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Doctoral Studies at the University of Latvia
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Doctoral Studies at the University of Latvia

Approved in
Senate meeting on

Decision No.169

Terms used

Doctoral studies – academic work carried out according to the doctorate’s individual plan in line with the requirements of the program to reach the goal of the programme to obtain doctoral degree.

Doctoral student – a person matriculated in doctoral studies programme.

Doctoral programme – academic work and corresponding activities at UL structural units, as well as outside UL with an aim to ensure high-quality and effective doctoral studies.

The goal and content of Doctoral studies

The goal and content of doctoral studies. Doctoral studies at the University of Latvia (UL) are carried out in licensed and accredited programmes in accordance to the legislation of the Republic of Latvia, international agreements, Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia, the UL Constitution, present regulations and UL documents deriving from them, by taking into consideration other documents regulating studies at UL.

The goal of the doctoral studies is to obtain doctoral degree and to educate competitive highly qualified specialists who take part in international academic circulation for academic work at universities and other higher educational establishments, as well as for research and organizing work in public or private institutions.

UL doctoral study programmes (Programmes) correspond to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) and to highest level of the Education Classification of the Republic of Latvia

1.4. Doctoral studies are priority of the UL, a component of academic staff renewal and development programmes. They are granted with earmarked resources of the budget. In order to facilitate doctoral advisor’s motivation, studies are financed by annual prepayment and a single after payment that the advisor can get in accordance with established procedure from UL unitary resources provided the doctoral student obtains the academic degree.

1.5. The main component of the programmes is research work under the guidance of highly qualified academic personnel.

Programmes include:

1.6.1. profound acquirements in the field’s theoretical disciplines that are proceeded by at least two promotion exams;

1.6.2. development of higher education didactic and applied skills in accordance with the specificity of a scientific discipline;

1.6.3. requirements to demonstrate active knowledge of English, German or French in the specific scientific discipline.

1.7. Studies are planned individually that corresponds to the programme requirements.

1.8. The rights on any intellectual property created within the doctoral studies are defined by a separate agreement signed with the UL.

1.9. The decisions on using the intellectual property created during the doctoral studies are made upon mutual agreement between the doctoral student and the doctoral student's advisor.

1.10. The doctoral student’s rights and obligations are defined by the Universities Act, Law on Scientific Activity , UL Constitution, as well as
Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia , UL normative documentats and Scientist’s Code of Ethics. 

Doctoral studies management

2.1. Doctoral studies programme’s creation and its academic quality monitoring is carried out within the framework and terms of the Republic of Latvia Universities Act, Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia, and UL normative documents.

2.2. Programmes are developed by professors, associate profesors or leading researchers. Programmes for approval are submitted to the UL senate by the faculty councils. 

2.3. The programme is created in a field, subfield, field’s or subfield’s group according to the Latvian Council of Science Education Classification, if there are working at least three associate professors or professors. Involvment of highly qualified academic personnel from other universities and research institutions in programme creation is encouraged.

2.4. UL doctoral studies can be carried out outsidethe UL by maintaining academic and administrative monitoring.

2.5. General academic monitoring of doctoral studies is carried out by UL pro-rector in accordance with the Assignment of Duties Regulation  of the UL management.

2.6. UL doctoral studies unitary administration is maintained by UL administrative departments in accordance with the division of functions approved by the UL management.

2.7. UL managers of entities maintain doctoral studies in their departaments in accordance with agreement protocols made with the management of UL.

2.8. Field doctoral councils (DC) and their chairs (Programme directors) create Programmes, monitor their implementation, academic advancement and quality in accordance with the UL regulations of a field DC.

2.9. DC has the rights to delegate definite functions to doctorate councils upon an agreement with specific field councils. Such agreement protocols are  approved by the UL pro-rector.

2.10. Doctoral student's advisor and doctoral student develop an individual study plan for all study period and monitor its efficient implementation in accordance with UL regulations of doctoral student advisor's academic duties.

2.11. UL study advisors inform and consult doctoral students and their advisors of organizational issues of the Programmes in accordance with the UL regulations of field DC.

Studies in Doctoral Programmes

3.1. Enrollment in doctoral study programmes is in accordance with the UL enrollment regulations.

3.2. UL doctoral studies duration is defined in the Programmes. It is at least 3 years in full time studies. The amount of student’s workload  is measuredby credit points.

3.3. It is allowed to study only in one doctoral programme at a time, national budget grants can be awarded to an applicant only for one Programme in doctoral studies.

3.4. Annual individual plans and reports of doctoral studies are made together by the doctoral student and advisor, they are approved by the field DC (doctorate council) chair. Individual plans and reports are stored, doctoral students’ files are filled in and other study documents are unitary administred in accordance with the UL established procedure.

