Regulation for PhD Dissertations


1. Introduction

The procedure for awarding doctoral degrees is governed by the applicable Higher Education provisions and the supplementary provisions of the HOU Founding Law. The internal Doctoral Studies Regulation includes the procedures for accepting doctoral candidates and evaluating the progress of PhD dissertations. 

2. Submission of candidatures

The person interested in elaborating a PhD dissertation in the HOU should contact a member of the Academic Research Staff of the HOU with research interests approaching the cognitive field, on which the candidate wishes to prepare the dissertation. The member of the Academic Research Staff of the HOU should assess the candidate's qualifications, whether his research interests coincide with the research goals of the member of the Academic Research Staff and his/her workload and should accordingly encourage him/her to apply to the Faculty’s Deanery . 

3. Selection of candidates

Based on academic criteria and with the positive recommendation by the member of the Academic Research Staff, who intends to undertake the supervision of the PhD dissertation, the Deanery shall deem whether the candidate meets the conditions for elaborating a PhD dissertation and shall appoint the member of the Academic Research Staff that proposed the Doctoral Candidate as a rapporteur. The rapporteur proposes a three-member Advisory Committee (AC).

Doctoral candidates should:

3.1 Hold degrees from Greek Higher Education Institutions (university or technological sector) or recognised degrees by foreign Higher Education Institutions.

3.2 Hold a relevant postgraduate specialisation degree

3.3 If the Faculty deems it appropriate, the candidate, before starting the dissertation, is required to successfully attend one or more postgraduate Modules of the HOU in addition to the conditions of section 3.2. In this case, the candidate is enrolled to the respective Modules, without a draw, in addition to the provided number of entrants.

3.4 Candidates are required to speak at least English fluently and be able to prove it. The Faculty may also request for the candidate to speak one or more languages in addition, if so required by the subject of the dissertation.  

4. Supervisor and Advisory Committee (AC)

The supervisor of the dissertation (member of the above Advisory Committee) is a member of the Academic Research Staff of the HOU, at the professor, associate professor or assistant professor rank, with research interests relevant to the subject of the doctoral dissertation. The other two members should have research interests relevant to the subject of the doctoral dissertation and may be members of the Academic Research Staff of the same Faculty (or department) of the same or another University in Greece or abroad, who have retired due to the age-limit for University professors, professors of Higher Military Schools or members of Research Staff of TEI. and A.S.PAI.T.E. or researchers of 1st, 2nd or 3rd level of a recognised research centre in Greece or abroad, holding a PhD degree.

If research infrastructure is required for the PhD dissertation that the HOU cannot provide, the decision of the Deanery should also mention the organisation (University, Research Centre, Public or Private enterprise) that will provide these conditions. It is the responsibility of the Deanery to check whether the DS can actually make regular and essential use of this infrastructure.

The maximum number of DSs to be supervised at the same time by one member of the Academic Research Staff is set to five. 

5. Timetable and Prerequisites

The AC with the collaboration of the DS recommends to the Deanery, within a reasonable time from the student's enrolment, the research field of the dissertation and, if it deems appropriate, it determines one or more Modules that the DS should attend.

The AC may recommend (and the Deanery of the Faculty may decide) that the DS attends a postgraduate Module as a prerequisite for the beginning of the PhD dissertation even if the DS holds a postgraduate specialisation degree.

In the event that the DS must attend a postgraduate Module, then he/she shall have all the obligations of postgraduate students of the HOU, but can also work on research at the same time, making use of the research infrastructure provided. The time for the preparation of the PhD dissertation shall commence after the successful completion of the Module.

The total period from the enrolment of the DS until the preparation and writing of the PhD Dissertation cannot be less than four (three in case that the DS is not required to attend any Module) full academic years. The actual research work for the Dissertation cannot be less than three years. Doctoral candidates enjoy postgraduate rights for a period not exceeding 8 academic years from their enrolment to the doctoral course. After this time, the student loses his or her position as a doctoral candidate.

The Doctoral Student (DS) is entitled to request, for serious reasons, to suspend his/her studies during his course of studies. Such suspension may be granted for one (1) or a maximum of two (2) years. In both cases, the total duration of the PhD dissertation may not exceed 8 years after the DS's enrolment to the DS Register of the HOU, including any suspension period. The suspension of studies is approved by the Rector of the Faculty, where the DS is enrolled, following the positive recommendation by the three-member advisory committee.

6. Doctoral Research and evaluation procedure

The time for preparing the PhD Dissertation is divided into three periods and the DS has the obligation to pay the corresponding contribution to the doctoral tuition fees at the beginning of each period. This contribution corresponds to the contribution to the tuition fees of one Module for each period. The MC, following the recommendation by the Deanery, may award scholarships (exemption from tuition fees) up to 100% for DSs. In particular: 

Period 1 

Within 10 months from the beginning of the PhD Dissertation, the DS shall submit to the AC a proposal which shall include the following:

  1. A review of the literature pointing out the need for additional research in the proposed subject field.
  2. The specific scientific field to which the dissertation and its subject point out.
  3. The methods of analysis, research that are considered probable and sufficient.
  4. Dissertation timetable.

In an oral test, the CA shall examine the scientific preparation of the DS and shall recommend to the Deanery of the Faculty the continuation of the PhD Dissertation or the interruption of studies. 

