PhD Thesis

Introduction

Royal Decree 99/2011 (amended by other Royal Decrees) implements the third cycle of accredited higher education in Spain. This page summarizes the process and regulations for PhD in Software, Systems and Computing students, approved by the Programme Committee. On this basis, the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid has established PhD Thesis Preparation and Assessment Regulations that address the following points:

All PhD-related University rules may be found on the Doctoral Rules web page.

Doctoral student training and supervision commitment agreement

Upon commencement, along with their tutors and thesis supervisor, students must sign the "Doctoral student training and supervision commitment agreement". Two signed hard copies of this commitment must be delivered to the administrative officer (office 3344). Alternatively, an electronically signed PDF file could be emailed to the Programme.

Student continuation policy

As established by Royal Decree 99/2011, students shall have a maximum of three years' full-time study in which to complete their PhD, from their admission to the programme until submission of their PhD thesis.

If students have not submitted their thesis deposit application within three years, the PhD in Software, Systems and Computing Academic Committee (CADSSC) may authorize a one-year extension of this period, which may exceptionally be extended for one more year.

After authorization from the PhD in Software, Systems and Computing Academic Committee, students may enroll for part-time PhD studies (student status change form). In this case, students shall have a maximum of five years' part-time study in which to complete their PhD from their admission to the programme until submission of their PhD thesis.

In the case of part-time studies, the CADSSC may authorize a two-year extension, which could, exceptionally, be extended by another year.

Students mixing part-time and full-time studies will have intermediate length of studies, as well as extensions.

The status change is for full academic years and must be requested not later than 15 May each year, using the Status Change Request form, along with documentary proof of the circumstance. After being examined by the PhD Committee, the Doctoral Area Committee will inform about the decision in 3 months.

Leave due to illness, pregnancy or on any other grounds set forth by regulations in force shall not be taken into account for the purposes of computing the above period, and this leave must be notified as soon as possible through the Temporary Leave Request form, along with documentary proof of the circumstance. The time spent taking bridge courses shall not be computed, either.

Extension requests must be sent using the THESISapplication to the PhD not later than 15 May of each year. After being examined the ordinary extensions by the PhD Committee, the Doctoral Area Committee will inform about the decision in 3 months. After being examined the extraordinary extensions by the PhD Committee and the Doctoral Area Committee, the Doctoral Committee of the EID will inform about the decision in 4.5 months.

Students may apply for one full academic year of temporary leave from the programme, which may be requested twice during the course of studies. Temporary leave must be requested by email using the Temporary Leave Request form, along with documentary proof of the circumstance not later than 15 May each year. After being examined by the PhD Committee, the Doctoral Area Committee will inform about the decision in 3 months.

Moreover, the UPM has established the procedure for preparing and submitting annual research plans. The CADSSC shall annually assess the Research Plan that all programme students are required to write at the end of each academic year for the PhD programme, as well as all the documented activities that the student has completed as part of the programme and the reports issued by the student's thesis supervisor. Positive evaluation is a requirement to continue in the programme. In the event of a negative evaluation, which must be properly demonstrated with proof, the PhD student shall be reevaluated after six months. To this end, the student shall write another Research Plan. In the event of another negative evaluation or failure to write the Research Plan, the PhD student shall be obliged to leave the programme.

As established in UPM's PhD Student Continuation Policy, PhD students cannot continue their studies in the PhD in Software, Systems and Computing when:

  • The PhD fees are not paid each course by the dates established by the University.
  • The Research Plan for each course is not delivered, or the Plan has been negatively evaluated twice.
  • The thesis is not deposited on time.
  • The student has received a disciplinary report, or the student’s conduct has been sanctioned with expulsion.
  • The student has requested to not continue studies.

PhD thesis supervisor

No later than three months after enrollment, PhD candidates shall be appointed a thesis supervisor by the CADSSC to advise the preparation of their PhD thesis. Thesis supervisors must be programme faculty members holding a PhD and with accredited research experience. Non-faculty members shall also be eligible, provided that they comply with the PhD in Software, Systems and Computing and standard UPM PhD programme criteria. A student's tutor and PhD thesis supervisor need not necessarily be the same person.

New students are advised to contact programme faculty and UPM research groups associated with the programme in order to scope out the topic that they intend to research. Students must notify the programme administrative officer when, as a result of such contacts, a faculty member agrees to supervise their thesis.

