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Doctoral Studies

Doctoral Thesis

The Writing of and Defense of the Doctoral Thesis

The writing of and defense of the Doctoral Thesis will need to satisfy the following criteria:

  1. The Doctoral Thesis will consist of an original piece of research produced by the candidate in keeping with the lines of research set down as regards the Doctoral Studies concerned.
  2. The Academic Commission will assign a Tutor to each student that begins the Doctoral Studies specialist training period. Likewise, within the research period, the Commission will assign a Thesis Supervisor to each student – who will be a Doctor with accredited research experience – and, where applicable, Co-Supervisors.
  3. The University will set up procedures to ensure the quality of Doctoral Theses, both during the carrying out of them, and also during the defense of them. Likewise, these procedures shall ensure the projection of the work undertaken, so that other Doctors may submit comments on their contents.
  4. The Doctoral Thesis will be assessed in proceedings to be held in public session and which will consist of the presentation and defense of the research work carried out by the Doctoral student, in the presence of the members of an Examining Board in charge of the assessment.

In order to apply for authorization to read the Doctoral Thesis, having paid the fees for academic supervision from the course year in which the Project was registered up until the reading of it, is an essential pre-requisite.

Application for Authorization of the Defense of the Doctoral Thesis

Once the Doctoral Thesis has been written, the Academic Commission of the Doctoral Program concerned will be expected to draw up an evaluation of it, so as to ensure, prior to its formal presentation, its quality and so as to support, should it be deemed necessary, the application to the UIMP Doctoral Commission for the authorization of its defense.

Required Documentation and Stipulated Period of Submission
The Doctoral student will apply for authorization of the Defense by submitting the documentation which is indicated below to the UIMP General Register, at least 30 days prior to the meeting of the Doctoral Commission concerned:

  • The authorization and the depositing of the Thesis form to be submitted in full, which will include the Supervisor's authorization of the Thesis, together with the substantiated report issued by the Academic Commission of the Doctoral Program, providing the results of the assessment of the Thesis, while also providing backing for the proceedings involving the reading of it (Forms).
  • The Document monitoring Doctoral Studies-linked activities (Forms).
  • Two copies of the Thesis, which will be officially stamped by the UIMP General Register and kept in deposit, this being made publicly known, for 15 calendar days (excluding August). These copies will be kept in deposit in the Vice Principal's Office for Postgraduate Studies and Research, and in the UIMP Office of Information, respectively.
  • Moreover, a hardware-based copy of the Thesis should be handed in so as to facilitate its dissemination via Internet, once granted permission by the Doctoral student to do so.

If the Thesis involves opting for the International Doctor Mention, the student concerned must provide additional documentation:

  • The Form with which to apply for the Doctor International Mention (Forms).
  • Accreditation of international period of research.
  • Reports issued by the international experts concerned.

The Vice Principal's Office for Postgraduate Studies and Research will provide all the Establishments linked to the UIMP with information concerning the Theses deposited so that any Doctor may consult them and submit a plea or allegation regarding them to the Doctoral Commission within 15 days of the information concerning the deposit being made public.

The sessions of the Doctoral Commission are generally scheduled for the months of October and February of each academic year, while this does not impede, if it were deemed necessary, the holding of an additional session.

Related Links

Instructions concerning the format, binding, drafting of, and language to be employed in, Doctoral Theses

Proposal for the Examining Board

The Organ responsible shall submit to the Doctoral Commission a proposal for a Thesis Examining Board which will include seven specialist Doctors with proven research experience via publications in the scientific, technical, humanistic, artistic, or equivalent, spheres. The proposal should also include the acceptance on the part of each of the proposed members to form part of the Examining Board.

Documents to be submitted:

  • Proposal for Doctoral Thesis Examining Board (Forms)
  • Suitability reports on / research curricula of the members of the Examining Board (Forms)

The Examining Board will be made up of five first-line members and two substitute members, and with regard to its composition, the following criteria will be taken into consideration:

  • Up to two members of the same Doctoral Program, and no more, and up to two members of the University concerned, or of the CSIC, or of the public or private entity concerned, and no more, will be able to form part of the Examining Board.
  • Neither may the Thesis Supervisor, nor the Co-Supervisors, nor, were it the case, the Tutor concerned, form part of the Examining Board, except in those cases of Theses submitted within the framework of bilateral co-supervision agreements with universities abroad which may foresee so.
  • The President of the Examining Board will be the member with highest academic rank and seniority within the said rank. The position of Secretary will be allotted to the member with the lowest academic rank and least seniority.
  • The Secretary will be appointed from among those members of the Doctoral Program who are Doctors.

