Doctoral study program
at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Palacky University Olomouc

  • Čeština
  • English

General Information

Why a Ph.D.?

  • Ph.D. is a prestigious and internationally acknowledged academic degree (achieved by less than 1 % of the population)
  • Greater job opportunities abroad and consequently a significantly higher salary
  • Opportunity to participate in attractive international scientific-research internships – we support foreign study stays and travels
  • Acquisition of new practical skills: e.g. procuring a grant, its financial management, elaboration of official texts, marketing, PR, etc.
  • Extension of the student status, more time for professional specialization
  • An opportunity for further activities in science
  • Development of high-expertise in the field
  • Establishment of professional contacts in the Czech Republic and abroad
  • Freedom in professional orientation
  • Option to actively contribute in defining the workload so that it is fulfilling and meaningful

When to consider a Ph.D.?

  • You cherish specializing in scientific-research and its application
  • You would like to deepen your expertise in a specific area of psychology
  • You consider the prospect of an academic career, work in a prominent institution or an innovative company
  • Would like to achieve a specialization within your present occupation (e.g. if you work in public administration, HR, education, healthcare, or the armed forces), In that case, you would like to achieve a better specialization (the part-time form is particularly suitable in such cases), and a Ph.D. degree would be valuable in your working position.

How does the Ph.D. study work?

  • Within the standard period of four years, students carry out a research project, work on their doctoral thesis and acquire credits on specialized courses.
  • In the beginning of the studies, students create individual study plans in cooperation with their supervisors. They do not attend lectures daily, but instead work on so-called modules, i.e. greater thematic units, according to the planned schedule and focus of their study. A major emphasis is placed on the doctoral research project: its preparation, continuous realization and the publication of its outputs.
  • International students are supposed to be present in Olomouc for a block of 3 weeks in one semester to attend selected classes and fulfil other study obligations which are not possible to handle on-line.

Fees and Scholarships for Ph.D. students

  • There are no fees for the Ph.D. studies.
  • Ph. D. students can also apply for internal grant projects (student grant competition of the UP Internal Grant Agency). The vast majority of the Ph.D. students participate in investigation of research projects supported with a grant.
  • All activities are appreciated. The department also grants other scholarships from the Ph.D. student scholarship fund for activities.
  • All Ph.D. students receive bonuses for teaching, supervision and serving as the opponent of theses, and for publication activities in accordance with the principles of remuneration policy applicable to all department staff.

Why study at UPOL?

  • The Department of Psychology has established and maintains friendly and collegial relationships.
  • Ph.D. students become an important part of the Department of Psychology. We appreciate your views concerning the operations of the department and your opinions are important when deciding about its future orientation.
  • We like engaging students in projects thus providing them with a chance to be remunerated and also acquire new knowledge and experience. Ph.D. students are provided with support and advice on an ongoing basis.
  • We support the further education of our students (with regard to both time and money).
  • We are forthcoming with respect to Ph.D. students’ engagement as practitioners while studying.
  • Our Faculty Team is supporting and cooperative.
olomouc - z praxe
HLI - laboratoř pro výzkum interakce člověka a světla
dopravní psychologie


The aim of the doctoral program is to provide a new type of specialist in the area of traffic psychology equipped to create advanced technical and non-technical innovation, e.g. in the form of certified methodologies, patents and software. Graduates will also acquire a knowledge of all elements of the traffic system (individuals, society, communication, infrastructure and means of transport), including their typical characteristics, processes and mutual relationships.

Research-oriented graduates of the study program will work particularly in the application sector or alternatively in the academic sector in relation to the application sector within multidisciplinary and international teams. Their non-technical innovations focused on the human factor will support development of safe, comfortable and sustainable traffic taking into account demographic changes and development of automation.

Graduates will be aware of the role of personality and group dynamics in traffic, will understand the interactions between personality and the social environment. They will be able to describe and evaluate the influence of personality traits and processes on the emergence of negative phenomena (e.g. aggression and other forms of counter-productive behaviour) in traffic. Graduates will have a knowledge of general principles of psychological diagnostics and in-depth insight and advanced skills in diagnostic procedures and methods used specifically in the area of traffic psychology. They will have an understanding of the principles of design of diagnostic and research methods, as well as the principles of conducting research in general. They will be able to define and present research design, conduct research and analyse data with qualitative methods as well as advanced linear and non-linear models. They will be able to present the outputs to the client and representatives of other specializations, defend them, and implement them in practice.

The doctoral study program (DSP) can be studied in Czech or English.