3.5. Doctoral student’s individual plan accomplishment is controlled by the advisor and field DC or doctorate council.

3.6. Doctoral student’s study process is planned 48 weeks per year with a 4 weeks’ vacation in full time studies and the doctoral student can receive a grant, a student and study loan if such are awarded. Doctoral student's study process in part time studies is planned for less than 48 weeks per year and without specific vacation.

3.7. During the study process the doctoral student has the rights to take intervals (academic vacation) up to 2 years in total. The decision about the interval is made by DC chair. During the interval doctoral student's status, study place and study form in the Programme is preserved, but no grants, study and student loans are awarded.

3.8. The reason for taking an interval can be health, social or family problems, research work periods abroad for more than 3 months, necessity to summarise and analyse work results. The minimum  interval is three months.

3.9. In accordance with UL established procedure the doctoral student can be ex-matriculatedon their own accord and later re-matriculated again.

3.10. There is no special study period for exams and other tests for doctoral students.

3.11. Doctoral student's work is annually evaluated by DC or the Promotion councilwho decide about student’s certification for the next year, maintaining the study form or graduation.

3.12. The procedures for exams and certifications, as well as challenging the results in doctoral studies are stated by the corresponding UL documents.

3.13. A change of study form in doctoral studies is possible after DC’s proposal by changing terms of the agreement in accordance with the UL established procedure.

3.14. National budget grants available in doctoral studies as a result of a doctoral student’s study interval or change of study form are redistributed by DC proposal in accordance with UL established procedure. 

3.15. For successful completion of doctoral studies the doctoral student should take a theoretical course, do  research work and write a doctoral thesis that must reflect original research results appropriate for  scientific publication. The issue of accomplishment of study programme in general is resolved by DC.

3.16. Doctoral scientific degree is awarded by the Promotion councils working in accordance with the regulations of doctorates in UL,in compliance with the laws and regulations of the Republic of Latvia.

3.17. The defence of the doctoral thesis is possible also after the planned doctoral studies programme set date. If the defending student  has already been ex-matriculated, then for the period of defence they must be re-matriculated in accordance with the UL enrollment regulations.

Financing Doctoral Studies

4.1. UL doctoral studies can be financed by  national budget subsidies, as well as by individual or legal entity funding for full-time or part-time studies.

4.2. Financing doctoral students from national budget is planned by taking into account Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia and UL Senate decisions on studies financing .

4.3. Funding by international, local funds, private contributors and other endowments is used in accordance with the benefactors’ requirements if they are not in conflict with the laws and regulations of Republic of Latvia, and the UL Constitution.

4.4. The amount of the study fee in doctoral studies is stated by a special regulation in accordance with the UL established procedure. 

4.5. Doctoral students whose studies are funded by an individual or legal entity have the rights to receive study and *student loans.

4.6. UL doctoral students awarded grants from the national budget have the rights to receive a grant, *student loan and grant for a full-time studies in the amount equal to the loan .

4.7. Allocation and refund of loans for doctoral students is stated by the Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia and other regulation documents.

4.8. Fixed payments for UL infrastructure and development are witheld from doctoral studies financing  in the amount stated by the UL Senate .

4.9. Part of doctoral studies financing received from national budget's subsidies, individual and legal entities that is not meant for grants is used:

4.9.1. to cover direct expenses for doctoral student’s work, i.e. necessary literature, software, inventory, obtaining materials and chemical reagents, as well as business trip expenses;

4.9.2. to pay salary to the advisor, including the UL lecturersalary for advising doctoral students in accordance with the UL established procedure and in the amount  corresponding to the structural unit salary schedule.

4.9.3. to maintain programme’s common activities (course lectures, seminars etc.) and necessary infrastructure;

4.9.4. to implement doctoral studies advancement projects and  paying bonus to advisors for their students’ doctoral theses defended.

4.10. The issues of a of doctoral student’s work expenses direct coverage are decided by the advisor in accordance with the UL established procedure approved estimate .

4.11. The part of doctoral studies’ financing for a structural unit’s personnel salaries and  infrastructure maintenance is decided by the chair of the structural unit in accordance with  the appropriate UL agreement protocol.

4.12. The issues of allocation of financing for doctoral studies common activities are decided by the director of  a doctoral study programme and structural unit's chair in accordance with the appropriate UL agreement protocol .

* Student loan is granted to full-time students.

4.13. Applications for UL doctoral studies advancement projects are submitted by DC chairs (programme directors) or advisors. They are evaluated and recommended for financing by the DC chair collegiate institution – Council of Directors that works in accordance with the UL regulations on   doctoral studies advancement projects.

4.14. The UL Administration appoints coordinators responsible for intersectoral doctoral studies advancement projects  in accordance with the UL approved work assignments.

4.15. Regulatory forms for doctoral studies are approved by the UL pro-rector.