The Doctorate, which is also offered in the three areas of concentration mentioned above, has been designed on a tutorial model: there is no required curriculum, rather the supervisor determines the set of courses the candidate is to take. Since 2008, however, doctoral students have been required to take part, during their first year, in a general discipline of the Collective Health area (Seminars on Collective Health) consisting of cross-cutting, thematic seminars on subjects relevant to all the areas of concentration. Students also take part in the 30-hour Teaching Internship discipline, in activities similar to those mentioned for Masters students.
As teaching is tutorial-based, a letter of acceptance from the prospective supervisor must be submitted in order to enrol in the selection process. Selection is by public competitive examination, which includes an examination of proficiency in English (common to the three areas of concentration) and in a second language (which varies by area of concentration), a test of specific knowledge (set by the area of concentration), project proposal examination, curriculum assessment and interview. Once approved, candidates may transfer up to 40 credits from their Masters programme; transfer credits are evaluated by the supervisor and endorsed by the Postgraduate Coordination Committee.
The area of concentration in Epidemiology has introduced a specific rule for credit transfers, which specifies that students coming from programmes in other fields of knowledge must take the required basic disciplines in Epidemiology. The maximum timeframe for completing the course is 48 months. Each area has specific curricula comprising required and elective disciplines. On completion of the credits, students submit their thesis project to a qualification panel of four professors (which, in this case, must include one professor from outside the institution). Then the thesis is submitted to public examination by a panel of five members, two of whom must be from outside the institution.
Exchanges: After the doctoral qualification process, and with their supervisor’s consent, students may apply for a sandwich course abroad, for a period ranging from four months to one year, which must end before the thesis defence at the IMS. For that purpose, students must be accepted by their supervisor at the destination institution and have their project approved by a Brazilian national or local funding agency (CAPES, CNPq or Faperj), which will be responsible for any study grant during the sandwich period abroad.