Postgraduate studies

Asian Studies

PhD Programme in Asian Studies (4 years)

General Introduction

The Department of Asian Studies at Palacký University Olomouc offers a PhD programme in Asian Studies (in English as well as in Czech) to students of humanities and social sciences specialising in Asia within the following broad themes:

  • Language structure, language use and its role in society
  • Quantitative linguistics, data mining, translation studies
  • Political change and ideology in Asia
  • Inter-cultural contacts between Europe and Asia
  • Cultural anthropology, ethnology and material culture
  • Social structure and social change in Asia
  • International relations in Asia
  • History of ideas and religion
  • Contemporary literature and culture (including visual representation and verbal art)
  • Modern and pre-modern Asian literature
  • Modern art and architecture
  • Language acquisition and teaching

The faculty consists of about two dozen specialists with diverse expertise (see Department Members).

The department offers language instruction in Chinese, Cantonese, Indonesian/Malay, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, Uzbek, Tajik Persian and Vietnamese in its BA and MA programmes. Doctoral students are given opportunity to gain teaching experience in the BA programme.

The department maintains an active research programme, with regular events such as seminars, workshops, conferences, and summer schools. It offers a rich and stimulating environment to budding Asia experts. Doctoral students are encouraged to participate in Department research projects, such as the Sinophone Borderlands Project.

General profile of an applicant

  • An MA degree or equivalent in Asian studies or related field (Chinese philology, Japanese philology, Asian Studies, Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, Political Sciences, History of Art, a.o.)
  • Working proficiency in one language related to the region (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian, etc.)
  • Proficiency in English 
  • Knowledge of another language of the area is an advantage

Application Process

The applicants should complete online application form using this link by stipulated deadline.

In the process of completing this online application form, the applicants should attach following documents and pay admission fee:

  1. Cover letter or Statement of Purpose (explaining applicant’s motivation to pursue graduate studies)
  2. Detailed CV (signed by the applicant)
  3. Transcript of academic record of M.A. studies
  4. Research proposal (max 5. pages incl. bibliography)
  5. Two reference letters commenting on their aptitude for graduate work
  6. Copy of Diploma, a study certificate, or a similar document issued by the foreign higher education institution (must be verified – see !Important notice! below)
  7. Language certificates such as TOEFL, IELTS, GRE is an advantage (but not mandatory)
  8. Other relevant documents, i. e. list of publication and other activities in the field

On-line application submission period: 1 January – 30 April.

For further information see this link.

Any queries regarding online application may be addressed to Ms. Lucie Kovaříková ( from Study Affaires Department.

*Applicants are encouraged to contact their prospective supervisor before the application. (See the list of professors below.)

Admission Process

Selected applicants will be invited for an interview (video call with students living abroad).

In addition to the above, the applicants are evaluated based on the following:

  1. the quality and feasibility of their research proposal (max. 5 pages incl. bibliography)
  2. their ability to present their research proposal
  3. their familiarity with the theoretical frameworks of their research
  4. their communication abilities in English and the language of the area
  5. their understanding of the chosen field
  6. their aptitude for graduate study (must be supported by 2 reference letters).

Selected applicants will be presented to the Dean for approval and if successful, informed without unnecessary delay.

Important Dates


Applicants who completed their prior higher education outside of the Czech Republic are obliged to send a certified copy of their Master´s diploma and diploma supplement to the Student Affairs Department of the Faculty of Arts for the assessment of their prior education for the purpose of the admission procedure at Palacký University Olomouc.

The documents should be sent by post to the following address:

Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci
Filozofická fakulta
Studijní oddělení
Křížkovského 10
771 80  Olomouc
Czech Republic

All documents should be translated into Czech, Slovak or English if they are not originally issued in one of these languages and verified in accordance with the respective international treaties. More information is available here.

Study Structure and Completion

Students accepted to the doctoral program are offered a scholarship of a maximum of 4 years. During this period, tuition fees are waived. Students are subject to annual evaluation, based on their individual Study Plan by the Study Programme Committee upon recommendation of the Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC).

Students are expected to consult their research with their TAC regularly, actively participated in the academic life of the institution and fulfil their duties within the Department (such as tutoring, etc.).

In order to graduate, students have to collect 240 credits, with an annual minimum of 40 credits and present their dissertation thesis for examination. Upon recommendation of the TAC, the Study Programme Committee selects internal and external examiners and sets a date for the final state exam and public defense, following procedures stipulated by the Czech law and internal regulations of the University.

Year 1

During their first year students refine their research proposal and defend its feasibility in the final year presentation to the Study Programme Committee. To this end they are required to:

  • expand their research proposal and carry out an extensive literature review;
  • study Asian philosophical and religious traditions;
  • deepen their language proficiency of the chosen Asian language to be able to work with academic texts in the prospective language;
  • complete an Academic English course;
  • outline the theoretical aspects of their dissertation project and draft the literature review and theoretical chapters of the dissertation.

At the end of the year, students present their research project to the Programme and defend it to the Study Programme Committee. The Committee can terminate unsuccessful projects at this stage.

Year 2

During their second year students focus on the methodological aspect of their research and start data collection. They are expected to:

  • outline the methodological aspects of their research and start data collection;
  • present their research to the scientific community (in reading groups, seminars, conferences);
  • systematically work on their thesis;
  • fulfil their duties within the Department. 

