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Lithuania
Resolution Amending Resolution No 897 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 11 July 2001 Approving Doctoral Training Bylaws

RESOLUTION No 561

AMENDING RESOLUTION No 897 OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA OF 11 JULY 2001 APPROVING DOCTORAL TRAINING Bylaws 

12 May 2010

Vilnius

The Government of the Republic of Lithuania has resolved:

1. To amend Resolution No 897 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 11 July 2001 Approving Doctoral Training Bylaws (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 63-2281, 2001; No 60-2469, 2002; No 17-739, 2003; No 82-3427, 2009) as follows:

“GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

RESOLUTION

APPROVING BYLAWS FOR RESEARCH DOCTORAL TRAINING

In pursuance with Article 48(5) of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Higher Education and Research (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 54-2140, 2009), the Government of the Republic of Lithuania has resolved:

1. To approve the Bylaws for Research Doctoral Training (as appended).

2. To establish the following:

2.1. research and higher education institutions that were authorised by 1 June 2010 to provide doctoral training, may conduct doctoral students’ admission until 31 July 2011 in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the Bylaws for Research Doctoral Training approved by this Resolution, provided:

2.1.1. they have set up and approved the Doctoral Committee according to the provisions of paragraph 12 of the Bylaws for Research Doctoral Training approved by this Resolution;

2.1.2. they have drawn up and approved Doctoral Training Regulations according to the provisions of paragraph 11 of the Bylaws for Research Doctoral Training approved by this Resolution;

2.2. authorised by 1 June 2010 to provide doctoral training, research and higher education institutions that wish to conduct doctoral students’ admission from 1 August 2011, shall submit documents specified in paragraph 5 of the Bylaws for Research Doctoral Training approved by this Resolution to the Ministry of Education and Science by 1 February 2011 according to the procedure laid down in the Doctoral Training Authorization Rules;

2.3. following the criteria specified in paragraph 6 of the Bylaws for Research Doctoral Training, the Research Council of Lithuania, by 1 June 2011, shall evaluate documents specified in paragraph 2.2 of this Resolution, that have been submitted by research and higher education institutions.

3. To assign to the Ministry of Education and Science the task of approving the Doctoral Training Authorization Rules by 1 June 2010”.

2. To establish the following:

2.1. studies of doctoral students admitted by 1 June 2010 shall be conducted, thesis defended, doctoral degrees awarded and diplomas issued subject to the procedure prescribed by the Doctoral Training Bylaws effective until 31 May 2010, approved by Resolution No 897 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 11 July 2001 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 63-2281, 2001; No 60-2469, 2002), but not beyond 31 December 2015;

2.2. individuals having applied for a doctoral degree off-campus by 1 June 2010 shall defend their thesis, acquire doctoral degrees and diplomas according to the procedure prescribed by the Doctoral Training Bylaws effective until 31 May 2010, but not beyond 31 December 2015.

3. This Resolution shall come into effect on 1 June 2010.

Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius

Minister of Education and Science Gintaras Steponavičius


Approved

by Resolution No 561 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, 12 May 2010

 

 

BYLAWS FOR RESEARCH DOCTORAL TRAINING

 

I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

1. The Bylaws shall govern the procedure for studies, research, thesis preparation and defence as well as an award of doctoral degrees relating to the research doctoral training, which is the third cycle of studies (hereinafter referred to as the doctoral training).

2. The purpose of the doctoral training: training of scientists capable of carrying out independent research and experimental (social, cultural) development activity, as well as addressing scientific challenges. The doctoral training has to ensure that, upon its completion and acquisition of a doctoral degree, the doctoral student shall have sufficient competences: the latest knowledge of advanced research, areas of research and their interaction; specific skills and techniques to address issues related with research and other areas, and to continue challenging the boundaries of current knowledge and professional practice; and the ability to work independently and use current research and professional knowledge for generation of new ideas or processes, and apply them in the training process or other activities.

3. A doctoral degree may be awarded to an individual having successfully completed doctoral training on full-time (up to 4 years) or part-time (up to 6 years) basis, and having written and defended a thesis; or an individual having written a thesis off-campus. The scope of doctoral studies shall encompass the total of at least 20 credits, and as of 1 September 2011 – at least 30 credits.

