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Modular Doctoral Program

Important announcement

In the academic year 2012-13 the Modular Doctoral Program is only open to pre-selected applicants from the American University-Central Asia. Come back in the academic year 2013-14 for updates.


Program Description

The program is designed for the junior faculty of HESP supported institutions* and HESP AFP Partner Departments** who would like to pursue modular studies for the degree of PhD or SJD (for legal studies students) at the Central European University. A modular doctoral program allows the students to work on their dissertation while remaining at the same time closely connected to their home departments. It is a flexible program with an individualized approach that does not require continuous residence on the university premises. The program is divided into modules, some of which require the student’s presence at CEU (e.g. coursework modules), while some others can be completed at a distance (e.g. fieldwork, writing up).

Admissions Information

An applicant for a modular doctoral program should be a faculty member currently teaching at one of the HESP supported institutions or HESP AFP Partner Departments. All applicants must secure a letter of support from their department head confirming that they are allowed to enroll in a modular doctoral program and that they will remain in employment throughout the course of their studies*** . The letter should indicate clearly which Department the applicant is teaching at and which CEU Department/s the applicant is planning to apply to. A scanned version of the original letter must be submitted to Tatiana Yarkova at yarkovat@ceu.hu no later than November 30, 2010 . Eligibility decision will be announced by the end of 2010. After their eligibility has been confirmed, the applicants should apply to CEU using the regular application procedure. An applicant for a modular doctoral program should meet standard CEU and relevant Departmental requirements. An application can be made to any CEU Department that offers a doctoral program, with the exception of the Department of Mathematics and Its Applications. The application deadline for a modular doctoral program to commence in the academic year 2011-12 is January 24, 2011. For further information on the admission process please visit http://www.ceu.hu/admissions Please note that all quires about the admissions process should be addressed to theCEU admissions office and/or relevant department/s.

Financial Aid

The tuition fees for this program are covered by CEU, and the stipend and travel expenses are covered by HESP for up to six years of doctoral study for selected applicants. Students of modular doctoral program are entitled to a maximum of five return trips to CEU in the course of their studies, and a stipend for a maximum of 26 months, to be broken up between six years based on an agreement between the student and the Department.

For further information, please contact your local AFP coordinator or Tatiana Yarkova at yarkovat@ceu.hu

* HESP – International Higher Education Support Program of the Open Society Institute
For the list of HESP supported institutions, please see
http://www.soros.org/initiatives/hesp/contact/network_institutions
Please note faculty of institutions from EU countries are not eligible to apply

** AFP – Academic Fellowship Program
For the list of HESP AFP Partner Departments, please see http://www.soros.org/initiatives/hesp/focus/afp/#bottom
Please note faculty of AFP Partner Departments from EU countries are not eligible to apply

***Please note that HESP reserves the right to discontinue PhD support in case of change of employment

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am not teaching at an AFP department/HESP-supported institution. How can I make my department an AFP department?
A: Your department needs to submit an application for the Academic Fellowship Program (AFP). You will find all relevant information here http://www.soros.org/initiatives/hesp/focus/afp Should you have specific questions, please address them to AFP staff whose contact details you can find on the above website.

Q: I am teaching at an AFP department, but I don't have a western degree. Am I eligible for the modular doctoral program?
A: You do NOT need to have a western degree to apply for the modular doctoral program. However, you do need to have an MA degree or higher. If you only have a 5-year specialist degree, you are not eligible for the CEU doctoral program. Remember that you will need to send us a support letter and receive an official confirmation of your eligibility before you can apply to CEU for the modular program.

Q: What are the requirements for applying to the modular doctoral program?
A: Once you’ve sent us the support letter and your eligibility has been confirmed, you should apply to CEU using the regular application procedure. You should select “modular doctoral program” when choosing your department in the online application form. You will find detailed information on the CEU admissions page http://www.ceu.hu/admissions If you don’t find the answers to your question on the admissions website or on the website of the relevant department, please contact CEU admission coordinators through either live Skype chat (you will find the link at the bottom of the admissions webpage) or by e-mail at admissions@ceu.hu

Q: I got accepted for the modular doctoral program, what are my next steps?
A: CEU admissions office will send you a package detailing what your next steps should be. You will be asked to pay a deposit to CEU by bank transfer, after which the CEU admissions office will issue you with a formal letter of invitation for visa purposes. You will need to pay the deposit yourself, it will be returned to you after the completion of your studies. After you have received your letter of invitation, you can apply for your visa. Please coordinate all airfare, visa and other related expenses with the Modular Program manager Tatiana Yarkova at yarkovat@ceu.hu. Your expenses will be reimbursed based on prior approval by the program manager. Regarding accommodation, there may be a possibility to have a booking for you at the CEU residence center http://www.ceu.hu/studentlife/facilities/residence%20. However, the availability of rooms at the dorm is not guaranteed. You may need to find your own accommodation, although the program manager will help with advice. Check with your department the dates of the orientation week. They will advise on the best arrival date. Once at CEU, your department coordinator and student services are there for you to help you understand the way CEU works.