No later than three months from the start of the course, all students must have selected a research topic so that the CADSSC can assign thesis supervisors. Otherwise, the CADSSC shall assign ex officio a thesis supervisor to the student.

Requirements for New Researchers as Thesis Supervisors

In general, for the incorporation into the PhD programme of new researchers as thesis directors the following criteria will be taken into account:

  • The researcher must have accredited research experience, either through active recognized research merits or equivalent scientific production. It is considered that a research merit is active if it has been obtained in the last six years or when there are at least five research merits
  • In the case of applications from researchers from other institution, the incorporation of doctors will be allowed if, even not meeting the requirements of the previous point, they demonstrate a long history of research and innovation in the industrial or professional field

Doctors interested in joining as researchers in a doctoral programme will present the Application for registration as a researcher in the Doctorate programme to the CADSSC, together with:

  1. An updated curriculum vitae reflecting the scientific production, supervised doctoral theses and projects or contracts management. In addition, the applicant's ORCID record must be up-to-date and include the referenced information.
  2. Authorization to participate in the PhD programme issued by the responsible authority of the applicant's body of origin (only in the event that the applicant doctor does not belong to the UPM or to the collaborating entities of the PhD).
  3. Proof of award of the last research merit, if applicable.

The CADSSC will assess the application and issue a report within a maximum period of two months, and then forward the application to the Doctoral Area Committee of the EID of the UPM. The Doctoral Area Committee may request all further reports that it may require and shall decide on the application in no more than two months.

In addition, a researcher (not being supervising any student's thesis) can request to abandon the PhD programme using the Form to abandon the PhD programme.

PhD thesis co-supervision

On academic grounds, a PhD thesis may be co-supervised by a second thesis supervisor holding a PhD degree and with accredited research experience, when any of the following occurs:

  1. Thesis topic is interdisciplinary o intersectoral, needing the contribution of both supervisors in different knowledge areas. The student should justify the contribution of both supervisors.
  2. A joint supervision is being requested or supervisors are from different institutions. The student should justify the institution of each supervisor and provide the corresponding inter-institutional or international collaboration framework.
  3. Thesis will be under industrial doctor distintion.
  4. The thesis would allow training in thesis supervision to a new supervisor (with no previous experience in thesis supervision). This training will be propitiated by an experienced supervisor that should have supervised more than two thesis. The student should justify the experience of the first supervisor.

Co-supervision requests should be preferably done during the first year or, in general, not later than the end of the second year. Exceptionally, co-supervision could be requested in the third year providing a very clear justification based of joint productivity (papers, projects or patents). Co-supervision cannot be requested if the student is in the extension period.

One thesis cannot have more than two supervisors, although other professionals could collaborate with the students.

Thesis deposit could not happen in the 6 following months immediately after co-supervision approval.

The PhD candidate must apply to the CADSSC for co-supervision with the Thesis co-supervision application form (if the new supervisor does not belong to this PhD, the New PhD member application form should be send, as explained in the previous section).

The CADSSC will assess the application and issue a report within a maximum period of two months, and then forward the application to the Doctoral Area Committee of the EID of the UPM. The Doctoral Area Committee may request all further reports that it may require and shall decide on the application in no more than two months.

The aforesaid authorization may be withdrawn at a later date if the Doctoral Area Committee resolves that co-supervision is of no benefit to thesis development.

PhD thesis supervisor substitution

Any PhD candidate who wishes to substitute their PhD thesis supervisor must apply to the CADSSC using the Thesis supervisor substitution application form. Thesis supervisors may be substituted at any time up until the PhD thesis is deposited. Any PhD candidate that would like to substitute their PhD thesis supervisor shall have to apply to the CADSSC using the Thesis supervisor substitution application form. Thesis supervisors can be substituted any time up until the PhD thesis is deposited.

The UPM PhD Committee may request any further reports that it requires and shall decide on the application within two months.

Joint supervision procedure for doctoral theses

One of the objectives of the UPM is to promote and develop scientific cooperation with other international institutions. This may be encouraged through the joint international supervision of PhD theses. Such joint supervision favors PhD candidate mobility and contributes to strengthening ties between UPM groups and groups from other universities with regard to cooperation.

The joint supervision of each doctoral thesis shall be carried out under the framework of cooperation between the UPM and another university, according to a joint supervision agreement between both universities.

