for Entry and Enrolment in Higher Education, the UL announces a joint call for entry to Level 3 doctoral study programmes.
Applications are submitted in accordance with the Rules on Call for Entry and Enrolment in Higher Education.
Admission requirements and selection criteria
The accredited study programme shall determine admission requirements and selection criteria in case of restricted enrolment.
By the end of the application deadline the doctoral candidate will have come to an agreement with a higher education teacher or a scientific researcher to serve as mentor / co-mentor, whereby upon enrolment, at the latest, the student shall submit both the teacher’s / researcher’s consent to take up mentoring / co-mentoring and a short conceptual design of the research work.
Members, subordinate of doctoral study programmes, announce lists of potential mentors who meet the conditions before the call for entries. The list is also published at the Doctoral School’s website.
The competent authority shall take decisions on the selection of candidates for enrolment in the study programme. In the event of non-compliance with the conditions for mentoring, the competent authority shall notify the doctoral student and the rejected mentor, and it shall then assign a deadline for finding a new mentor.
Enrolment in doctoral study programmes is carried out according to the Rules on the Call for Entry and Enrolment in Higher Education.
In agreement with the mentor, the doctoral student will form a curriculum, signed by the trustee or coordinator of the scientific field.
Upon enrolment, the doctoral student may also choose subjects or other organised forms of study from other doctoral study programmes. The Member or the programme council shall be obliged to inform the relevant Member or other university thereof as soon as the doctoral student is granted the choice of these subjects.
In the event of a course change, the doctoral student must obtain the consent of the mentor, the professor and the trustee or coordinator of the study field, and the decision shall be taken by the competent authority.
Upon enrolment, the doctoral student will sign the Statement of Commitment to Respect UL Codes of Ethics in accordance with the Code of Ethics for Researchers of the UL.
The doctoral student and the UL or a Member of the UL sign an education agreement on enrolment in each year of study, by which the contracting parties agree on mutual rights and obligations arising from doctoral studies, and the amount and payment of tuition fees.
The tuition fee for doctoral study is paid for each academic year, or for each year in which the doctoral student enrols and is set out in the UL price list, adopted by the UL Management Board for each academic year.
UL Members carry out doctoral studies in accordance with accredited doctoral study programmes. The conditions for the completion of studies and the acquisition of the title of Doctor of Science are that the doctoral student successfully completes the programme with specific study obligations, successfully defends the doctoral dissertation and has, in accordance with the study programme or at the latest before the submission of the dissertation, published as the first author at least one original scientific paper based on the contents of the doctoral thesis in a publication considered by the UL as valid work habilitation criteria in science.
If it is not possible to be the first author (for example, in international research or for other justifiable reasons), the mentor must ensure by appropriate declaration that the doctoral student’s role in the published work is important.
In all publications related to the research work in the framework of doctoral studies the affiliation "University of Ljubljana" must be mentioned. This is also the case when the doctoral student, mentor and co-mentor are employed by other organisations.
The holders and subordinates of study units for doctoral studies are persons with a valid teaching title (assistant professor, associate professor and full-time professor) and for whom scientific relevance has been demonstrated with appropriate references from the field of the study unit.
The Study Order of the University of Ljubljana shall apply mutatis mutandis for the examination and evaluation of the doctoral student’s level of knowledge and competencies acquired by fulfilling the obligations specified in doctoral study programmes.
Exams and other forms of examination in the course of doctoral studies are conducted in periods that are not necessarily related to the exam period. The doctoral student and the examiner may determine, by mutual agreement, the date of concluding obligations, and therefore the consent of the competent authority is not required.
The doctoral student must apply for examination within the deadline through the system of study informatics, if available, or in agreement with the examiner.
The subordinate is obliged to either enter the report on the passed study unit examination into the system of study informatics or submit it to the Student Office if the doctoral candidate did not apply for the exam through the study informatics system.
The doctoral student is allowed to pass exams from study units upon receiving the approval of the competent authority at the Member or programme council in the case of interdisciplinary doctoral study programme.
A doctoral student who did not pass the exam can repeat it once. The third time, the exam is taken in front of a committee, which consists of at least three members.
A doctoral student who does not pass the exam even the last possible way in accordance with the UL Statute cannot continue the study in this study programme.
The competent authority shall determine the number of study units in which the doctoral student can upgrade the grade as well as the period for which the grade can be upgraded.
