Guidelines of the Research Students Committee of the School of Cultural Studies

Guidelines and Regulations of the Research Students Committee of the School of Cultural Studies

I. Research Students (Standard Track)

Requirements for Admission as Stage 1 Research Student (Standard Track)

  1. The candidate must receive a written letter of acceptance from a member of the faculty who is authorized to supervise the research student. This letter will confirm that said faculty member agrees to serve as the student’s supervisor.
  2. Any individual with a university-certified M.A. degree and an overall grade of at least 85, who has not submitted a thesis during his studies, will be considered by the Committee in accordance with section 39 of the University Research Students’ Regulations.

    In other words, the student will register as a candidate research student and will participate in courses in accordance with the course proposal established by the designated supervisor, and which will be confirmed by the Research Students Committee. The course proposal will be comprised of M.A.-level courses which the student must complete with a grade of at least 85. Additionally, the student will be required to submit an M.A. thesis, to be evaluated in accordance with the procedures of the supervisor’s department. The paper must receive a minimum grade of 85.
  3. Candidates with significant academic or research achievements may receive an exemption from the Committee regarding the minimum grade requirements designated in the above section. This is contingent upon the submission of a written request from the student, as well as a written letter of acceptance from a faculty member willing to supervise the student and which details any prerequisites needed for acceptance.

    Requests will not be considered if the student’s final overall grade is less than 80 and/or the thesis has received a grade below 85.
  4. Students may contact the Research Students Committee of the School of Cultural Studies and request admission as a Stage 1 Research Student (Standard Track) provided they have a university-certified M.A. degree with a minimum overall grade of 85 and a thesis paper which has received a minimum grade of 85.


II. Requirements for Stage 1 Research Students (Standard Track)

1. The student must submit a course proposal authorized by the designated supervisor, in the following format:

  • The standard course proposal will include active participation in 8 hours’ worth of courses from the M.A. course list. The student must complete these courses within two years of the initial acceptance into the doctorate program. The course list must be confirmed by the Office of the Porter School. Additionally, in accordance with faculty guidelines, the research student must obtain an exemption for a second foreign language (in addition to English) during doctorate studies.
  • The student will register as a research candidate at the supervisor’s discretion (ie: if the student’s previous field of study is incompatible with the research subject). During this period, the student will attend supplementary courses. The supervisor will determine how many supplementary courses are required – up to 22 hours’ worth, out of which at least 14 must receive a minimum grade of 85 and 8 require active participation on the part of the student. At the supervisor’s discretion, the student will be asked to study an additional foreign language, in accordance with the requirements of the research, within two years of registration. 
  • Stage 1 registration is conditional upon the completion of supplementary courses (all but 8 hours’ worth) and the approval of the Research Students Committee.

2. The student must submit a research proposal within a year of starting doctorate studies. The research proposal must be signed by the designated supervisor.

3. The School’s Research Student Committee may authorize an extension of the research proposal deadline beyond one year, but will not exceed two years from the day of registration. Authorization of any extension is conditional upon the submission of a detailed progress report by the student, with an attached letter of recommendation from the supervisor.


III. Research Students – Direct Track 

See “Departmental Regulations for Direct Doctorate Track, School of Cultural Sciences – Amended May 2006 (see “Direct Track Regulations” section on the School website.)

IV. Submission of Research Proposal and Transition to Stage 2 Research Student

1. Submitting a Research Proposal

The student will submit a detailed proposal of his research to the School’s Research Students Committee. This proposal must be authorized by the supervisor in accordance with the “Guidelines for Submitting The Research Proposal” (see “Guidelines for Submitting Research Proposals” on the School website). Authorization of the proposal by the School’s Research Students Committee and the University Committee for Research Students is required for the student’s acceptance to Stage 2 Research.