The application for joint supervision must be submitted to the CADSSC, signed by the student and the supervisor, with attached documents supporting the collaboration. When it was approved, it will be sent to the UPM PhD International School.

The doctoral programme admission requirements shall be as required at each university. The doctoral candidate shall enrol at both universities, although he or she shall only be liable for tuition fees at one of the institutions and shall be exempt at the other. The agreement shall state which university charges, and which waives, the tuition fees.

The doctoral candidate shall perform his or her research activities at both the universities that have entered into the joint supervision agreement and shall spend one or more periods totaling at least six months at each. The stays and activities shall be specified in the agreement signed by the two parties.

The doctoral thesis shall be defended at one of the two universities. This point shall be agreed upon by the participating universities and specified in the agreement.

The doctoral thesis examination board shall be appointed by mutual agreement between the two universities, and its composition shall, whenever possible, comply with the regulatory criteria of both institutions. The board should include at most one doctoral degree holder from each signatory university.

Pursuant to the agreement, each institution shall recognize the validity of the doctoral thesis. The thesis shall be graded according to the grading system established in the country in which the thesis is defended. Furthermore, the examination board shall also enter the grade awarded under the system applicable in the other university's country.

Both institutions shall file and disseminate the thesis according to their own specific procedures.

The complete joint supervision procedure, agreement and forms are available at UPM's website.

Mobility

The PhD programme encourages student mobility by promoting sojourns at other national or international institutions of higher education or research centers of excellence where students may opt to complete part of their research for their thesis.

The sojourns must be recorded in the PhD student's Activity Log. To this end, students must submit a Mobility Application to the PhD Programme Committee beforehand. Students are asked to fully cooperate in completion of this application, as the stated information is also necessary for quality agencies to monitor and possibly evaluate the PhD Programme.

Additionally, students are reminded that, in order to be able to opt for the International PhD Mention, the minimum length of a sojourn at a higher education institution or research center of excellence outside Spain is three months, and the PhD Programme Committee must have been previously informed of the aforesaid sojourn.

Internships at companies

Legislation allows students to conduct internships at companies; however, PhD students do not require this kind of training and there are no credits to be recognized. If this collaboration could prove useful, these are the possibilities:

  • If the activity at the company is not related to the thesis, the company and the student may reach an agreement independent from the University. In any case, the student must obtain written approval from his or her tutor and supervisor and from the CADSSC.
  • If the activity at the company is a research activity directly related to the student’s thesis, the student must ask the CADSSC to be included in the student’s Activities Document. An Educational Cooperation Agreement must be established, managed by the UPM's COIE. Internships must be paid, the student must be included in the Régimen General de la Seguridad Social (Spanish Social Security System) and mobility insurance must be provided. The agreement must specify that the internship is to complete the student’s education. The internship timetable must be compatible with the student’s activities at the University.
  • If the company desires a longer collaboration with the University, the company may establish a Cátedra or Aula Agreement (managed by COIE) or an Industrial PhD (managed by PhD Vice-Rectorate) with the UPM.

The duration of the internship, the required timetable and the relationship with the thesis must be established in the internship agreement. The agreement should also establish the distribution of ownership over the results derived from thesis work that may be protected by patents, software registers or other intellectual and industrial property, and they will be determined according to the nature of the works, the percentage of the student's funding by the company and the University, the contracts previously signed and the participation of researchers from both parties in the results.

Research plan

PhD students must define the PhD thesis title at the end of the first academic year, prior to the Research Plan. To define the PhD thesis title or to modify an existing one, it should be requested at THESIS application and it should be approved by the thesis supervisors.

PhD candidates must draft a research plan every year. This research plan must state at least the research methodology and goals, as well as the research resources and time chart. Students must draft their first research plan at the end of their first year of the programme. This research plan shall be improved and specified further in successive years.

The PhD candidate and the thesis supervisor or supervisors shall be responsible for submitting the annual research plan to the CADSSC, detailing the progress and the most significant interim results of the PhD thesis research. Only students who have paid the academic supervision fees shall be entitled to submit this report. The UPM PhD Committee shall establish the format and submission date for this report. The research plan shall be completed at THESIS.

The CADSSC shall annually assess each PhD candidate's research plan, in addition to the reports from thesis supervisors. Students shall not be allowed to continue in the programme unless they receive a positive evaluation.

In the event of a negative evaluation, whose circumstances must be duly proven, PhD candidates must prepare another research plan for reevaluation within six months.

