The Ph.D. Program provides excellent research training in both economic theory and applied economics. A typical graduate of the program is a highly qualified, analytically thinking and quantitatively capable economist, with a strong background in economic modelling.
Introduction to Ph.D. Program in Economics at IES
The Ph.D. Program provides excellent research training in both economic theory and applied economics. A typical graduate of the program is a highly qualified, analytically thinking and quantitatively capable economist, with a strong background in economic modelling. IES is a leading institution providing full range of university degrees (B.A., M.A., Ph.D.), currently ranking #1 in the Czech Republic in the quality of education among departments of economics. IES was also ranked as the top economics department for students in the last two years (Hospodářské noviny, a Czech business daily, 2012 and 2013). The Institute is a dynamic institution comprising 300 undergraduate and 200 graduate students, located in the centre of Prague.
IES warmly welcomes foreigners and has hosted more than 500 international students from more than 30 countries since 2000. Some of the Ph.D. candidates and about 50% of Master students come from abroad, e.g. USA, EU or Post-Soviet countries. IES co-operates with more than 40 universities in Europe, United States, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. Partner universities include Louvain, Paris Sorbonne, Humboldt University of Berlin, the University of Bologna, and the University of Bath. Some of our current Ph.D. students come from the top foreign universities including the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge.
Moreover, students have possibilities for a variety of research visits to the best universities in the world including Harvard U., Cornell U., Princeton U., MIT, Stanford U., U. of Auckland, U. of Cape Town, CEFIR/NES and many more. The research visit will be supported through the ECOCEP (www.ecocep.cuni.cz) and GEMCLIME (www.gemclime.cuni.cz) projects and All PhD students (including 2016/17 1st year’s students) are eligible for receiving financial support for at least 1 month long research visit.
Our Ph.D. program will prepare you for a professional career by obtaining research and analytical skills in economics and finance. You can benefit from one of the scholarships offered, visit one of our partner universities, and experience picturesque Prague with its thriving student life.
Some Ph.D. graduates continue their academic careers at both foreign and Czech universities, and a few work in international organizations. A number of Ph.D. graduates accept challenging positions in leading financial and consulting companies.
The essence of the program is economic research of your interest. Research papers accepted for publication during your Ph.D. studies are the core requirement. The program further includes numerous opportunities for research seminars, teaching and research assistantships. The Program usually takes four years to complete. Students are expected to work closely with their academic supervisors as well as other researchers.
The faculty includes members of the European and American Economic Associations as well as former and current government officials. Researchers at IES very often cooperate with leading professionals including central bankers, government officials, bankers and analysts.
Option with and without a tuition fee
The program has two options:
You do not pay any tuition fee (and are paid Ph.D. stipend, see below) for Czech-speaking students.
You pay the tuition fee (the tuition fee is € 250 per semester, but you can apply for a tuition waiver, also you are paid Ph.D. stipend, see below) for students, who cannot speak Czech.
The majority of Ph.D. candidates accepted do receive Ph.D. stipends, regardless of which program they are in. The Ph.D. stipend is a monthly stipend around 7 thousand CZK; its size depends on performance and a number of years in program during the 4-year stipend-supported period.
There are many research grants, research and teaching assistantships, and other opportunities available to all Ph.D. students, who are also encouraged to apply for both foreign and Czech research funding. Furthermore, at IES research is evaluated and monetarily awarded in a competitive way for both faculty and students. Therefore Ph.D. candidates are incentivised to do research of high quality.
The core study requirement is to have 2 papers accepted for publication in SCOPUS journals. Other study requirements include active participation at research seminars, and a few others activities detailed below. The two options do not differ in their study requirements. The study requirements can be summed up as follows:
Attendance of dissertation defences
Research components are considered crucial parts of both Options of the Program.
Teaching has been historically an important component of the Ph.D. program and students are encouraged to participate on teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses (students usually have at least one teaching assistantship per semester).
There are many courses you can take if you like: ranging from economic theory, microeconomics and macroeconomics to finance and econometrics. These are mostly master-level courses, but you as a Ph.D. student will be encouraged to follow your interests.