In accordance with the UL Statute and applicable study programmes, the competent authority may recognise a doctoral student’s obligations outside the study programme in which the student is enrolled. Such recognised obligations shall be considered in the sum of credit points required to qualify for third-level education.
The date of completion of the study is the date when the doctoral student has a scientific paper published or accepted for publication and the assessment of the last passed commitment is entered into the official record.
Draft schedules shall be published no later than the beginning of each academic year.
In addition to the provisions of these Rules, studies of doctoral study programmes shall apply mutatis mutandis to the provisions of the UL Study Regulation.
The mentor / co-mentor for doctoral studies must be a higher education teacher holding the title of assistant professor, associate professor or full-time professor or a scientific researcher with the title of scientific associate, senior scientific associate or scientific advisor and who has demonstrated research activity with an appropriate bibliography from the broader topic of the doctoral student’s dissertation topic. The minimum condition for the demonstration of research activity is determined by decision of the UL Senate and is published on the website of the Doctoral School of the UL.
A mentor or co-mentor may also be a person with adequate habilitation from another institution if he participates in a study programme or is employed at an institution (national or foreign) with which the UL or a Member of the UL has a contract or a cooperation agreement.
The mentor and co-mentor can be members of the KSDŠ, but they do not participate in the assessment.
A mentor may be a mentor for up to six doctoral students who are enrolled in the doctoral study programme and regularly progress. Doctoral students who have completed all of the doctoral study programme obligations except for defending their doctoral dissertation and publishing a scientific paper, and more than four years have passed since the enrolment in the initial year of the doctoral study programme, are not calculated in this number. This limitation does not apply to the co-mentor.
A doctoral student and the appointed mentor or co-mentor may, for valid reasons, apply for a replacement of mentor or co-mentor with the competent authority.
The new mentor or co-mentor is appointed by the Member Senate and is finally approved upon agreement with the topic of the doctoral dissertation at the UL.
Mentor and co-mentor shall carry out the following:
The competent authorities of the Member, the coordinator, the programme trustee and the head of the Doctoral School of the UL can help resolve any misunderstandings between the doctoral student, mentor and co-mentor.
The doctoral student shall carry out the following:
Registration of the doctoral dissertation topic
The doctoral student presents the topic of the doctoral dissertation at the enrolled Member or at the Member which, in the case of interdisciplinary study programme, conduct the procedure for obtaining the scientific title.
The doctoral dissertation topic includes:
Disposition of the doctoral dissertation includes:
The doctoral student can apply for writing a dissertation in the English language in accordance with the UL Statute if he is a foreigner, if the mentor or co-mentor are foreigners or if a member of the KSDŠ is a foreigner. In the case of studying foreign languages and literature, the disposition may also be written in another language.
If the doctoral dissertation topic is not complete, the doctoral student will be asked to complete it within a specified time limit, which cannot be longer than one year. If the doctoral student does not complete the application within this time limit, the application will be rejected by decision.
Appointment of the Committee to monitor the doctoral student
Within 30 days of filing the application, the Senate of the Member shall nominate the KSDŠ, which shall accompany the doctoral student from the disposition of the doctoral dissertation topic until the evaluation and its defence.
The Committee shall comprise at least three assessors of higher education teachers or scientific researchers who are experts from the broader field of the doctoral dissertation topic and who hold valid teaching or scientific titles. At least one evaluator must be from another university or another research organisation, exceptionally from another Member of the UL. If the mentor and co-mentor are members of the KSDŠ, the number of members is increased accordingly.
Members of the committee, the mentor and co-mentor are obliged to avoid situations that might constitute or imply a conflict of interest in accordance with the Rules on the avoidance of conflicts of interest and the conditions for performing work outside the UL.
The chair of the committee coordinates the work of the members of the committee and prepares a joint assessment of the relevance of the topic.
A decision is issued on the appointment of the committee, and the members of the committee, doctoral student, mentor and co-mentor are informed in writing.
Presentation of the doctoral dissertation topic
The doctoral student presents the topic to the KSDŠ and the research public.
The KSDŠ prepares minutes of the presentation, which includes any comments and a deadline to complete the proposal of the doctoral dissertation topic, and signs it.
Confirmation of the doctoral dissertation topic
Within one month after the presentation of the topic of the doctoral dissertation, or after the submission of the completed disposition of the doctoral dissertation, the KSDŠ shall submit an assessment of the appropriateness of the topic of the doctoral dissertation. The assessment is generally common, and members of the committee can give their opinion separately. In case a member of the committee is a foreigner who does not understand the Slovenian language, reports in Slovene and English languages will be attached.
