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What is a habilitation thesis?
The habilitation thesis, as well as the bachelor, diploma, doctoral or rigorous thesis, must be submitted in writing, bound in hardcover. However, the habilitation work differs significantly from the above mentioned works in its structure. The habilitation thesis is not divided into a theoretical and a practical part as it is with a thesis or dissertation and the requirements for its expertise are many times higher. There are several types of habilitation theses. The habilitation thesis can be either a monograph published or a paper that brings new scientific knowledge, a set of published scientific papers accompanied by a commentary, a translation work accompanied by comments of appropriate quality and scope, or a scientific study, or a vocabulary that enriches that scientific field.
Habilitation thesis and habilitation procedure
Course of habilitation procedure
For the habilitation procedure, the candidate for the title of Associate Professor shall report himself / herself. The applicant submits a proposal for initiation of the habilitation procedure to the Dean of the faculty, who is accredited for the given field of habilitation, or to the Rector, if the university is accredited for the given field. Part of the habilitation procedure is the defense of the habilitation thesis, habilitation lectures and the assessment of the applicant’s professional qualification based on the following criteria. The number of habilitation lectures varies again according to the university where the habilitation procedure takes place, but there are usually three of them, one of which takes place before the Scientific Council. The length of a habilitation lecture usually does not exceed twenty minutes. After the habilitation lecture in front of the Scientific Board, the applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the opinions of the opponents of his / her habilitation thesis. The applicant is thus given the opportunity to defend himself, as in the case of a bachelor, master, doctoral or rigorous thesis. If the candidate successfully fulfills all the prerequisite criteria of the habilitation procedure, the rector of the given university appoints an associate professor. Appointing an associate professor on the basis of a habilitation thesis defense is a prerequisite for future profits.
The Habilitation Commission, in the composition approved by the Scientific Council, appoints three opponents of the habilitation thesis. Of course, only one opponent of a given habilitation thesis may be appointed from the university where the habilitation procedure takes place. The habilitation committee will assess in secret ballot the scientific qualification of the applicant for the given field, his / her previous teaching practice and will evaluate the level of the habilitation thesis based on the opinions of the opponents. An applicant’s appointment as an associate professor must be recommended by a majority of the habilitation committee; if not, the habilitation procedure is suspended.
Criteria for successful completion of the habilitation procedure
The elaboration and defense of the habilitation thesis is not the only criterion that the candidate for the title of associate professor must meet. The criteria for earning this academic degree vary by university. In general, however, an assistant professor must be a PhD student, which means that he / she must have a CSc. or Ph.D. and in the habilitation procedure they must demonstrate sufficient pedagogical and scientific competence. Therefore, the evaluation criteria include mainly the applicant’s publishing and teaching activities. Before the habilitation procedure, however, the applicant submits, in addition to the annotation of his habilitation thesis, a list of all his professional activities such as work experience, internships, attendance at conferences, completed grants or even his own patents.
Publication activity is the processing of professional texts such as bachelor’s, master’s, dissertation or rigorous papers, monographs, textbooks or textbooks. However, only peer-reviewed research texts are considered relevant for the habilitation procedure. In the humanities, only the work for which the candidate is the sole or principal author is counted in the number of works required. The main author in this context is the head of the author’s collective, who designed the research, co-ordinated and wrote a significant part of the publication. As part of the habilitation procedure, relevant publications and abstracts are not included in relevant publications, even if they are published in quality journals or anthologies.
The publication activity also includes the candidate’s citation index, which indicates how much the author is quoted in English or foreign literature. However, so-called self-citations are not considered within the applicant’s citation index. Self-citation means that the candidate’s name appears in the list of authors citing the work.
A sufficient pedagogical competence is understood to be a systematic pedagogical activity at a university in the UK for at least three years and a continuous activity in the pedagogical tasks of the university, eg in doctoral or master studies. The applicant is obliged to submit a list of his / her previous pedagogical activities with the necessary specification before starting the habilitation procedure, so he / she must state whether he / she has held seminars, exercises or lectures as well as a brief description of the subject being taught. In the overview of his / her current pedagogical activity, the applicant also mentions the management of bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral or rigorous theses and any presiding or membership of the committee chairing the state final or rigorous examination. To the list of existing pedagogical activities, the applicant may also provide his / her guarantee for a particular study program or subject and his / her membership in the Board of Study Programmakers.