The admission and training of the PhD students at MU-Pleven is fulfilled in compliance with the Law for Higher Education, the Law for Academic Degrees and Ranks, the Regulations for Application from the Law for Academic Degrees and Ranks and the Ordinance for the State Requirements for Admission and Training of PhD Students under the guidance of the Vice-Rector of Science and Research of MU-Pleven.
The course of instruction of PhD students at Medical University-Pleven is organized and coordinated by the Vice-Rector of Science and Research and is performed at the respective departments and clinical centers of the University Hospital which have signed contracts with MU-Pleven. The original documents from the whole course of PhD studies at kept at the Office for work with PhD students at the Center of Scientific and Research Activity, where a personal file of every enrolled PhD student is opened. In these files all the materials and documents concerning the admission, the current status, the individual scientific plan and its annual discussions, the exams taken, the work of the PhD student and the preparation of his thesis are stored. Annually free courses are organized at the University, full-time form of training, with the purpose to initiate the PhD students into the basic methodological approaches in the research activity and to improve their language proficiency.
MU-Pleven provides the necessary equipment for the PhD students and resources for elaborating their theses.
The full-time PhD students have the right to be enrolled in a paid course of specialization in the field in which they are doing their PhD studies without sitting for any exams for specialization admission.
Excerpt from the Rules and Regulations for training of PhD Students at MU-Pleven
Admission of PhD Students
Art.6 The organization and fulfillment of admission exams and the control on the procedure for election of full-time and part-time PhD students, trained by state order, is conducted in compliance with the Ordinance for the State Requirements for Admission and Training of PhD Students and under the guidance of the Vice-Rector of Science and Research.
Art.7 The applicants, willing to apply for the announced free positions for admission of full-time and part-time PhD students, should submit the following documents:
Art.8 (1) The applicants who suit the above-stated requirements are allowed to sit for admission exams with an official Rector’s Order issued on the basis of the report of the admission commission appointed for the purpose;
(2) The programs for admission examinations are prepared by the respective scientific unit and are presented to the applicants not later than 60 days before the exam date;
(3) The applicants who have been approved for the admission exams should be informed not later than 20 days after the expiry of the term for documents submission. Those applicants who have not been approved should be informed within the same period of time.
(4) Those applicants who have not been approved to sit for the exams can submit an official objection to the Rector within 7-days term from the date on which they have been informed.
Art.9 (1) Applicants for PhD studies sit for admission exams in their specialty of interest and in a foreign language as well (English, French or German). Only those applicants who have passed the specialty examination are allowed to sit for the exam in a foreign language afterwards;
(2) The admission exams both in the relevant specialty and in a foreign language are conducted by special commissions, appointed for the purpose with an official Rector’s order;
(3) The admission exam in the preferred specialty is in both oral and written form having separate grades. Only those applicants who have obtained a grade not less than 4.50 at the written exam are allowed to sit for the oral one. For successfully passed are considered those applicants who have obtained an average grade not less than 5.00 from both the written and the oral exam.
Art.10 The applicants who have successfully passed the above-mentioned admission exams are enrolled according to their grades from the specialty exams.
Art.11 (1) In one-week term after the admission procedure is over, the exam protocols and the other documents of the successful applicants as described in Art. 7 are sent to the department which will be in charge of the training of the prospective PhD student.
(2) The head of the department in 7-day term should report at the Faculty Council the results from the competition and should offer for election the applicant who has ranked in first position. If the announced positions for PhD students are more than one, the proposal made by the head of department is according to the competition classification of the applicants.
(3) If there is more than one successful applicant with equal scores from the specialty exam competing for one place, the Faculty Council takes its final decision upon their grade from the language exam, the average grade from the Diploma of higher education, and the applicants’ academic interests and accomplishments in the respective scientific field.
Art.12 The Faculty Council should elect the approved PhD applicants and should appoint the period of their PhD studies and the scientific advisers. The election can take place when there is a quorum; it is done with an open vote and a majority.
Art.13 (1) On the basis of the Faculty Council’s decision for election of a PhD student, the Rector issues an Order for enrollment in a PhD course of studies. The order should include the following points:
(2) If it is necessary because of the specific preparation and the theme of the thesis, two scientific advisers can be appointed by resolution of the Faculty Council.
(3) The PhD course of training has either three- or four-year duration for full-time and part-time form of studies respectively.
Art.14 Applicants for full-time form of PhD studies working on a labour contract at MU-Pleven or the University Hospital should sign a declaration which obliges them to use an unpaid leave of absence (art.160 of the Labour Code) for the term of PhD studies in case they are admitted for the announced position.