From the written assessment of the relevance of the topic of the doctoral dissertation, the relevance of the topic and the expected contribution to science should be evident.
The assessment shall include:
The competent authority of the Member shall consider the assessment of the appropriateness of the topic of the doctoral dissertation no later than two months after submission and shall propose that the Senate of the Member:
The KSDŠ, after the deadline set by the Senate of a Member to amend or supplement the proposal of the doctoral dissertation topic, examines the amended proposal of the topic and submits a new written assessment of the suitability of the topic to the first next meeting of the Senate. If the doctoral student has not submitted an updated proposal for the subject within that deadline, the KSDŠ nevertheless has to give an evaluation of the proposal of the doctoral dissertation topic.
If the Senate of the Member accepts a negative assessment of the KSDŠ, it rejects the disposition and the procedure is closed. The doctoral student cannot re-submit the same topic.
When a Member Senate accepts a positive assessment of the appropriateness of the topic of the doctoral dissertation, the Member sends the application to the Senate of the UL for approval. (This shall include the doctoral student's application, CV, bibliography, disposition with the indication of the main sources, assessment of the KSDŠ, decision of the Senate of the Member and any other appendices).
Before a hearing at the Senate, the UL examines the materials of the Committee for doctoral study of the UL, which the Senate may authorise to issue (non)consent to the proposed topics of doctoral dissertations. The Committee for doctoral study of the UL may request from the Member that the doctoral dissertation topic be completed within a specified time period or propose a second mentor and co-mentor in agreement with the doctoral student within a specified time limit, and that KSDŠ accordingly completes or changes the assessment of the suitability of the subject.
Within two months at the latest, the Senate shall decide on the proposed topic and inform the Member of the (non)consent. The consent of the subject is valid for two more years from the loss of status.
The Member shall inform the doctoral student, the mentor and co-mentor and the members of the KSDŠ of the (non)consent of the UL Senate on the topic of the doctoral dissertation.
Presentation of the results of the research work before defending the doctoral dissertation
When the research work is in the final phase and when it is possible to give conclusions in accordance with the hypotheses or research questions, the doctoral student, members of the KSDŠ, the mentor and the co-mentor submit the draft of the doctoral dissertation and present the results of the research work with an emphasis on the main findings and the contribution to the field of science.
Minutes are taken during the presentation in which the written questions of the members of the KSDŠ and the decision on the success / failure of the presentation are indicated or attached. In the case of necessary corrections to the draft doctoral dissertation, the KSDŠ sets a deadline of less than one year for the doctoral student to submit a revised draft.
As a rule, the presentation is public. In the particular case of confidential information, the mentor, co-mentor and doctoral student may suggest that the presentation not be public. In this case, it is intended only for members of the KSDŠ and the mentor and co-mentor.
The presentation of the results of the research work that was unsuccessful can only be repeated once.
The doctoral dissertation is a written final work, which represents an autonomous and original contribution to the scientific field of the topic of the doctoral dissertation.
The doctoral dissertation is usually written in the Slovene language. It may exceptionally be written in a foreign language in accordance with the UL Statute. In this case, the doctoral student is still obliged to write an introduction, a conclusion and a comprehensive summary using appropriate scientific terminology in the Slovene language.
The dissertation must be written in accordance with the instructions of the Member to form a doctoral dissertation.
The doctoral dissertation is submitted to the Member in electronic and printed form with the consent of the mentor and co-mentor no later than one year after the last semester of the study programme or in accordance with the decision on the extension of the status for justified reasons. Upon submitting a doctoral dissertation, doctoral student confirms in a written statement that the dissertation is the result of his own independent work, that the printed copy is identical to the electronic one, gives consent to use the electronic format of the dissertation for verification with software for checking similarity of contents and shall transfer the right of reproduction free of charge, including the right of electronic storage and the right to make the doctoral dissertation available to the public via the UL Repository.
In accordance with the Rules on verification of the similarity of the content of the electronic form of the final written work and the conditions for the temporary unavailability of the contents of the final written work in relation to the similarity of the content with other parts, the doctoral dissertation in electronic form is checked with software for checking similarity of the content with that on the study information system.