If the reevaluation is negative again, or if the Research Plan has not been sent, the PhD students shall be expelled from the programme.

Instructions for writing and presenting PhD theses

PhD theses shall be written and defended preferably in Spanish, although they may also be written in English. In any case, they must include a summary in both Spanish and English (maximum 4000 characters). Additionally, if duly justified and reasoned, the UPM PhD Committee may authorize, at the request of the PhD candidate and with the consent of the CADSSC, that theses be written and presented in a different language (Application for language other than Spanish or English). PhD theses that are written in neither Spanish nor English must include an additional summary in Spanish or English (minimum 20 pages).

Out of regard for non-Spanish-speaking academic staff sitting on the board, theses may be defended in a language other than Spanish provided that all the board members agree.

The theses must be submitted electronically (PDF) through Politécnica Virtual.

Although there is certain liberty in the format, it is recommended that chapter titles be typed using capital letters and Arabic numerals, that sections and subsections include decimal ordering following each chapter, that pages be numbered using Arabic numbers placed at the bottom center and that references appear sorted by the author's last name and year. A model of the title page is provided (the first page should also include the same information).

Theses should contain: table of contents, abstract (in Spanish and English), introduction, related work, problem statement and objectives, proposed solution, results, conclusions, future lines of research and references.

Theses may also be written as a compendium of publications. A thesis is written as a compendium of publications if it includes the content of some thesis author's publications (as-are, or with few changes). In this case, the theses should contain: table of contents, abstract (in Spanish and English), general introduction (related work, objectives and hypothesis), methodology, compendium of at least three publications, general discussion (solution description, results analysis, conclusions and future lines of research) and references. To be allowed to write the theses as a compendium of publications, the thesis author must be the first author of three published papers (two of them may be merely accepted for publication, with a DOI) in journals listed on JCR listings at Q1 or Q2 positions, affiliated with the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. The UPM website provides complete regulations for Theses as a compendium of publications.

PhD thesis confidentiality

Under exceptional circumstances, for example, when there are non-disclosure agreements with companies, or when there is a possibility that patents covering the thesis content may be created, the author and the supervisor may request confidentiality for the PhD thesis from the CADSSC.

The UPM PhD Committee may request any further reports that it requires and shall decide on the application within two months.

The aforesaid authorization may be withdrawn at a later date if the UPM PhD Committee decides that the aforesaid circumstances no longer apply.

If confidentiality is approved, both the pre-defence panel of experts and the defence board members shall sign a non-disclosure agreement related to the contents of the thesis.

When depositing the thesis, the student must send a complete version of the thesis, along with another version without the confidential parts.

Upon completion of the confidentiality period established by the UPM PhD Committee, the thesis shall be published in the University's open repository. If there is a need to maintain the confidentiality, one-year extensions may be requested.

Complete UPM regulations may be viewed at Thesis confidentiality procedure.

Evaluation before proceeding to PhD thesis defence

The CADSSC must ensure the quality of PhD theses before their formal presentation. The CADSSC is responsible for verifying the ongoing improvement of the final PhD dissertation to be submitted by PhD candidates. The School's PhD web page provides a summary of the pre-defence process. summary of the pre-defence proccess.

PhD candidates who have completed their research, written a preliminary version of their thesis, received a positive evaluation for the latest research plan submitted, and published PhD thesis results shall inform the CADSSC that they wish to proceed to the pre-defence of their thesis, attaching a report from the PhD thesis supervisor or supervisors. The CADSSC shall then select (within one week) a panel of two experts with accredited research experience.

No later than 30 days after submission of the aforementioned report, the PhD candidates shall proceed to a pre-defence before the panel of experts in the presence of the thesis supervisors.

The pre-defence may be replaced by an equivalent procedure that ensures the quality of the PhD theses by means of evaluation of the quality indicators submitted by PhD candidates. In order to opt out of the public pre-defence proceedings, PhD candidates must have authored at least two articles (on the research developed in the thesis) in JCR-listed publications and have the approval of their thesis supervisors.

Prior to the public pre-defence or equivalent procedure, PhD candidates must, in any case, submit a PDF file containing a draft of their PhD thesis referencing the state of the art, scientific methodology, original contributions, references and conclusions, plus any preliminary results disseminated in publications (which should be listed on the Thesis results form and also be submitted via the Curriculum Vitae section of Politécnica Virtual web setting).

