Postgraduate interdisciplinary university study programme Environment Protection and Nature Conservation

about the programme, programme outline, conditions of delivery

Name of the study programme

  • Postgraduate interdisciplinary university study programme Environment Protection and Nature Conservation

Institution providing the programme

  • Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek
  • Trg Sv. Trojstva 3
  • 31 000 Osijek

Institutions delivering the programme

The postgraduate interdisciplinary university study programme Environment Protection and Nature Conservation is delivered by the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Department of Biology and the Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb.

  • Institut Ruđer Bošković, Zagreb
  • Bijenička 54, P.P. 180
  • http://www.irb.hr

Programme director

  • Dr. Enrih Merdić, full professor and head of the Department of Biology

Innovative character of the postgraduate study programme

Interdisciplinarity

The interdisciplinarity of this postgraduate study programme is reflected in the content of obligatory, general and elective courses in the area of natural and biotechnical sciences and the scientific fields of biology, chemistry, agriculture and technology.

Collaboration

Maintaining a healthy environment and increasing the quality of life takes a collaborative approach of public, private and civil sectors. The postgraduate interdisciplinary study programme encompasses different scientific fields, engages 55 members of the teaching staff appointed to research and teaching ranks and 12 associates from 10 academic and research institutions.

Partnership with the industry and the business sector

U srpnju 2002. godine je registriran Tehnologijsko/razvojni centar u Osijeku gdje je uz Osječko/baranjsku županiju i Grad Osijek, Sveučilište Josipa Jurja Strossmayera jedan od osnivača.

The TERA – Technology and Development Centre was founded in Osijek in July 2002 by the Osijek-Baranja County, the City of Osijek, and the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University. The TERA activities include transfer of research and specialist knowledge about technology of production, promotion of applied research, industrial applications and market exploitation of research results and new technologies, transfer of knowledge from the public research sector to production, establishing cooperation between science and economy, including researchers in the economic development process, providing infrastructure, advisory, marketing and other support for innovative and technological projects and innovators in order to aid with project implementation, evaluation, legal protection and application in production; assistance to institutions of local self-government in drafting and implementing technological development and innovative entrepreneurship concepts and models; and supporting the development of business incubators network and small business zones (technology parks). These activities rely on the previous experience with commercialization of publicly funded research and technology transfer. The development of technology and innovation is aligned with the polycentric development of the University.

Entry requirements

A public call for applications is launched by the University for candidates who have completed the pre-Bologna undergraduate programme (8 or 9 semesters), or an MA programme:

  • In the area of natural and biotechnical sciences (programmes in biology, chemistry, physics, geosciences, mathematics, agriculture, food processing, chemical engineering, biotechnology, forestry)
    a) other university programmes, provided that candidates take additional exams, as decided by the Council
  • Candidates who were previously enrolled in the MA interdisciplinary study programme in Environment Protection and Nature Conservation. If they have passed all the exams from the first two years of the MA programme, they are enrolled in the 4th semester and awarded 90 ECTS.
  • Candidates with MA degrees who have completed any postgraduate programme in the area of natural and biotechnical sciences, provided that they have published a paper in a journal cited in CC. They are awarded 120 ECTS and enrolled in the 5th semester.

Duration of the postgraduate study:
The postgraduate university study programme (PhD) takes 6 semesters (3 years). The first three semesters are dedicated to teaching, and the remaining three semesters to obligatory and elective activities and writing the thesis.
Students earn 90 ECTS for attending lectures, seminars and practicums, 60 ECTS for participating in obligatory and elective activities, and 30 ECTS for drafting a thesis, i.e. a total of 180 ECTS.

Admission criteria and selection of candidates

The programme is open to candidates who have completed an undergraduate programme (8 or 9 semesters), or a graduate programme in the area of natural or biotechnical sciences (in relevant fields of biology, chemistry, agriculture, food processing, chemical engineering, biotechnology, forestry) and have the GPA of 3.5 or higher. It is also open to candidates who have completed other university programmes, pending the decision of the Council as to what additional exams the candidate needs to take. Exceptionally, candidates with the GPA below 3.5 can be considered, provided they submit letters of reference of two professors. All applicants must have mastery of at least one foreign language, and need to submit a certificate of language competence issued by a certified foreign language school or a certified transcript of grades from their undergraduate programme. The selection of candidates is carried out based on the criteria published in the call.
The application must contain:

  • personal data and address
  • certified copy of the certificate of Croatian citizenship, or proof of nationality
  • certified copy of the diploma
  • transcript of grades
  • letters of reference of two professors (for candidates whose GPA is below 3.5)
  • CV
  • proof of foreign language competence

The applications are submitted personally or by email to the Postgraduate study secretariat of the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University in Osijek.

