Agreement of the Board of Governors of 20 June 2012

The adaptation of official courses to the European Higher Education Area began in 2005 with the approval of Royal Decrees 55/2005 and 56/2005, respectively, which established the framework for the design of the official postgraduate programmes, consisting of masters and doctorate programmes.

Organic Law 4/2007 of 12 April, which amended Organic Law 6/2001 of 21 December, concerning universities, defined doctoral studies as the studies in the third cycle of official university courses, leading to obtaining the official doctorate qualification, which is official and valid throughout Spain.

Royal Decree 1393/2007, of October 29, which provided for the organization of official university studies, subsequently developed the regulatory framework for university courses and established new regulations for doctoral studies.

The regulation of doctoral studies culminated in the approval of Royal Decree 99/2011 of 28 January, which regulates official doctoral courses and was a further step forward in the development of the regulatory framework for doctorates, as it exclusively regulates the organization of doctoral studies.

Among the main new features of Royal Decree 99/2011 are the regulation of doctoral schools and the establishment of academic committees for doctoral programmes, the research plan, the doctoral student's activities document and the code of good practices.

Law 14/2011 of 1 June, concerning science, technology and innovation, recently amended some articles of Organic Law 6/2001 of 21 December, concerning universities, while making statutory provision for the creation of doctoral schools and including them within the structure of universities.

Given this new regulatory framework governing doctoral studies, and in view of the fact that universities are responsible for regulating certain aspects of them, it has become necessary to adapt the regulations governing doctoral studies at Pompeu Fabra University. To that end, on 13 July 2011 the Board of Governors agreed to create the Pompeu Fabra University Doctoral School and approve its regulations, and anticipated its work beginning in the 2012-2013 academic year.

These new academic regulations, which are designed to regulate specific aspects regarding which Royal Decree 99/2011 confers regulatory authority on the University, are also being created in accordance with the provisions of Article 158.2 of the Statutes of Pompeu Fabra University. The aim of this is first, to create a high level of flexibility in each doctoral programme, given the special characteristics of each one, and the variety of needs and training and research methods in the different fields of knowledge; and second, to support UPF's commitment to becoming a leading European university in terms of quality, internationalization and links to research.


SECTION 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1. Purpose

This purpose of these regulations is to regulate the doctorate taught at the Pompeu Fabra University Doctoral School, which is governed by Royal Decree 99/2011 of 28 January, which regulates official doctoral courses.

SECTION 2. ADMISSION AND REGISTRATION

Article 2. Access and admission

2.1. Access and admission requirements

Students meeting the admission requirements stipulated in the regulations in force, and the additional requirements or criteria for admission or selection that have been approved by the academic committee of each doctoral programme, which must be recorded in the verification report of the doctoral programme concerned, are eligible for the studies leading to the qualification of doctorate.

2.2. Competent bodies

The Doctoral School is responsible for the admission of applicants to doctoral studies through the academic committee of the doctoral programme.

2.3. Submission of applications

The University will make a single call for admission, in which eligible candidates who meet the access and admission requirements referred to in paragraph 6.1 may participate, as well as those candidates who despite not yet meeting them, anticipate meeting them by the start date of academic activity.

If a public price has been established for participation in the admission procedure, evidence of payment of this sum is a prerequisite for participation.

2.4. Documentation

When submitting the application for admission, candidates must attach documentation certifying their compliance with the access and admission requirements, as well as those aspects which have been subject to assessment.

Final admission is subject to accreditation of compliance with the access and admission requirements on the first day of the academic year.

2.5. Assessment of admission applications for access

a) Criteria

When the demand for places on a doctoral programme exceeds those available, priority will be given to applications based on the assessment criteria established by each doctoral programme in the approved verification report.

b) Procedure

The academic committee of each doctoral programme will be responsible for establishing the selection procedure.

Article 3. Registration

3.1. Procedure

Doctoral students must complete the registration process for the academic supervision of the doctorate every year, and pay the relevant public prices, within the deadlines established by the university and in accordance with the provisions of the regulations governing registration at Pompeu Fabra University. They must also register in the academic year in which the thesis is deposited.

Doctoral students taking doctoral studies with a foreign qualification from outside the European Higher Education Area that has not been officially recognized must pay the appropriate public price for the equivalence study.

The University's acceptance of the registration is conditional upon the accuracy of the details contained in the application, the doctoral student's compliance with the requirements stipulated in the regulations for access and admission to the doctorate, and full payment in the manner and within the deadlines established.

Any doctoral students failing to register within the deadlines and in the manner established by the University will be withdrawn from the programme.