The ascribing to Thesis Examining Boards of Teaching Staff found to be in exceptional situations will be done as follows:

  1. Honorary Members of the Teaching Staff: they are considered as such within the university from which they have received that same designation.
  2. Retired Teaching Staff: they are not considered to be affiliated to any University, unless they are Professors Emeritus.
  3. Teaching Staff on official leave or on secondment: their official post appointment is to be taken into consideration at the time of participating in the Examining Board.
  4. Visiting Teaching Staff: if they have a contract signed with a Spanish university, they are to be considered as members of the Teaching Staff of the said university. If this were otherwise, they are to be considered as members of the Teaching Staff of their establishment of origin. The proposals for Thesis Examining Boards must specify whether the personnel of this kind does indeed have a formal contract with the university. 

Authorization by the Doctoral Commission of the Defense of the Doctoral Thesis

After examining the documentation submitted, the Doctoral Studies Commission will authorize, or not, the reading of the Thesis and will appoint the Examining Board which will evaluate it.

Exceptionally, the Doctoral Studies Commission may subject the Doctoral Theses submitted to a prior evaluation process. To this end, this process will consist of seeking assessment reports from two expert Doctors in the fields of knowledge about which the theses deal. The two experts selected will belong to Universities or Research Centers, either Spanish or in other countries, that do not form part of the university Establishments responsible for the Doctoral Program within which the research phase is carried out.

The Doctoral Commission will accept the submission of the Doctoral Thesis in English, or any other language spoken within the European Union, if it is accompanied by at least the introduction, or opening remarks, as well as by the conclusions, in the Spanish of Spain.

In the event of the Defense of the Thesis not being authorized, the Commission, in writing, will notify the Doctoral student, the Thesis Supervisor, and the Organ responsible, of the reasons for its decision.

  • Appointment of Doctoral Thesis Examining Board (Forms)

Defense and Assessment of the Doctoral Thesis

The Doctoral student will send a copy of the Thesis to each of the members of the Examining Board, to both the first-line, as well as to the substitute, members, at least 15 days prior to the assigned date of the reading.

The proceedings involving the Defense of the Thesis are to be convened by the President and notification of them be communicated by the Secretary to all members of the Examining Board, as well as to the Doctoral Studies Commission, at least 15 calendar days prior to the event. The Defense proceedings must have been completed within the sixth months following the authorization of them by the Doctoral Studies Commission.

  • Reading of the Thesis concerned: Notification of Date (Forms)
  • Appointment of the Examining Board (Forms)

The proceedings involving the Defense will be held publicly in open session and will consist of an explanation of, as well as a defense of, the research work carried out, by the Doctoral student, in the presence of the members of the Examining Board. Those Doctors attending the public proceedings will be able to formulate questions at the time, and in the manner, laid down by the President of the Examining Board.

The language to be used habitually in the proceedings involving a Defense will be the Spanish of Spain. However, the Doctoral Thesis may also be defended in another language, provided the express agreement, in writing, of all the members of the Examining Board is forthcoming.

The Examining Board will issue an assessment report on, together with an overall grade for, the Thesis, which will be either "not apt", "pass", "highly acceptable" or "excellent". The Examining Board will be able to assign the mention of "cum laude" if the overall rating is excellent, to be expressed, were it the case, in the sense of the unanimous affirmative vote of all of its members. The counting of votes for the award of “cum laude” will be held in different session corresponding to the defense of the doctoral thesis.

The reverse side of the Doctoral Degree Certificate may include the words "International Doctor", subject to compliance with the requirements as set down.

In the proceedings involving the Defense of a Thesis, the five members who form part of the Examining Board must attend. If any first-line member designated by the Commission were unable to be present for well-grounded reasons, the Chairperson of the Examining Board will proceed to replacing him or her with the first substitute and, should that not be possible, with the second substitute.

Any incidents that may arise in highly exceptional circumstances during the proceedings involving the reading of the Thesis concerned must be made known to the Doctoral Studies Commission, through its Chairman, by the Director of whichever Organ responsible may exist, or by the Chairperson of the Examining Board himself or herself. The Commission, having met, or having been consulted urgently, will analyze the situation and make the appropriate decision.

  • Assessment report and evaluation of the Reading of a Doctoral Thesis (Forms)
  • Evaluative report with the purpose of convening the Doctoral Studies Exceptionalism Award (Forms)
  • Assessment report for the honourable mention "Cum Laude" (Forms)

The Filing and Safekeeping of Doctoral Thesis

Following the reading of the Thesis, of the two copies of it which have been officially stamped by the UIMP General Register, left in deposit by the Doctoral student, being publicly available, and signed by the members of the Examining Board, one will be kept in store by the Organ responsible; and the other, the safekeeping of which has been entrusted to the Doctoral Studies Commission, will be sent to the UIMP to be filed and documented.

Those in charge of this Library will periodically send a statement of the theses received to the Vice Principal's Office for Graduate Studies and Research, which will validate the said list for purposes of compliance with the legal provision concerning the safe filing of Doctoral Theses on the part of the Doctoral Studies Commission concerned.

The Doctoral Studies Commission will undertake to send to the General Administration Office of the Council of Universities the necessary information so that the data concerning Doctoral Theses read is collected in the database TESEO via the computer application set up for this purpose.