Ph.D. in Genetics


Program Description

132453_ScreenShot2020-03-07at10.10.54PM.pngphoto courtesy of Pavol Jozef Safarik University Faculty of Science

Ph.D. Program Description

Genetics is a scientific branch dealing with heredity and variation of organisms. Modern genetics is an essential and fundamental part of the majority of biological disciplines with a great impact on medicine, agriculture, food or pharmaceutical industries. Our Ph.D. program in Genetics is based on a systems-level understanding of biological processes and their regulation from cells and individuals to populations with an accent on evolutionary aspects. Doctoral projects in molecular genetics and functional genomics concentrate on how the genes are expressed and regulated. Projects in transmission genetics cover how genes are transmitted to the next generations. Evolutionary and population genetics projects focus on how genes behave and change within and between populations over time. As a part of the university research team BIOACTIV, we are developing bioactive substances for biomedical applications. The study program in Genetics offers the students a great deal of flexibility aimed not only at the successful completion of their Ph.D. study but reflects their scientific preferences for future career development as well.

Admission requirements

All applicants to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program at the Faculty of Science must meet the admissions requirements for entry. We welcome graduates who successfully completed a master´s degree in genetics or related field of study. Other professional experiences, language skills, letter(s) of recommendation are also considered. The applicants apply electronically. The printed and signed version of the application contains the following documents:

  • Complete online application form
  • Certified copy of a Masters Diploma (notary verified)
  • A Curriculum Vitae including a list of published and unpublished work
  • Documents regarding professional experience (if any)
  • An academic transcript of records
  • Ph.D. project proposal (up to 5 pages)
  • Motivation Letter
  • Application Fee

132427_banner_genetics2.pngphoto courtesy of Pavol Jozef Safarik University Faculty of Science

Admission Fees and Funding

Application forms need to be submitted either by post or online.  The application fee for doctoral study programs is 50 EUR (by post) or 30 EUR (online).

The doctoral study is financially supported by providing funding (stipend) for students. Each year the University allocates a certain number of Ph.D. positions for each doctoral study program. These positions are eligible for funding of ca. 10,000 EUR annually per student. More doctoral students than this number of funded positions can be admitted only as self-payers. Such a study is subject to a tuition fee of 5,000 EUR per academic year (2,500 EUR per semester) and no state funding is applicable. The study is taught in Slovak or English with no impact on tuition fees at the Faculty of Science.

We also welcome students within mobility exchange schemes such as Erasmus+, Ceepus, SAIA, Cotutelle, and others following the conditions of the schemes and the candidates should contact the International Relations and Scientific Research Office before sending an application.

How the study is organized?

The study is organized as full-time or part-time. A standard timeframe for completion of a doctoral degree is judged to be three or four years. In the case of part-time studies, the duration is five years. The doctoral candidates should fulfill the research, learning and teaching requirements. They are based on a credit system, on average 60 credits per academic year. Typically, 1/3 of credits are allocated to learning activities and 2/3 of credits are gained from research.

The choice of courses within the learning part of a study depends on the dissertation research topic. The doctoral candidates can choose the courses offered by P. J. Šafárik University in Košice but also by other universities in the city, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy and the Technical University of Košice. Both, the learning and research part of a study begin simultaneously but the learning part has to be completed by the end of the second academic year passing written and oral comprehensive exams based on the major (Genetics) and chosen minor areas.

A full-time doctoral candidate has to participate in teaching activities according to the national law (not more than four hours a week). The doctoral candidates are eligible for supervising a bachelor's thesis.

Dissertation research is conducted under the guidance of the selected supervisor. The supervisors are nominated from among Professors, Associate Professors, and senior scientists and are approved by the Scientific Board of the Faculty of Science, P. J. Šafárik University in Košice. The student is responsible for conducting the experiments within the research plan. The progress is assessed continuously and annually by the supervisor. Doctoral students are expected to actively participate in project meetings, seminars, conferences, and other research activities. The students are encouraged to prepare a research project and apply for a grant within the internal university grant system with special attention to interdisciplinary projects that bring together doctoral candidates from different faculties/departments and undergraduate students to build teamwork and share research experience. The students are also fortified to spend a part of their study at collaborating institutions abroad.

Completion requirements encompass sufficient depth of knowledge in Genetics, rigorous research training and acquiring research and career skills. Formal requirements for successfully completing the doctoral study are set as recommendations of the University Commission of Doctoral Studies in Genetics. A doctoral candidate has to publish at least two scientific outputs in peer-reviewed periodicals.

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Ph.D. graduate profile

The graduates of Ph.D. study in Genetics are knowledgeable and skilled in a wide spectrum of experimental methods especially in Molecular genetics, Molecular Cytology, and Microbiology in light of the “omics” levels. They are experienced in work with a variety of models and non-model experimental systems and they can apply the acquired knowledge in a great number of professions. An essential part of their Ph.D. study is attaining the bioinformatics skills for data mining and data processing available form DNA/RNA sequencing technologies.

The graduates are capable of both, creative individual and teamwork, critical judgment, evaluation and interpretation of the acquired results in view of the current state of the art.

Career prospects

Doctoral degrees in Genetics allow for a great number of career choices in research and education, medicine, pharmaceutical and food industries, agriculture and forestry and other spheres of public life. The doctoral degree represents an essential academic preparation of the graduates for future research and teaching roles at university. The graduates are able to become principal investigators in various research labs of public institutions and private companies in a variety of fields. They are also able to occupy managerial positions in the relevant fields. Doctoral study in Genetics provides the graduates flexible possibilities to develop their future career paths as professors, researches in medical science, pharmacology, food, and agricultural sciences, computer science focused on bioinformatics, and in management of public and private spheres.

132431_banner_genetics4.pngphoto courtesy of Pavol Jozef Safarik University Faculty of Science

Last updated Jan 2021

About the School

Founded in 1963, the Faculty of Science, has educated over 6 000 graduates of both, joint and single degree study. Currently, over 350 Bachelor’s, Masters’s, and Doctoral students graduate each year i ... Read More

Founded in 1963, the Faculty of Science, has educated over 6 000 graduates of both, joint and single degree study. Currently, over 350 Bachelor’s, Masters’s, and Doctoral students graduate each year in disciplines that impact lives today and will shape our future. Read less