3.2. Withdrawal of registration by doctoral students

Doctoral students may withdraw their registration within two months of the registration date.

The doctoral student's presentation of the registration within the deadline and payment of the registration fee in full is a prerequisite for acceptance of the withdrawal. Once the withdrawal has been accepted, it shall take effect from the date of the doctoral student's withdrawal application.

In academic terms, the acceptance of the withdrawal of registration has the same effects as if the doctoral student had not registered. Withdrawal of registration by the doctoral student will not lead to any refund of the sum paid to that end under any circumstances.

3.3. Other aspects of registration

The regulations of this university concerning the financial aspects of registration for official courses are applicable to prices, discounts, payment methods, modifications, withdrawals and refunds of the fees.

SECTION 3. WORKLOAD OF DOCTORAL STUDENTS

Article 4. Full-time or part-time studies by the doctoral student

4.1. The ordinary regime for undertaking doctoral studies is on a full-time basis. However, at the request of the doctoral student, the academic committee of the doctoral programme may authorize the doctoral student to take the course on a part-time basis, in accordance with the provisions of Article 3 of Royal Decree 99/2011.

4.2. Applications for part-time studies must be submitted to the doctoral programme's academic committee in the manner and within the deadlines established by that committee.

SECTION 4. SUPERVISION AND MONITORING OF THE DOCTORAL STUDENT

Article 5. Assignment of a tutor and thesis supervisor

5.1. After their admission to the doctoral program, the academic committee of the doctoral programme will assign a tutor to each doctoral student, who will be a doctor with accredited research experience related to the unit or school organizing the programme.

5.2. Within six months of the initial registration, the academic committee of the doctoral programme will assign each doctoral student a thesis supervisor, who may or may not be the same person as the tutor.

The thesis supervisor must be a doctor, either Spanish or otherwise, with accredited research experience, regardless of the university, centre or institution where he/she works. In exceptional circumstances, the thesis may be supervised by doctors who are not linked to research institutions, subject to prior authorization from the Doctoral School's Management Committee.

The doctoral student may apply for a change of thesis supervisor to the academic committee of the doctoral programme. The committee may change the appointment of the thesis supervisor, after prior consultation with the applicant, the thesis supervisor and the doctor it proposes as a new supervisor, provided that it does do on justifiable grounds and there is no disagreement. In the event of disagreement, the case will be put before the Management Committee of the Doctoral School.

Article 6. Joint doctoral thesis supervision

The doctoral thesis may be co-supervised by two or more doctors when there are academic reasons that warrant this, such as those with an interdisciplinary subject matter, subject to prior authorization from the academic committee of the doctoral programme. This authorization may subsequently be withdrawn if in the opinion of the academic committee of the doctoral program, the joint supervision does not benefit the development of the thesis.

Article 7. The doctoral student's activities document

7.1. After registering on the programme, the personalised activities documents will be written for each doctoral student, and must contain all the activities relevant to the development of the doctoral student, as agreed by the academic committee of the doctoral programme.

7.2. This document must be reviewed regularly by the tutor and the thesis supervisor, and evaluated by the academic committee responsible for the doctoral programme.

Article 8. The doctoral student's research plan

Before the end of the first year, starting on the date of first registration, doctoral students must produce their Research Plan, including the methodology, objectives, resources and planning for the production of their thesis. This research plan will be completed during the doctoral student's time in the programme, and must be endorsed by the tutor and the thesis supervisor when submitted for evaluation.

Article 9. Document of commitment

The doctoral student, the university, the tutor and the thesis supervisor shall sign a document of commitment setting out the supervision tasks relating to doctoral students. This commitment, which must be signed as soon as possible once the thesis supervisor has been appointed, must include the procedure for resolving disputes, and must provide for issues relating to intellectual or industrial property rights arising in the doctoral programmes.

Article 10. Annual assessment of the doctoral student

10.1. The academic committee of each doctoral programme must establish mechanisms to ensure the quality of the theses during the production process (public exposition in seminars, prior publication in journals of recognized prestige, external reports, etc.).

10.2. The doctoral programme's academic committee will evaluate the Research Plan, the activities document and the reports of the thesis supervisor and the tutor every year. A positive assessment is a prerequisite for continuing in the doctoral programme. A negative assessment on justifiable grounds will lead to the doctoral student being re-assessed within six months of the previous assessment, and he/she must produce a new research plan to that end. In the event of a further negative assessment, the doctoral student will be withdrawn from the programme on a permanent basis.

SECTION 5. THE DOCTORAL THESIS

Article 11. Contents of the doctoral thesis

11.1. The doctoral thesis must consist of an original piece of research in one of the research lines of the doctoral programme.