If a doctoral student does not hand in the doctoral dissertation within the time limit referred to in the first paragraph, within two years after the loss of the status, in accordance with the UL Statute, he shall submit a request for continuation or completion of the study. Based on the request of a doctoral student and in accordance with the opinion of the mentor and KSDŠ, the competent authority of the Member, before deciding on the eligibility for continuation or completion of studies, also checks the actuality and originality of the doctoral dissertation topic. In the event of a positive decision, the doctorate student shall be given a deadline for the completion of studies, otherwise the Member will issue a declaratory decision that the doctoral student cannot finish this study and that the topic is again available.
The doctoral dissertation may consist of the doctoral student’s original scientific papers that were accepted for publication (with proof, such as the editor's letter that the contribution was accepted for publication) or have already been published.
Original scientific papers must be content-related (complementary) and the result of the work on the accepted topic of the doctoral dissertation.
In addition to the papers, the doctoral student must additionally write an introduction and conclusion of the dissertation, presenting the theoretical and methodological design of his research and key findings.
The author of the doctoral dissertation, written in the form of papers, must, obtain consent for the inclusion of those papers in the printed and electronic form of the dissertation from the publishers to whom he previously transferred the material copyright on the papers.
If part of the content of a doctoral dissertation is confidential (patent, confidential dossier of a particular company...), the doctoral student may, prior to submitting a doctoral dissertation, in accordance with the Rules on the verification of the similarity of the content of the electronic form of the final written work and the conditions for the temporary unavailability of the contents of the final written work of study at the University of Ljubljana, request temporarily unavailability of the contents of the doctoral dissertation. The doctoral student’s and mentor’s applications are considered individually. Part of the dissertation must be published, since only in this way can the doctoral student write an appropriate paper, which is a condition for defence of the doctoral dissertation.
The doctoral dissertation shall include the following:
Assessment of doctoral thesis
The doctoral dissertation can be submitted for assessment with the written consent of the mentor and co-mentor. A doctoral dissertation may also be submitted for evaluation even without the prior approval of the mentor and / or co-mentor, but the mentor and / or co-mentor of the Member's panel must explain in writing why they do not not agree with the proposed work.
KSDŠ members are obliged to submit separate dissertation assessments to the Senate of the Member no later than two months after receiving the dissertation.
If one of the members of the KSDŠ fails to comply with the deadlines and does not respond to the warning that the deadline for submitting the assessment will expire, or if he resigns from participation in the KSDŠ for justified reasons (training abroad, maternity leave...), the Senate of the Member appoints an alternate member and informs the doctoral student, mentor, co-mentor and members of the KSDŠ.
Together with the dissertation assessment, KSDŠ members must also submit an opinion on the appropriateness of the published or soon-to-be published paper. The doctoral dissertation and opinion on the appropriateness of the published or soon-to-be published scientific paper are the conditions for the defence of the doctoral dissertation.
In the event that the doctoral candidate does not submit proof of publication of a scientific paper within one year of the acceptance of the doctoral dissertation assessment to the Member's Senate, the defence of the doctoral dissertation is not possible and the doctoral student cannot conclude the study.
The doctoral dissertation assessment includes the following:
An external member of the committee can write a summarised assessment of the doctoral dissertation, which includes the assessment and justification, and whether the doctoral dissertation reaches the necessary degree of originality or not.
The KSDŠ members shall submit their separate assessments of the doctoral dissertation to the Senate of the Member who, on the basis of these assessments, accepts, rejects or invites the doctoral candidate to complete or correct the dissertation within the specified period of time and in accordance with any comments.
In case of split opinions of the KSDŠ members, the Senate may appoint additional member/s of the KSDŠ to prepare additional assessment/s.
When the doctoral student submits an improved dissertation which is reassessed by the KSDŠ members, the Member’s Senate reconsiders and decides on it. The Member Senate then accepts or rejects the doctoral dissertation.
If the doctoral student does not correct the dissertation within the set deadline, the Member Senate rejects the doctoral dissertation. The rejected doctoral dissertation cannot be submitted for a second time and the procedure is concluded.
When the Member Senate accepts the dissertation, the doctoral student submits to the Member a number of bound copies of the dissertation and submits the electronic form of the dissertation to the Member's study programme information system.
Public defence of the doctoral dissertation
Public defence is an academic debate between the members of the committee and the doctoral candidate. The main purpose of the public defence is the presentation of the doctoral dissertation.
The doctoral student defends his doctoral dissertation before the KSDŠ. The defence, as a rule, is conducted in the Slovene language and is led by the President of the KSDŠ or the Dean or Vice-Dean of the Member.