4. For the purposes of these Bylaws, the following definitions shall apply:

Doctoral student: a third cycle student and researcher.

Doctoral plan: an individual doctoral plan outlining stages and timeframe for doctoral studies, research and thesis preparation.

Supervisor: a scientist conducting research in the field corresponding to that of the thesis and offering guidance to a doctoral student in his training and research.

Doctoral school: a form of cooperation for the provision of doctoral training between an individual university and other Lithuanian and/or foreign universities and/or research institutes, having been authorised together to provide doctoral training on the basis of an inter-institutional agreement; or a form for the provision of doctoral training by a university individually authorised to provide doctoral training.

Doctoral Training Regulations: description of the procedure for the provision of doctoral training as drawn up and approved by an individual university or a university together with other Lithuanian and/or foreign universities and/or research institutes.

Defence Board: set up by the Doctoral Committee, a group of scientists which examines a thesis submitted for defence, assesses its quality and conformity with the requirements for the thesis, appraises doctoral student‘s research competence, and subsequently takes a decision regarding awarding of a doctoral degree.

II. DOCTORAL TRAINING AUTHORIZATION

 

5. An individual university or a university together with other Lithuanian and/or foreign universities and/or research institutes conducting high-level research are authorized to provide doctoral training in a given field by the Ministry of Education and Science in pursuance with the Doctoral Training Authorization Rules as approved by the Ministry itself. According to these rules, an individual university or a university together with other Lithuanian and/or foreign universities and/or research institutes pursuing doctoral training authorization, shall submit to the Ministry of Education and Science a doctoral training project, a list of Doctoral Committee candidates, a list of other scientists to be involved in doctoral training, and who work at the institution(s) that pursue doctoral training authorization, as well as draft Doctoral Training Regulations.

6. Having received the documents specified in the Doctoral Training Authorization Rules, submitted by an individual university or a university together with other Lithuanian and/or foreign universities and/or research institutes pursuing doctoral training authorization, the Ministry of Education and Science shall request the Research Council of Lithuania or a foreign expert body to examine these documents. The evaluation criteria shall include the following: national and international relevance of the doctoral training, the research level of Doctoral Committee members in an appropriate field (branch) or fields (branches); the number of scientists conducting high level research to be involved in the provision of doctoral training; available research infrastructure, quality of the Doctoral Training Regulations, effectiveness and efficiency of previously provided doctoral trainings (ratio between doctoral students and doctoral degree holders, etc.). The level of research conducted by institutions pursuing doctoral training authorization or that of the candidates to the Doctoral Committee (committees), named by the institutions concerned shall be assessed on the basis of the Evaluation Guidelines for Scientific Works of Lithuanian Institutions of Research and Higher Education as approved by the Minister of Education and Science. An evaluating conclusion shall be worked out by the Research Council of Lithuania or a foreign expert body within three months, and subsequently presented to the applicant(s). An institution(s) applying for doctoral training authorization shall take into account recommendations (if any) offered by an expert body responsible for the evaluation of applications, and shall resubmit the revised composition of the Doctoral Committee and amended Doctoral Training Regulations to the Research Council of Lithuania. The Research Council of Lithuania, in its turn, shall make a recommendation to the Ministry of Education and Science.

7. Following the examination of the recommendation, the Minister of Education and Science, shall make a decision regarding authorization. The authorized institution(s) shall publish the list of Doctoral Committee members and the Doctoral Training Regulations on the website of the institution(s). An institution which, following the examination of its application, has failed to obtain doctoral training authorization may resubmit a revised application not earlier than after a year. Authorization-related disputes shall be resolved in accordance with the procedure specified in the Doctoral Training Authorization Rules approved by the Ministry of Education and Science.

8. At least every three years, the Research Council of Lithuania shall carry out quality and efficiency assessment of the doctoral training following the procedure prescribed by the Research Council of Lithuania, and it shall submit subsequent recommendations to the Ministry of Education and Science. The assessment points shall include the consistency with the Bylaws for Research Doctoral Training, and the Doctoral Training Regulations, doctoral student/doctoral degree holder ratio, further career of the latter and other indicators.

