1 Type, purpose and execution of the doctorate

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1 Based on its accreditation as a private university pursuant to Section 5 paragraphs 1 and 5 of the Austrian University Accreditation Law, Federal Law Gazette I No. 168/1999, as amended in the official notification of the Accreditation Council of the Republic of Austria from 5 October 2011, the Senate of the Private University of Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology responsible for Examination and Study Affairs enacted the following Doctorate Guideline as from 10 January 2012 and 31 January Doctorate Guideline for obtaining the academic degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the Private University of Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology (UMIT) Page1 of16

2 Contents: 1 Type, purpose and execution of the doctorate 2 Doctorate criteria, duration of the doctoral study programme 3 Admission criteria 4 Doctorate Committee 5 Acceptance as a doctoral candidate 6 Doctoral thesis 7 Initiation of the doctorate procedure 8 Expert reports on the doctoral thesis 9 Examination Committee, defence of the doctoral thesis 10 Decision on the doctorate 11 Repetition 12 Publication of the doctoral thesis 13 Award and indication of the academic degree, award certificate 14 Withdrawal and cancellation of the admission; Invalidity of the fulfilment of the doctorate criteria 15 Withdrawal of the doctoral degree 16 Entry into force Page2 of16

3 1 Type, purpose and execution of the doctorate (1) The Private University of Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology (UMIT) awards the academic degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) for the respective subject area (Nursing Science; Psychology; Management and Economics in Health Care; Sports Medicine, Health Tourism & Leisure Sciences; Public Health; Health Technology Assessment; Health Information Systems) after the fulfilment of the doctorate criteria. (2) The doctorate provides proof of the candidate s ability to conduct profound scientific work independently. (3) The doctorate shall be performed by UMIT. 2 Doctorate criteria, duration of the doctoral study programme (1) The doctorate criteria comprise: a) a doctoral thesis evaluated at least with sufficient - rite in one of the subject areas indicated in Section 1, paragraph (1) and b) 60 successfully obtained ECTS points in the course of the doctoral study programme as well as c) An oral defence of the doctoral thesis. (2) A maximum of 20 ECTS points out of the 60 ECTS points that have to be successfully obtained (according to Section 1 lit. b) can be received through active participation in scientific expert meetings, supervision of students or active participation in courses held at UMIT. (3) The following courses are held for doctoral students (in German or English language) in accordance with the number of students and the respective doctoral study programme: Semester Description ECTS points I 1) Advanced course in research methodology for life sciences : Introduction into academic writing, hypothesis and causality models, philosophy of science and epistemology 2) Intensive seminar on literature research and literature evaluation : Topic finding and topic precision. Formulation of the research area, 10 Page3 of16

4 formulation of the research question 3) Result presentation seminar I presentation of the intermediate results 4) Specific deepening according to the respective study programme and exclusive tutorial Learning objective of the advanced course: After the completion of the seminars, the students will be familiar with the current state of knowledge of their subject areas and know the basic principles of the methods that have to be applied within the framework of the doctoral thesis. In the result presentation seminar, the students are obliged to formulate and present their research topic independently. II 5) Intensive seminar on research methodology and selection of methods : Selection of the appropriate research method, description of the research design, determination of the instruments to use 6) Result presentation seminar II presentation of the intermediate results 7) Specific deepening according to the respective study programme and exclusive tutorial 10 Learning objective: After the completion of the seminars, the students know how to elaborate the research and study designs and how to apply advanced qualitative, statistical and graphical analysis methods. III 8) Research seminar and presentation of results I 9) Methodology seminar I 10) How to write a paper academic writing workshop 11) Specific deepening according to the respective study programme and exclusive tutorial 10 Learning objective: The students know the current state of research in their subject areas and are able to discuss both their own research results and the results of others. They have learnt to identify, formulate and analyse theoretical, practical and methodological problems and questions and to develop appropriate research strategies thereof. IV 12) Research seminar and presentation of results II 13) Methodology seminar II 14) Peer review: Aims, procedures, requirements of a peer review procedure 15) Specific deepening according to the respective study programme and exclusive tutorial 10 Learning objective: The students know how to present their research results at national Page4 of16