PhD candidates shall not be allowed to proceed to pre-defence unless they have previously disseminated some preliminary results in a peer-reviewed publication. The CADSSC may establish requirements to ensure the quality of the publication.

Application for pre-defence or equivalent procedure

The PhD candidate must submit (doctorado.ssc@fi.upm.es) the following documents in order to apply for the pre-defence or equivalent procedure:

  1. A PDF file containing the draft of the PhD thesis.
  2. A document listing publication details reporting PhD thesis results.
  3. A PDF dossier with publications derived from the PhD thesis. For each article, the dossier must contain:
    • The cover of the journal, conference proceedings, etc., in which the article was published.
    • The table of contents of the publication (listing the article related to the PhD thesis).
    • A copy of the pages of the above publication, including the full text of the article (a downloaded copy of the article, if it is an online publication). The manuscript submitted for publication by the doctoral candidate shall only be acceptable if the paper has been accepted and not yet been published (in this case, the letter of acceptance must also be attached).
    • DOI. This may replace the previous elements.
    • Additional documents specifying the quality data supplied in the document listing the publication details (impact factor, paper acceptance rate, type of review, etc.). A screenshot of the quality index webpage is required.
    • A list of web addresses against which the submitted documents can be verified.
  4. The doctoral candidate must enter all the data on the scientific output of the PhD thesis through the Curriculum Vitae section of Politécnica Virtualonline application (for each journal paper, the JCR quartile, and for each conference paper, the CORE or SCIE level, should be specified in the title field).
  5. PhD thesis supervisor's authorization of the pre-defence or equivalent procedure.

After document submission, the PhD thesis draft and the dossier of publications will be submitted to two experts. The supervisors will be notified the panel of experts.

The supervisors must contact the experts and the PhD candidate to arrange the date and time for the pre-defence procedure, if any. The administrative officer shall be notified of this date and time in order to book the venue and announce the pre-defence.

Reports on pre-defence or equivalent procedure

All members of the panel of experts responsible for evaluating the pre-defence or equivalent procedure shall issue a report to this end (Pre-defence or equivalent procedure report). The reports by the panel of experts must be submitted to the PhD programme administration office on the date of the pre-defence, or, for equivalent procedures, no later than two weeks after the appointment of the panel of experts.

The PhD thesis supervisor or supervisors and the PhD candidate shall be notified by the CADSSC of the result of the pre-defence or equivalent procedure no later than two weeks after receiving the pre-defence or equivalent procedure reports.

In the event of a duly reasoned and justified negative report, PhD candidates must modify or rewrite the research and resubmit the thesis for pre-defence or equivalent procedure. If the report contains suggestions for improvement, the CADSSC shall decide whether to make the suggested changes to the final dissertation mandatory, or to leave them at the discretion of the PhD candidate or PhD thesis supervisor or supervisors.

Proceeding to PhD thesis defence

The CADSSC may not authorize the PhD thesis to proceed to defence unless the pre-defence or equivalent procedure report is positive, and it has verified that all compulsory changes have been made. In addition, the student must have acquired all the programme competences by enrolling for the training activities (or recognition).

Before a PhD thesis can be admitted to defence proceeding, PhD candidates must have published some preliminary results. In any case, the affiliation of the student must be "Universidad Politécnica de Madrid" (in Spanish, with no abbreviations). One publication cannot be used by several PhD candidates to fulfill this requirement. The preliminary results may be in any of the following:

The PhD thesis supervisors and the PhD candidate shall be notified by the CADSSC of its decision whether to authorize the thesis to proceed to defence and the respective grounds, if any, no later than 10 days after receiving the supervisors' report with the defence authorization and receiving complete documentation for the thesis deposit.

The CADSSC's document with the deposit authorization should be used in the School's Registry by the student to enrol for Thesis Defence.

Enroling for PhD thesis defence

After authorization from the CADSSC to proceed to the defence of their thesis, PhD candidates must enrol for PhD thesis defence, providing said authorization. To do so, they must pay the enrollment fee and any outstanding annual academic supervision fees, including charges for the current year.

Enrollment must be paid to carry out the deposit. To do so, students must deliver the enrolment payment receipt to the Administrative officer of the PhD programme.

Proposing board members

A proposal must be made with seven doctors who hold accredited research experience and are specialized in the subject matter to which the thesis refers, or a related area (Board members proposal form).

