School of Doctoral Studies

Doctoral thesis presentation

Academic information

To start the review process for a doctoral thesis, the doctoral student must have at least received a positive assessment of their research plan and have entered their curricular information into the UdG’s current curriculum management application. The University will follow the procedure established in the following sections in order to guarantee the quality of a doctoral thesis prior to submission.

 

When the doctoral thesis is finished, doctoral students have to ask the School of Doctoral Studies to start the review process, with the approval of the thesis directors and supervisor. To this effect they should submit the standardised form available from the University Registry. The request must indicate if the student aspires to an international mention in their doctorate qualification and if the thesis is submitted as a compendium of publications. The form should include an authorization to use the electronic CV taken from the UdG’s current curriculum management application, and attach the electronic thesis file, preferably in PDF format, or another format permitted by the University. If the thesis is submitted as a compendium of publications, the following electronic files must also be attached to the form:

  1. a report from the director/s of the thesis stating the suitability of this format and demonstrating the relevance of the specific contribution made by the doctoral student in the publications submitted,
  2. the acceptance of the co-authors, if any, for each of the publications that the doctoral student submits as part of the thesis, and
  3. the withdrawal of any non-doctoral co-authors of the publications from being presented as part of the doctoral thesis.

Next, the School of Doctoral Studies will send the thesis to the Academic Committee of the doctoral programme, which will check that the thesis meets the specific formal requirements for each area, and that it meets the format criteria approved by the Management Committee of the School of Doctoral Studies. This will take place in a maximum deadline of five working days from reception of the thesis.

The thesis has to receive a report from two expert doctors belonging to two other higher education or research institutions external to the UdG through an anonymous review process. The experts will be appointed by the Academic Committee of the doctoral programme and must have an active research premium or equivalent research merits.

The reports that the experts issue should refer in equal measure to the formal aspects of the doctoral thesis and to whether it meets the theoretical framework, the objectives, methodology, results, discussion, conclusions and references, and, if necessary, they should highlight any repercussions it may have in the scientific and social sphere. The reports have to point out any aspects the experts consider necessary to amend. Finally, the conformity or otherwise of the doctoral thesis presentation and defence, taking the aspects mentioned into account, must be stated. The School of Doctoral Studies guarantees the anonymity of the expert reviewers. Experts are remunerated in accordance with the University’s annual budgets.

The School of Doctoral Studies has to ensure that the process of issuing expert reports is completed within two months from the day after the experts are appointed. The student has the right to ask the Academic Committee to mediate if this time period is surpassed.

If one of the reports issued by the expert reviewers states the thesis is not in a condition to be defended, the Academic Committee will appoint a third expert of a higher education or research institute external to the UdG, who is different to the two previous experts. If two of the reports are negative, the process will be closed and the doctoral student and the director/s will be notified so that proceedings to improve the thesis and, if necessary, subsequently start the review process again, can be implemented, within the maximum time allowed in the doctoral programme.

The School of Doctoral Studies has to send the doctoral student, the thesis director/s and the thesis supervisor/s a copy of the anonymous reports from the expert reviewers. The doctoral student shall introduce the changes proposed in the reports or, if necessary, provide reasons why they consider these changes cannot be incorporated in response to the reports. The response also should make clear which changes have been implemented.

Students aspiring to an international mention in their doctorate should remember that the thesis must have reports from at least two doctors from a higher education or research institute outside Spain.

The doctoral thesis can be submitted after the review process, within a maximum of three months. If this is exceeded, the procedure will be deemed closed and the supervisor/s and the director/s will be informed. Under these circumstances, the doctoral student will have to restart the review process if they wish to defend their thesis.

Submission of the doctoral thesis is via the University Registry using the standard form available in the forms section of the University of Girona website. The application, signed by the doctoral student, should include authorisation to use the digital CV extracted from the UdG’s current curricula management application, and will be attached to:

  1. The digital thesis file, preferably in PDF format, or in one of the other formats accepted by the University, signed by the doctoral student,
  2. The doctoral student’s response to the reports from the Academic Committee, if necessary, and from the external experts, clearly stating the changes made to the doctoral thesis, and
  3. The favourable report from the director/s of the thesis, with approval for its submission.

If the doctoral student aspires to an international mention in their doctorate, they must also attach proof of a stay of a minimum three months in a higher education or research centre outside Spain, signed by the head of the host centre or centres.

The School of Doctoral Studies will notify the Office of the General Secretary of the thesis submission so it can be exhibited for five working days from the day after submission on the e-office of the University of Girona. The thesis will be available for consultation by anyone accredited as a doctor in the School of Doctoral Studies. Once the period of public exhibition has ended, the secretary or general secretary will certify it.

Once the public exhibition has passed, the Academic Committee of the doctoral programme will, if necessary, authorise the defence of the doctoral thesis, appoint the panel and the designated chair, a spokesperson or secretary, as well as two substitute spokespersons.