5 and international congresses, seminars and other scientific expert meetings. They learn how to correctly analyse and evaluate their own research performance as well as strengths, limitations and potential biases of their own research. The students acquire didactic skills which enable them to present their research results both in a scientific and popular-scientific discourse and to explain complex correlations. V 16) Research seminar and presentation of results III 17) Methodology seminar III 18) Handling of scientific criticism 19) Specific deepening according to the respective study programme and exclusive tutorial 10 Learning objective: The students have gained knowledge at a high professional level that is required for the completion of the doctoral thesis. In addition, skills and capacities are developed that go beyond the topic of the doctoral thesis and that are of importance for the candidate s (further) professional development. VI 20) Specific deepening according to the respective study programme and exclusive tutorial 21) Result presentation seminar: Lecture and presentation; preparation for the defence of the doctoral thesis 10 Learning objective: The objectives are the presentation, reflection and analysis of the doctoral thesis in the overall context of the doctoral study programme. Priority is given to the summarization and communication of the results of the research project and the demonstration of the impact on the knowledge in the respective discipline, the evaluation and methodology skills as well as to the presentation. Monograph or cumulative doctoral thesis 120 Total sum 180 (4) The standard course duration of the doctoral study programme is six semesters. In total, the doctoral study programmes comprises 180 ECTS points. 3 Admission criteria (1) Candidates fulfilling one of the following requirements are admitted to the doctorate programme: a) A bachelor and master or Magister degree or a diploma obtained at a recognized university in one of the study programmes described below, including all additional requirements set out in the respective description. Page5 of16

6 b) A bachelor and master or Magister degree or a diploma of a study programme with a standard course duration of 10 semesters obtained at a recognized postsecondary training institution in Austria or abroad in one of the study programmes described below, including all additional requirements set out in the respective description. c) A bachelor and master or Magister degree or a diploma of a study programme with a standard course duration of less than 10 semesters obtained at a recognized postsecondary training institution in Austria or abroad in one of the study programmes described below, including all additional requirements set out in the respective description as well as the following additional criteria: Subject-specific modules or postgraduate studies that develop subject-specific qualification comparable to a 10-semester study programme. Vocational qualifications or other degrees not obtained at a recognized postsecondary training institution in Austria or abroad are not permitted. (2) The candidates are assigned to one of the following study programmes and must fulfil special criteria where required: Nursing Science: A successfully completed study programme (diploma, recognized master or Magister degree, so-called second cycle/graduate training) at a recognized university in Austria or abroad or at a recognized post-secondary training institution in Austria or abroad in the subject of Nursing Science (focus areas: Nursing-related Educational Science, Nursing Management, Nursing Expertise, Gerontology) or studies of Philosophy, Natural Sciences, Health Sciences and Sports Sciences provided that these studies provably contain substantial relations to nursing in their general or individual focus areas. Sports Medicine, Health Tourism and Leisure Sciences: A successfully completed study programme (diploma, recognized master or Magister degree, so-called second cycle/graduate training) at a recognized university in Austria or abroad or at a recognized post-secondary training institution in Austria or abroad in the subject of Human Medicine, Sports Sciences, Psychology, Business Management, Nutritional Sciences, Public Health or Tourism. Management and Economics in Health Care: A successfully completed study programme (diploma, recognized master or Magister degree, so-called second cycle/graduate training) at a recognized university in Austria or abroad or at a Page6 of16