Art.15 (1) Bulgarian citizens applying for full- and part-time self-paid forms of studies are admitted according to the provisions in Art.8, 9 and 10.
(2) Only the applicants having an average grade not less than Very good 4.50 from the admission PhD exams have the right to be enrolled.
(3) After the procedures in Art.11, 12 and 13 are over the PhD students should sign a contract specifying the terms and conditions of training.
Art.16 (1) The PhD students admitted upon state order pay an annual tuition fee for their studies according to Art.95 of the Law for Higher Education. The fees are determined at the beginning of every academic year with a Ministry Council Resolution which specifies their amounts per year.
(2) The tuition fees of self-paid PhD students are appointed with resolution of the Faculty Council.
(3) The PhD students should pay their tuition fees in two equal installments within one academic year.
(4) The PhD students who are admitted upon state order are freed from paying tuition fee during the last two years of their PhD studies.
(5) The full-time PhD students do not have the right to receive scholarship after the appointed term of studies expires;
Art.17 The admission for self-preparatory PhD studies is fulfilled without taking admission exams on the basis of the Ordinance for the state requirements for admission and training of PhD students in case they work by the terms of a permanent labour agreement at MU-Pleven and University Hospital-Pleven.
Art.18 The applicants according to Art.17 should submit an application form to the Rector and the following documents:
Art.19 (1) Within a period of 14 days after the submission of the application documents the Rector should make a statement if the applicants can be allowed to sit for the admission exams;
(2) The head of department should bring the approved for discussion at a meeting of the Department Council which should take a decision within a period of one month.
(3) If the decision taken by the respective Department Council is positive, the head of the department presents a report at the Faculty Council with a proposal to enroll the applicant with an enclosed protocol of the department’s meeting at which the decision was taken. The Faculty Council makes an announcement within a period of three months.
Art.20 (1) The Rector issues an official order for enrollment of PhD students on the basis of the decision of the Faculty Council. It should include the following information:
(2) The period of self-preparatory PhD studies has a duration of not more than three years.
Regulations and procedure for admission of foreign citizens as PhD students
Art.21 (1) The foreign citizens are admitted for a PhD training course without taking any admission exams in the following cases:
(2) The Ministry of Education and Science in Bulgaria takes a decision about the enrollment of the applicants in the above-mentioned cases in Paragraph1, sections 1 and 2 in accordance with the University governing body’s opinion whether an appropriate scientific adviser can be provided.
Art.22 The applicants for PhD studies according to Art.21, paragraph 1, section 3, should submit an Application form to the Rector including brief personal data and naming the scientific field in which they would like to elaborate their thesis. The following documents should be enclosed to the application form:
Art.23 The above-mentioned documents are examined at a meeting of the respective Department Council, after which the head of department writes a report with a well-grounded suggestion on the bases of which the Faculty Council takes a decision, and then the Rector issues an official order for enrollment in a self-paid PhD studies.
Art.24 The admitted self-paid PhD students, who are foreign citizens, should pay an annual tuition fee appointed with Resolution of the Ministry Council.
Art.25 The admission of PhD students, who are citizens of member-states of the European Union, is performed under the terms of Art.68, paragraph 6 of the Law for Higher Education specified for Bulgarian citizens.
Art.26 (1) The course of training for the foreign PhD students is conducted in accordance with that provided for Bulgarian citizens in the respective form and scientific specialty of PhD instruction.
(2) A course for teaching Bulgarian language to PhD students, who are foreign citizens, can be conducted at MU-Pleven if is necessary.
Art.27 (1) The defense of the theses is performed in public and in the official language of the Republic of Bulgaria – namely Bulgarian language.
(2) Foreign citizens, who are enrolled for PhD studies and have elaborated their thesis, can defend it on condition that:
1. They present an official translation of their elaboration;
2. An interpreter from the respective foreign into Bulgarian language is provided for the time of public defense;
3. The reviewers of the thesis should be fluent in the foreign language in which the elaboration is written;
4. It should be proclaimed in the announcement for the public defense that it will be delivered in Bulgarian language.
Training of PhD Students
Art.28 The training course leading to the acquisition of the academic degree “Doctor of” should be performed in the respective scientific specialty.
Art.29 (1) The training course of PhD students is fulfilled according to an individual syllabus, the contents of which is in compliance with the state requirements.