Once the defence has been authorised and the panel agreed by the Academic Committee of the doctoral programme, the School of Doctoral Studies will notify the doctoral student of the thesis director, supervisor and members of the panel in a period of five working days. The School of Doctoral Studies will notify all the members of the panel of the appointment, and will issue an electronic copy of the thesis and other relevant documentation.

Following notification of the final authorisation for defence of the thesis and the appointed panel, the chair shall convene the defence with a minimum 15 working days notice, so the student can prepare the defence and inform the School of Doctoral Studies of the date of the defence at least two days beforehand.

If the doctoral thesis is not authorised, the doctoral student, director/s and supervisor of the thesis must be notified along with a supporting report in a maximum of five working days after the agreement has been adopted by the School of Doctoral Studies.

Transitory provision

Whilst the electronic procedures that require documents and written communications to be submitted in the University’s electronic registry are not operational on the e-office of the UdG, these can be submitted in the traditional way in-person at the registry, in accordance with the governing regulations.

Whilst the UdG’s electronic registry is not available for submitting doctoral theses, they can be submitted in the following way:

Once the review procedure has finished, the doctoral student can formally submit it. To validate the submission, the doctoral student must present a standard application to the School of Doctoral Studies through the University Registry, which includes an authorization to use the electronic CV extracted from the current UdG curriculum management application, as well as the following documentation:

  1. A complete copy of the doctoral thesis on paper, signed by the student by hand.
  2. A complete electronic copy of the doctoral thesis, in PDF format or another accepted by the University, preferably signed using a digital certificate accepted by the UdG, or in a format duly labelled and signed by the doctoral student.
  3. The doctoral student’s response to any formal or format changes requested by the Academic Committee and the anonymous reports by the experts, in which the doctoral student explains their position with regard to the content of the reports received and clearly state any changes made to the doctoral thesis. This document has to be signed by the doctoral student and by the thesis director/s.
  4. The favourable report of the thesis director/s, with approval for its submission.

The maximum period within which to defend the doctoral thesis is four months from the appointment of the panel. The Academic Committee of each doctoral programme can authorise an extension of this deadline when unforeseen justified causes are given.

The defence of the thesis must be called by the panel chair. They must also inform the School of Doctoral Studies of the date of the defence at least two days beforehand.

The thesis defence must be in a public session in any UdG centre within the academic period established for the thesis readings and on a teaching day.

All three members of the panel must be present for the thesis to be defended. If authorised by the School management, the panel spokesperson can carry out their role via video conference if necessary, through media stipulated by the UdG. In this case, the School of Doctoral Studies will provide this member with the corresponding documentation to be completed and s/he will return it to the School of Doctoral Studies within 15 days maximum.

Under exceptional circumstances, the School management can authorise the doctoral student to defend the thesis remotely, without being physically present in the same place as the panel. In this case, the doctoral student’s contribution should be via video conference through means determined by the UdG, ensuring the necessary immediacy and simultaneous exchange of information using images, sound and, if necessary, the transmission of other data.

If the doctoral student does not attend the thesis defence without justified cause, this will be recorded in the exam record with the classification “fail”.

If the defence cannot be carried out for any justified circumstance, the chair may make a new call for defence of the thesis, which will have to be carried out in a maximum of 15 working days, and the School of Doctoral Studies shall be notified of the date of the new call at least two days in advance.

The defence has to consist of the doctoral student's explanation of the research work undertaken, the methodology employed, the results and conclusions, with a special mention for original contributions.

The members of the panel can pose any questions they consider relevant to the doctoral student. Likewise, any PhD holders present during the defence may pose questions at the time and in the manner established by the panel chairperson.

Once the defence and discussion of the doctoral thesis has finished, the panel will produce an written assessment. The panel will issue the overall mark awarded to the thesis according to the following scale: “fail”, “pass (C)”, “good (B)”, and “excellent (A)”. Panel members may propose that theses deemed “excellent” be awarded “cum laude” via secret ballot, in accordance with the following procedure:

  1. If they do not have valid credentials, the School of Doctoral Studies will provide members of the panel with a username and password to enable them to record their secret ballot using the University e-vote system.
  2. Each panel member will register their vote individually and secretly before 10.00 the working day after the thesis defence.
  3. After this deadline, the results of the vote recorded by the panel members will be counted in a separate session to the defence of the thesis. This will be done in the presence of a panel member, or the director of the School of Doctoral Studies if they are unavailable, and the result noted in the corresponding exam record, signed by a member of the panel, or the director of the School of Doctoral Studies if they are unavailable.
  4. The “cum laude” distinction is granted upon a unanimous ballot. A record of the count of the panel member’s votes will be kept with the other documentation generated by the defence and assessment of the thesis.
  5. The School of Doctoral Studies will inform the interested party of the final count, and send a copy to the thesis director/s and panel members.