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10/10/2019

Doctoral thesis defense

Behind the diploma, Ph.D., scientific publications. A pre-defense has already taken place and an abstract of a doctoral dissertation has been sent out. The most crucial moment lies ahead – the defense of a doctoral dissertation, the day that the researcher strove for throughout his scientific career. Technically, the scheme of this process is largely similar to the methodology for protecting other dissertations. But since the title “Doctor of Sciences” is the pinnacle of a scientist’s professional qualifications, the requirements for the applicant and the defense procedure itself will be the most stringent. For example, the number of publications for admission to the defense of a doctoral dissertation should average 12-13 articles in journals from the list of the Higher Attestation Commission. Compared to 3-4 articles necessary for the candidate, this figure looks much more serious. However, this is only one of many difficulties that stand in the way of the future doctor of science.

Defense of a doctoral dissertation: scheme and nuances of the process

The responsible procedure takes place in several stages at a meeting of a dissertation council specially convened and approved by the Higher Attestation Commission:

  1. the dissenter makes a pre-prepared report, about 15 to 20 minutes are allotted for speech, in which you need to put as much important information about the work as possible;
  2. official opponents give feedback on the work (at least three, necessarily the opinion of the opposing organization);
  3. discussion time, when the audience asks the speaker their questions, usually the duration of this stage is about 20 minutes;
  4. secret ballot, which results in a decision on the award or refusal to award a degree to the applicant.

The defense will not begin until the scientific secretary is convinced of the adequacy of the quantitative and qualitative composition of the students. The rules apply here: from the list of declared members of the dissertation council there must be at least two-thirds in number, and five of them should be doctors of sciences.

Experienced tips: how to defend a doctoral dissertation?

Leaving the formalities behind, we note that the greatest complexity of the defense process is the answers to questions. There can be no precise recommendations here, however, one must act without haste and always observe the ethics of scientific communication and, in particular, thank each time for the question.

Questions will be asked on reviews, for the work of which I also need a special thanks in the format of “Thank you for a detailed analysis of my dissertation.” It’s somewhat easier with them, because usually in the process pre-defense criticism and comments of opponents have already been discussed.

It is very likely that in defense of the doctoral dissertation much attention will be paid to the problems of the importance of implementing practical recommendations. The very scale of the work is such that the scientist in the study is looking for ways to solve the national economic problem. Therefore, the proposals put forward must be “from all sides” supported by evidence.