(2) The following main points should be determined in the individual syllabus for PhD studies:
1. The topic of the thesis;
2. The examination dates and the periods for taking them;
3. The attendance of a certain cycle of lectures and practical classes, the participation of specialized courses, of courses in methodology in the relevant scientific and research activity, of seminars, conferences and other public scientific performances;
4. The stages and periods of the elaboration of the thesis.
(3) The individual syllabus is worked out by the PhD student and his scientific adviser. It is discussed and approved by the Department Council not later than three months after the enrollment date of the PhD student. After that, the syllabus is approved by the Faculty Council and is attested by affixing the exact date of taking the decision and the official seal of the University.
(4) The fulfillment of the individual syllabus of the PhD student is discussed annually at the department which conducts the course of training. The relevant scientific unit takes a decision and makes an offer at the Faculty Council regarding the total mark of the PhD student’s work which can be: very good, good, satisfactory or unsatisfactory.
(5) If the mark is very good or good then the individual PhD syllabus is considered to be fulfilled completely, meaning that the activities performed exceed or correspond to the plan for the syllabus’s period. The mark is satisfactory when a delay of the thesis elaboration has been registered but nevertheless it is not hindered to keep the deadline.
(6) Giving an unsatisfactory mark of the PhD student’s work is the grounds to apply the decrees of Art.33 from the present Regulations.
(7) The exams, included in the individual syllabus, should reflect the direction and the quality of the PhD student’s preparation and training. The PhD student should take an exam in the specific scientific specialty and in any other specialized fields relevant to the contents of the thesis in elaboration.
(8) The PhD student is considered to have passed the exam successfully when he has obtained a mark not less than very good (4.50).
(9) For a second attempt at the exam within the individual syllabus the PhD student should pay a fee at the amount of 30% of the minimum salary for the country.
Art.30 (1) The scientific adviser is obliged to assist the PhD student in his specialized preparation and work on the thesis through tutorials, recommendations and evaluations.
(2) The scientific adviser is the one who is responsible for the quality of preparation, the fulfillment of the syllabus and the work leading to the realization of the thesis in front of the scientific unit, the scientific organization, the Faculty Council, the Academic Council and the Rector.
(3) The scientific adviser is entitled to receive payment for the scientific guidance of a PhD student. It is done only once at the end of the calendar year and a total number of 40 teaching hours for a PhD student are accepted. The scientific adviser of a foreign PhD student, admitted according to Art.95, paragraph 5 of the Law for Higher Education is entitled to receive payment for 60 teaching hours. The accepted teaching hours for scientific guidance of a PhD student are not included in the annual teaching load of the scientific adviser.
(4) For scientific guidance of a PhD student according to Art.17 a teaching load of another 20 academic hours are accepted for an academic year.
(5) A lecturer with an academic rank has the right to be a scientific adviser of not more than three PhD students.
(6) In cases of extended absence of the scientific adviser because of illness, business trips abroad and other objective reasons, the Faculty Council has the right to appoint another lecturer with academic rank for a scientific adviser in his place.
(7) The Head of department should support the activities of the scientific adviser and the work of the PhD student. He is to be held responsible at the scientific unit, the scientific organization, the Faculty Council, the Academic Council and the Rector for the quality of preparation and the results of the PhD students who are trained at his department.
Art.31 The PhD student who has taken successfully and in time his exams according to the individual syllabus and has finished the work on his thesis, submits an application form to the head of department in order to perform an internal defense (approbation). A copy of the thesis is enclosed to the application form. The minimal term from the submission of the application to the discussion of the thesis is a period of two weeks.
Art.32 (1) The PhD student, who has successfully completed the course of training and has fulfilled the applicant’s minimum, is excluded from the scientific organization with the right to defend his thesis.
(2) The PhD student is also excluded in cases of leaving the scientific organization or moving into another scientific organization according to Art.74, paragraph 1 from the Law for Higher Education.
Art.33 A PhD student is expelled from the scientific organization for a certain period of time in case he does not perform his duties regularly specified in the syllabus or the University’s regulations according to Art.74, paragraph 2 from the Law for Higher Education. The sanction is imposed with an official Rector’s Order based on reasoned proposal of the scientific adviser and a report submitted by the head of department.
Art.34 In case of leaving by personal request or when being expelled the full-time PhD students are obliged to pay back to the University the scholarships received.
Art.35 The expenses made in connection with the organization of the thesis defenses of those PhD students, who have fulfilled their duties according to Art.31 within a term of one year of their exclusion from PhD studies, are covered by the University.