Period 2

In the following period, that has a duration corresponding to the subject of the dissertation, the DS carries out a research and has the right to use, in consultation with the supervisor, the technical infrastructure of the HOU or/and other Universities or/and Research Centres or other public or private organisations that cooperate with the HOU. The AC of each DS, on the initiative and under the responsibility of the Supervisor, meets regularly with the participation of the DS. The DS shall submit a relevant memorandum, at least once every six months, in order to inform the AC and to examine and coordinate the research work. Based on these meetings, the AC shall submit a relevant progress report to the Deanery of the Faculty at the end of each year. 

Period 3

When the AC deems that the PhD dissertation has been completed, then the writing period begins under the guidance of its advisers. The defence of the dissertation takes place in public before a seven-member Examination Committee consisting of the three-member Advisory Committee, other members of the Academic Research Staff or Researchers assigned in accordance with the applicable legislation.

The examination committee is established by the Deanery of the Faculty further to a proposal by the Advisory Committee. The Deanery of the Faculty may recommend conditions for the submission of the dissertation to be evaluated. The supervisor of the dissertation is responsible for promptly informing the Faculty on the place and time that the dissertation will be defended. 

Prior to the defence of the PhD Dissertation, the doctoral candidate shall send (1) copy to each member of the seven-member Examination Committee. The candidate shall discuss the content of his/her dissertation in public before the Examination Committee and shall answer the questions and comments of its members. With the Committee's consent, the audience may also ask questions to the candidate.

Then the candidate and the audience shall leave.

The Committee shall express its final judgement. The Committee shall consider how original the content of the dissertation is and whether its contribution to science is significant. The approval is confirmed by the minutes, which include a recommendation by the supervisor, a justification of the votes by the members of the Committee and is submitted to the Deanery. 

After the dissertation has been approved and after all necessary corrections have been made (if any), the candidate shall submit (3) copies of the dissertation in its final form to the Deanery of the Faculty, one (1) copy to the Library and one (1) copy to the Department of Education, in order to be sent to the National Documentation Centre (NDC).

All copies shall be submitted in printed and electronic form.

The candidates are also required - following the successful presentation/ examination of their PhD dissertation - along with any corrections or supplements, even annexes, notes, articles, supporting material, etc. - to post it to the repository of the HOU ( ). 

At the end of the PhD dissertation, the following should be stated and signed:  “I hereby expressly declare that, according to the article 8 of Law 1559/1986, this PhD dissertation is solely the product of my personal work, does not infringe any intellectual property, personality and personal data rights of third parties, does not contain works/contributions from third parties for which the permission of the authors/beneficiaries is required, is not the product of partial or total plagiarism, and that the sources used are limited to the literature references alone and meet the rules of scientific citations”.

The PhD dissertation remains the intellectual property of the candidate, but in the context of open access policy he/she grants to the HOU a non-exclusive license to use the right of reproduction, customisation, public lending, presentation to an audience and digital dissemination thereof internationally, in electronic form and by any means for teaching and research purposes, for no fee and throughout the duration of intellectual property rights. Free access to the full text for studying and reading does not in any way mean that the author/creator shall allocate his/her intellectual property rights, nor shall he/she allow the reproduction, republication, copy, storage, sale, commercial use, transmission, distribution, publication, execution, downloading, uploading, translating, modifying in any way, of any part or summary of the PhD dissertation, without the explicit prior written consent of the author/creator. Creators retain all their moral and property rights.

The HOU, as part of the open access policy for PhD Dissertations, voluntarily proposes the management of intellectual property rights of PhD dissertations with Creative Commons licenses ( If doctoral candidates select this method, they should indicate at a distinct point in their PhD dissertation the particular license they use to make it available. Applying Creative Commons licenses does not affect the free access of the full text of dissertations, but it defines the relationship between the PhD dissertation, the submitting parties and the reading audience.

Doctoral candidates, who have met all the requirements for the award of a Ph.D. degree, are proclaimed Doctors by the Deanery.

The date of proclamation shall be the date that the Deanery meets to decide on the relevant approval.

Period 4

The appointment of doctors takes place at the Deanery, in the presence of the Rector, the Deans and members of the University Community or in the presence of the Rector, the Deans and members of the University Community after the decision on the approval by the Deanery.

The text of the doctor's appointment is as follows (read by the Rector and repeated by the appointed parties): 

“Since the Distinguished Faculty of ................................ further to the confirmatory agreement of the Rector deemed that I am worthy, after examination, to be ranked among its doctors, I hereby submit this affidavit thereto and to the Deanery:“I will try, as hard as I can, to always cultivate and highlight science in my life, and lead it to its best, without exerting it for profit and vanity, but for the purposes of promoting knowledge for the good of society. I will willingly do anything to improve the morals and the modesty of the people. I will not offend other people’s work in an absurd way trying to degrade it and I will always teach the subject of my scientific knowledge and the results of my research. I will not distort science, nor will I shame the function of proponent of the Muses with moral impiety.

According to this promise, may God help me in life”.” 

The proclaimed Doctor is awarded a degree, signed by the Rector, the Dean and the Head of Administrative Departments, and is sealed with the University stamp.

No grade or any other qualification is mentioned on the PhD degrees awarded.