Prof. Ralf Risser, PhD.

Research Interests

Mobility of different social groups: young drivers, older persons, impaired persons, gender perspective. Needs and problems of these groups and approaches to mitigation.          
Insight on different groups and their relations to reference groups, e.g. the inquiry about the role of different road user groups (e.g. “pedestrians as second-class road users”), including their contribution to the development of a sustainable transport system.

The case of the elderly, their safety in road traffic, and their societal participation, aiming at analysing problems and finding solutions, not least by supporting the development of self-efficacy. Empowerment.

The appropriate application of qualitative survey techniques encompassing behaviour observation and verbal data collection, with the goal to understand road users’ behaviour beyond trivial behaviour descriptions and explanations from the desk.  
Behaviour modification attempts and measures that are appropriate to influence mode-choice, not least with the help of communication models (e.g. social marketing).

Evaluation of transport systems with special focus on the users’ perspective.

Psychological diagnostics and rehabilitation in connection with road use as a car driver.

Suggestions of topics for PhD theses (English only)

  1. The way to school by car: Explanations for the increase of non-sustainable mode-use and suggestions for problem mitigation.
  2. Problems on the way to a transport system that supports active traffic modes and thus helps people to change mobility habits in this direction.
  3. Older citizens, their different and heterogeneous subgroups, their current mobility situation and measures to support them with respect to their exigencies.
  4. The role of empowerment and resilience-enhancing measures in order to support sensitive groups of road users.
  5. “Understanding the glue”: what makes citizens stick so obstinately to the present non-sustainable mobility habits.         
    Develop a model for the modification of current habits on the way to a sustainable transport system.
  6. What can driver improvement measures contribute to the rehabilitation of law-infringing car drivers.

Doc. Matúš Šucha, PhD.

Research Interests

Matúš Šucha (26 April 1980, Bratislava) is a Czech traffic psychologist. His main area of professional interest is traffic psychology, with a specific focus on mobility and traffic safety. From 2012 to 2019 he headed the Department of Psychology at Palacky University Olomouc. He is a forensic expert and Europsy mentor in traffic psychology. He has written a number of publications on the human factor in traffic. Associate Professor Šucha is an active member of numerous prestigious international organisations, including ICTCT – International Cooperation on Theories and Concepts in Traffic Safety, TPI – Traffic Psychology International, DGVP – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Verkehrspsychologie, and NTSA – the Nordic Traffic Safety Academy.

Suggestions of topics for PhD theses (English or Czech)

  1. The human factor in traffic and traffic psychology
  2. Mobility – sustainable mobility, active modes of transport, and urban mobility
  3. Traffic safety – on roads and railways
  4. Vulnerable road users
  5. Automation in transport

Doc. RNDr. Ondřej Holý, PhD.

Suggestions of topics for PhD theses (English or Czech)

  1. Epidemiology of traffic crashes
  2. Traffic and public health issues

Doc. Ing. Josef Kocourek, PhD.

Suggestions of topics for PhD theses (English or Czech)

  1. Road Safety Analysis (risk assessment in road safety inspection and road safety audit processes),
  2. The Impact of Transport Infrastructure on Accidents

Admission procedure

Applications for the doctoral study programme (DSP) may be submitted by applicants with successfully completed master’s degrees (the following degrees: Mgr., Ing., or other equivalent title acknowledged in the Czech Republic), or those who will fulfil this requirement at the latest on the day of enrolment in the doctoral study programme (this applies especially to graduates of the final year of master’s degree programmes who have not yet passed the final state examination at the time the admissions for the DSP is taking place).

The doctoral study programme is not only limited to graduates of single-major psychology, on the contrary, we encourage applicants from different specializations. There should be, however, a meaningful connection between the applicant’s primary academic education and the focus of the DSP, particularly in the context of the planned orientation of the doctoral research project. The reasoning supporting this connection should be part of the applicant’s portfolio and will be evaluated by a committee as part of the admission procedure.

Applications for the DSP admission procedure may be submitted electronically with a form available on the UP website. Look up the “Work & Organizational Psychology and Traffic Psychology” in the study catalogue and check whether you want to study full-time (FT) or part-time (PT). Also, check the language you want to study in (Czech or English). Applicants may apply from November 1st to April 30th of the particular academic year. We recommend sending the application no later than March 1st, so that there is enough time to consult your supervisor regarding the doctoral research project proposal, which has to be submitted on May 31st at the latest.

