Doctoral Seminar at the Chair of Animal Ecology

 Credit points can be earned for:

A. making presentations in scientific meetings (minimum 10 ECP);

B. attending scientific meetings and seminars (listening scientific presentations and active participation in discussions) (minimum 6 ECP);

C. Other relevant activities


  • During the whole study period (4 years), each PhD student has to make at least six presentations in seminars and other scientific meetings. The subject of the presentations must be related to animal ecology.
  • Four of these presentations must be made on the seminars of the Chair of Animal Ecology, University of Tartu (about one presentation per year). Each of the presentation belongs to a different type:

  1. Article review (1 ECP). 20-25 min. A new theoretical or review article, which is related to the research topic of the PhD student and published in some leading journal, will be introduced and critically analyzed. The choice of the paper should be approved by the supervisor. The link to the paper must be disclosed at least a week prior to the seminar, so that other PhD students and all interested persons could read it before seminar. Deadline: fall term of the 2nd stydy year.

  1.  Big review (2 ECP). 45 min. A comprehensive review or a theoretical overview of a scientific topic, related to the PhD student’s own project. The choice of the topic should be approved by the supervisor. Deadline: fall term of the 3rd stydy year.

  1. Research presentation (2 ECP). 30-45 min. The results of a certain case study, carried out by the PhD student, will be presented. Deadline: spring term of the 3rd stydy year.

  1. Rehearsal defense of the thesis (1 ECP). Practicing of all phases of the defense of the thesis in the chair seminar. Other PhD students usually act as opponents. Suitable time: after approval of the thesis by the Academic Council of the Institute and before the official public defence.

  • At least one presentation (oral or poster) should be made in an international scientific meeting
  1. 3    ECP for an oral presentation
  2. 1.5 ECP for a poster presentation

  • The rest of presentations (at least one more) will be made either in the international or local meetings or in the seminars of the home institute/department. Oral as well as poster presentations on the topics related to animal ecology and made in local meetings (incl. seminars of other institutes/chairs) give 1 ECP each.

  • In addition:
    1. Each PhD student has to act, when necessary, as an opponent for a Bachelor or Master’s thesis or during the rehearsal defense of PhD thesis of a fellow PhD student (0.5 ECP each).
    2. Popularizing and propagating of own research field among wide audience, especially among schoolchildren, gives also credit points. Each popular article or popular presentation gives 0.5 ECP. However, maximally it is possible to collect 2 ECP for the whole study period.


Credit points can be earned also for listening to scientific presentations and for participating in academic discussions held in the seminars, conferences, PhD defenses and other meetings related to the broader research field of the PhD student. Under “presentation” we mean approximately 45-min long presentation; in the case of other format, the exact amount of credit points will be corrected accordingly.

Listening to a scientific presentation = 0.1 ECP
Asking questions from the presenter, participating in the discussion = 0.1 ECP

- Attending bigger scientific meetings gives credit points as follows:

  • International meeting = max 2 eap per a meeting
  • Local meeting = max 1 eap per a meeting

- It is obligatory for a PhD student to attend

  • seminars of the Chair of Animal Ecology (or research meetings organized by the Chair)  and the seminars of the Department of Zoology (Zoology Seminars)
  • public defenses (and rehearsal defenses) of PhD theses in Animal Ecology.

Reasonable excuse for being absent from the events listed above because of working abroad, attending scientific meeting, conducting fieldwork etc should be preliminarily approved by the Supervisor.

- It is recommendable to attend seminars of the other chairs of the Department of Zoology (Chairs of Entomology, Mammalogy, Natural Resources), seminars of the Department of Botany and take part in the activities of some professional associations.


Supervisor of the PhD student has right to give credit points also for other relevant activities, which are not listed above but which are directly or indirectly related to the field and that have positive influence to the development of the PhD student towards independent scientist/specialist (e.g. applying scholarships, attending expeditions, writing expert opinions, reviewing manuscripts, participation in R&D projects etc).  It is allowed to give for such additional activities altogether max 4 ECP per the whole study period.


In the attestation report (once a year), each PhD student has to describe in detail, for which activities exactly, and when, how many credit points were earned. Before submitting the report, it must be approved by her/his supervisor and managing leader of the Chair.