These are the main entry requirements to be accepted:
Masters degree in economics or other, preferably quantitative, discipline
Interest in economic research
Sufficient skills in mathematics and English
The application form as well as required attachments are the same for both tuition options. The deadline for submitting the application is 30. 4. 2016.
Please, send the printed versions of the online application with required attachments to:
Ph.D. Study Department, Charles University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Smetanovo nabrezi 6, 110 01 Praha 1, Czech Republic.
The application has to be submitted together with the following documents:
Curriculum Vitae (structured, and with a list of academic publications and activities).
Transcript of undergraduate and graduate education (a list of courses taken and grades).
Dissertation research project in English including dissertation thesis. (As an inspiration, look at the individual study plans of our current PhD students published on their web pages, a good example is here).
Certificates of graduate education.
A reliable piece of evidence that the application fee was paid.
Any evidence of proficiency in English for non-native speakers (if available).
Any additional documents illustrating your professional experience (if available).
One recommendation letter sent via email by the prospective Ph.D. supervisor to the chairman of graduate studies on the Institute of Economic Studies Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University in Prague, Prof. Jan Ámos Víšek (firstname.lastname@example.org), and in a copy to the administrator of the application process, Jan Soudek (email@example.com). The letter should also confirm the willingness of the preferably IES-associated academic economist to be the applicant’s supervisor in the case of a successful application.
Admission process for Czech program without tuition fee
You also are required to pay a small application fee. The Faculty of Social Sciences charges 500 CZK for the costs of entrance exams and you need to include the confirmation of this with your application. Applicants whose application form does not contain the documentation of a registration fee payment will not receive an invitation to participate in entrance exams. The fee is non-refundable, even if the applicant decides afterwards not to attend entrance exams. The recipient is Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Smetanovo nabrezi 6, Praha 1. The fee should be sent to an official bank account with Komercni banka, the bank account number is 85033011/0100, the IBAN code is CZ5801000000000085033011, and the SWIFT code of the bank is KOMBCZPP.
The entrance exams will be held on 18th June 2016. Exams will start at 9:00 in the Institute of Economic Studies, Opletalova 26, Prague 1 and will last for the whole day. The entrance exams consist of two parts completed in one day:
The written part of the entrance exams consists of two separate tests. The applicant selects these two tests out of four available options ( Microeconomics,  Macroeconomics,  Econometrics and  Finance). Applicants have 120 minutes to complete these two tests. The recommended literature for entrance exams includes those recommended in the respective master-level courses taught at the IES: Microeconomics (http://ies.fsv.cuni.cz/cs/syllab/JEM003), Macoeconomics (http://ies.fsv.cuni.cz/cs/syllab/JEM004), Econometrics (http://ies.fsv.cuni.cz/cs/syllab/JEM005), Finance (http://ies.fsv.cuni.cz/cs/syllab/JEM034, http://ies.fsv.cuni.cz/cs/syllab/JEM037, http://ies.fsv.cuni.cz/cs/syllab/JEM032).
The interview with an examination committee is intended to evaluate applicants’ research abilities, including an assessment of the proposed dissertation research project submitted by the applicant, and a review of the applicant's previous research. The candidate's motivation and overall maturity is considered as well.
The interview serves also as an oral exam of the English language, testing the applicant's understanding of economic English. A very good knowledge of English is required for admission. The written tests account for a part of the overall result; the remaining points are allocated on the basis of the applicant's research abilities and previous research activity.
During the application interview each applicant will be asked about whom she would like to have as an adviser for the doctoral studies. Therefore it is very much recommended that applicants try to arrange a potential adviser beforehand and to obtain an informal agreement about their willingness to serve as an advisor. It is also a very good idea to engage with the potential advisor while writing up the research proposal. The advisors should normally be from IES. Please see the lists of current faculty and external lecturers for inspiration.
Admission process for English program with a tuition fee
There is no entrance exam as a part of the admission process. The admission committee will evaluate your research proposal and decide on the basis of obtained documents and can ask for supplying more of them if necessary. The committee will meet in mid May.