Q: I got accepted to a modular doctoral program. What happens if my department loses the AFP status while I am doing my studies?
A: Once you become a CEU modular student, your status depends on the successful progression of your studies, not on the status of your host department.

Q: CEU is asking me to pay a deposit before issuing me with a letter of invitation. Can this deposit be paid for me by the modular program?
A: No, you should pay the deposit yourself. It will be returned to you once your studies are completed and you have returned all the books to the library, etc.

Q:How is the modular doctoral program organized?
A: The program is the same as the regular CEU doctoral program in every respect except for the residency requirement – that is that the students don't need to spend their entire time in Budapest. The schedule of residency is agreed individually between each student and their respective department, and aims to achieve a balance between CEU requirements and students’ commitments in their home universities.

Q: How much time does one need to spend at CEU for “face to face” interaction?
A: There are no strict rules; it depends on the agreement between the student and the supervisor/department. The main requirement is for the student to complete the coursework, which usually means that a modular student would spend the first semester of the first year and the second semester of the second year at CEU. After that, it is very flexible, and, with supervisor's consent, the student can spend as much or as little time at CEU as necessary, and for periods of time of any length -- for as long as they don't go over the total of 26 months and 5 trips in total. There is a separate fund for shorter visits, such as for example for the comprehensive exam, CEU conferences, and defense.

Q: How many times per year one has to travel to CEU?
A: There are no rules. Once you have done your coursework and passed your comprehensive exam, it's flexible. Your supervisor should be able to advise you on the most appropriate study plan which takes into account your teaching obligations back home.

Q: What are the requirements for a modular doctoral student?
A: The requirements for a modular doctoral student are exactly the same as for all the other doctoral students in the same department, except for the residency requirement. Usually it means completing the coursework and doing the comprehensive exam, only modular doctoral students can take a longer time for that (e.g. two years instead of one), and then of course writing and defending your dissertation. However, different departments may have different specific requirements, and you should check the relevant departmental website for more information. At the beginning of your studies, there will be a departmental orientation, during which all the requirements will be explained. Once at CEU, departmental coordinator for doctoral studies, the head of the doctoral committee or your supervisor are there for you to explain what remains unclear.

Q: How does a doctoral student get assigned with a supervisor? What are the credit loads? Who should approve the choice of courses?
A: All academic matters are to be discussed with your supervisor and/or head of the doctoral committee and/or departmental coordinator for PhD students.

Q: Is it possible to complete the program in a shorter period of time than 6 years?
A: Yes. However, the idea of the modular doctoral program is to provide a flexible schedule for the faculty who continue teaching at their home institutions, which doesn’t make it very likely. If you feel you have a lot of time on your hands and can do a full-time PhD, you should apply for a regular CEU doctoral program, which has a similar financial package. If you do choose to do a modular, you can of course still finish it in a shorter period of time, but you may need to be prepared for a significant strain.

Q: What is the stipend? Does CEU provide accommodations for the duration of my stay in Budapest? What are other benefits?
A: The stipend is 180,000 HUF, which by the current exchange rate is about 1,000 USD (this information is from October 16, 2009). You should pay for your own accommodation from that stipend -- and there may be a possibility to get a room at CEU dorm, but it is not guaranteed. The room at CEU dorm presently costs 2,000 HUF per day. It is also possible to find an apartment in town, but it will be slightly more expensive. Either way, the stipend is enough to cover your living expenses. In addition to the stipend, you also get the following covered: your enrollment fees and your health insurance for the time of your stay in Budapest. There is also a short-trip fund, which can be used when necessary in addition to your 26 months of stipend and 5 trips to CEU. The fund covers short visits to CEU for purposes such as: departmental conferences, comprehensive exam, and defense. The fund can be used once a year if the valid reason for an additional visit is provided and supported by your department.

Q: Is the stipend of 180,000 HUF for every month during the year for all 6 years of the program?
A: No. Remember, this is modular PhD -- not regular PhD. Which means you will not be staying here for the whole six years. Your stipend will only be paid to you when you are physically present in Budapest. You get a total of 26 months of stipend which can be divided between 6 years.

Q: Is it possible to bring a spouse/child with me for the time of my stay in Budapest?
A: It's possible, but there are no special allowances for spouses/children -- which means that you will need to arrange health-insurance for the spouse and/or children, arrange for baby-sitting or kindergarten/school, and cover all of their other expenses yourself. You may need to present evidence that you have extra funds available to support your family when applying for your visas.

Q:Is there some kind of day-care center or kindergarten at CEU?
A: Unfortunately, no. The costs of baby-sitting are presently around 1,000 HUF per hour.


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