Kompetencije koje student stječe završetkom studija, mogućnosti nastavka znanstvenog istraživačkog rada, mogućnost usavršavanja, te mogućnosti zapošljavanja u privatnom i javnom sektoru

Competences

On completion of the programme, graduates get a PhD in the area of natural and biotechnical sciences and the relevant field (e.g. PhD in biotechnical sciences/agriculture), as defined in the Act on Academic and Professional Titles and the Academic Degree and the List of Academic Titles and Ranks of the Rectors’ Conference.

Career opportunities: further post-doctoral education and employment in the private and public sectors
Post-doctoral research can be continued on projects in the environmental sector at HEIs and research institutions in Croatia and abroad. Graduates can find employment at faculties, institutes and other public institutions, laboratories, state, county and city administration, companies, and schools.

Structure and organization of the postgraduate study programme

    The postgraduate interdisciplinary university study programme Environment Protection and Nature Conservation offers:

  • obligatory courses
  • general elective courses
  • specialist elective courses in different fields of science: biology, chemistry, agriculture, technology

Doctoral students select general and specialist elective courses before the 2nd semester, after consultation with their supervisor, co-supervisor or programme director and in line with their research interests.

The study programme is based on the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), where each credit represents the student’s workload, i.e. the time required for meeting course requirements. This takes into account not only the time spent in lectures, seminars and practicums, but also the time spent studying, taking exams and other types of evaluation. The credits are awarded on passing the exam and meeting other course or programme requirements. A certain amount of ECTS credits earned is a precondition for progression to next semesters, as well as for starting work on the dissertation. ECTS is determined for each course, based on the number of teaching hours, the importance and complexity of the course, and other course requirements.

The teaching is done in the first three semesters: in the 1st and 2nd semester students take obligatory courses. Doctoral students are assigned a supervisor and co-supervisor during the 1st semester. General and specialist elective courses are offered in the 3rd semester, and the doctoral students start doing research for a research paper in the 4th semester. In the 5th semester students take active part in various obligatory and elective activities: lectures, study trips, round tables, conferences, laboratory work. The 6th semester is dedicated to writing a thesis. The teaching can be organized as lectures as well as consultation, seminars, individual or group research, etc. The organization and delivery of the postgraduate study programme are defined in the Ordinance on Study Programmes and Studying of the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University.

Courses

Each course description consists of the course title, number of teaching hours, course code, professor, institution delivering the course, teaching associates, course status, course objectives, course content, competences, knowledge and skills, ECTS, grading system, required and additional reading.

Progression and obligations of doctoral students

The programme takes 6 semesters. During the 1st and 2nd semester students take obligatory courses, delivered either as lectures, consultations, practicums, seminars, discussions or round tables. During the 1st semester students should earn at least 24 ECTS credits for progression to the 2nd semester. In the 2nd semester students must earn additional 24 ECTS credits (48 ECTS in total). In the 3rd semester students choose general or specialist objectives to earn at least 30 ECTS. They are obligated to choose at least two general electives. For each elective students need to write and present a seminar paper.
In the 4th semester students start doing research under supervision, and are required to publish a research paper in a journal. ECTS credits are awarded when the paper is in print or has been published in the journal. Papers can be co-authored, but only the first author is awarded ECTS credits. In the 5th semester students take part in various extracurricular activities, such as giving lectures at HEIs, studying abroad, taking study trips, organizing round tables, presenting at conferences (presentations or posters), and laboratory work.
Additional ECTS credits for extracurricular activities are awarded as proposed by the supervisor and subject to approval by the programme director and the Council of the Postgraduate Study. Students should earn at least 30 ECTS credits for extracurricular activities. A total of 140 ECTS credits is required for progression to the 6th semester. The 6th semester is dedicated to the writing of the doctoral dissertation. 30 ECTS credits are awarded for completing the doctoral dissertation. Doctoral students may be employed outside the system of higher education (part-time students) or at HEIs (full-time students). Full-time doctoral students are obligated to graduate within five years, part-time students within 7 years.