The admission procedure has two parts:

Part 1:

When sending the electronic application, the applicant should include all required documents complementing the application that serve for evaluation of the applicant in the first part of the admission procedure (see below). Also, these documents must be sent by the applicant to the e-mail address of the secretary of the subject-area board (

  • 1) Professional curriculum vitae.
  • 2) Proof of completed education – Master’s diploma (or study confirmation in the case of applicants who have not yet completed the last year of their master’s degree studies).
  • 3) An overview of the marks and exams from the previous study – either in the form of the so-called diploma supplement (in the case of completed study) or in any other equivalent form providing an overview of the exams and marks for the entire bachelor’s as well as master ‘s study up to the last finished academic year (if the applicant has not yet completed the study).
  • 4)  Previous publication activities with valid citation style (preferably APA). For freely accessible full texts, the applicant should provide working hyperlinks. Full texts of publications not freely accessible on the Internet should be sent as attachments to the e-mail.
  • 5) Proof of participation in scholarly conferences or congresses (scans) supplemented with a list stating the name of the event, venue, date, and organizer; in case of active participation, the name and form of the contribution (a poster, a lecture, etc.) should be listed as well.
  • 6) Certificates or other proof of specialized education, extracurricular seminars, courses and trainings (scans) supplemented with a list including the name, place and date, organizer of the activity, and the time frame.
  • 7) Proof of English language skills at least at the level B1 – TOEFL, FCE, or even a graduation exam certificate or a university diploma supplement (here, however, at least the level B1 must be clearly confirmed). If the applicant cannot provide such documents, he/she has to take such an exam before the second part of the admission procedure takes place and submit a document demonstrating its successful completion or prove the B1-level English language skills within the interview in part 2 of the admission exam.
  • 8) Recommendation from an academic worker or a supervisor (see the recommended form).

All materials must be provided either in Czech, Slovak or English. Not submitting all the required documents can be a reason for not receiving an invitation for the 2nd part of the admission process.

Based on the submitted documents, the admission committee will assess whether the applicant meets the basic prerequisites for DSP. Applicants meeting all the fundamental requirements will be invited for the second part of the admission procedure.

Part 2:

The aim of the second part of the admission procedure is for the applicant to choose a supervisor and agree with him/her on supervision of a particular doctoral research design. At this point, the applicant should contact a chosen potential supervisor from the list provided, or alternatively a renowned external professional in the field. On May 31st at the latest, the applicant should send the following documents required for the second part of the admission procedure to the e-mail address of the secretary of the subject-area board ( and also submit them within the electronic application: 

  • 1) Outline of the doctoral research project (see the recommended form). 
  • 2) Statement from the supervisor (see the recommended form) – to be sent directly by the supervisor to the e-mail address of the secretary of the subject-area board (, i.e. not forwarded by the applicant.
  • 3) Supervisor’s CV – to be sent by the applicant if the supervisor is an external professional not listed in the provided list of supervisors.

The key element of the second part of the admission procedure is an oral interview including a presentation of the applicant’s motivation for study in the DSP, a discussion on the presented doctoral research project outline, and a more detailed explanation of the presented materials based on the committee’s questions. Applicants, who have succeeded in the first part, receive an invitation for an oral interview, taking place on a particular specified date. The interviews take place in June.

The selected best candidates will be proposed for admission to the Dean of the FA UP. They will be informed about the results of their admission procedure without undue delay and in accordance with the norms of FA UP via their electronic application. Successful candidates will also be invited to enrolment in the programme in order to confirm their interest in studying in the DSP.

Practical Issues

Timeline before studies

Here is simple timeline summary of what should be done in which part. For some applicants, some steps are optional. The timeline is condensed information found in this guide.

  1. Decide if this Ph.D. degree is the right fit!
  2. Gather all documents
  3. Submit application
  4. Choose a mentor and a research topic
  5. Create the research proposal
  6. Acquire written consent of acceptance from selected supervisor
  7. Get a visa for interview/schedule online interview
  8. Go through interview/Admissions
  9. Wait for acceptance letter
  10. Find the right accommodation
  11. Go through visa process (if necessary)
  12. Arrive to Olomouc and
  13. Enjoy your studies!

Jsem absolvent – Olomouc


We know the financial part of PhD studies can be stressful and difficult. We will try our best to help you with the situation and to smooth the process.

There are ways to make some side money during your studies. We will describe them in next few paragraphs. Please note that all following options are highly individual and do not have to apply to all our students. At the same time, there will be different opportunities for our students that are not mentioned here. Neither of which is guaranteed from our department or university.

