Guidelines 2022 for PhD Students
These PhD rules shall be applicable to all PhD programs in the main campus as well as sub-campuses. These rules shall be read with the PhD regulations made under section 22 (1) (i) (ii) and (iv) of Isra University Act, 1997 (Annexure A) and the research regulations made under statute 6(4)(iv) of the First Statutes appended with the Isra University, Act, 1997 (Annexure B). In case of any doubt regarding the interpretation of these rules and in matters not clearly covered under these rules, the matter may be referred to the Academic Council for the final decision. Furthermore, any HEC guidelines issued from time to time by the HEC will have preference over these rules.
In these rules, unless otherwise specified, or unless there is anything repugnant to the Act, Statutes of Isra University, the expressions used in these rules shall have the meaning elucidated in the ensuing clauses.
- “Candidate” means a person seeking admission in the PhD program of Isra University.
- “Supervisor” means a faculty member having PhD degree in the field of the scholar duly approved by the HEC as a supervisor and appointed by the Board of Advanced Studies & Research to supervise the research work of a scholar.
- “Co-Supervisor” means a faculty member having PhD degree in the field of the scholar and appointed by the Board of Advanced Studies & Research to assist the student in the research work of a scholar.
- “Internal Examiner” means a faculty member, an employee of the University, having PhD degree in the field of the scholar and appointed to evaluate PhD thesis of the scholar during seminars and at the time of defense.
- “External Examiner” means PhD qualified person in the field of the scholar working outside the University and appointed to conduct the comprehensive examination of the student.
- “Foreign Evaluator” means Pakistan-based Distinguished National Professors, Meritorious Professors, or Tenure Track Professors, or PhD experts from academically advanced countries.
- “Research” means the process leading to the production of original scholar’s work in the form of a thesis for obtaining PhD degree.
- “Scholar” means a person enrolled in a PhD program at the Isra University.
- “Statement of Purpose” means the detailed declarative version of the student indicating his/her preparedness and interest in his/her research.
- “Thesis”means a written document of research work in the format prescribed by the Isra University as a partial requirement of the student.
- “Viva Voce” means an oral examination of the scholar following his/her presentation at the thesis defense, conducted in the form of interview and discussion for ascertaining evidence and sufficiency of the knowledge of the research work undertaken by the scholar.
See regulation # 5 of Regulations 2021 regarding Admission, Examination System, and Award of Degree placed at Annexure A.
4. Selection, Admission & Registration Procedure
See regulation # 6 of Regulations 2021 regarding Admission, Examination System, and Award of Degree placed at Annexure A.
5. Admission Committee
See regulation # 7 (c) of Regulations 2021 regarding Admission, Examination System, and Award of Degree placed at Annexure A.
- Terms of Reference:To determine the department-wise number of admissions to be advertised.To conduct a comprehensive interview of PhD candidates to determine their suitability.To check the admission form and review the statement of purpose to know the mind of the student.To verify eligibility criteria i.e. CGPA, GAT result, and equivalency certificate in case of foreign degrees issued by the HECTo forward the case of admission to the Director of Postgraduate Studies & Research with their recommendations.
6. PhD Committee/Faculty Research Committee
PhD Committee will consist of the concerned Supervisor, concerned Director PG Studies & Research, a Biostatistician/ Statistician, and two internal faculty members holding PhD in the relevant subject.
- Terms of Reference
- To recommend the research proposal and topic of the research.
- To review the progress of the PhD scholars bimonthly and guide them in their research work.
- To maintain the quality of the research in the University.
- To guide the students in preparing research synopses.
- To approve collaboration with other Universities in the research work of the concerned student.
- To guide the students in their research publications.
- To recommend foreign evaluators and external examiners for thesis evaluation.
7. Program Credit Hours
24 credit course work in case of Master Degree holders and at least 48 credit hours in the case of BS degree holders and 36 credits for research work.
8. Duration of Program
03- 10 Years for MS/MPhil or equivalent and 04-08 years for BS holders.
9. Assessment Modalities
See regulation # 11 of Regulations 2021 regarding Admission, Examination System, and Award of Degree placed at Annexure A.
