FAQ Registered PhD students

Published in General information

In which format should my Phd thesis be?

There are three options: 1) A PhD thesis as monograph; 2) A PhD thesis as a collection of publications consisting of at least 3 papers of which at least 2 are published (articles or book-chapters) and at least one of them in an international journal.; 3) A PhD thesis as a collection of (unpublished) papers consisting of at least 3 papers which can potentially be accepted in international journals or publications (edited volumes). Detailed information provided here.

How is my progress assessed?

Every academic year, the Academic Committee tribunal organises a review (called “prueba de seguimiento”) in which a panel of three Faculty members evaluates your progress based on your research plan, your record of academic activities and your supervisor’s annual report.
The Annual Assessment  usually takes place in late June-early July. Prior to the interview, the Phd candidate is asked to provide a summary of the main progress of the research, a list of activities realized, a update of its workplan, draft of chapters and state number of meetings performed with the supervisor.  . During the interview, the Phd candidate briefly introduce his/her research and progress followed by questions by the committee. We expect each evaluation to last up to 15 minutes, including the evaluation of the committee. 

As a result of the assessment the Phd Candidates will received one of the following marks:


  • Positive: you are able to enroll again next year
  • Positive with observation: you are allowed to enroll again next year but you will have to provide a new research plan within 6 months and the Academic Committee will assess you again
  • Negative: If the annual review is negative the candidate may re-register for the same review within the registration calendar, make a new research plan and present for a new review the following March.  If the March review is positive the candidate must register for the next review in the same academic year. If the March review is negative the candidate must withdraw from the PhD programme.
  • Not assessed: Failure to present an annual review with no justification will lead to the PhD candidates definitive withdrawal from the programme


 More information here 

What are my right and duties?

Once registered the student needs to provide: the statement of commitment, the activities document and the research plan. The School for Doctoral Studies, as an integral part of the UAB, subscribes to that commitment and sets it out in the code of good practice. The Phd candidate has the right to endeavour grievance procedure.

Can I apply and defend a doctoral thesis under Joint International Supervision (“cotutela”)?

The UAB may execute agreements with foreign universities for PhD theses to be written under joint international supervision. In this case, the PhD students will be assigned a thesis supervisor at each of the two centres subscribing to the agreement.

Agreements may only be signed within the first year of research, which is understood to begin on the date when the admission to the doctoral programme of the UAB is registered. You must keep in mind that the approximate time of processing the joint supervision is six months. Therefore, you must initiate the process, submitting the application in the Doctoral School, in sufficient time.

Once the doctoral candidate has successfully defended the thesis written under joint international supervision, he/she is entitled to two PhD degree certificates, one from each centre, as agreed by both institutions.

Specific requirements and forms apply, please read http://bit.ly/2kW1v4D

Under what circumstances can I interrupt my studies?

Regardless of whether the PhD programme is followed on a full or part-time basis, the calculation of research activity does not include sick leave, maternity leave or any other cause contemplated in the current rules for doctoral studies. Where PhD students find themselves in any of these situations they must communicate this to the academic tribunal of the PhD programme, which will inform the School for Doctoral Studies so that the total time spent on the programme may be calculated.

Additionally, the PhD student may request temporary leave for a maximum period of one year, extendable to two years. The request must be justified and sent to the academic committee of the PhD programme which will decide whether or not to grant the leave. Each PhD programme has its own conditions regarding the reincorporation of the student to the programme.

How do I prepare the final submission of my phd?

All the information about how to proceed is available here

Can I request  “International Mention” (Mención Internacional ) for my thesis?

The requirements are:

  • You should have been on an official visiting stay for at least three months in a university or research center outside Spain
  • Part of your phd –at least the abstract and the conclusions- must be written in another language different from Spanish or Catalan (preferably English). This rule does not apply for exchanges in any Spanish-speaking country
  • You will need a report from 2 refereed affiliated to a non-Spanish institution
  • One member of your jury will have to come from a non-Spanish institution

Please visit the doctoral school website for more precise information. Situations of incompatibility between the persons who sign these documents may arise. A summary of these is available here.

Before my thesis submission:

  • The Phd student will have to state in SIGMA the activity “International Mention” and add the visiting stay certificate (there will be no longer need to deliver those documents to the Escuela de Doctorado).
  • The Phd Director will have to valid this activity.

(Original certificates shall be kept by the Phd Student.)


When submitting my thesis:  


These are the document to be submitted:


  • Original “Mención Doctor Internacional” form signed   by the Phd Student and the PPIR coordinator.
  •  Two Reports from from two refereed affiliated to a non-Spanish institution whose names should state in the “Mención Doctor International” form. Those reports can be sent by email and in PDF format.
  • It is compulsory ton deliver those two reports together with the submission of the thesis otherwise the “Mención Internacional” will not be valid.

Do I need to arrange the tribunal for my defense? Who can be nominated?

Only one of the three incumbent members of the examining board may be from the UAB or from partner institutions of the School for Doctoral Studies or the PhD programme. Likewise, only one of the stand-in members may be from the UAB or from partner institutions of the School for Doctoral Studies or the PhD programme.

All members of the examining board must be PhD holders with recognised research experience. Automatic recognition is given to university lecturers or researchers who belong to public or private research centers.

Thesis supervisors or former supervisors, tutors or ex-tutors, research stay organisers (European/international doctoral research component) and co-authors of articles may not be members of the examining board.