Year 3 & 4

Students are expected to:

  • regularly consult their work with TAC
  • participate in the academic life of the Department and scientific community
  • present their research (in presentations or writing)
  • systematically work on their thesis and lead it to a successful and timely conclusion.

Doctoral Board

Internal members

  • doc. Mgr. Ivona Barešová, Ph.D., Palacký University in Olomouc (Japanese linguistics)
  • prof. RNDr. dr hab. Jan Andres, DSc., Palacký University in Olomouc (mathematical analysis, nonlinear differential equations and inclusions, dynamic systems, fractals)
  • prof. Julie Chen Yu-Wen, Ph.D., University of Helsinki (China’s culture and society, China’s international relations, comparative politics)
  • doc. Dan Faltýnek, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (linguistics)
  • doc. Mag. Dr. Alfred Gerstl, MIR, Palacký University in Olomouc (international relations of Southeast and East Asia)
  • prof. prof. PhDr. Jiří Lach, M.A., Ph.D., Palacký University in Olomouc (history)
  • prof. prof. PhDr. Dušan Lužný, Dr., Palacký University in Olomouc, Masaryk University in Brno (sociology and anthropology of religion, new religious movements, sociological theory)
  • doc. prof. PhDr. Ludmila Veselovská, Ph.D., Palacký University in Olomouc (language universals, typology)

External members

  • doc. Pascal Bordeaux, Ph.D., École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris
  • prof. Olga Dror, Ph.D., M.A., Texas A&M University (history)
  • doc. Olaf Günther, Ph.D., Universität Leipzig (ethnology)
  • prof. Duncan McCargo, Ph.D., School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds (political science)
  • doc. Ing. Jan Sýkora, M.A., Ph.D., Palacký University in Olomouc, FF UK Prague Institute of Far East (modern and contemporary history of Japan, economic and social history of Japan, intellectual history of Japan, contemporary Japanese society)


*Members of the Doctoral Board can be supervisors.

  • Doc. Lucie Olivová, Ph.D., DSc., FF MU Brno (Chinese literature)
  • doc. Joanna Sio Ut-Seong, M.Phil., Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (Chinese linguistics, drama and communication)


  • Mgr. Youngran Baštanová Kwak, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (Korean linguistics, sociolinguistics, pragmatics)
  • Mgr. Blanka Ferklová Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (Korean linguistics, translation)
  • Mgr. Jakub Havlíček, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (religion studies)
  • Mgr. Dana Healy, Ph.D., SOAS London (modern Vietnamese literature and cultural studies, history of society and culture of Vietnam)
  • PhDr. Tereza Hejzlarová Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (ethnology)
  • Mgr. Kamila Hladíková, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (Chinese literature, film and TV production, pop culture, ideology and propaganda, censorship, Tibet, ethnic minorities in the PRC)
  • Mgr. et Mgr. Petra Karlová, PhD. et PhD., Palacký University Olomouc (Vietnamese studies, Japanese studies, history, academic writing)
  • František Kratochvíl, M.A., Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (general linguistics anthropological linguistics, linguistics of Southeast Asian languages)
  • Filip Kraus, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (social anthropology, Vietnamese social morality, sexuality, political system)
  • Mgr. Ondřej Kučera, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (lexicography, history and politics of modern China (including Taiwan)
  • Mgr. Sylva Martinásková, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (Japanese literature)
  • Mgr. Jiří Matela, Ph.D., Masaryk University Brno (Japanese linguistics)
  • Mgr. Iveta Nakládalová, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc
  • Mgr. Runya Qiaoan, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (Chinese civil society, state-society relations, media studies, cultural sociology, discourse analysis, political communication, social movements)
  • Natalia Ryzhova, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (Economic anthropology, border studies, environmental changes, Russian-Chinese border)
  • Mag. Dr. Andreas Schirmer, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (Korean literature, translation, intercultural contacts between Korea and Europe)
  • Gyu-Ho Shin, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (language acquisition/development, corpus linguistics, Natural Language Processing, the Psychology of language, Korean linguistics)
  • Mgr. Tereza Slaměníková Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (modern Chinese grammatology, phonological system of Chinese, prosody of modern colloquial Chinese)
  • Rune Steenberg, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (Kinship, border trade, marriage, economic transformation, customs, informality, re-education camps, state violence, formalization, commodification, propaganda, narrative strategies)
  • Prof. PhDr. Mgr. Naděžda Špatenková, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (applied psychology, gerontology,)
  • Ing. Mgr. Richard Turcsányi Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc, Masaryk University Brno, Mendel University of Brno (Chinese foreign policy, Sino-European relations, international relations in East Asia)
  • Mgr. Michaela Zahradníková, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (applied linguistics, TCSL, Chinese linguistics)
  • PharmDr. Ján Vančo, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (Central Asian jewelry: the use of historical and analytical methods in identifying objects of a museum nature)
  • RNDr. Michal Čajan, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc (Stone tools Melanesia from the point of view of physical and chemical methods of material analysis)

Any queries may be addressed to:

Projekt Asijská studia: podpora mladých talentů

reg. č. CZ.02.2.69/0.0/0.0/16_018/0002297