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Doctoral Programme in Water Science and Technology

Doctoral Programme in Water Science and Technology

Academic year 2023-2024

General information

General information

Doctoral Programme in Water Science and Technology
Polytechnic School
, Faculty of Science
Indicative number of places
Number of registered students
Official enrolment data
Valid report:
Report (2022)
Other information
AQU Indicators


Why should I do the doctoral degree in Water Science and Technology?

Because the University of Girona is at the forefront of research in the field of water science and technology. Because I want to conduct research in subjects that are a priority at a Catalan, Spanish and EU level. Because I want to learn to carry out research in a good laboratory that provides me with national and international contacts. Because I want to feel part of a big multidisciplinary group of researchers from the best departments, institutes and centres conducting research in the field of water that helps me to maximise the value of my research and to disseminate the results. Because I want my research to respond to society's needs.

Learning objectives

The main objective of the Doctoral Programme in Water Science and Technology is to train high level researchers in this field of knowledge. This doctoral degree offers a programme which is both coherent and diverse, which provides an optimal environment for training researchers: a network of teams and lines of research that are connected to each other, with national and international reach, coordinated by the School of Doctoral Studies at the University of Girona and under the umbrella of the Euro-Mediterranean Campus of Tourism and Water (see e-MTA).

The programme aspires to become a leading doctoral degree in Catalonia on the subject of water. With this objective, in addition to researchers from various institutes and departments of the University of Girona (UdG), the Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA) and two centres of the CSIC, the Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB) and the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research also take part.

Lines of research

1. Physical processes in aquatic systems

Key words: hydrodynamics, interphase water-sediment, particles, transport

Research areas:

  • Environmental physics
  • Hydrodynamics of systems with aquatic coastal vegetation
  • Numerical mixing and modelling process

Potential thesis directors:

2. Chemistry of pollution of aquatic systems: analytical methodology, dynamics and risks

Key words: organic pollutants, metals, degradation, micro-pollutants, bio-accumulation, nutrients

Research areas:

  • Analytical chemistry in several aquatic-environment matrices (water, sediment, organisms)
  • Environmental-risk analysis

Potential thesis directors:

3. Biodiversity and ecological processes in aquatic systems

Key words: population dynamics, community structures, biogeochemical fluxes, microbial ecology, ecotoxicology, ichthyology, models, ecological theory, aquatic systems (river, marsh, lake, reservoir, sea benthos).

Research areas:

  • Impact of global changes on aquatic ecosystems
  • Communities, metacommunities and trophic networks
  • Functioning of aquatic ecosystems and their role in system Earth
  • Management and conservation of aquatic ecosystems and biological invasions
  • Communities’ responses to pollutants
  • Genetic Resources and Biodiversity

Potential thesis directors:

*: UdG lecturers affiliated to the ICRA

4. Water resource technology and biotechnology

Key words: biological treatments, absorption-oxidation processes, bio-electrochemical processes, biotechnological microorganisms, evaluation.

Research areas:

  • Decision-helping systems
  • Design, operation and control of advanced processes for waste-water treatment and reuse
  • Water and energy binomial

Potential thesis directors:

*: UdG lecturers affiliated to the ICRA

Potential doctoral thesis tutors

All UdG members and those marked with an *


The Doctoral Programme in Water Science and Technology is governed by Royal Decree 99/2011, of 28 January, which establishes the organisation of official doctoral studies programmes. The access requirements are those set out in this Royal Decree and which can be consulted at the following web address

Admission criteria

Admission onto the programme takes place after the pre-enrolment has been carried out and the Academic Office of the Secretary has checked that the applicant fulfils the access criteria to the School of Doctoral Studies at the University of Girona.