7 recognized post-secondary training institution in Austria or abroad in the subject of Health Sciences, Public Health, Health Care Management, Health Economics, Management, Business Management or Macroeconomics. Psychology: A successfully completed study programme (diploma, recognized master or Magister degree, so-called second cycle/graduate training) at a recognized university in Austria or abroad or at a recognized post-secondary training institution in Austria or abroad in the subject of Psychology. Public Health: A successfully completed study programme (diploma, recognized master or Magister degree, so-called second cycle/graduate training) at a recognized university in Austria or abroad or at a recognized post-secondary training institution in Austria or abroad in the subject of Public Health, Health Sciences, Medicine, Dentistry, Epidemiology, Statistics, Pharmacy, Biology, Nursing Science, Psychology, Informatics, Health Technology Assessment, Health Management, Political Sciences, Law, Economics, Communication Sciences or studies of Social Sciences, Philosophy and Natural Sciences provided that these studies provably contain substantial relations to the health care sector in their general or individual focus areas. Health Technology Assessment: A successfully completed study programme (diploma, recognized master or Magister degree, so-called second cycle/graduate training) at a recognized university in Austria or abroad or at a recognized postsecondary training institution in Austria or abroad in the subject of Health Technology Assessment, Public Health, Health Sciences, Medicine, Dentistry, Epidemiology, Statistics, Pharmacy, Biology, Nursing Science, Psychology, Informatics, Health Management, Political Sciences, Communication Sciences or studies of Economics, Social Sciences, Law, Philosophy and Natural Sciences provided that these studies provably contain substantial relations to the health care sector in their general or individual focus areas. Health Information Systems: A successfully completed study programme (diploma, recognized master or Magister degree, so-called second cycle/graduate training) at a recognized university in Austria or abroad or at a recognized post-secondary training institution in Austria or abroad in the subject of Informatics, Medical Informatics, Human Medicine or Nursing Science. (3) If the degree was obtained in a similar, comparable subject or if the doctoral study programme striven for is not congruent with the degree of the diploma, Magister or Page7 of16

8 master programme due to an interdisciplinary research question, the Doctorate Committee as the competent collegiate body of UMIT may grant permission after approval by the responsible representative of the subject area. Section 4 Doctorate Committee (1) The Doctorate Committee is established as the competent collegiate body by the Senate of UMIT according to the UMIT Constitution. It is responsible for the tasks arising from the present Doctorate Guideline. It shall ensure that the provisions of the Doctorate Guideline are complied with and shall adopt the respective implementing provisions. (2) The Doctorate Committee is made up of: a) at least two representatives of the university professors, b) at least one representative of the university lecturers and scientific employees respectively as well as c) At least one representative of the students, considering that 25% of the members shall be students. For each member of the Doctorate Committee, a substitute member may be designated. The substitute member may be present at all meetings. The substitute member only has a vote if a full member is not present at the meeting. The Doctorate Committee shall elect the chairperson from the university professors of the Committee. The chairperson is elected by simple majority vote. (3) The Doctorate Committee is elected for no longer than the duration of the Senate s term of office (three years). The individual members can be re-elected. The term of office starts upon election. (4) The chairperson shall invite all members to the meetings of the Doctorate Committee in due course. The Doctorate Committee has a quorum if at least three of the members, including the chairperson, are present, considering that half of the members have to be university professors. The Doctorate Committee takes its decisions based on the majority of the valid votes cast. Abstentions are considered votes not cast. In the event of a tie, the chairperson's vote is decisive. (5) The day-to-day affairs of the Doctorate Committee shall be managed by the chairperson. Page8 of16

9 5 Acceptance as a doctoral candidate (1) If the status as a doctoral candidate is sought, a request for the acceptance as a doctoral candidate has to be submitted to the Doctorate Committee prior to the start of the doctoral thesis. The following documents shall be attached to the request: a) Proof of the fulfilment of the admission criterion according to Section 3; b) Indication of the provisional work title of the doctoral thesis; c) A declaration of a person stating that he/she will provide scientific supervision to the doctoral candidate. This so-called supervisor shall hold a Venia docendi for the selected subject area; d) A declaration of the candidate stating that he/she has not submitted any request for the acceptance as a doctoral candidate or for the initiation of a doctorate procedure to any other institution; e) Proof of an agreement on the doctoral thesis (signed by the supervisor and the doctoral candidate). (2) The Doctorate Committee shall decide on the acceptance or rejection as a doctoral candidate and shall inform the candidate about the decision in written form. In case of rejection of the request, the reasons on which it is based shall be stated. (3) When accepting the doctoral candidate, the Doctoral Committee confirms its responsibility for conducting the subsequent doctorate procedure and commits itself to initiate the steps required for the expert evaluation of the doctoral thesis. This approval normally applies for a period of four years and may in justified cases be extended by the Doctorate Committee. The acceptance as a doctoral candidate is the admission to the doctoral study programme. From this moment on, the doctoral candidate has a right to comprehensive supervision. (4) The doctoral thesis shall be written at UMIT. The Doctorate Committee shall decide on exceptions, as the case may be. (5) In exceptional cases, the Doctorate Committee may approve the replacement of the responsible supervisor by another supervisor (Section 1 lit. c). Page9 of16

