Implementation Rules for the Regulations on Degree Awarding of the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology

The Implementation Rules are hereby formulated in accordance with The Implementation Rules on Degree Awarding of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, while taking into account the actual conditions of the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (hereinafter referred to as the Center). The Implementation Rules are applicable to the degree awarding for the students admitted to the Center through the unified student recruitment at the national level and through other arrangements for the master’s and doctoral degrees (hereinafter referred to as master’s degree candidates and doctoral candidates respectively) (including international students, doctoral candidates under the joint training program with Peking University or Tsinghua University, and students admitted to the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences China-Danish College).


Chapter I. Qualification Standards

Article 1. Ideological and political qualities. A degree applicant shall be patriotic and law-abiding with integrity and an ability to innovate. Besides, the applicants shall have a high standard of morality and the ability to cooperate with others as a team player.

Article 2. Minimum credits. According to the requirements of the Chinese Academy of Sciences for postgraduates, a master’s degree candidate shall obtain no less than 35 credits, a student taking the master-doctor combined program no less than 42 credits, and a doctoral candidate no less than 12 credits, including 5 credits for the compulsory courses.

Article 3. An applicant shall not apply for the same degree to two or more degree-awarding institutions.

Article 4. Academic Attainment

Prior to requesting a dissertation defense, an applicant shall obtain the academic achievements (such as patents, monographs, and assessed scientific achievements) required by the Center for the awarding of the corresponding degree:

1) A master’s degree candidate is required to master relatively extensive basic theories and systematic knowledge of the discipline he/she specializes in, have the ability to engage in scientific research, or acquire the ability to independently undertake specialized technical work.

2) A doctoral candidate is required to master extensive basic theories and in-depth expertise of the discipline he/she specializes in, have the ability to independently engage in scientific research, and achieve creative results in relevant disciplines or specific technical areas.

Article 5. Achievements in scientific research.

1) A Master’s degree candidate shall publish one research paper related to his/her dissertation in an academic journal indexed by SCI or EI.

2) A Doctoral candidate shall publish two research papers related to his/her dissertation in any academic journals indexed by SCI or EI.

3) A candidate taking the master-doctor combined program shall publish three research papers related to his/her dissertation in any academic journals indexed by SCI or EI.

Among the papers required to publish as set forth hereinabove, one can be a review article, or a filed invention patent or an approved standard/standard sample. The applicant shall be the first author of the papers required to publish as set forth hereinabove. As for the author affiliation, it is recommended to identify “University of Chinese Academy of Sciences” in addition to this institution (National Center for Nanoscience and Technology); In the case of a doctoral candidate under the joint training program with Peking University or Tsinghua University, Peking University/Tsinghua University” shall be identified in the author affiliation in addition to this institution (National Center for Nanoscience and Technology). In the case of a patent, the applicant must be the first author after his/her supervisor.


If an applicant fails to publish the minimum number of papers as required above due to the confidentiality of the work related to his/her paper(s) or any other special factor, his/her degree application shall be submitted to the Center’s Degree Evaluation Committee for review on the condition that his/her supervisor issues a written statement explaining the situation and gives recommendation, provided that the applicant does an excellent job in writing papers and delivers outstanding performance during his/her study, and is deemed by the supervisor to have met the requirements of the program in general performance.


Chapter II. Degree Application

Article 6. Applicants that meet the above qualifications may file an application for dissertation defense to the Degree Evaluation Committee of the Center and submit the following materials in the meantime:

1) Letter of Application for Dissertation Defense;

2) One copy of the dissertation that complies with the Provisions of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences for the Degree Dissertation, with an electronic edition attached in the case of both master’s degree dissertation and doctoral dissertation;

3) The first page of an offprint of the published academic paper(s), the copy of the first page of the accepted academic paper(s) (the formal Acceptance Letter is required), or credentials of other academic achievements that have been obtained; 

4) A detailed abstract of the dissertation in Chinese and English.

Article 7. The Degree Evaluation Committee is responsible for examining the qualifications of applicants.


Chapter III. Dissertation Review

Article 8. The dissertation shall be submitted before May 1 in the case of the application for degree awarding in the summer; in the case of the application for degree awarding in the winter, the deadline is before November 1.

Article 9. The supervisor shall make a suggestion on the selection of dissertation reviewers. After the preliminary examination by the Postgraduate Department, the list of dissertation reviewers shall be submitted to the head of the Degree Evaluation Committee for review and confirmation. The supervisor of the applicant shall not be a reviewer. Reviewers shall write detailed academic comments on the dissertation for the reference of the Defense Committee.