11.2. The doctoral thesis may consist of a series of articles obtained from the doctoral student's own research. In this case, the thesis must include a report presenting the thesis defended, with an introductory chapter and some final conclusions.

Article 12. Annual information on doctoral theses

The academic committee of each doctoral programme must report annually to the Doctoral School's Management Committee on the progress of the doctoral theses of all its doctoral students. This information may refer to all the doctoral theses in each doctoral programme.

Article 13. Language of writing and defence of the doctoral thesis

The thesis may be written and defended in any of the languages commonly used in scientific communication in the relevant field of knowledge. If the language of writing and defence of the thesis is not Catalan, Spanish or English, the doctoral student must notify the academic committee of the doctoral programme of this beforehand.

Article 14. Co-tutoring

14.1. The University will promote initiatives that enhance the international dimension of doctoral theses by the bodies responsible for postgraduate programmes, and will establish the appropriate systems for their recognition if necessary. Moreover, in certain cases it may propose that a doctoral thesis is produced under joint supervision with another international institution, by establishing conventions or agreements, in accordance with the regulations in force at Pompeu Fabra University.

14.2. The academic committee of the doctoral program is responsible for authorizing the joint supervision of doctoral theses.

Article 15. Deadline for depositing doctoral theses

15.1. Doctoral theses must be deposited before the end of the third academic year, or the fifth or in the case of part-time doctoral students, after the doctoral student's registration. If after this three- or five-year period, as appropriate, the doctoral student has not presented the application to deposit the thesis, the academic committee responsible for the doctoral programme may authorize an extension of one year, or of two years for part-time doctoral students, which may under exceptional circumstances be extended for one additional year, under the conditions established in the doctoral programme. Doctoral students failing to deposit the doctoral thesis within the deadline will be permanently withdrawn from the programme.

If the doctoral student is in a situation of temporary disability, risk during pregnancy, maternity, adoption or foster care, risk during breastfeeding or paternity, the deadline for depositing the thesis will be extended for the period of time that this situation applies.

15.2. Doctoral students may apply for a temporary break in the program for a maximum period of one year, which may be extended for a further year. This application may be approved by the academic committee of the doctoral programme, provided it has previously been justified by the doctoral student. 

Article 16. Deposit of the doctoral thesis

16.1. After the preparation of the doctoral thesis has been completed, the doctoral student must deposit it at the place specified by the doctoral programme's academic committee.

16.2. The application for deposit must be accompanied by a favourable report by the thesis supervisor, which must be exhaustive; a copy of the doctoral thesis, published in paper format under the conditions determined by the Management Committee of the Doctoral School; a copy of the thesis in electronic format, and a declaration of authorship of the thesis signed by the doctoral student.

16.3. Based on the documentation received, the academic committee of the doctoral programme shall then authorize the deposit of the thesis or otherwise. If it does not authorize it, the Committee must notify the doctoral student and thesis supervisor of the reasons for its decision in writing.

16.4. The academic committee of the doctoral programme will announce the deposit of the thesis to facilitate its dissemination, without prejudice to the stipulations of Article 19. The doctoral thesis shall be deposited for ten working days, starting on the day after the date of deposit, so that doctors at the University may examine it and where appropriate, address the academic committee of the doctoral programme with the comments they deem appropriate.

16.5. Consultation of the doctoral thesis will take place under conditions that maintain the originality and confidentiality of its content. To that end, only individuals with an accredited doctorate may have access to it, the length of consultation time will be limited, and a suitable place on the University premises will be provided for these purposes.

16.6. Once the deadline of ten working days from the deposit of the thesis has passed, and within a period two months, the academic committee of the doctoral programme shall, where appropriate, the authorize the defence of the doctoral thesis and furnish the Management Committee of the Doctoral School with all the documentation generated by the evaluation process of the doctoral thesis, for the appropriate proceedings.

Article 17. Doctoral thesis board

17.1. Board proposal

After the defence of the doctoral thesis has been authorized, the thesis supervisor will submit a proposal for the thesis board to Management Committee of the Doctoral School, within two months of the deposit of the thesis.

The board proposed should include three members and two alternates, all of whom must have a doctorate and accredited research experience, of which the majority must be members from outside the University and collaborating institutions in the doctoral programme. There may not be more than two members of the board from the same university or institution. Where it is necessary to call an alternate member to the thesis reading, priority will be given to those members enabling the board to consist of members of different universities and institutions.

Neither the doctoral thesis supervisor nor the tutor may be members of the board appointed, except in cases where the theses are presented within the framework of bilateral co-tutorship agreements with foreign universities that anticipate this possibility.