10 6 Doctoral thesis (1) The doctoral thesis must meet the scientific standards, must be an independent performance of the doctoral candidate and must contribute to progress in research. (2) The results of the doctoral thesis may be partly or completely published prior to the doctorate procedure in agreement with the supervisor. (3) The doctoral thesis shall be written in German or English language. In exceptional cases, the Doctorate Committee may allow the doctoral candidate to submit the doctoral thesis in another language. In any case, the doctoral thesis shall comprise both a German and English summary. (4) The doctoral thesis can be written and submitted either as a monograph or as a cumulative doctoral thesis. (5) The criteria for a cumulative doctoral thesis include either a minimum of two subjectspecific publications, in both of which the doctoral candidate takes the lead authorship, or a minimum of three subject-specific publications in at least one of which the doctoral candidate takes the lead authorship. The publications must be scientific publications approved by a subject-specific recognized publication gazette in a peer-review procedure. The publication topics must be related to each other and to the subject area of the doctoral thesis. The correlation shall be demonstrated in an overview. The doctoral candidate s own contribution must be at least 40% in the publications in which the doctoral candidate did not take the lead authorship. Proof of the contribution as coauthor shall be provided properly. A cumulative doctoral thesis comprises a written work according to Section (7) in which the publications are incorporated. (6) When submitting the cumulative doctoral thesis, the thesis at the latest shall also be presented to the Senate work group for research evaluation which will examine and decide on the subject-specific relevance, quality and coherence of the publications. If no decision is taken by the work group for research evaluation within a period of 6 weeks from the date of the presentation of the thesis, the Doctorate Committee may decide to complete the procedure without the work group s decision. (7) The doctoral theses must be written in accordance with the Senate guideline for writing a monograph or writing a cumulative doctoral thesis. Page10 of16

11 7 Initiation of the doctorate procedure (1) After having completed the doctoral thesis, the doctoral candidate shall submit a request to the Doctorate Committee for the imitation of the doctorate procedure. The Doctorate Committee shall decide on the initiation of the procedure. (2) Documents according to the Guideline for the Submission of Thesis (decision of the Senate of UMIT as amended on 10 January 2012) must be attached to the request for the initiation of the doctorate procedure. (3) In addition, proof of the successful acquisition of the 60 ECTS point (Section 2 paragraph 1 lit b) shall be provided. (4) The Doctorate Committee shall request a statement from the supervisor on the doctoral thesis. The supervisor proposes the acceptance, rejection or revision of the doctoral thesis. (5) The initiation of the doctorate procedure a) shall be rejected if one of the admission criteria set out in Section 3 has not been fulfilled; b) shall be rejected if the documents set out in the enactment of the Senate as amended from 10 January 2012 are incomplete or incorrect and if a demanded correction of these mistakes has not been made within a reasonable period of time; c) May be rejected if the supervisor proposes the rejection or revision of the thesis. 8 Expert reports on the doctoral thesis (1) After the initiation of the doctorate procedure, the Doctorate Committee shall immediately appoint two professors or university lecturers or private lecturers or persons holding a valid Venia docendi for the chosen subject area or a permission of the university to supervise doctoral theses in the selected subject area as referees. One of the two referees may be an employee of UMIT whereas the second referee must be external to UMIT. The referees must not be mentioned as co-authors in any of the publications submitted (in case of a cumulative doctoral thesis according to Section 6 paragraph 4). The doctoral candidate or the supervisor may propose referees to the Doctorate Committee. The expert reports must be made independently of one another. Page11 of16

