Royal University of Phnom Penh
Department of Biology
Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Ecology and Management
Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Ecology and Managment is research intensive and designed to prepare students for careers in academia, government, and industry as engaged scholars who are experts in their chosen field. Students must complete a minimum of 54 credits from a list of core and approved courses within their research section. They must involve in independent research that is novel and exciting culminating with a research thesis that makes an important contribution to their chosen field. More importantly, it is expected that their research work will be published in peer reviewed journals with the student listed as first author. Successful students are also trained and expected to develop as effective teachers and educators, and each student must serve as a teaching assistant for two semesters as part of the degree program.
Along side with the Masters of Science in Biodiversity Conservation, was established in 2005 to address the urgent need for qualified conservationists to guide Cambodia towards sustainable development, address existing knowledge gaps, and uphold the nation’s commitments to conserving its biodiversity, Doctor of Philosophy in Life Science is developed to provide the need of Cambodian biological researchers and specialists to globally develop their knowledge and skills in biological life science. It is supported by Royal University of Phnom Penh mission to launch PhD program and CONSEA projects. Partner organisations assisting the Masters program include:
University of Battambang (UBB) CTU ??
France (Add CONSEA project partners)
USA University??? Thailand University???
Others (Add DoB university partners)…?
To be eligible for the Doctor of Philosophy in Life Science, applicants must be under the age of 45 and fulfil one of the following:
1. Hold a Master of Science (MSc.) in any sciences field field (priority will be given to students with a higher GPA);
2. Hold a degree in any field and have a minimum of 2 years work experience in the natural science and life science field (certification of employment required)
3. Hold a basic or advanced knowledge and skills in scientific researches or scientific publications
To apply, students need to present:
- A brief CV (2 pages, masximum)
- A covering letter (In English) stating why you wish to undertake the PhD degree and your goals after graduating (2 pages, maximum)
- One PhD research concept note (4 pages, maximum)
- Evidence of proficiency in spoken and written English (recent qualifications only)
- Certification of employment (if required)
Program Coordinator will evaluate on the document requirements for PhD application. Research Coordinators and member of PhD program will thoroughly assess the concept notes and matching or selecting supervisor(s) for their research. The candidate who is eligible and identified the supervisors will be registered to PhD program accordingly.
On completion of the selection criteria, successful candidates are required to pay a fee of USD 750 per semester. The PhD programme consists of eight semesters and so the total tuition fee for the programme over the course of its four years is USD $6,000. Payment of tuition fees is due at the start of each semester and failure to meet this requirement will result in the candidate being deferred or ejected from the programme.
Tuition Scholarships and Research Grants
There will be few scholarships for this program, yet there is no guarantee based on selected research topics.
The Department of Biology, Royal University of Phnom Penh is accepting applications for Doctor of Philosophy in Life Science one time per year.
Application Deadline: November 15, 2018
Semester Start: February 01, 2019
The PhD curriculum is a four-year programme. Students will be required to take several course work for their first year or second year as needed based on their basic knowledge and skills for life science research.
Stage 1: Coursework, Year One (22 credits)
The second stage of the curriculum consists of two semesters of classes (February-June and September-January each year). Classes are normally confined to the afternoons, though several courses also include short field trips. Each semester includes a fortnightly guest lecture series provided by visiting academics and conservation professionals working in Cambodia and overseas. After the first year, and if adequate grades have been achieved, students progress to the third stage (or second year) of the PhD curriculum. Students who fail to achieve adequate marks in first year courses can return to repeat failed courses, but cannot graduate from the PhD programme until satisfactory grades have been achieved.
Stage 2: Research, Year Two, Three & Four (32 credits)
The second year of the PhD curriculum consists of a dissertation, which requires students to produce an original research thesis. (Each student develops a thesis proposal during their first year). For their theses, students are encouraged to address subjects relevant to contemporary conservation issues in Cambodia and students often undertake their projects in collaboration with national or international organisations/institutions, many of whom offer employment after they graduate.
Subjects covered during the first and second year of the PhD programme are as follows:
|COURSE (SEM 1 & 2)||CREDIT CR)|
|Research Analysis: A Process of Inquiry||3|
|Research Methods & Applied Statistics||3|
|Freshwater Ecology or Terrestrial and Riparian Ecology (should be added)||3|
|Behavioural Ecology: An Evolutionary Approach||3|
|Seminar I & II||2|
|Advanced Statistics (R programming, SPSS, and Modelling)||3|
|Thesis Proposal Writing||5|
|YEAR TWO & THREE|
|Thesis Writing 1 (Sem 3)||5|
|Thesis Writing 2 (Sem 4)||5|
|Thesis Writing 3 (Sem 5)||5|
|Thesis Writing 4 (Sem 6)||5|
|Thesis Defense (Sem 7 & 8)||12|
Research Analysis: A Process of Inquiry
Coordinated by Dr. Sok Serey
This course has been designed to challenge student assumptions and the way they gather information. It teaches students the difference between scientific research and general information gathering. It aims to enable students to formulate specific research questions and design appropriate data collection method to provide answers to these questions, with the ultimate goal to understand nature and the environment better. The formation of an idea, a question and an opinion is based on a previously acquired information and knowledge that, in turn, is collected either ad hoc, at random or in a systematic manner. Collection and analysis of data through direct studies in nature or through experimental setup in a laboratory are fundamental to all kinds of scientific research. The manner which questions are asked, however, affects the way a study is setup to answer the respective question too, and therefore a systematic and replicable process of inquiry is fundamental to any kind of modern science. In addition, collection and analysis of data also supports decision-makers to make informed decisions about the management of wildlife and natural resources.