Supervision and guidance, obligations of supervisors

The postgraduate interdisciplinary university study programme Environment Protection and Nature Conservation is based on the system of supervision. Each doctoral student is assigned a supervisor (mentor) during the 2nd semester. Supervisors are either assistant, associate or full professors. As a rule, they are also principle investigators on projects and teach in the postgraduate study programme. Supervisors’ tasks include organizing teaching, practicums, consultations and exams, as well as supervision and guidance of doctoral students, helping them to choose electives, including them in research activities, assisting them with selecting the research topic, and drafting their doctoral dissertation.

Courses that can be taught in English

All obligatory courses that can be taught in English:
Introduction to Environment and Nature Protection, Methodology of Writing Research Papers, Statistical Methods in Environmental Science, Environmental Physics, Environmental Chemistry, Ecology, Ecotoxicology, Biodiversity and Introduction to Nature Conservation, Legal, Economic and Social Perspectives of Environment Protection, Environment Protection Projects.

Criteria for ECTS transfer

The programme is aligned with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), which means that students can, upon approval of the supervisor, select any course offered by postgraduate study programmes of the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University, or other Croatian or European universities who have the ECTS system. As a general rule, ECTS credits originally assigned by the institution delivering the programme are transferred, on approval by the programme director. In cases of grave discrepancies, the final decision is made by the Council. External doctoral students from Croatia and abroad are free to take courses offered by the postgraduate interdisciplinary university study programme Environment Protection and Nature Conservation.

Completion of the programme and submitting the thesis proposal

Procedure and conditions for accepting the thesis proposal

The postgraduate interdisciplinary university study programme Environment Protection and Nature Conservation is completed by writing and defending a doctoral dissertation (viva). After choosing a dissertation topic in cooperation with the supervisor and the programme director, doctoral students need to submit the thesis proposal using the appropriate form. The proposal should contain the following parts: proposed topic of dissertation, rationale, methodology, bibliography and expected scientific contribution. Candidates should also submit their CV and list of publications.
The thesis proposal form is signed by the supervisor, co-supervisor and project director and submitted to the Postgraduate study secretariat. It is further reviewed by the Council of the Postgraduate Study, which forwards it to the Committee for Postgraduate Studies, Doctorates and Honorary Doctorates.
The Committee for Postgraduate Studies, Doctorates and Honorary Doctorates reviews the thesis proposal. If it is found to be incomplete, it can be amended within 30 days. The signed thesis proposal is then sent to the University Senate. The Senate appoints the assessment committee of at least 3 members, who need to submit their assessment within 90 days, in which they either accept or reject the proposed topic and formally appoint a supervisor.

Procedure and conditions for accepting the thesis proposal

The postgraduate interdisciplinary university study programme Environment Protection and Nature Conservation is completed by writing and defending a doctoral dissertation (viva). After choosing a dissertation topic in cooperation with the supervisor and the programme director, doctoral students need to submit the thesis proposal using the appropriate form. The proposal should contain the following parts: proposed topic of dissertation, rationale, methodology, bibliography and expected scientific contribution. Candidates should also submit their CV and list of publications.
The thesis proposal form is signed by the supervisor, co-supervisor and project director and submitted to the Postgraduate study secretariat. It is further reviewed by the Council of the Postgraduate Study, which forwards it to the Committee for Postgraduate Studies, Doctorates and Honorary Doctorates.
The Committee for Postgraduate Studies, Doctorates and Honorary Doctorates reviews the thesis proposal. If it is found to be incomplete, it can be amended within 30 days. The signed thesis proposal is then sent to the University Senate. The Senate appoints the assessment committee of at least 3 members, who need to submit their assessment within 90 days, in which they either accept or reject the proposed topic and formally appoint a supervisor.