12 (2) The expert reports on the doctoral thesis shall, on the one hand, describe the basis of the thesis and the importance of the subject and, on the other hand, evaluate the system, contents, research methods, result presentation and discussion as well as formal aspects of the doctoral thesis. The doctoral thesis shall be assessed within the framework of an overall assessment. (3) The referees propose the acceptance, rejection or revision of the doctoral thesis. In case of an acceptance, the assessment is conducted by the referees according to Section 10 paragraph 3. (4) The period for the assessment by the experts is 8 weeks. The assessment period starts upon the receipt of the doctoral thesis by the referee. (5) The doctoral thesis and the expert reports shall be made accessible for inspection to the university professors and university lecturers or private lecturers of UMIT in the Study Management Office for a period of ten workdays. The professors and lecturers may raise objections against the contents and format of the doctoral thesis to the Doctorate Committee in written form. It is the Doctorate Committee s duty to pursue any objections in detail, by requesting further expert reports if necessary, and to consider these for the decision on the further steps of the doctorate procedure. (6) If only one of the referees proposes to reject the doctoral thesis, the doctoral candidate shall have the right to propose a third referee upon inspection of the negative expert report. In this case, the Doctorate Committee shall additionally appoint this and another referee for a new assessment of the thesis. In this case, the paragraphs 1 to 5 shall apply correspondingly. (7) If both original referees unanimously propose or one of the newly appointed referees (as in case of paragraph 6) proposes to reject the doctoral thesis, the doctoral thesis is rejected and the doctorate procedure considered terminated. The Doctorate Committee shall inform the doctoral candidate about the rejection in writing. (8) If at least one of the referees proposes the revision of individual parts of the doctoral thesis, the Doctorate Committee shall deliberate on the doctoral thesis, taking all existing expert reports into account. In this case, the Doctorate Committee may once request the doctoral candidate to revise the doctoral thesis within a period of 4 to 6 months and to resubmit it. The recommendations of the referee and of the Doctorate Committee with regard to the revision shall be recorded and communicated to the doctoral candidate. If Page12 of16

13 the period is exceeded, the doctoral thesis is rejected and the doctorate procedure considered terminated. Only one revision and repetition of the doctoral thesis is possible. (9) Upon revision and submission of the doctoral thesis in due time, the doctoral thesis is newly assessed according to Section 8 (paragraphs 1 to 7). In this connection, the Doctorate Committee may also appoint new referees. The expert reports on the revised version of the thesis shall particularly comment if the recommendations according to paragraph 7 have been adequately implemented. It is only permitted to reject the revised version of the doctoral thesis if the recommendations have not been implemented in a satisfactory manner or if scientific objections were raised against sections, which were newly formulated or incorporated in the doctoral thesis within the framework of the revision, that require the rejection of the doctoral thesis. 9 Examination Committee, defence of the doctoral thesis (1) If the doctoral thesis is not rejected according to Section 8 paragraph 7, the Doctorate Committee shall appoint an Examination Committee which comprises at least three professors, university lecturers or private lecturers or persons holding a Venia docendi for the selected subject area. The members of the Examination Committee do not have to be members of the teaching staff of UMIT. The supervisor may be a member of the Examination Committee. One member of the Doctorate Committee shall be head of the Examination Committee. (2) The Study Management Office shall coordinate the date of the defence of the doctoral thesis in agreement with the members of the Examination Committee. (3) In the oral defence of the doctoral thesis, the doctoral candidate presents his/her completed doctoral thesis and faces up to the critical questions raised by the Examination Committee. (4) The oral defence of the doctoral thesis shall last approximately one hour. Minutes shall be taken on the oral defence of the doctoral thesis, which shall be signed by the members of the Examination Committee. (5) The oral defence of the doctoral thesis is open to all students and employees of the university. The deliberations and the notification of the result of the examination, however, are not open to the public. Upon request by the doctoral candidate or for any important reason, the Doctorate Committee may restrict or forbid the openness to the public. Page13 of16