9. Any modifications as regards the composition of the Doctoral Committee or the provisions of the Doctoral Training Regulations shall be agreed with the Research Council of Lithuania. If the Doctoral Committee or the Doctoral Training Regulations are found inconsistent with the requirements of these Bylaws; or if the quality and efficiency assessment of the doctoral training is negative, the Research Council of Lithuania shall make recommendations to the Ministry of Education and Science regarding the suspension of the doctoral training authorization. Following the examination of the submitted recommendation, the Ministry of Education and Science, may decide to suspend the doctoral training authorization that was previously granted to the institution. In case the Ministry of Education and Science decides to suspend the doctoral training authorization, the institution concerned shall discontinue doctoral admissions.

III. PROVISION OF DOCTORAL TRAINING

10. The doctoral training shall be provided in line with the Doctoral Training Regulations. In case several institutions are authorized to provide doctoral training together, joint Doctoral Training Regulations shall be drawn up as agreed by the institutions concerned.

11. The Doctoral Training Regulations shall include:

11.1. procedure for admission for doctoral training;

11.2. procedure for drawing up a doctoral plan, and its approval;

11.3. doctoral training-related functions of structural units of an institution (departments, laboratories, divisions, faculties or other specifically established units);

11.4. functions and rules of procedure of the Doctoral Committee, the supervisor and the Defence Board, as well as the procedure for the approval and implementation of the decisions of the Doctoral Committee;

11.5. procedure for holding competitions regarding thesis topics, supervisors and applicants;

11.6. requirements for members of the Doctoral Committee, Defence Board and supervisors;

11.7. procedure for supervising a doctoral student and conducting research;

11.8. procedure for the assessment and attestation of doctoral student‘s knowledge, competencies and skills;

11.9. procedure for examining and defending a doctoral thesis, and issuing a doctoral diploma;

11.10. procedure for the consideration of an application for the defence of an off-campus thesis;

11.11. templates for the first and the second pages of the thesis (the synopsis, in case of a monograph presented as a thesis);

11.12. procedure for funding of doctoral training;

11.13. procedure for dealing with appeals and complaints regarding a non-awarded doctoral degree, rejection of an application for thesis defence by an off-campus candidate or a doctoral student, or any other doctoral training-related issues at the institution concerned;

11.14. procedure for storing doctoral training-related documents.

12. The Doctoral Committee shall consist of at least 9 scientists conducting high-level research and employed by an institution(s) authorized to provide doctoral training. A scientist may not be a member to more than two doctoral committees.

13. In case of the doctoral training authorization being granted to a university together with other Lithuanian and/or foreign universities and/or research institutes, the Doctoral Committee shall include representatives from all the authorized institutions.

14. Authorized to provide doctoral training, an individual university or a university together with other Lithuanian and/or foreign universities and/or research institutes, may have an operating doctoral school(s).

15. Doctoral studies and research shall be coordinated by the Doctoral Committee. The Doctoral Committee shall announce the competition for thesis themes, supervisors and doctoral applicants.

16. The supervisor shall meet the requirements specified in the Doctoral Training Regulations and shall not oversee more than five doctoral students at a time.

17. Doctoral training admission shall be arranged through open competition provided for in the Doctoral Training Regulations. Any individual holding a master’s degree or equivalent higher education qualification shall be eligible for the competition.

18. According to the Doctoral Training Regulations, the doctoral student shall be subject to annual attestation. Failure to attest shall lead to doctoral student’s dismissal.


IV. DOCTORAL THESIS AND ITS DEFENCE

19. The doctoral thesis shall consist of the following: the text of the thesis, synopsis and copies of scientific publications on the topic of the thesis by an individual submitting his/her thesis for defence (hereinafter referred to as the thesis presenter).

20. A scientific monograph written independently without co-authors may also be presented as a thesis for defence. A synopsis shall be enclosed. Other scientific publications may be submitted too in order to better reveal the topic of the thesis.

21. The thesis shall define the goal, formulate addressable issues, point out a new scientific approach employed, make an overview of global achievements on the topic in question, specify applicable research methods, discuss the results of the research, justify their credibility and their relation with other researchers’ data, formulate conclusions and specify any other important aspects as might seem relevant to the thesis presenter. A list of scientific conferences having made public the results of the research; and the curriculum vitae, describing personal and professional experience shall be submitted along with the thesis.

