Tel Exchange: 091 9217703

PhD Anatomy

HEC approved

The PhD program in Anatomy at Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Khyber Medical University is designed for those interested in acquiring advanced training in the anatomical sciences. The doctoral degree provides coursework to help students achieve advanced understanding of specific knowledge related to human anatomic sciences, including human embryology, advanced neurobiology and human microscopic anatomy.

The program provides the resources for students to acquire specialty training and teaching experience necessary to pursue an academic career in the biological sciences.

The goal of PhD Anatomy program is to develop doctoral-level subject educators capable of teaching anatomy to medical and allied health professional students and who are capable of performing high quality anatomical research for the benefit of the nation.

Program Structure:

This is a three year course that shall include both taught courses as well as teaching and research rotations.

In the first semester students shall complete the core courses such as Advances in Molecular cell Biology, Ethics for Research Scientists, Applied Biostatistics, presentation and scientific writing skills and Biosafety & Biosecurity required by the Anatomy program as well as completing research rotations whereby selecting a research supervisor and mentor. The students shall have a rotation in at least two research labs. They shall complete a qualifying exam at the end.

In the second semester courses in Anatomy as well as assistance in anatomy to medical and allied health students is included. During teaching rotations doctoral students will have the opportunity to gain teaching experience in discipline-specific fields of human embryology, medical gross anatomy, and neuroanatomy, and to engage in all areas of didactic and team-based learning for medical students.

In the third to sixth semester they shall complete doctoral research project, dissertation writing and defending their thesis.

together with being involved in teaching students as teaching assistants to gain research and teaching experience.

Presentation in the PhD review committee

All PhD students are required to deliver oral presentation by the end of year in the PhD review committee. This is followed by discussion with the committee members, including minimum of two subject experts. The committee will then take decision regarding the registration of student for the next session.

Qualifying Examinations and Defense

End of Semester Exam

Upon completion of the core curriculum, the student must prepare for and successfully pass the doctoral qualifying examination at the end of each semester (1 &2) to test their knowledge of subject, grasp of relevant literature, and the ability to form research hypotheses and experimental design. It shall be a written and oral exam.

Comprehensive Examination

The qualifying exam is a written examination that will be designed to test the student’s fundamental knowledge of human structure and function, critical analysis and thinking, and design of an independent research proposal.

An ad hoc exam committee will be constituted by the Director of the Institute/PhD Co-ordinator and include three members of the graduate faculty, two of which shall be subject specialists.

A student can avail a maximum of two attempts in the qualifying exam; failing which will result in the student being recommended to being dropped from the PhD program. In this case the Director of the Institute can elect to offer the failed student the option of completing a terminal Master’s degree.

Once the student has passed the doctoral qualifying examination the student must register for Dissertation Research. A minimum of 06 credit hours is required for degree completion and typically occurs over 2 – 3 academic years. Initially, the student must identify a research project under the guidance of a faculty member and present to GSC and ASRB.

Advancement to Candidacy

Intention to submit form

It shall be the responsibility of the student to initiate their candidacy by submitting “An Intention to Submit form” (Annexure) to the PhD coordinator prior to the thesis submission date. This form initiates the identification and appointment of a committee of examiners for each thesis.

Once the completed candidacy form has been processed, the thesis committee chair will receive ballots for the oral defence of the thesis. The ballots are distributed to the other committee members by the thesis committee chair when they vote on the oral defence. Once the ballots are completed, signed and sealed it is the committee chairperson's responsibility to deliver the ballots to the Graduate Education Office immediately following the defence.

Submission of thesis

A copy of Ph.D. Dissertation (both hard and soft) must be submitted to HEC for record in Ph.D. Country Directory and for attestation of the PhD degree by the HEC in future.

Doctoral Oral Qualifying Examination (Thesis defense)


Prior to the doctoral student’s request for consideration for advancement to candidacy, the student must have;

  • Completed most of their required core or elective course work
  • Successfully passed their Preliminary/Written Qualifying Exam
  • Submission of their research proposal and the formation of their research committee
  • Initiation of the major components of their proposed doctoral research project
  • Finally registration for any research hours
  • The oral qualifying exam will be scheduled after the student has submitted a detailed dissertation research proposal and conducted preliminary experiments to substantiate the proposal.
  • The Plagiarism test must be conducted on the Dissertation before its submission to the two foreign experts.
  • Evaluation of the doctoral thesis by 2 eminent foreign examiners from scientifically advanced countries, approved by HEC.

Research Publication

Publication of at least one research paper in HEC approved/recognized journal (preferably in W category) is essential before the submission of dissertation.

The Defense

• The oral exam will be public and designed to test the student’s fundamental knowledge of their proposed studies, background for the studies, and critical analysis and thinking.

• Viva voce examination by 2 national experts, approved by HEC.

The defense of the dissertation provides an opportunity for the student to formally present their findings to their committee, the faculty and students in IBMS, and to any family member or anyone from the general public wishing to attend.

Two weeks before the dissertation defense an electronic and print announcement of the date, time, location, and title of the defence will be publicized.

At least 7 working days prior to the defense, a final draft of the student’s dissertation must be placed in the Conference Room for faculty and students to review.

The dissertation defense is two parts. First the student will make an oral, PowerPoint presentation of no longer than 45 minutes duration where they present their research.

Following the presentation, questions from the collective audience will be encouraged. Once all questions have been satisfactorily answered by the student, the audience is excused and the closed, or executive, part of the defense takes places with only the student and their committee present. The dissertation committee can asked detailed questions and expect the student to demonstrate thorough knowledge of their project and related research. Questions on general topics in Anatomy, unrelated to their research, may also be asked. Following all questioning, the student is excused from the room and the committee members, without discussion, complete the defence ballot.


The Graduate of PhD in Anatomy will have the attributes of a Subject specialist, Scientific researcher, Educator, Effective communicator and Collaborator achieved by developing trained personnel,

• In research skills and methodology

• To conduct quality and credible research

• Educators capable of teaching medical anatomical discipline


The Graduate of PhD Anatomy shall achieve,

Cognitive Domain

  • Knowledge at the frontier of the field of Human Anatomy including knowledge that constitute an original contribution
  • Substantial knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to the field
  • An understanding of theoretical knowledge and to reflect critically on the theory and practice of Anatomy
  • Use of intellectual independence to think critically, evaluate existing ideas, undertake systematic investigation and reflect on theory and practice of Anatomy to generate original knowledge

Psychomotor Domain

  • Expert technical and creative skills applicable to the field of Anatomy
  • Expert skills to search, design, analyze and communicate research that makes a significant and original contribution to knowledge and/or professional practice of Anatomy
  • Communication skills to explain and critique theoretical propositions, methodologies and conclusions to communicate results to peer and the community
  • Communication skills to present a complex investigation of original research for external examination against international standards

Affective Domain

  • Intellectual independence
  • Initiative and creativity in new situations and/or for further Learning
  • Full responsibility and accountability for personal outputs
  • Plan and execute original research (Project management)
  • Life-long learner to generate new knowledge, in the context of professional practice



Institutes offering this Program

  • KMU Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, IBMS