14 10 Decision on the doctoral thesis (1) The Examination Committee shall determine upon the oral defence of the doctoral thesis if the doctoral candidate has passed the oral defence. (2) If the doctoral candidate has passed the oral defence of the doctoral thesis, the Examination Committee shall decide on the overall evaluation based on the evaluation proposals brought forward by the referees of the doctoral thesis and the candidate s performances during the oral defence of the doctoral thesis. The overall mark is based on the results of the written expert reports and the oral defence of the doctoral thesis, considering that the result of the written part counts double. (3) The determination of the overall mark and its notification by the Examination Committee are not open to the students and employees of the university. (4) If a doctoral thesis/oral defence of the doctoral thesis has been passed, the following evaluation scale shall be applied: for an extraordinary performance - summa cum laude for a very good performance - magna cum laude for a good performance - cum laude for a sufficient performance - rite for a non-sufficient performance - non sufficit (rejected doctoral thesis/failed oral defence of the doctoral thesis) (5) If the doctoral candidate has failed the oral defence of the doctoral thesis, he/she may repeat it once. In this case, the Examination Committee shall determine an appointment, considering that the Examination Committee may be newly composed - also just partly - according to Section 9 paragraph 1. If the doctoral candidate does not pass the repetition of the oral defence of the doctoral thesis, the doctorate is considered failed and the doctorate procedure considered terminated. 11 Repetition If the doctoral thesis has been rejected according to Section 8 paragraph 7 or if the oral defence of the doctoral thesis has been rejected according to Section 10 paragraph 5, the doctoral candidate may once submit a request according to Section 5 presenting a new subject for the doctoral thesis. Page14 of16

15 12 Publication of the doctoral thesis The doctoral thesis shall be published at UMIT and at the Austrian National Library. Further particulars shall be regulated by the Doctorate Committee. 13 Award and indication of the academic degree, award certificate (1) After the fulfilment of the doctorate criteria (Section 2), the Rector shall award the academic degree by means of a certificate (award certificate) to the doctoral graduate within a period of 4 weeks. In addition, the doctoral graduate shall be issued an adequate certificate (student data copy) and a diploma supplement. (2) Persons who have been awarded the academic degree have the right to indicate the academic degree determined in the award certificate, also in short form, considering that the academic degree may also be indicated including a gender-specific addition. 14 Withdrawal and cancellation of the admission; Invalidity of the fulfilment of the doctorate criteria (1) If it becomes evident prior to the award of the doctoral diploma that the doctoral candidate has cheated with regard to the admission criteria or that essential admission criteria have been considered fulfilled by mistake, the Examination Committee shall withdraw the admission as a doctoral candidate or the admission to the doctorate procedure. (2) If it becomes evident prior to the award of the doctoral diploma that the doctoral candidate has cheated with regard to the doctorate criteria, the Examination Committee shall declare the doctorate performance or any doctorate performances fulfilled so far as invalid or definitely withdraw the admission to the doctorate procedure in severe cases. (3) Before a decision is taken, the candidate shall be heard. The reasons for the decision shall be stated in writing. 15 Withdrawal of the doctoral degree (1) The award of the doctoral degree shall be withdrawn and the doctoral diploma be reclaimed if it becomes evident in retrospect that the academic award has been obtained surreptitiously, in particular by fraud. Page15 of16

16 (2) The Doctorate Committee shall be responsible for the withdrawal of the award of the doctoral degree and the reclaim of the doctoral diploma. It shall decide on whether and to what extent this procedure can be assigned to the Rector. (3) Before a decision is taken, the candidate shall be heard. The reasons for the decision shall be stated in writing. 16 Entry into force (1) The Doctorate Guideline shall enter into force upon approval by the Senate of UMIT on 10 January 2012 and 31 January 2012 on the day after its announcement. Hall in Tirol on 1 February 2012 Univ.-Prof. Dr. Rainer Schubert Head of the Senate Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christa Them Rector of UMIT Page16 of16

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