Article 10. No less than three peer experts shall be invited to review the dissertation. The time of review is usually no less than 8 days in the case of a master’s dissertation and no less than 15 days for a doctoral dissertation.

Article 11. Requirements for dissertation reviewers and peer review experts.

1) The reviewers of a master’s dissertation shall be researcher fellows, associate research fellows, or experts with equivalent professional titles, including at least one expert from other institution. The reviewers of a professional master’s dissertation shall include at least one from the corporate sector or the sector engaged in the professional work.

2) The reviewers of a doctoral dissertation shall be professors or experts with equivalent professional or technical positions (including peer review experts with the qualification of doctoral supervisor), including at least two experts from other institution(s).

Article 12. The dissertation, the dissertation review form, reviewers’ comments and other related materials shall be sealed in transmission and delivery, and the participation or involvement of any degree applicant or his/her supervisor shall be prohibited.

Article 13. In the case of a dissertation requiring confidentiality, an application for it to be identified as a confidential dissertation must be submitted three months before the degree application. After the supervisor consents to the confidentiality application by signing, and the director of the Research Office signs the opinion, the application shall be reported to the Confidentiality Committee of the Center for examination. Confidential dissertations can be reviewed within a specific circle.

Article 14. The expert reviewers of the dissertation shall report back the reviewers’ comments to the Postgraduate Department. If one of the reviewers disapproves of the dissertation, the Postgraduate Department will invite two additional reviewers. If a total of two reviewers disapprove of the dissertation, the degree application shall be invalid.


Chapter IV. Dissertation Defense

Article 15. The composition of the Defense Committee.

1) The list of the Defense Committee shall be proposed by the supervisor, and submitted by the Postgraduate Department after conducting preliminary examination to the head of the Center’s Degree Evaluation Committee for confirmation. At least one member of the Defense Committee shall be the member of the Center’s Degree Committee.

2) The Defense Committee for master’s dissertation shall consist of 3-5 research fellows, associate research fellows, or experts with equivalent professional titles of the discipline or specialty, including at least two experts from other institution(s). The Defense Committee for professional master’s dissertation shall include at least one from the corporate sector or the sector engaged in the professional work.

3) The Defense Committee for doctoral dissertation shall consist of 5-7 research fellows (professors) or experts with equivalent professional titles of the discipline or specialty, including at least two experts from other institution(s). The chairman of the Defense Committee for doctoral dissertation shall be a doctoral supervisor. The chairman of the Defense Committee for degree dissertation shall be an expert with established academic achievements in the discipline and area covered by the dissertation.

Article 16. Dissertation defense

1) There shall be a secretary at the Defense Committee. The secretary of the Defense Committee shall be a responsible and hard-working person holding a post of intermediate level or above (or a senior postgraduate). The dissertation defense secretary shall participate in the whole process of the defense and make an objective and detailed record of the questions raised by the members of the Defense Committee, the applicant’s responses, and the decision of the Defense Committee. The secretary has no voting power.

2) Except for any dissertation required of confidentiality, the defense of dissertation shall generally be open following certain procedures. The Centers Degree Evaluation Committee shall authorize relevant personnel to introduce the composition of the Defense Committee, and the chairman of the Defense Committee shall preside over the defense session. The agenda of the session is:

I) The chairman of the Defense Committee announces the opening of the session;

II) The degree applicant gives a presentation of his/her dissertation;

III) The members of the Defense Committee and attendees of the session pose questions, and the degree applicant answers these questions;

IV) After the degree applicant’s defense is completed, the supervisor of the applicant may make supplementary remarks about the dissertation and the questions raised in the defense session;

V) The session adjourns. Then the degree applicant and attendees exit;

VI) The Defense Committee holds a plenary session, which can be attended by administrative faculties. The agenda is as follows:

a) The supervisor of the degree applicant introduces the basic information, academic performance, and scientific research achievements of the applicant as well as other issues that need to be explained;

b) The Defence Committee evaluates whether the dissertation of the degree applicant has reached the academic level required for the applied degree, taking into account the reviewers’ comments on the dissertation, the quality and level of the dissertation, and the oral defense performance;

c) The Defense Committee votes by secret ballot. A decision recommending to award a master’s degree or a doctoral degree to the applicant can only be made with the consent of no less than two thirds of all the members of the Defense Committee;

d) The members of the Defense Committee fill in the form of dissertation and the document of degree awarding recommendation. The members of the Defense Committee shall sign their names on the document of degree awarding recommendation;

VII) The session resumes, and the chairman of the Defense Committee announces the decision of the committee. The applicant speaks, and then the session is concluded.