10. Comprehensive Examination
See regulation # 12 of Regulations 2021 regarding Admission, Examination System, and Award of Degree placed at Annexure A.
11. Migration in and out of university
Scholars studying in any other HEC recognized Universities can apply for admission to Isra University but they have to complete 50% of course credits as regular students in this university.
Scholars can apply for migration to any other university or termination of the program at any stage. In such case, he/she shall only be entitled to receive the transcript mentioning the courses completed and not mentioning any research work partially completed.
12. Transfer of Credits
See regulation # 20 of Regulations 2021 regarding Admission, Examination System, and Award of Degree placed at Annexure A.
13. Course Withdrawals
See regulation # 16 of Regulations 2021 regarding Admission, Examination System, and Award of Degree placed at Annexure A.
14. Semester Freeze
See regulation # 18 of Regulations 2021 regarding Admission, Examination System, and Award of Degree placed at Annexure A.
15. Fee Refund
- Full amount of tuition fee shall be refunded/adjusted to next semester if the course is withdrawn/semester frozen (as per HEC policy) up to 7th day of commencement of classes.
- Half (50%) fee shall be refunded/adjusted to next semester if the course is withdrawn/semester frozen (as per HEC policy) from 8th to 15th day of commencement of classes.
- No fee shall be refunded/adjusted to next semester if the course is withdrawn/semester frozen (as per HEC policy) from the 16th day of the commencement of classes.
- In case a program is canceled, the entire charges including the admission fee shall be refunded to the scholar.
- Drop Cases.
A Scholar dropped from the degree program after the grant of admission on a hope certificate for the reason of not meeting the admission requirements, shall be refunded all charges except the admission fee.
- Maximum Time Period for Refund Claims.
Refund claims shall normally be entertained up to a maximum period of one year after the date of leaving. The Isra University shall not entertain any claim for a refund after this period.
- Conflict Resolution.
In case of any conflict or interpretation of the aforementioned rules on refund of fee and other charges, the matter shall be referred to the Vice Chancellor through the Registrar, whose decision will be final.
See regulation # 13 of Regulations 2021 regarding Admission, Examination System, and Award of Degree placed at Annexure A.
17. Assessment Modalities
See regulation # 11 of Regulations 2021 regarding Admission, Examination System, and Award of Degree placed at Annexure A.
18. Research Proposal
The Scholar will prepare a research proposal (Synopsis) soon after the Comprehensive examination under the supervision of the Head of Department or Senior Teacher appointed for him/her by the HOD. He/she will submit the synopsis to the concerned Director PG Studies & Research through the HoD for placing before Research Ethical Committee.
19. Research Ethics Committee
The responsibilities of the Research Ethics Committee as per Standard Operative Procedure (SOP’s) approved by the Board of Advanced Studies & Research in its 34th meeting held on 13.1.2018 notified by the Registrar vide notification #IU/RR-10/SOP(ERC)/N/2018/1354 dated 6th June 2018 are defined as under:
The Research Ethics Committee (REC) has the responsibility to consider the ethical applications of proposed human research studies conducted at the University Postgraduate Studies Committee, or by staff or students at any site and determine whether or not they are acceptable on ethical grounds. The REC shall:
- Review and approve (with or without modification) or withhold approval, proposals for research on human subjects’ tissues, products, fetus or genetic material from human subjects, whether dead or alive by the University faculty members, students, or visiting scholars, on the basis of ethical considerations.
- Advocate, encourage, and monitor “best practice” ethical standards in research.
- protect the subject of research from unnecessary harm; preserve the rights of the subjects and provide reassurances, where required, that this is being done.
- Undertake a regular review of the ongoing research for any unethical practices.
- Record in the database, information pertaining to all research proposals including the name, address, and qualifications of the Principal Investigator(s), the financial sponsor, title of the project, research methodology, and the research objectives.
Note: All research taking place at Isra University by its staff or students at any site, which involves human subjects’ tissues, products, fetus, or genetic material from human subjects, whether dead or alive, will need approval by the ERC before the commencement of the research.