This proposal must be accompanied by a report on the suitability of each of the five members proposed as regards the subject of the thesis. If the doctoral thesis supervisor does not formulate the proposal for composition of the board within the said period, the Management Committee of the Doctoral School may appoint the board in the manner provided for in this article.

17.2. Approval and appointment of the board

The Management Committee of the Doctoral School shall appoint a president, member and a secretary from among the full members of the board, a first alternate member and a second alternate member. If any full member of the board withdraws on board for justifiable reasons, he/she will be replaced by the first alternate member, or failing that, the second alternate member.

Article 18. Defence and grading of the doctoral thesis

18.1. Deadline for the thesis defence 

The doctoral thesis must be defended within four months of the date of appointment of the board of the doctoral thesis. The academic committee of each doctoral programme may authorize an extension of this deadline when justified grounds for doing so arise.

18.2. Convocation of the defence proceedings

The thesis defence proceedings shall be convened by the president of the panel, and the secretary shall inform the Doctoral School's Management Committee of the date on which it is to take place, with sufficient advance notice.

18.3. The defence proceedings

The thesis defence proceedings must take place in public within the academic period established for the reading of theses, between July and September, inclusive, without prejudice to the stipulations of Article 19.

The proceedings must consist of the doctoral student's exposition of the research work carried out, the methodology used, the contents and conclusions, with special reference to the original contributions.

The members of the board may ask the doctoral student any questions they deem appropriate. Likewise, the doctors present in the public defence proceedings may ask questions at the time and in the manner stipulated by the president of the panel.

18.4. Grading of the doctoral thesis

The panel must issue a report and give the thesis an overall grade in terms of "pass" or "fail". The panel may propose a thesis for a "cum laude" mention if the secret ballot to that end is unanimously positive. After the doctoral thesis defence session has been concluded, the votes for the "cum laude" mention must be counted at different proceedings.

Article 19. Publication of the doctoral thesis

19.1. Once it has been passed, the doctoral thesis will be archived electronically and in open access format in the TDX repository (Theses and Dissertations Online). The Doctoral School will send the Ministry of Education a copy of the thesis in electronic format, as well as any additional information that is necessary for the appropriate purposes.

19.2. In cases where in accordance with the provisions of Article 14.6 of Royal Decree 99/2011, the academic committee has anticipated the possibility of partially restricting publication of the thesis, the doctoral student must notify the Doctoral School to that end and must provide a copy of the thesis in which the aspects that are subject to special protection have been removed.

SECTION 6. THE DOCTORAL DIPLOMA AND THE DOCTORAL THESIS SPECIAL AWARD

Article 20. The doctoral diploma

After the defence of the thesis has been approved, the doctoral student may apply for a doctoral diploma from Pompeu Fabra University.

Article 21. International mention in the doctoral diploma

The doctoral diploma may include on the obverse the words "international doctor," provided that the provisions of Article 15 of Royal Decree 99/2011 are complied with.

Article 22. Special awards for doctoral theses

The academic committee of the doctoral programme may submit a proposal for a Special Award for a Doctoral Thesis to the Doctoral School's Management Committee. The academic committee of each doctoral programme may request one special award be granted for every ten doctoral theses read.

ADDITIONAL PROVISION. ACCREDITED RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

Whenever these rules require accredited research experience, it will be deemed to be the responsibility of the Doctoral School's Management Committee to establish the specific criteria for accreditation of this research experience, where necessary.

FIRST TRANSITORY PROVISION. DOCTORAL STUDENTS SUBJECT TO PREVIOUS REGULATIONS

1. Doctoral students who have begun doctoral studies under previous regulations are subject to the provisions regulating the doctorate and the issuing of the doctoral diploma that were in force at the time when they began their studies. In any event, the regulations governing the board, the defence and assessment of the doctoral thesis stipulated in Royal Decree 99/2011 are applicable to those students one year after their entry into force.

2. Unless the Regulations governing continuance on doctoral studies at Pompeu Fabra University stipulate a different period, those pursuing doctoral studies on the entry into force of Royal Decree 99/2011 will have five years to present and defend their doctoral thesis. If this period of time elapses without these requirements having been met, the doctoral student will be declared to have been permanently withdrawn from the programme.

SECOND TRANSITORY PROVISION

During the period that the UPF Doctoral School is inoperative, the tasks assigned to the Doctorate School's Management Committee shall be performed by the Postgraduate and Doctorate Studies Committee.

SOLE OVERRIDING PROVISION

These regulations revoke the academic regulations for doctoral studies approved by the Board of Governors on 2 May 2007, and the Agreement of the Governing Council of 16 June 2010, concerning the composition of doctoral thesis boards.