Research funding

Palacky University runs multiple programs aimed to fund your research. This funding can be crucial for your research and for your studies. Those programs are running independently on the study timetable, so you will be best to check them on your own. To mention a few, you should investigate IGA – Internal Grant Agency; GAČR – Grant Agency of Czech Republic; AIA – Academic Information Agency.

The downside of most mentioned agencies is that the application usually needs to be in Czech language. In this case, we recommend talking to your supervisor.

Accommodation stipend

On top of those programs, our university supports students with accommodation stipend. If you are a foreigner, you should be eligible to receive a small but nice financial support for living (ranging from 2000 CZK to 3000 CZK). Once you are accepted, you simply submit an application via the student portal.

More options

Our department periodically looks for new talents to broaden the academic team. There might be suitable openings that you will be able to apply and get a stable income. Those positions are not always open and may not be available for English speaking students, but from time to time, you can get a good opportunity.

Your state agency. Sometimes, the country of origin may offer some scholarships. As the applicants for our programs are diverse, we cannot cover the opportunities here. Google is your friend in this case.


Olomouc is beautiful student city with one huge advantage, distance – everything is in the vicinity. UPOL university is a city campus, which creates an amazing environment for studies and living.

There are two accommodation options: University dormitories or renting your own/shared apartment. Our university provides variety of options for short-term and long-term accommodation, which is always near the city center and can be utilized by students and visitors. This option can be more costly, but you have assurance of easy communication even from abroad.

A second option is renting your own/shared room or apartment, which can be significantly cheaper than university-maintained accommodation. There are a lot of options for renting, but the setup is slightly harder and can be exhausting when doing from abroad and our university cannot help you with that. Students usually rent single rooms in shared apartment with other students, or even their own apartment. All depends on financial resources of students.

The most used option is combining those two options together. Starting in university-maintained accommodation for first few months to a year, until you get well accommodated in our city and you are comfortable to look for your own apartment.

One option that our university offers is accommodation stipend – more in Fees and Funding chapter.

Health insurance (non-EU citizen)

For studies and mainly for your residence permit, you will need a proof of health insurance. Our university unfortunately does not provide any insurance for our students, so you will have to acquire it by your own. We have some major insurance companies that offer insurance, but to cover it here wouldn’t be sufficient or efficient. One of the most known is state run insurance company VZP (Všeobecná zdravotní pojišťovna), which should meet all your needs, but there are others that might suite your needs better.

You will need the basic insurance coverage to fulfill your visa requirements. It usually does not include more advanced procedures and dental but should be enough for most common tasks. The insurance cost depends highly on your person, but usually ranges from 500 to 700 EUR.

Visa and Residence permit (non-EU citizen)

As a foreign student living in Czech Republic, you will need proper visa for long term stay.

First, you will need a visa for short visit for the initial interview (as mentioned above, the interview may be conducted online – please contact your supervisor for that opportunity). If you are accepted, you will need to start a process of acquiring long term visa with the purpose of study. During the process, you will need to be in contact with Czech embassy in your country as well as with our department and university. As the embassy will process all required documents, they will need confirmations from our side that you are accepted, and we expect you here.

When you got your visa, you are finally ready to arrive. Beware that the visa usually is time limited with validity of one year, after which you must apply for extension. That process is much shorter and usually without a hustle, but nothing you should underestimate.

For more information about visa process, take a look at On should be all information you need.

Important contacts and links

PhDr. Martin Seitl, Ph.D.
Secretary of the DSP Subject-Area Board of Work and Organizational Psychology and Traffic Psychology

Tel.: +420 585 633 510

Correspondence address: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Palacký University Olomouc, Křížkovského 10, 779 00 Olomouc
Office: Tř. Svobody 26, 779 00 Olomouc, office no. 3.08

Is responsible for the following:
– administrative agenda of the subject-area board,
– communication with study applicants and internal organization of the admission procedure,
– communication with supervisors,
– communication with DSP students,
– archiving of DSP students’ documents,
– timetable of DSP lectures and communication with course guarantors,
– administration of timetables in STAG,
– preparation of documents for DSP (informative texts for the website, Faculty materials, etc.),
– defences of doctoral theses and final examinations including reviews, etc.

Mgr. Lucie Kovaříková, Ph.D.
UP Faculty of Arts
DSP Science and Research Officer

Tel.: 585 633 013
Office: Křížkovského 10, 779 00 Olomouc

– admission procedure
– enrolment in studies
– archiving of original study documents
– other matters related to studies governed by the Dean’s office of the UP Faculty of Arts