20. Approval of Proposal and Appointment of Supervisor and Co-supervisors
After approval of the PhD Committee/Faculty Research Committee, the Director PG Studies & Research will submit a proposal to the Board of Advanced Studies & Research for approval. The BASR will assess the proposal. If necessary, the scholar will be asked to defend his/her proposal on multimedia before the BASR.
If the proposal is accepted, the scholar shall be allowed to start work, and the supervisor and co-supervisor will be allocated to him/her by BASR.
If the proposal is not accepted by BASR, the scholar will be asked to improve the proposal. The Director of PG Studies & Research will inform the scholar about the reasons for the rejection. He/she will be given two chances to get the research proposal accepted within a maximum period of one year since having passed the Comprehensive Examination.
In case of rejection of the proposal twice by BASR, the candidacy of the scholar will be terminated by the Director PG. Studies & Research On his/her request, the transcript of courses will be issued to him/her mentioning in it “PhD Incomplete”.
21. Thesis Submission requirements
After the conduct of seminars, the scholar will submit the thesis/ dissertation as per guidelines regarding the format of the University (Annexure C) through the supervisor to the Director of Postgraduate Studies & Research (in case of campuses to the Additional Director of Postgraduate Studies & Research) before the end of the tenure of studies.
A soft copy of the thesis/dissertation will be submitted to the Director of Postgraduate Studies & Research for an anti-plagiarism test on Turnitin. The overall similarity index below or equal to (<=) 19%, and in the case of single source, the similarity index below 5% is acceptable.
Similarity index will be performed twice i.e first before the thesis/dissertation evaluation by the expert/examiners and second after the defense.
22. Thesis Evaluation
In addition to the PhD Committee/Faculty Research Committee, the thesis/dissertation will be evaluated by at least two external experts who may be either
- Pakistan-based Distinguished National Professors, Meritorious Professors, or Tenure Track Professors, or
- PhD experts from academically advanced countries.
In case, the PhD candidate publishes his or her thesis/dissertation research in a peer-reviewed journal that is classified by the HEC as category X or above, the PhD dissertation will only require evaluation by one foreign expert.
23. Thesis Defense & Viva Voce Examination
- Open Defense:
The candidate will be required to make a presentation on thesis/dissertation in an open lecture to be held at the University, and respond to the questions relating to his/her work.
- Viva Voce Examination:
Candidates should be aware that the oral examination forms an important part of the examination for the award of the degree. The purpose of the oral examination is to allow the examiners an opportunity to explore and satisfy themselves regarding the knowledge, accuracy, and authenticity of the subject matter presented in the thesis/dissertation.
After the completion of the oral (viva-voce) examination, the examiners will normally prepare a joint report and may recommend that the thesis/dissertation be accepted as submitted.
Subject to the decision of the Board of Advanced Studies & Research, the candidate will be required to submit seven copies of the thesis/dissertation according to the Isra University guidelines for the preparation of the thesis/dissertation document (Annexure C) to the Director Postgraduate Studies & Research (in case of campuses to Additional Director Postgraduate Studies & Research), after incorporating all the suggestions, if any, given at any stage.
The thesis/dissertation must bear a certificate from the supervisor(s) to the effect that the thesis/dissertation embodies original research and is worthy of presentation to the University for further necessary action.
26. Research Publication:
The candidate shall be required to publish at least one research paper as its first author in an HEC approved Y category or above journal during his/her doctoral studies for the award of the PhD degree.
27. Award of Degree
The Director of Postgraduate Studies & Research will submit a case for award of degree to the scholar before the BASR along with comprehensive examination result, plagiarism report, and evaluation reports of internal and external examiners, etc.
28. PhD Country Directory (PCD) Requirements:
The scholar will submit the following documents to the office of the Director of Postgraduate Studies & Research for filling up the PCD proforma:
- Copy of CNIC
- E-mail address
- Home Address
- Paper Publication Dates (Print Date & Online Date)
- Page number of your publication in the research journal
Note: Any condition in above guidelines is subject to the change with approval of the competent authority.