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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.

 

To start the review process for a doctoral thesis, a doctoral student must have at least received a positive assessment for their research plan and a follow-up report. The last follow-up report submitted by the student must also have been approved and they must have entered their curriculum details in 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 its submission.

When the doctoral thesis is finished, the doctoral student must apply to the School of Doctoral Studies to start the review process. To that end, the student must access the corresponding form for this application which they will find in their record, once they have identified themselves on the University website. Their application must indicate whether they wish to have an international or industrial mention, or both, in their doctorate qualification and if the thesis is being submitted as a compendium of publications. The application must also be accompanied by the student’s electronic CV, extracted from the curriculum management application currently in use at the UdG, a declaration from the supervisors about ethical aspects of the doctoral thesis being submitted for review, and an electronic copy of the thesis in PDF format must also be attached. The doctoral student must also state if the thesis is co-tutored or if its submission is subject to a confidentiality agreement. If the thesis is being submitted as a compendium of publications it will also be necessary to attach the following documents to the application: a) a report from the thesis supervisor or supervisors indicating the suitability of this format and demonstrating the relevance of the doctoral student’s specific contribution to the publications presented, b) acceptance on the part of the co-authors of the publications, if there are any, that the doctoral student presents them as part of the thesis, and c) a statement from the co-authors of the publications who do not have a doctorate that they will not submit them as part of their own doctoral thesis. For the review process to continue, the thesis supervisor and the tutor (if all the supervisors are external) must give the go-ahead and state that, to their knowledge, the thesis faithfully reflects the work done by the doctoral student, that it has been prepared in accordance with the School of Doctoral Studies’ code of good practice and that it does not contain any plagiarised elements.

Subsequently, the doctoral programme academic committee will, in a maximum of five working days following the go-ahead from the thesis supervisor and tutor, check whether this fulfils the requirements established in the present regulations and the formal requirements specific to each area, as well as the format criteria approved by the School of Doctoral Studies Management Committee.

The thesis has to receive a report from two expert PhD holders 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 doctoral programme academic committee and must have an active research premium or equivalent research merits. In the event there are publications derived from the thesis, none of the co-authors will be able to act as an expert in the doctoral thesis review. In the case of joint doctoral programmes, neither expert may belong to any of the universities participating in the programme.

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 academic committee has to ensure that the process of issuing expert reports is completed within two months from the day after the experts are appointed.

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 with a casting vote from a higher education or research institute external to the UdG, and 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 academic committee has to send the doctoral student, the thesis supervisor/s and the tutor/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. Their response should also make clear which changes have been implemented. This answer has to be presented when making the submission.

Should the student wish to have an international mention in their doctor’s degree, the aspects mentioned in the regulations regarding the external experts must be borne in mind.

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

The student shall make the submission application through the corresponding procedure which, once they have identified themselves on the University website, they will find in their record. They will have to attach:

a) the electronic file of the thesis in PDF format

 b) the editable electronic file with an informative summary of the thesis in Catalan and in English, of approximately one page, with a representative publishable image of the subject treated in the thesis

c) the electronic file of the doctoral student’s response to the reports from the academic committee, if appropriate, and from the external experts, clearly stating the changes made to the doctoral thesis

d) the doctoral student’s details, the thesis summary and the UNESCO codes necessary for publishing the thesis, after the reading, in the repository of doctoral theses online (TDX), and its inclusion in the TESEO database.

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

f) If the student wishes to ask for an industrial mention, in the event they have not already been recognised as having obtained an industrial doctorate grant from the Government of Catalonia or the Government of Spain, they will have to provide documentation accrediting the circumstances described in the requirements set out in Article 15bis of Royal Decree 99/2011, of 28 January, by which official doctoral degree education is regulated. For the submission process to continue, the thesis supervisor and tutor (if all the supervisors are external) must give the go-ahead.

The School of Doctoral Studies will open a public display period of three working days, from the day following publication of an edict to that effect on the e-office noticeboard. During this period the thesis may be examined in the School of Doctoral Studies by anyone who can prove they have a PhD, and in a period of two working days from the day after the last day of public display, considerations deemed pertinent may be presented to the School of Doctoral Studies, which will send them to the corresponding academic committee.

Once the public display period is over, the doctoral programme academic committee will, if appropriate, authorise the defence of the doctoral thesis and appoint the panel, specifying a chairperson, a spokesperson and a secretary, and two substitutes.

Once the defence has been authorised and the panel appointed by the doctoral programme academic committee, the School of Doctoral Studies will notify the doctoral student, the thesis supervisor, the tutor 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. The panel members must notify the School of Doctoral Studies of any possible conflict of interest. The academic committee will evaluate it and, if they consider it appropriate, will propose a new panel or replace the members concerned by one of the substitutes.

After final authorisation to defend the thesis and the designation of the panel have been notified, the chair will have to convene the thesis defence event. When they convene it, they will have to notify the School of Doctoral Studies at the same time. In any event, this must be done at least 15 working days prior to the date set for the defence. The School will ensure compliance with this deadline. The chair will also have to notify whether the thesis will be defended on-site or by video conference. If it is by video conference, the doctoral student will have to submit the relevant application and the procedure established by the School of Doctoral Studies will apply.

If the defence of the doctoral thesis is not authorised, the doctoral student, thesis supervisor/s and tutor 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.

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 may authorise an extension of this deadline when unforeseen justified causes arise. The chair of the panel convenes the defence of the thesis.

Generally speaking, the defence of a doctoral thesis has to take place on-site in a public session at any UdG centre or affiliated research institute or a joint institute with UdG participation, in the academic period established for thesis readings and in lecture time. All the panel members and the doctoral student need to be present for the thesis defence to start.

If the chair of the academic committee authorises it, the thesis defence and classification may go ahead with the participation of some or all the mandatory assistants (panel, doctoral student) by non-on-site means (synchronous video conference), in accordance with the procedure established by the School of Doctoral Studies, as long as the means necessary for ensuring the proper functioning and academic quality of the thesis defence are guaranteed and also the public character of the event, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 12 regarding theses with confidential content.

If the doctoral student does not attend the thesis defence without justified cause, this will be recorded in the corresponding 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:

a) The School of Doctoral Studies will provide the panel secretary with the record and all the documents for the thesis defence and a link to an application where each of the panel members will cast their vote regarding the award or not of the “cum laude” distinction, individually and in secret, before 10 a.m. of the working day following that of the thesis defence. The secretary will send the minutes of the thesis defence, with the original handwritten signatures, to the School of Doctoral Studies. They can only send the result by electronic means if all the signatures of the panel members are digital. They will also send the reports signed by each of the panel members, which may be signed electronically or with an original handwritten signature. The panel secretary will ensure that all the panel members vote on the award or not of the “cum laude” distinction.

b) The School of Doctoral Studies will scrutinise the votes and record the result in minutes signed by a representative of the academic secretariat and by the director of the School of Doctoral Studies.

c) The “cum laude” distinction is awarded if the vote is unanimous. The record of the scrutiny will be kept together with the rest of the documentation generated by the thesis defence and evaluation.

d) The School of Doctoral Studies will inform the interested party of the final classification following the scrutiny, and send a copy to the thesis supervisor/s and panel members.

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