The Doctorate Academic Committee will assign the members of the board that will judge each doctoral thesis in accordance with the criteria established by the Steering Committee, at the proposal of the supervisor of the thesis in question. The board is appointed by selecting experts in the subject matter of the thesis.
The proposal for the board must be accompanied by the curriculum of every member of the board who is from outside the UIC. The Doctorate School will notify the appointment of each member of the board in writing, including substitutes. In the same notification they will be apprised of the receipt of the reports from the External Reviewers, giving their names and institutional affiliation and the respective assessments, where applicable.
The board will consist of three full members and two substitutes. If it deems it necessary, the Doctorate Academic Committee may enlarge the composition of the board by two additional members to form a panel of seven members: five full members plus two substitutes.
The composition of the board should take into account the following requirements:
They must be Doctors, specialists in the subject matter of the thesis concerned or a similar subject, and have proven research experience.
No more than two members of the UIC may form part of a board if it has five full members and two substitutes. If the board comprises three full members and two substitutes, only one member may be from the UIC.
Under no circumstances may the thesis supervisor form part of the board, except for theses presented within the framework of bilateral, jointly-tutored agreements with foreign universities for which this provision has been established.
When appointing the president of the board, consideration should be given to his/her academic position, category and longevity in the University teaching staff.
If a full member of the board cannot attend, the Director of the School will replace him/her by the corresponding substitute.
Presentation and defence of the thesis
The doctoral thesis should be assessed during the presentation and defence, at which the doctoral candidate has to explain and defend his/her research work before the members of the board and other attendees.
The board that assesses the thesis will have the Record of Activities of the doctoral candidate showing the educational activities he/she has undertaken. This monitoring document does not lead to any particular grade but it does provide a qualitative appraisal tool to complement the assessment of the doctoral thesis.
The doctoral thesis must be assessed during the defence, which must be conducted in a public session in one of the rooms of the University or affiliated centre, and should entail the presentation and defence of the research project undertaken by the doctoral candidate before the members of the board. The doctors present at this public event may pose questions at the time and in the format indicated by the president of the board.
In exceptional circumstances, as determined by the programme’s Doctorate Academic Committee, such as the participation of companies in the programme, the existence of confidentiality agreements with companies, or the possibility of applying for patents that depend on the content of the thesis, the University will take the necessary procedures to ensure that the thesis can be defended behind closed doors rather than in a public session.
The thesis may be presented and defended in any of the official languages of Catalonia or in English. Theses in the fields of philology or translation and interpreting may be defended in their corresponding languages. As an exception, the Doctorate Academic Committee may authorise the defence in a different language if there are sufficient academic grounds for this, and provided that all the members of the board are in agreement.
Once the defence and discussion of the thesis have finished, the board must issue a written assessment report and give the thesis an overall grade: fail, pass, good or excellent.
At the end of the session, the president of the board must publicly inform the doctoral candidate of the grade he/she has been given. The board’s secretary will issue the relevant qualification certificate which must be signed by all the members of the board.
If the thesis has been given an overall grade of excellent, the board may propose that it warrants the distinction of cum laude by unanimous positive secret ballot. Voting should be done individually in a sealed envelope.
The board’s secretary should attach the votes to the rest of the documents and send them to the Doctorate School.
The votes must be scrutinised by the Doctorate School. The director of the Doctorate School will then issue the definitive qualification and inform the doctoral candidate.
Once the doctoral thesis has been approved, the University is responsible for filing it electronically in the institutional TDX repository, TESEO (doctoral theses online), and sending it, also electronically, along with any complementary information that may be necessary, to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport for the relevant purpose.
In the event of any possible incidents, the following general conditions have been established for the defence of the thesis:
At least three members must be present for the board’s actions to be valid.
If, once the reading session has been convened, one of the members of the board cannot attend, the School’s Director must replace him/her with one of the substitutes.
If the defence of the thesis cannot take place for a justified reason, the Doctorate School will arrange a new date.
If the doctoral candidate does not appear for the defence of his/her thesis without a justified reason, it will be recorded in the corresponding report that the qualification is invalid.
Doctoral theses subject to protection or technology or knowledge transfer processes
Once the doctoral thesis has been completed, the doctoral candidate who wants the authorisation, defence and publication of the thesis to be done under the terms of a confidentiality agreement should send a request to this effect to the Doctorate Academic Committee at the time of signing them.
This request will only be accepted when there is irrefutable proof that this confidentiality is absolutely essential for the success of the protection or transfer process. The Secretary of the Committee must notify the doctoral candidate of this agreement and if it is favourable must also notify the thesis supervisor and tutor, if applicable.
The members of the Doctorate Academic Committee have a duty to keep the content of doctoral theses completely confidential, for which purpose they have to sign the relevant confidentiality agreements for the period of time necessary for this protection. These signed confidentiality agreements are kept by the Secretariat of the Doctorate School and a copy can be sent to the doctoral candidate if he/she so wishes.
If the Doctorate Academic Committee rules in favour of the request, the thesis to be submitted will not be disseminated. The Doctorate Academic Committee may authorise access to the doctoral thesis to two experts in the subject matter who will examine it and make their report. These individuals will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement in advance.
The members of the board who have to judge the doctoral thesis, who will be expressly informed that it is subject to a process of protection or transference, will need to have access to the full version of the thesis and are obliged to observe complete confidentiality with regard to its content. Before being sent the doctoral thesis, the members of the board will need to send the Secretariat of the Doctorate Academic Committee a signed confidentiality agreement corresponding to the period of time necessary to protect the thesis. In these cases, the Doctorate Academic Committee will be responsible for sending the documentation to the members of the board.
The publication of the doctoral thesis in TDX and TESEO, if applicable, takes place once the process of protection and transference of knowledge has been concluded, which must be duly notified to the Director of the Doctorate School by the doctoral candidate.