Modern scientific research is based on principles that evolved 2,500 years ago in Greece and this course examines the history of critical thinking and discusses the difference between Tenacity, Intuition, Authority, Rationalism, Empiricism and Science. It also touches on the topics of data, analysis and interpretation and deduction vs. Induction.
Advanced Statistics (R programming, SPSS, and Modelling) Coordinated by Prof. Lek Sovan (check with Lok Kru Sovan)
This course will provide an overview of current statistical methods commonly used by ecologists from various disciplines. The aim of the course is to provide students with the tools necessary to design statistically robust experiment, evaluate the structure of data resulting from observational and experimental studies, and analysis their ecological data using appropriate statistical methods.
Statistics is the science that deals with the collection, description, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. In Advanced Statistical Inferential, students learn the conceptual underpinnings of statistical methods and how to apply them to address more advanced statistical question than are covered in an introductory statistics course. The statistical methods covered in the course are useful for many types of questions that relate to multiple variables and/or multiple groups. Learning how to effectively use data and statistical methods to make evidence based business decisions is the overarching goal of the course. Statistical analyses will be performed using SPSS and R program.
Seminar I & II
Coordinated by Dr. Ith Saveng & Mr. Kheam Sokha & Mr. Phauk Sophany
This course is designed to expose students to scientific articles and comprehend it thoroughly. More importantly, students will develop skills on designing and writing scientific papers as well as the presentation of the results of their research findings. The main aim of this course is to promote students scientific understanding various biological and environmental articles and be able to present the data in a scientific way.
Freshwater Ecology or Terrestrial and Riparian Ecology (should be added—decided what subject should be added!)
Coordinated by Dr. Sor Ratha
Need description of each course
This course will focus on interactions among freshwater species and between these species and their aquatic environments. Lectures and readings provide the scientific background necessary for understanding the physical, chemical, and biological dynamics of freshwater habitats. Emphasis is placed on basic mechanisms controlling the distribution and abundance of freshwater species, and on application of fundamental concepts to problems in conservation and management of aquatic systems. The laboratory and field work are designed to acquaint students with the freshwater systems of Cambodia, and with methods for studying these systems.
A variety of resources and support are available to students studying the Masters of Science in Biodiversity Conservation. These include.
Tuition Scholarships and Research Grants
A range of scholarships are currently available for students entering the first year of the Masters programme with program coordination with other local, regional and international porjects.
Through the PhD programme’s extensive links to international scientific and life science experts, students have access to a diverse array of specialists and professionals who regularly deliver guest lectures and supervise research theses. In addition to introducing students to future employers in Cambodia and overseas, the PhD programme provides career support by arranging student work placements with organizations nationwide and assisting graduates to prepare job, scholarship and grant applications.
Computing and Other Facilities
Dedicated I.T. facilities including five desktop and two laptop computers are available to students on the PhD programme (all equipped with internet access and the latest software packages) and wifi internet access is available to students within the Department of Biology. Students also have full access to a wide variety of research equipment, including camping gear, and equipment for sampling water quality and freshwater and terrestrial biota, in addition to a range of laboratory and curatorial activities.
In addition to the Hun Sen Library, students on the PhD programme have full access to a dedicated reference collection containing several hundred recent texts on conservation biology and sustainable development. The conservation library is housed in the zoological museum (below) and students also have access to thousands of electronic titles through databases available to the Masters programme.
Zoological and Botanical Museum Collections
Established by the Centre for Biodiversity Conservation in 2007, the reference collections have grown to include several thousands of voucher specimens and remain the only natural history museums dedicated to lesser-known and smaller-bodied biota in Cambodia. As a result, these have become an important national asset for documenting Cambodian biodiversity and are regularly used in systematic and conservation-orientated research efforts, Masters teaching and by students undertaking course assignments and second year thesis projects.
The Cambodian Journal of Natural History
Students on the Masters programme receive a free hardcopy subscription to the Cambodian Journal of Natural History, the first peer-reviewed scientific periodical in Cambodia. Aimed at helping Cambodian scientists to share their findings and improve their writing skills, the journal addresses the critical need for information on the conservation status and management requirements of Cambodian biodiversity.