Typically, public defences are announced to begin at 12:00. It is advisable for the audience to be present by this time. Audience members can take flowers or presents with them to the defence room, but they are handed over to the doctoral candidate after the defence when coffee is served and congratulations are given.
The public defence begins when the doctoral candidate, custos and opponent arrive – in that particular order – into the defence room fifteen (15) minutes past the announced time of the event. When the doors open to the candidate, the audience stands up.
The custos and the opponent, provided that they are doctoral degree holders, carry their doctor's hats in their hands when entering and leaving the defence room. For the duration of the public defence, they place their hats in front of them on the table with the lyre emblem facing the audience. If clip-on microphones are used, they are switched on only in front of the audience.
The custos will introduce the doctoral candidate and the opponent and will open the examination by saying: " As the custos appointed by the Faculty of [X], I declare this public defence open."
The audience will take their seats. The candidate will deliver his or her introductory lecture: lectio praecursoria. Please read our separate guidelines for the lectio praecursoria