Frequently Asked Questions
Applicants from all countries of the world are invited to apply. Each project supervisor makes their own selection of candidates based on academic excellency, qualifications, and suitability for given project. Applicants should indicate the subject area or motivation for a specific project of interest. Applications collected through this website will be used to match candidates with PhD advisors and to determine project funding. The process is competitive: in 2020 we have received over 130 applications for 20 positions and selected 12 students. All selected candidates will have to pass through the regular admission procedure of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics. See Admission to MFF for more details.
Eligibility in terms of formal academic qualification (for example, whether candidate's degrees and transcripts match requirements of Charles University) is thoroughly checked only for selected candidates during the admission procedure of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University. Only the Faculty can legally admit students for the PhD program. The Faculty might perform additional examinations of Physics and English, if they are not waived. See Admission to MFF for more details. In general, it is required that applicants have (or expect to obtain) a degree equivalent to MSc in Physics, Astronomy, or Mathematics before the start of the appointment. Successful applicants can only enroll in PhD studies after they receive their MSc degree.
- December 5 - list of projects finalized and submission of applications open
- January 15 - deadline for submission of applications for supervision and funding through this website. Letters of recommendation must be received by the same date.
- January-March - selection of shortlisted candidates by individual project supervisors, invitation for interviews (remote or in-person), first offers of funding and supervision. Note that each project supervisor has their own schedule regarding interviews and offers. Please monitor this website to see which projects remain open (= no suitable candidate was selected yet). We will not email rejections.
- April 30 - selected candidates who accepted offers of funding and supervision from their project supervisor must submit formal application for admission to PhD studies at Faculty of Mathematics and Physics by this date.
- end of June - entrance exams in Physics and/or English. This applies only to applicants who do not get one or both parts of the entrance exam waived.
- July-September - formal acceptance for PhD studies, processing of documents for visa, if applicable.
- October 1 - start of new academic year, beginning of PhD studies
After the candidate has accepted the offer of funding and supervision, they need pass through the admission procedure to the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University. The rules are described on a separate website. The deadline for submission of documents is typically April 30. We will forward certain documents like letters of recommendation on behalf of the applicant. During this admission procedure, the Faculty checks whether the previous education is sufficient to begin PhD studies and might perform examination of Physics and/or English. We can guide selected students through this procedure, if needed. In 2020, all 12 selected candidates were ultimately accepted for PhD studies.
Application fee of approximately 25 EUR is charged only to successful candidates who were selected and who have accepted the offer of funding and supervision and who wish to begin studies at Charles University. This fee is the requirement of the formal admission procedure to the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University and will be collected from the in late April.
PhD students can take advantage of subsidized meals (~70 CZK/meal), discounted public transport (1280 CZK/year for students, 3650 CZK/year for adults), possibility of staying in student dormitories (3000 - 6000 CZK/month), and free "Czech as foreign language" classes. There is only symbolic tuition for foreign PhD students. Students qualify for discounts at museums, theaters, exhibitions, etc., and small discounts are offered by many shops.
Health insurance for international students outside of EU: the grant supplements on fully-funded projects typically qualify the student for free state-administered health care identical to Czech citizens (no co-pays on most services). For partially-funded projects or base scholarship only, international students might have to pay a small additional monthly fee to qualify for state insurance or they need to purchase commercial health insurance (starting from around 4000 CZK/year). The details depend on the host institution and the type of funding and appointment.
How is progress to PhD monitored?
Progress toward PhD is monitored and evaluated yearly by the Board of doctoral studies at Faculty of Mathematics and Physics. The monitoring is based on yearly Individual Study Plan assembled together by the student and the advisor.
To graduate, students need to pass 4 classes concluded by an exam (usually done in the first two years), pass state doctoral exam (second or third year), publish at least two papers in international journals, and successfully defend their doctoral thesis. The standard length of the study is 4 years.
Prague is a culturally rich and safe city. Prague is highly ranked on lists for students.
There is a number of pages about student life in Prague, for example, here and here.
You can watch a video showing life in Prague made by our Staff Welcome Centre.
Is the basic scholarship enough?
Basic scholarship is not sufficient to cover all living expenses on its own. We still advertise projects with basic scholarship, because grant money might become available later in the application season or students can come with their resources (government fellowships and similar).
In 2021, the first-year basic scholarship is 11 000 CZK/month. Likely expenses include student dormitory (3800 CZK/month), health insurance (>375 CZK/month, note that health insurance is at least partially covered with working contracts), transportation (300 CZK/month), cell phone (300 CZK/month). Lunch in a student cafeteria costs 80 CZK.