22. The text of the thesis shall be written in the Lithuanian language, or in any other language if approved by the Doctoral Committee. The synopsis of the thesis or a scientific monograph presented as a thesis shall be written in a language other than that of the thesis or the monograph. If the thesis or the monograph is written in a language other than Lithuanian, the synopsis must be written in the Lithuanian language. The thesis must be written in a linguistically correct language.

23. Specific requirements for the thesis shall be set forth in the Doctoral Training Regulations.

24. The doctoral student may submit a thesis, if he/she:

24.1. has passed all the examinations specified in the doctoral plan;

24.2. has published research results in at least two articles, printed in (or accepted for printing) peer-reviewed scientific journals or a scientific monograph;

24.3. has presented research results in international scientific events;

24.4. has met other requirements set forth in the Doctoral Training Regulations.

25. Having received a doctoral student‘s application for the defence of the thesis, the Doctoral Committee shall check according to the procedure prescribed by the Doctoral Training Regulations if the thesis is in conformity with the requirements for the thesis as laid down in this chapter. In case the thesis is in conformity with all the set requirements, the Doctoral Committee shall set up a Defence Board consisting of at least three scientists, including a chairperson. It must be ensured that there is no conflict of interest between the members of the Defence Board and the thesis presenter or the supervisor (or the consultant in case of the defence of a thesis completed off-campus). At least one member of the Defence Board shall be from a foreign research or higher education institution. When a research topic pertains to Lithuanian studies, scholars from foreign research or higher education institutions may be included if necessary.

26. In pursuance with the procedure prescribed by the Doctoral Training Regulations, at least 30 days ahead of the date of thesis defence:

26.1. the thesis shall be submitted to the Defence Board;

26.2. a notification on the foreseen defence of the thesis shall be sent out to the Research Council of Lithuania and Lithuanian or foreign research and higher education institutions specified in the Doctoral Training Regulations. The notification shall include the name of the thesis presenter, the institution that hosted the preparation of the thesis, the supervisor (the consultant, in case of the defence of a thesis completed off campus) and the members of the Defence Board (the research degree, the name, the field(s) and the branch(s) of research and the institution), the title of the thesis, the venue and the time of defence, the website address containing the thesis.

27. The members of the Defence Board shall submit their written reports on the thesis following the procedure prescribed by the Doctoral Training Regulations at least 5 days before the date of the defence of the thesis.

28. The thesis shall be defended publicly at a session of the Defence Board. The working language used at the session shall be Lithuanian. In case of any other language used in the session, there shall be an interpretation into Lithuanian. The session shall be chaired by the chairperson of the Defence Board. The session shall be deemed legitimate, where more than half of the members of the Defence Board are present (including those involved through teleconferencing). In case of a three-member-defence board, the session shall be considered legitimate when all the three members participate. Reports from absent board members as well as any other submitted comments on the thesis shall be read out in the session.

29. The Doctoral Training Regulations may provide for a possibility of a closed session for the defence of a thesis that may contain commercially confidential information, and describe the procedure for the defence in a closed session.

30. The thesis presenter shall reflect the main research results and conclusions, point out her/his contribution to the publications presented in the thesis. The members of the Defence Board shall make a reasoned evaluation of the scientific level of the thesis, novelty and originality of the results, reliability and justifiability of the conclusions, point out drawbacks and inaccuracies of the thesis, and the thesis presenter’s scientific competence during actual defence. The thesis presenter shall answer questions and comment any remarks from the audience.

31. Following the discussions with the thesis presenter, the members of the Defence Board shall decide regarding the award of the doctoral degree by voting. Members of the Defence Board taking part in the deliberation through teleconference shall also be involved in the voting procedure. The decision about awarding of the doctoral degree shall be made through majority voting. The voting minutes shall be signed by all directly participating members of the Defence Board.

32. According to the procedure prescribed by the Doctoral Training Regulations, the Research Council of Lithuania shall be notified about the results of the thesis defence within 10 working days from the date of the session of the Defence Board.

