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La Tesis Doctoral

Ancla Format
Ancla Depositing the Doctoral Thesis
Ancla Permission to defend Doctoral Thesis
Ancla Matriculation
Ancla Examining Panel of Doctoral Thesis
Ancla  Defence and examination of Doctoral Thesis
Ancla End of procedure
Enlace Publication of Doctoral Thesis as CD

Format of Thesis

It is a good idea for the thesis to contain at least:

  • An introduction to the subject of study and the goals it is hoped will be achieved.
  • A presentation of the results of the research carried out.
  • A discussion of the results obtained.
  • Conclusions.
  • Bibliography.
  • It can also include as many appendixes as may be deemed appropriate.

As well as in Spanish, the thesis  may be written and, as appropriate, defended in one of the languages used habitually for scientific communication in its field of knowledge. In this case, the thesis will include a summary in Spanish containing at least the antecedents, methodology and conclusions of the work done.

The thesis will have a durable binding (hard or semi-hard covers) carrying the following details on both the front cover and the spine:

  • Author
  • Year
  • Responsible Department or Research Institute
  • Name of the University of Alcalá. The University logotype will comply with the stipulations of the basic rules for use of the corporate image of the University of Alcalá.

Depositing the Doctoral Thesis

Once the thesis is finished, you should include as the first and second pages of each its copies signed originals of the report and approval of both the thesis supervisor or supervisors and of the Chair of the programme's Academic Committee. In the event of there being no officially appointed academic committee, the thesis will be approved at departmental meeting.  

Once the seven copies are bound, you must deposit them in the Official Postgraduate Studies Service which will check that your academic record satisfies the requirements for depositing the thesis. Once this check has been made, you will be given the form for requesting permission to defend the thesis. This form is presented in the General Registry of the university.

If your Doctoral Thesis contains material which should be protected, the Academic Committee of the Doctoral Programme must make a reasoned application to the Official Postgraduate Studies Committee for it to declare protected or otherwise the contents of the thesis. The Official Postgraduate Studies Committee will be able to declare the contents of the thesis protected and specify a period of protection. In this case the defence of the thesis will not be public. The kinds of exceptional circumstances which may give rise to such an application include, among others, the participation of companies in the Programme or school, the existence of confidentiality agreements with companies, or the possibility that patents might be taken out on the contents of the thesis.

If your thesis is declared protected, it will only be deposited in the Official Postgraduate Studies Service, in a sealed envelope. Any doctor wishing to review its contents must sign a confidentiality document. Once the thesis has been reviewed, it will be enclosed within a new sealed envelope. The Official Postgraduate Studies Service will record details of all persons who access the document.

What should I present when depositing the thesis?

  1. Seven printed copies of the thesis, properly bound and paginated, each of which should include the positive report of the supervisor and, where relevant, co-supervisors and the approval of the Department or Research Institute. Originals of these two documents should be inserted as the first two pages of each of the seven copies of the doctoral thesis.
  2. Two CDs in electronic format (PDF).
  3. A copy of the request for permission to defend the thesis made to the Official Postgraduate Studies Committee.
  4. If you are also applying for an International or European doctorate, you should also present the certificate of residence and the two favourable expert reports on the thesis.

Where is the deposit made?

You should deposit the seven copies of your thesis and the two CDs at the Official Postgraduate Studies Service. Your academic record will be checked to ensure it complies with the requirements for presenting a doctoral thesis and, if all is satisfactory, a record will be made of the deposit.

At the same time you will be given a form to request permission to defend the thesis. This form has to be handed in at the General Registry of the University (Colegio San Ildefonso, Plaza de San Diego s/n). Once registered, you must present a copy at the Official Postgraduate Studies Service, where you will be given back five copies of your thesis to be distributed among the members of the examining panel.

Presentation period

For the purposes of presenting your request for permission to defend your Doctoral Thesis at the University’s General Registry and of making deposit of your thesis, Saturdays, the month of August, Christmas and Easter school holidays will not be considered instructional or working days.

Period of notification of thesis deposit

Once deposit of the thesis has been recorded, the Official Postgraduate Studies Service will notify all the university’s Departments and Institutes of its deposit, sending a copy to the Department, Institute or centre responsible for the doctoral programme where it will remain on deposit for ten instructional and working days, counting from the day following the recording of the deposit. The remaining copy of the Doctoral Thesis and the two CDs will stay on deposit at the Official Postgraduate Studies Service.

If your thesis is declared protected, it will only be deposited in the Official Postgraduate Studies Service, in a sealed envelope. Any doctor wishing to review its contents must sign a confidentiality document. Once the thesis has been reviewed, it will be enclosed within a new sealed envelope. The Official Postgraduate Studies Service will record details of all persons who access the document.

During the period of deposit, any doctor may examine the copy deposited in the Department, Institute or centre, or in the Official Postgraduate Studies Service, communicating any observations deemed appropriate regarding the contents of the thesis to the Official Postgraduate Studies Committee.

The other five copies of the thesis will be returned to the doctorand for delivery to the members of the examining panel, except in the case of Doctoral Theses with contents needing protection, in which case the Official Postgraduate Studies Service will take charge of sending the copies to the members of the panel.

Dispatch of copies to the members of the examining panel.

You can dispatch your copies once the Official Postgraduate Studies Committee has given notice of the appointment of the panel. A copy of your thesis should be sent to each member of the panel with sufficient time before the date fixed for the defence.

>Should the Doctoral Thesis have contents in need of protection, this fact will be stated in the notification of appointment, together with a confidentiality document which members of the panel must sign and return before having Access to the Doctoral Thesis.

Permission to defend Doctoral Thesis.

