Doctoral School of Molecular Biology and Biological Chemistry
The Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences runs a Doctoral School of Molecular Biology and Biological Chemistry (SMBBC) entitled to grant PhD degrees in biological and chemical sciences.
The education cycle at SMBBC lasts 4 years and ends in a public defense of a PhD dissertation. Doctoral theses are evaluated by Polish and foreign reviewers. Each year, SMBBC students are required to submit a work progress report. The report is graded by three researchers, i.e. the Supervisor and two additional Evaluators, who then meet directly with the PhD student to discuss the progress of research, existing problems and means of solving them. Additionally, PhD students undergo an evaluation process at the mid-point of the 4-year education period.
PhD research projects are financed through funds obtained by the Supervisor. However, PhD students may apply for additional funds and as part of their skill training submit their own research proposals, including those for IBB PAS mini-grants. Mini-grants are evaluated by external reviewers and each year around 10 mini-grants are awarded. The allocated budget (6000 – 8000 PLN) may be used to purchase reagents, small equipment or to cover the costs of participation in scientific conferences or workshops. Moreover, in the frame of SMBBC, each PhD student is also entitled to additional funds for travel and registration expenses for academic conferences or training.
Each PhD student is entitled to receive a scholarship and is subject to obligatory work accident, old-age pension, disability and survivor’s pension insurance. Sickness insurance is voluntary and takes place upon request of the PhD student. PhD students are also subject to health insurance (details to be discussed with the Department of Human Resources of IBB PAS). In addition to free state medical care, SMBBC students may also inscribe at low-cost for an extended medical package. Each participant of the SMBBC receives an ID card entitling them to a 50% discount on public urban and railway transport. IBB PAS PhD students also have the opportunity to attend free foreign language courses, including French, German, Italian, English and Polish for foreigners.
Each year, PhD students participate in an annual Reporting Session, whose purpose is to exchange research ideas, discuss results, but also integrate the student community. PhD students also have the opportunity to participate in other joint activities, e.g. kayaking, board games or theatre spectacles.