2. Proposal Evaluation

  • ​The Research Students Committee will examine the submitted proposal with the assistance of no less than two experts, at least one of whom will not be a member of the Tel-Aviv University faculty.
  • The Research Students Committee will return the research proposal to the student prior to its evaluation, if the Committee members believe that the research proposal is not ready for evaluation (outstanding structural flaws, incomplete or improper bibliography, stylistic errors, etc.)
  • In approaching experts, the Committee will ask for their opinions on the following matters:
  1. The conceptual framework of the research
  2. The professional justification of the research
  3. The theses posed by the research student
  4. The scope of the research (in terms of thesis/corpus)
  5. The degree to which the research is rooted in contemporary professional literature
  6. The potential contribution of the research to the field in which it is executed.
  • In accordance with the answers provided by the readers, the Committee will select one of the four following possibilities pertaining to the research proposal:
  1. The proposal will be authorized
  2. The proposal will be authorized and the student will be made aware of the readers’ comments
  3. The proposal will be returned to the student for editing and corrections required by the readers
  4. The proposal will be rejected (in accordance with section 24 of the research students’ regulations)


V. Requirements for Stage 2 Research Students

  1. The student must complete all remaining supplementary classes within a year of the research proposal being approved (as detailed in section 2a).
  2. The student must demonstrate mastery of foreign languages as required in the professional field in which the research work is being written. The student must also obtain an exemption in an additional foreign language besides English, in accordance with faculty guidelines (see section II.1.a). The student must obtain exemptions in other languages if this requirement is part of the proposal approved by the Research Student Committee, and in accordance with the requirements of the research subject. Said exemptions must be obtained within two years of registration (see section II.1.b) Overseas students who are not fluent in Hebrew must demonstrate fluency in the Hebrew language if their research requires it. If the research may be conducted without knowledge of Hebrew, the Committee may consider exemptions for citizens of foreign countries who are conducting research in Israel.
  3. The student must submit an annual progress report signed by the supervisor. The report must be filled out using the designated form (see “Forms” section on the School website) and a printed copy must be submitted to the School’s Secretary.
  4. The doctoral dissertation must be submitted within five years of the student’s registration to doctorate studies. In extreme circumstances the Research Students Committee may approve of requests for extensions regarding the stated deadline. Approval of the extension will be contingent upon the submission of a detailed progress report by the student, along with a letter of recommendation from the supervisor.

VI. Partial Publication 
The student may receive the supervisor’s permission to publish elements of the research project before its completion. Publication must note the source of the research as an aspect of a doctoral dissertation conducted at Tel-Aviv University. 

VII. Dissertation Format and Language

  1. Dissertation Format
    The doctoral dissertation will be written in accordance with the standard format accepted in any field, provided the format is systematic and cohesive within the dissertation. The recommended length of the project will not exceed 200 double-spaced quarto pages. At the end of the dissertation, an extended summary must be provided in English (approx. 5% of the project’s length) if the project was written in Hebrew. If the project was written in any other language, the summary must be in Hebrew.
    A front and back cover must be attached to the dissertation in Hebrew and English (or another foreign language). A table of contents and a bibliography must also be attached.
  2. Dissertation Language
    In certain cases regarding linguistic limitations or special needs of the student, the supervisor or the readers, or as required by the doctoral dissertation, the Committee may allow the submission of the doctoral dissertation in a foreign language.

VIII. Supervisor’s Obligations 
(See University Regulations, Chapter 4, Section B: Supervisor’s Role) 

IX. Dissertation Evaluation 
The doctoral dissertation will be submitted to the Research Students Committee with a detailed review written by the supervisor (see “Guidelines for submitting doctoral dissertations” at the School website). 

The Committee will discuss the dissertation based on the supervisor’s evaluation and no less than two other evaluations by experts, of whom at least one will not be associated with Tel-Aviv University. 

Based on the assessment of the readers, the Committee will decide whether to recommend the confirmation of the doctorate. If necessary, the Committee will request that the student revise the dissertation in accordance with the readers’ critique. If the School’s Research Students Committee approves of the doctorate, based on the evaluations it has received, it will recommend the confirmation of the doctorate to the University Committee for Research Students. 

Upon confirmation of the University Committee, the conclusion of the evaluation process is conditional upon the authorization of the University Senate (see University Regulations, Chapter 6, section A and B: Submission and Evaluation Procedures).

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