The Commission will take two aspects into account for admission onto the Science and Technology of Water programme:

  • The candidate's curriculum
  • Previous contact with one of the programme's research groups

In relation to point 1) the Commission will prioritise above all candidates that have been awarded or have requested a competitive pre-doctoral scholarship of 3 or 4 years. Second, the Academic Committee will appraise the applications according to the following criteria, which are presented in order of priority and with the relevant weighting:

  1. Academic record (60%) The main selection criteria that will be taken into account is the average grade of the subjects related to the field of the lines of research of the programme.
  2. Curriculum vitae (30%). Previous learning in the areas related to the lines of research of the programme will be looked upon positively. Professional experience, publications and level of proficiency in languages will also be appraisable merits.
  3. Motivation (10%). The research interests stated by the candidates will be appraised along with the extent to which they are aligned with one of the lines of research of the programme.

In the event that the number of applications exceeds the number of places available, candidate applications will be arranged in order of priority.

In relation to point 2), once the pre-enrolment has been done, the Commission consults the complementary information requested in the pre-enrolment process where the candidate has to specify 1) If they have had previous contact with the research group, indicating a potential theses director with whom they have already made an agreement; 2) Provide information about the research subject; and 3) State if they have had previous experience in the subject. If no previous contact has been made with a research group, the Commission gets in touch with the candidate and gives them information of the groups and lines of research so that they can get in touch with potential thesis supervisors for the purpose of reaching an agreement, later adding this information on the pre-enrolment website. When this information is complete, including naming a potential thesis supervisor, the commission confirms with the proposed supervisor that this prior agreement has indeed been made, and the student is assigned an academic tutor on the programme.

Training courses

Regarding educational activities, the School of Doctoral Studies organises courses, seminars and other cross-disciplinary educational activities (soft skills) directed at research training and assisting with the writing and presentation of the doctoral thesis. We ask that the courses be given in English as our language of choice, although Catalan is the language most frequently used. They are generally 10-hour courses or seminars. There are a series of activities that are transferable and are of interest to all doctoral programmes, and others that are specific to a particular doctoral programme

Educational course catalogue


You need to know

Doctoral student guide

Doctoral programme in Water Science and Technology
Rating criteria for the doctoral degree special awards

The criteria for the doctoral degree special award for our programme have now been established. The scoring proposal is as follows:

  1. Scientific publications directly derived from the thesis (up to 5 points). Publications will be valued positively if they are included in the JCR (Journal Citation Reports), if they are of the first quartile or the first decile, and if the doctoral student is the main author. The impact factor of the magazine will be taken into account.
  2. Other publications, patents, books/chapters of books (up to 1.5 points). Other publications will be valued positively (scientific articles, books, chapters of books) in which the doctoral student has taken part as an author, and which are not included in the thesis but cover similar subject matter, and which have been published during the execution of the thesis. Patents will be valued positively .
  3. Congresses (up to 1 point). The type of presentation will be valued positively (oral/poster), as will the area and impact of the congress (international lecture, workshop, day, etc.) and the fact of being the main author.
  4. Research stays/international mentions (up to 1 point). Stays carried out during the period of the doctoral thesis will be valued positively. This includes the duration of the stay, the reception group and whether a work resulted from the stay. International mentions will be valued positively.
  5. Other merits related directly to the thesis, at the discretion of the assessment commission (up to 1.5 points). For instance, dissemination activities, obtaining of awards (congress awards for best poster, best oral presentation etc.) may be included.

Contents for a thesis in a compendium-of-publications format

Two options:

  1. At least 2 articles published or accepted in magazines included in the JCR, of which the doctoral student is the first author and that, at least, one of the articles is published in a magazine of the first quartile.
  2. At least 3 articles published or accepted in magazines included in the JCR, of which the doctoral student is the first author. The publication dates of these articles must be after the start of the doctoral thesis and may not contain any material prior to that thesis.

Contents for a thesis in traditional format

A thesis in traditional format must contain content allowing derived content in at least two scientific publications and, when registering their doctorate, students must have at least one accepted scientific article of which they are the first author and whose content derives from their doctoral thesis. These articles will have to be published after students have started their doctoral thesis and must not contain any pre-thesis material.

Compulsory training for doctoral students

Doctoral Programme in Water Science and Technology

Compulsory education: 20 hours. of cross-cutting education to be chosen from among the courses offered by the School of Doctoral Studies.


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