Procedure and assessment of the doctoral dissertation

After having passed all exams and having met all other programme and financial requirements, doctoral students submit to the secretariat six unbound copies of doctoral dissertation for assessment. The language, style and design of the dissertation should follow the current standards and procedures for writing research papers.
After the assessment committee accepts the thesis proposal, the Senate makes a Decision on accepting the thesis proposal and appoints the committee for assessing the doctoral dissertation, which should draft their assessment of the dissertation within 90 days.
A doctoral candidate can defend the doctoral dissertation after the assessment committee gives a positive assessment.
If the assessment committee finds that there are shortcomings that can be corrected, a doctoral candidate has 90 days to make amendments. If they fail to do so, the doctoral dissertation is considered to be rejected.
After the dissertation assessment committee provides a positive assessment, the Senate accepts it and appoints the doctoral dissertation defence committee (i.e. examiners for viva examination) consisting of at least three members and one substitute examiner, as proposed by the Committee for Postgraduate Studies, Doctorates and Honorary Doctorates.
The doctoral dissertation defence is a public event. Doctoral candidates defend their doctoral dissertation before the defence committee. Minutes are kept and signed by all members of the defence committee and the administrator who kept the minutes. The minutes contain the decision of the committee, which can be either defended by unanimous decision of the committee, defended by the decision of a qualified majority, or not defended.
Candidates who have not defended their doctoral dissertation can submit a new thesis proposal after 90 days, but on a new topic. If a doctoral dissertation is not defended 3 years after the thesis proposal was accepted, it needs to be resubmitted.
The procedures for submitting the thesis proposal, accepting the thesis proposal, assessment and defence of the doctoral dissertation are determined in the University Statute and the Ordinance on Study Programmes and Studying of the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University.

Continuation of the interrupted postgraduate study

Students have the right to a justified interruption of postgraduate studies due to illness, military service, pregnancy, maternity leave, and in other justified cases.
Students should submit a written request for the interruption of studies to the Council of the postgraduate interdisciplinary university study programme Environment Protection and Nature Conservation, with supporting documents that justify the request. If the interruption is approved, the deadline for completion of the postgraduate studies is extended accordingly. When students wish to continue their studies, they need to submit a written request to the Council, which then determines the ECTS credits earned and further obligations.
Students who have interrupted the postgraduate university study programme Environment Protection and Nature Conservation, or students who lost the right to continue their studies at other doctoral programmes, can continue their studies at the postgraduate university study programme Environment Protection and Nature Conservation if they take differential exams determined by the Council.

Certificate of ABD status as part of life-long learning

Students can get a certificate of the ABD (all but dissertation) status if they have passed all the exams in the first three semesters and published a research paper, i.e. earned 120 ECTS, which qualifies them starting work on their dissertation in the 6th semester.
Conditions for obtaining a PhD without taking courses and exams

Candidates who have MSc degrees do not need to take courses but can enrol in the 4th or 5th semester. Candidates who have considerable scientific achievements commensurate with the requirements for appointment into scientific ranks, based on the decision by the relevant Council as determined by the University Statute, can be awarded a PhD.
Maximum duration of studies

The postgraduate interdisciplinary university study Environment Protection and Nature Conservation lasts six semesters, i.e. three years, as outlined in the Instructions for drafting university study programme proposals, and in the University Statute. The maximum duration of the studies for full time students is five years, and for part-time students seven years. Students who do not defend their doctoral dissertation lose all their student rights.
Location

The postgraduate interdisciplinary university study programme Environment Protection and Nature Conservation will be delivered in the Rectorate of the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek (Trg Sv. Trojstva 3), in the lecture halls for postgraduate studies that are fully equipped, at the Department of Biology of Josip Juraj Strossmayer University and other UNIOS faculties that are partners in this programme (Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Food Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering). There will be several-day study trips to the Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb. Some of the field work will be organized in the biological work station in Sunger and the Ruđer Bošković Institute at Rovinj, as well as during study trips and visits to reserves, national parks, nature parks, special reserves and other protected areas.

Facilities and equipment

The Rectorate encompasses 383.87 m2:

  • 76,98m2 lecture halls
  • 70,31m2 exhibition halls
  • 34m2 offices
  • 37,65m2 of protocol facilities
  • 139,73m2 auditorium
  • 25,20m2 conference interpreting booths

All lecture halls are equipped with desktops and LCD projectors. The auditorium is used for hosting international conferences and has modern conference interpreting equipment.

The Department of Biology also has modern teaching equipment (desktops, LCD projectors, TVs and DVD players. There is also a laboratory for the doctoral programme Environment Protection and Nature Conservation (Laboratory for entomology). The laboratory has extensive literature for the obligatory courses in the doctoral programme, which is available to doctoral students. Furthermore, the laboratory for entomology has the equipment needed for entomological research in the field and in the lab – entomological traps, aspirators and forceps for collecting insects, entomological cabinets and boxes, entomological needles, chemicals for insect preparation, tools and equipment for sampling insects in water habitats, insect rearing cages and glass tubs, nets, sampling fabrics, dissection tools, equipment for night collection of insects, DVDs, video CDs, software, different research monographs, popular publications and handbooks on insects and insect determination. The lab also has a dark room for insect rearing and conducting research on insects in all stages of development, with the equipment for changing the photo-period, temperature and humidity. The lab is equipped with a digester for working with hazardous chemicals, 2 microscopes, 2 binocular lenses Leica, 1 stereo zoom lens SZX16 with the digital camera and software, probes for measuring physical and chemical quality of water Consort C931, 8 computers, rubber boat for field work, 1 Lada Niva car, and 1 Dacia Sander Stepway car. This lab can be used by all students whose supervisors do not have this equipment. In addition to using the lab, students can use student accommodation facilities in the Department of Biology when they conduct research.
Some of the teaching and research will take place in our partner institutions, Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Food Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering, the Ruđer Bošković Institute Zagreb, and Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Zagreb.
List of all research laboratories that can be used for conducting doctoral research in this doctoral programme:

    FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE IN OSIJEK

  • Laboratory of the Department of Agroecology
  • Laboratory of the Department of Plant Production
  • Laboratory of The Department of Soil Chemistry, Biology and Physics
  • Laboratory of the Department of Plant Protection
    From Laboratory of the Department of Agroecology:

  • Web site

Dodatne informacije http://www.pfos.hr

    FACULTY OF FOOD TECHNOLOGY IN OSIJEK

  • Laboratory of the Department of Applied Chemistry and Ecology
  • Laboratory of the Department of Food Technology
  • Laboratory of the Department of Process Engineering

More information at organization’s web site http://www.ptfos.hr

Management of the programme

The postgraduate interdisciplinary university study programme Environment Protection and Nature Conservation is run by the project director in cooperation with the Council of the Postgraduate Study. The Council is appointed for a two-year term by the Senate and consists of 8 members – four from the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University (different faculties and departments), and four from different departments of the Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb. The Council cooperates with the Committee for Postgraduate Studies, Doctorates and Honorary Doctorates, and the UNIOS Senate.

Learning Agreement
Each doctoral student signs a Learning Agreement, which determines the rights, obligations and funding issues.

Teaching staff
Teachers at the Postgraduate Interdisciplinary University Study Programme Environment Protection and Nature Conservation

Admission quotas
The admission policy is based on the programme capacity (teaching staff, supervisors, available facilities and resources). The optimum number of students is 20 per generation.

Tuition
The tuition for the doctoral programme Environment Protection and Nature Conservation is estimated at 51,600 HRK. This does not include the costs of experimental research and drafting the doctoral dissertation, which may be covered in exchange for working on projects.

Sources of funding

    The postgraduate study programme can be funded from different sources:

  • Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia (research assistants and projects)
  • doctoral students, or institutions and companies where they work
  • trusts, funds and scholarships

Legal persons should pay the total cost of tuition at enrolment, and doctoral students can pay the tuition in instalments before the start of each semester. All costs need to be covered by the time the doctoral dissertation is submitted.
It is not possible to get a refund, no matter who covers the tuition.

Student status

  • Full time students are usually employed as research assistants, receiving full pay and benefits (social, health and occupational health benefits).
  • Part time students are employed by companies other than HEIs and have employment contracts with their employers.
  • Students can get scholarships and funding for mobility and training at other research institutions in Croatia and abroad, as well as for extracurricular activities, pending the approval of the supervisor and programme director. During the mobility period the student usually has the basic benefits (social, health and occupational health benefits).
Quality assurance

    The Quality Assurance Centre of Josip Juraj Strossmayer University monitors and seeks to improve the quality of education. It organizes student and teaching staff surveys. The quality of the postgraduate study is based on:

  • Monitoring the quality and efficiency of delivery of the study programme, focusing in particular on students’ evaluation of the programme
  • Monitoring the learning outcomes and objectives of the postgraduate study programme (knowledge, skills and techniques relevant for finding employment outside the higher education sector; employment rate, alumni)
  • Institutional mechanism for improving the quality of the postgraduate study programme (evaluation and self-evaluation procedures, student surveys, performance monitoring, performance indicators)
A quality assessment of courses is done every year by conducting surveys:

  • student assessment of the teacher (meeting schedules, preparedness, use of teaching resources, presentation skills)
  • student assessment of teaching (lectures, seminars, practicums, active participation of students, learning outcomes)

The programme director and the Council will use the results of the assessments to suggest measures for improving the quality of teaching and of the programme.

NATJEČAJ za upis pristupnika na Poslijediplomske studije Zaštita prirode i okoliša u akademskoj godini 2021./2022.Detalje pogledajte ovdje.