3) The members of the Defense Committee must review the dissertation before the defense. The members of the Defense Committee must adhere to the principles and exercise strict management, ask questions and vote during the defense session. Any member who fails to attend shall not authorize anyone else to vote on his/her behalf or vote by correspondence.

4) If the applicant fails the defense, with the consent of more than half of the members of the Defense Committee, a decision can be made to allow the applicant to revise the dissertation and have a defense again within half a year to one year (in the case of master’s degree application) or within half a year to two years (in the case of doctoral degree application). If the Defense Committee does not make a decision to allow the revision and another defense of the dissertation, or the applicant fails to complete the revision before the deadline or fails another defense, his/her degree application will not be accepted.

Article 17. Application for master’s degree by students taking the master-doctor combined program or bachelor-straight-to-doctoral students

1) After two years into the doctoral program (in the case of students taking the master-doctor combined program) or four years after the admission (in the case of bachelor-straight-to-doctoral students), if the student fails to meet the requirements for the continuing of the doctoral program and cannot complete a doctoral dissertation within the maximum duration of the program, the student may apply for the termination of the doctoral program. With the consent of his/her supervisor and the approval of the Institutiton’s Degree Evaluation Committee, the student may apply for the master’s degree according to the requirements of master’s program.

2) If the Defense Committee of doctoral dissertation considers that the dissertation of a doctoral degree applicant reaches the level of a master’s degree dissertation, though failing to reach the level of a doctoral dissertation, it can make a decision recommending the awarding of the master’s degree. Then the applicant shall submit the master’s degree dissertation and related application materials to the Degree Evaluation Committees of different levels for review in accordance with the requirements for applying for a master’s degree.

3) If the Defense Committee of doctoral dissertation has made a decision to approve the doctoral dissertation, and the applicant has obtained the graduation certificate of the doctoral program, he/she cannot apply for a master’s degree. (Required by the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences)


Chapter V. Degree Review and Awarding

Article 18. The Center’s Postgraduate Department shall submit the following materials of the applicant who has passed the defense to the Center’s Degree Evaluation Committee for review:

1) Application for the defense of the dissertation;

2) The dissertation review form;

3) The form of dissertation and the document of degree awarding recommendation;

4) The dissertation and its abstract.

Article 19. In principle, the Center’s Degree Evaluation Committee shall hold a plenary session in early December and early June each year to conduct the preliminary examination of degree awarding for the applicants. The Degree Evaluation Committee shall follow the standards for degree awarding, adhere to the principles, and exercise strict management when conducting a comprehensive examination and evaluation of each applicant, and shall vote by secret ballot. With the consent of no less than half of the members attending the session, a preliminary examination decision can be made to award a master’s or doctoral degree.

Article 20. Postponement of degree application

Postponement of degree application refers to the situation that the Center’s Degree Evaluation Committee forms a consensus on the basis of full discussions on a decision that the applicant should postpone the degree application, and gives a detailed explanation for the reason of the postponement in the document of postponement decision.

1) The maximum period of postponement is two years for doctoral degree and one year for master’s degree. The applicant may file one and only degree application within the maximum period of postponement. Failing to do so shall be deemed as giving up the degree application.

2) The applicant required to conduct another dissertation defense according to the postponement decision shall go through the procedures for degree application and review all over again according to the relevant requirements.

3) In the case of a degree application after the postponement, the Center’s Degree Evaluation Committee shall conduct a detailed item-by-item examination in accordance with the requirements of the postponement decision, and make a recommendation on whether to award the degree through secret ballot.

Article 21. After being collected and sorted by the Postgraduate Department and signed by the chairman of the Center’s Degree Evaluation Committee with his/her comments, the decision and voting results of the Center’s Degree Evaluation Committee shall be submitted to the Degree Office of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Article 22. The list of applicants to be awarded the master’s degree and doctoral degree shall be subject to the Disciplines Degree Evaluation Sub-committee of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Degree Evaluation Committee of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences for review and approval successively. The two shall make a decision on whether to award a degree.A decision shall be valid only by secret ballot and approved by more than half of all the members. The list of degree recipients is published by the university’s Degree Evaluation Committee. Date of the degree awarding shall be the date on which the university’s Degree Evaluation committee makes a decision to consent to the awarding of the degree.


Chapter VI. Supplementary Provisions

Article 23. The Postgraduate Department is responsible for handling all types of dispute matters in the awarding of master’s and doctoral degrees.
    Article 24. The Center’s Degree Evaluation Committee shall have the right to interpret and modify the Implementing Rules.


January 2014


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