The competent body for authorising the defence of the thesis is the Official Postgraduate Studies Committee which, in exceptional circumstances, may submit the doctoral theses presented to it for prior evaluation, requesting reports from two experts belonging to other Universities or Research Centres in Spain or abroad which have no relation to the University Centres responsible for the Doctoral programme.

Once the period of public notification has finished and any observations that might have been made, or reports written by experts in the field, have been considered, the Official Postgraduate Studies Committee will proceed to give permission, or not, for the thesis to be defended. Should no such permission be forthcoming, the Committee must inform the doctorand, the thesis supervisor or co-supervisors, the Director of the Doctoral Programme and the Director of the School of Doctoral Studies of the reasons for its decision in writing.

In exceptional circumstances, if the thesis has received some comments on the part of a doctor during its period of public display, the Official Postgraduate Studies Committee will submit it to a process of prior evaluation. To this end, reports will be requested of two experts belonging to other Universities or Research Centres in Spain or abroad which have no relation to the University Centres responsible for the Doctoral Programme as part of which the research training took place.

Should permission not be given for the defence of the thesis, the Committee will inform the doctorand, the thesis supervisor or co-supervisors, the Director of the Doctoral Programme and the Director of the School of Doctoral Studies of the reasons for its decision in writing.

Matriculation

Once permission to defend the thesis has been obtained, the Official Postgraduate Studies Service will contact you by email informing you that you should carry out the matriculation for the defence of your doctoral thesis and pay the exam fees. Matriculation should be carried out with sufficient time before the date fixed for defending your thesis.

University Staff may benefit from social assistance. To do so, you should make your request in the times established by the University for this purpose.

Examining Panel of Doctoral Thesis.

Composition of panel

The panel will be composed of five members and two substitutes, all of them doctors and with an accredited research record. Of the seven members proposed, only two can belong to the university of universities responsible for the programme, or to institutions which collaborate with the School of Doctoral Studies in which the Programme is included.

  • The Preside6nt of the panel must accredit research experiences equivalent to that required to have obtained two six-year research assessments in the last 16 years.
  • The secretary will be designated from among the teaching and research staff of the University of Alcalá.
  • Ordinary members, the three remaining members.

The thesis supervisor cannot form part of the panel except when the thesis is presented under the aegis of bilateral co-tutorship agreements with foreign universities which contemplate such a situation.

Appointment of panel

Once deposit of the thesis has been communicated, the department, Research institute or the Academic Programme Committee will draft and approve the panel proposal and send it to the Official Postgraduate Studies Committee.

The Official Postgraduate Studies Committee will appoint the panel and notify the members and substitutes of their appointment as members of the panel. Where necessary, these may notify their renunciation in the space of 72 hours. If no communication otherwise has been received within those 72 hours, the members of the panel will be understood to have accepted their appointment.

  • In writing to the Department, Research institute or Programme Academic Committee.
  • By email to the thesis supervisor, co-supervisors when applicable, and doctorand.

Defence and examination of Doctoral Thesis

The thesis will be examined at the act of its defence before the members of the panel. This act will take place in public session and will consist of the exposition and defence of the research work carried out. Doctors present at this public act may ask questions when and as indicated by the president of the panel.

Call of act of defence

The act of defence of the thesis will be called by the President and communicated in writing by the Secretary of the Programme’s Academic Committee at least ten natural days before it is held.

  • It will be called by the President of the panel.
  • The secretary will inform the Official Postgraduate Studies Committee of the call at least 10 calendar days before it is held.
  • The Department or Research institute will give sufficient notice of the act of defence.

The defence of the thesis must be carried out in the University of Alcalá or, in the case of joint doctoral programmes, in any of the participating universities or in accordance with the terms laid out in the collaboration agreements. It must take place during the instructional period of the school calendar, which excludes all Saturdays, the month of August, Christmas and Easter vacations, and the patron saint’s days of the faculty or school where the act is to be held. The Department or Institute will give sufficient notice of the act.

Once the act of defence has been called, the Official Postgraduate Studies Service will send the panel secretary all the documents necessary for the act to be conducted.

Constitution of the panel

For the panel to be considered properly constituted for the purposes of the defence, debate, examination and evaluation of the thesis, the presence of the president and secretary, or where applicable of those who substitute them, and of the ordinary members will be required.

Should any member of the panel have justified cause not to attend, the president will substitute him or her with the first substitute and, were that impossible, with the second substitute. The secretary will record the fact in the minutes as well as any other that might occur in the defence of the thesis.

Examination of the doctoral thesis

Once the thesis has been defended and debated, the panel will issue a collective report and overall grade for the thesis of either “apt” or “not apt”.

Each member of the panel will indicate anonymously in a sealed envelope whether that grade is worthy of the distinction “cum laude”. These votes will be scrutinised in a public session of the delegate commission of the Official Postgraduate Studies Committee, and the distinction will be awarded if the members of the panel have voted unanimously in that direction. The delegate commission will be composed by the competent Vice-Rector, the Director of the Postgraduate School, and the Head of the Official Postgraduate Studies Service.

Also, each member of the panel can indicate anonymously and in a sealed envelope whether he or she deems the thesis to be worthy of the Extraordinary Doctoral Prize.

Documentation of act of defence of doctoral thesis

In the space of one week after the act of defence, the secretary of the panel will send to the Official Postgraduate Studies Service all the documentation relative to the act of defence.

End of procedure

Once the doctoral thesis has been passed, the Official Postgraduate Studies Service will send:

  • To the University Library: a copy and a CD of the thesis for reference.
  • To the Ministry of Science and Innovation, via the University Coordination Council: the corresponding thesis file, as regulated, and a CD with its contents.

The documentation generated as a result of the whole doctoral thesis authorisation and defence procedure will form part of the student’s thesis defence file and will be kept at the Official Postgraduate Studies Service until its transfer to the University’s archive.

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