Doctoral Student Seminar Rules

Doctoral Student Seminar Rules

Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (KMG)

18 June, 2020

PREAMBLE: Giving annual seminars is a formal requirement for you getting a doctoral degree at the University of South Bohemia. However, as formalities go, we think it is quite useful for the following reasons:

  1. So that you have practice presenting your project in English in a format similar to an international conference.
  2. So that you can train for your final defense talk
  3. So can gain experience and confidence in public speaking
  4. So that your peers can see what you are doing
  5. So that faculty members can see what you are doing
  6. So that you can get useful feedback on your projects
  7. To build a sense of community among all the members of our department

In order to do this, we will have reserved sessions for students to present during the department seminars and a yearly retreat. We ask that you cooperate with the organizer(s) of these seminars so that we can achieve these goals together.

If you approach this as only a formality, that is fine with us. But you are still expected to fulfill this requirement.


  1.  Every doctoral student must give once an academic year (October to June of next calendar year) a presentation in English about their project. This applies for all students, regardless of whether they entered the PhD program in the summer or winter semester. Please see dedicated section for summer students below.
  2. You are expected to give the seminar in the same semester that you have signed up to give the seminar, either the winter or summer semesters.
  3. The autumn student retreat (usually in October) or during the department seminars in places reserved for student talks
  4. If you intend on giving your required seminar on the autumn retreat (which I highly recommend), please sign up to give your seminar in the winter semester.
  5. You and you alone are responsible for making sure you give your annual talk and submit this information to the organizer(s) of the seminar. The organizer(s) WILL NOT chase you around to make sure you do this. If you have no documentation that you have not done this, no one will sign your index that you fulfilled this requirement.
  6. If you give a seminar in a semester that YOU DID not sign up for (e.g. at retreat but did not sign up for winter semester), but want to get credit for this, you will be asked to retroactively sign up for that semester at the student’s department. PENALTY MAY APPLY.
  7.  An exception can be taken for the following reasons:
  1. It is your last year of your doctoral study. In this case, your PhD defense talk will be considered the seminar. In this case, please sign up for the seminar in the semester your defense takes place, e.g. winter semester (October to February) or summer semester (February to July)
  2. If you actually gave a talk in English in Czechia or abroad about your project at an INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE. In this case you will be asked to provide evidence of the talk in terms of an abstract, conference name, place and date. No evidence, no exception. POSTERS DO NOT COUNT. TALKS WITHOUT EVIDENCE (ABSTRACT BOOK ENTRY, LETTER FROM ORGANIZER) ALSO DO NOT COUINT.
  3. Please sign up for the semester in which your conference is scheduled, either winter or summer. If your conference is outside one of these semesters (e.g. July to September) then sign up rather for the next semester (e.g. winter). In extreme cases you can add them retroactively to the previous semester. In this case, inform me and provide evidence (in this case, likely confirmation that you will give a talk in the upcoming conference)

 8. These situations will not be considered to be exceptions from 2017 on:

  1. Lab meeting presentations
  2. Presentations for other departments of the University that are not KMG
  3. Presentations that were made that were not in English

RECOMMENDATION: If you are not sure when you will give your seminar and in what capacity, I suggest that by default you sign up for the winter semester. In exceptional cases when you do not succeed in to fulfill this requirement, you can cancel this subject for the winter semester (PENALTY MAY APPLY) and sign up for the giving the talk in the summer semester.

ANOTHER RECOMMENDATION ABOUT COMMUNICATING ABOUST TALKS WITH ORGANIZERS/GUARANTORS: It will best for all involved if you can document your negotiated arrangements with the organizers/guarantor by email-either by communicating by email or sending an email confirming a verbal arrangement. The truth is such arrangements often are forgotten by the time the credits are given out.

Just a few notes about the rules. If did do presentation at a conference in English, yes you did fulfill the requirement. But, you are still welcome to present here for the reasons I gave in the preamble.

Also, I cannot emphasize enough that no one will police whether you fulfilled this requirement or not until the point of getting the signature in your index. You will be informed every year of the possibilities to give your talk, but that’s it. It is up to you to schedule and do the talk yourself.

For students starting their doctoral studies in the summer: your requirement for giving the PhD talk will start in the next academic year (i.e. you beging your studies in summer 2020, so your requirement will start in the winter semester of 2020). This to synchronize all the student’s requirements so that everyone can better keep track of them .

Talk format:

 1. 12 minutes, strictly enforced, plus 5 minutes science discussion and 3 minutes feedback

             a. Remember this rule of thumb: 1 slide per minute

 2. The student talks are for a general audience

              a. Choose a simple story line from your project

              b. Not everyone in the department knows about the details of your project, so please try to give the RELEVANT background so that people will understand                                that simple story

              c. Do not try to put ALL your data into the presentation but only what is relevant to that simple story

              d. This is a challenging task, but it has been accomplished

 3. You are expected to stay for all the talks in your session and not just your own, so please plan to stay for the whole duration of the session (or retreat).

Disclaimers about the seminars:

1. Provided title talks for posting are final, so please DO NOT request title changes after you have submitted them as we have limited capacity to make these changes.

2. Of course, you can rename the talks as you please, but it will not be updated in the postings

Organizer of PhD student seminar: Lenka Chodáková (email: and Michaela Kunzová (