The defence, as a rule, occurs within one month of when the Senate of the Member receives the dissertation.
The defence of the doctoral dissertation is public, which is ensured by publishing a notice of the defence on the Member's website, usually seven (7) days before the defence.
In the particular case of confidential information, the mentor, co-mentor and doctoral student may suggest that the defence not be public.
The mentor and co-mentor are also present at the defence. Minutes are taken on the defence of the dissertation, stating the conclusion regarding the success or failure of the defence. The minutes shall be signed by all the members of the KSDŠ, and with their signatures the minutes shall indicate their position in the KSDŠ.
The KSDŠ takes a decision on the evaluation of the defence (passed, passed with excellence, did not pass).
Successful defence of the doctoral dissertation is a proof that the doctoral student has achieved research competences at a high academic and research level.
By successfully completing the doctoral dissertation, the doctoral student obtains the scientific title doctor of science and all the rights that arise from this title.
The defence of the doctoral dissertation which the KSDŠ assesses as unsuccessful cannot be repeated and appeal is not possible.
Promotion of Doctors of Science
After a successful defence of the doctoral dissertation, the Member who conducted the procedure for obtaining the doctorate of science sends the necessary documents of the doctoral student to the University of Ljubljana for promotion, including a certificate on the publication of a scientific paper.
The Member sends to the Doctoral Service Department the minutes of the defence and the Application Form for the Promotion of Doctors of Science. The form contains information on the Member and doctoral study programme, the doctoral student’s information, doctoral dissertation title in Slovene and English, names of the mentor or co-mentor, date of consent for the topic of the doctoral dissertation, date of defences of the doctoral dissertation and publication of the original scientific paper/s.
The Doctoral Study Office of the UL determines, on the basis of applications for promotion in agreement with the Rector, the date of promotion, prepares the list of promotions of Doctors of Science and informs the relevant Members thereof. The Member shall then inform the doctoral students, deans, mentors and co-mentors of the date of promotion.
The Doctorate of Science degree is prepared in accordance with the Rules on the Issue of Diplomas and Certificates of Education of the UL.
A Member shall order the printing of the Diploma, to be signed by the Dean of the Member in an authorised print shop. Before signing by the Rector, the Diploma is examined by the Doctoral Study Office of the UL. The Diploma is stamped with the University’s dry seal.
On the proposal of the Member where the doctoral student has successfully completed all obligations of the study programme and successfully defended the doctoral dissertation, the Rector conducts the promotion of the student to Doctor of Science.
The promotion is solemn, formal public event. The promotional procedure is determined by special protocol, determined by the Rector and prepared according to the tradition of promotions at the UL.
Based on the information received by the promotion service from the members and based on presentations of doctoral dissertations and their works presented by the Dean and the mentor, the Rector performs a solemn promotion of new Doctors of Science and awards doctoral certificates.
Doctoral students and Deans of their Members where doctoral dissertations were defended, mentors, co-mentors and invited guests attend the solemn promotion.
The University keeps a special Book of Doctors of Science, which, after the promotion, in addition to registering the newly promoted Doctor of Science is signed by mentors, the Rector and Dean of the Member who led the procedure for obtaining the Doctorate of Science degree.
A record of promoted Doctorates of Science is kept at the Doctoral Study Office of the UL.
An attachment to the Doctorate Degree Diploma is presented by the Member’s authorised person.
The procedure for the withdrawal of a scientific title shall be kept in accordance with the provisions of the Statute of the UL.
Transitional and final provisions
Doctoral students who are enrolled in three-year doctoral study programmes shall complete studies in these study programmes with the validity of the doctoral dissertation topic after four years, but not later than the end of the academic year 2025/2026.
After the accreditation of the doctoral study programme for the acquisition of a Doctorate of Art, the provisions of these Rules shall be coordinated at the latest within six months.
These Rules and Regulations shall enter into force on the day following their adoption at the UL Senate and after the entry into force of the amendments to Articles 135 and 199 of the Statute of the UL (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 4/2017). Members and subordinates of doctoral study programmes shall apply the provisions of these Rules and Regulations within one year after their adoption.
Until the entry into force of the provisions of these Rules and Regulations for the purposes set out in these Rules and Regulations, the provisions of the currently adopted Rules and Regulations for doctoral studies at the UL and the Rules for doctoral study of the Members of doctoral study programmes shall apply.
The UL Senate shall evaluate the application of the provisions of these Rules after three years.
Prof. Dr. Ivan Svetlik