33. Following the procedure prescribed by the Doctoral Training Regulations, within two weeks, one copy of the defended thesis (except a thesis defended in a closed session) shall be deposited with the Martynas Mažvydas National Library, and the thesis shall be made public in the Lithuanian Electronic Thesis and Dissertations (ETD) library.

34. If the Defence Board decides that a doctoral degree is not awardable, a revised and/or supplemented thesis may be resubmitted but not earlier than after a year. In this case, the doctoral degree shall be acquired within off-campus scheme according to the provisions specified in chapter V of the Bylaws. Where the fact of academic dishonesty (plagiarism, etc.) is discovered, the thesis shall be barred from defence.

35. If the doctoral student succeeds to submit the thesis by the end of the doctoral training, but is unable to defend it due to the shortage of time, he/she shall be allowed to defend it in accordance with the requirements specified in this chapter within 12 months following the end of the doctoral training. Failing to defend the thesis within the mentioned period, its defense shall be subject to the requirements laid down in chapter V.

V. DOCTORAL DEGREE OFF-CAMPUS

36. An individual willing to acquire a doctoral degree off-campus must be a holder of a master‘s degree or have an equivalent higher education qualification (hereinafter in this chapter referred to as an off-campus candidate). The off-campus candidate must have published her/his scientific monograph, or must have printed his/her major results of the thesis in at least two articles placed in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and must have written a thesis.

37. The off-campus candidate shall submit her/his application for the defence of the thesis to the Rector of the university which is authorized to provide doctoral training. The application shall contain the following:

37.1. a thesis or published scientific monograph;

37.2. a list of scientific publications and their digital copies;

37.3. copies of the diploma certifying master‘s degree or equivalent education, and supplements thereof;

37.4. confirmed copies of the minutes of doctoral examinations or their extracts;

37.5. curriculum vitae (description of life, research and creative activity).

38. Within three months from the date of the receipt of the application, the Doctoral Committee shall examine the submitted documents and decide whether the thesis or published scientific monograph is in conformity with the requirements for the thesis. In case of positive decision, the Doctoral Committee, following the procedure prescribed by the Doctoral Training Regulations, shall:

38.1. appoint a scientific advisor;

38.2. establish subjects to be studied and the timeframe for examinations;

38.3. set up an examination commission(s);

38.4. appoint a date for the defence of the thesis, which should not be later than a year from the date of the decision.

39. Having been granted permission from the Doctoral Committee, the off-campus candidate shall defend the thesis according to the requirements specified in paragraphs 26-35 of chapter IV of these Bylaws. The off-campus candidate shall be required to cover only those costs which are directly related with the acquisition of the doctoral degree. If the Doctoral Committee rejects an application for the defence of the thesis, it may not be resubmitted earlier than after a year.

VI. AWARDING OF A DOCTORAL DEGREE

40. An individual who has defended his/her thesis shall be awarded a doctoral degree and a relevant diploma by an institution(s) authorized to provide doctoral training.

41. An appeal regarding a non-awarded doctoral degree shall be examined at an institution(s) authorized to provide doctoral training in accordance with the Doctoral Training Regulations. According to the procedure prescribed by legal acts, an appeal regarding a non-awarded doctoral degree may be lodged with the Supervisor of the Academic Ethics and Procedures.

42. A university that has awarded a doctoral degree may revoke it (including doctoral degrees awarded prior to the enactment of these Bylaws) in the following cases:

42.1. when an academic dishonesty is discovered;

42.2. when a doctoral degree has been awarded in violation of these Bylaws.

43. A university that has awarded a doctoral degree shall revoke its decision to award a doctoral degree following the binding ruling of the Supervisor of the Academic Ethics and Procedures. The Supervisor of the Academic Ethics and Procedures may obligate a university concerned to revoke the decision regarding awarding of a doctoral degree taken prior to the enactment of these Bylaws.

44. In case a doctoral degree has not been awarded by a university, and if an institution having awarded the degree has terminated its operation, the Research Council of Lithuania shall be responsible for taking a decision regarding the validity of the previously awarded doctoral degree.

45. The form of a doctoral degree diploma and the procedure for the production of diploma forms, as well as record-keeping and registration shall be established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.

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