The proposal must be delivered at the same time as the thesis deposit, with an attached reasoned report on the qualifications of each and every one of the members proposed to sit on the PhD thesis examination board. The acceptance of the members proposed to sit on the board must be certified (Board member acceptance form).

In the event that PhD theses are subject to confidentiality clauses, all proposed board members must sign a statement binding them to non-disclosure of the content.

No more than two members from the same higher education institution or organization shall be eligible to sit on a thesis examination board (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Instituto IMDEA Software, CSIC and Inria Sophia Antipolis – Méditerranée are considered as the same institution). A member that meets any of the criteria for abstention established in article 28 of Act 30/1992 shall not be eligible to sit on a board.

Higher education academic staff shall be eligible to sit on PhD thesis boards even if they are on leave, retired, or on special services or secondment, in which case they are considered to be members of the higher education institution where they are serving at the time. Retired faculty members shall be considered as members of the higher education institution at which they were serving before retirement.

If the information submitted is considered incomplete, the UPM PhD Committee may request further particulars to assess the qualifications of the proposed candidates.

Depositing PhD theses

Once all the required formalities for thesis defence are complete, the PhD thesis may be deposited. The School's PhD web page provides a summary of the deposit process. The PhD thesis shall be admitted for deposit within 10 days by CADSSC, subject to verification that the following formalities have been completed:

  1. All programme competences have been acquired by attending the Training Activities or they have been recognized
  2. The Research Plan from the previous academic year has been presented and approved
  3. All academic tuition fees have been paid
  4. Positive reports from the panel of experts from the PhD thesis pre-defence or equivalent procedure
  5. Meet all requirements and have the supervisors’ report with the defence authorization
  6. The digital version of the PhD thesis (PDF) has been submitted via Politécnica Virtual, along with supplementary material (.zip), if applicable
  7. A summary of the PhD thesis in both Spanish and English (max. 4000 characters) has been submitted via Politécnica Virtual
  8. All the information concerning PhD thesis results via the UPM's Curriculum Vitae website (for each journal paper, the JCR quartile, and for each conference paper, the CORE or SCIE level, should be specified in the title field) has been entered, with at least one publication with enough quality in any of these listings
  9. An updated document listing publication details reporting PhD thesis results and an updated PDF dossier with all the publications concerning PhD thesis results (in the format specified at Evaluation before proceeding to PhD thesis defence section) have been submitted
  10. The digital version of the thesis and supplementary materials of PhD theses subject to confidentiality clauses that do not include the parts that are not to be disclosed have been submitted
  11. The TESEO Record for the PhD thesis has been completed. (the "Departamento" field should include "E.T.S. de Ingenieros Informáticos")
  12. Board members have been proposed
  13. If applying for an International Doctor Distinction, all relevant documentation has been provided (International Doctor Distinction request certification of stay, expert reports, experts' resumes...)
  14. If applying for an Industrial Doctor Distinction, all relevant documentation has been provided (Industrial Doctor Distinction request, report on the relationship between the thesis and the industry, the employment contract, etc.)
  15. Should the defence be on-line, all the board members should agree with the on-line thesis defence and it should be requested using the Request for defence of the thesis by videoconference form
  16. PhD thesis defence enrolment fees have been paid (after submitting all required documentation and receiving final authorization for the presentation of the thesis document, the doctoral candidate must enrol in the School's Postgraduate Office and submit the payment slip to the PhD programme Administrative officer)

PhD theses must have been deposited for 15 days as of the day after the acceptance of their deposit.

The UPM PhD Committee shall announce all theses deposited at any time on the UPM's deposited thesis website. The Vice-Rector’s office responsible for PhD programmes shall establish the procedure to be followed by any duly accredited doctor to gain access to the full text of deposited theses and, if applicable, submit, in the written format of their choice, any comments they would like to make to the PhD programme academic committee by the end of the deposit period. The Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos has to notify PhD programme academic staff that the thesis has been deposited and give them access to a provisional copy of the PhD thesis forwarded to the UPM PhD Committee.

The UPM PhD Committee shall announce all theses deposited at any time on the UPM's website. The office of the vice rector responsible for PhD programmes allows that any duly accredited doctor to gain access to the full text of deposited theses and, if applicable, submit, in the written format of their choice, any comments they would like to make to the PhD programme academic committee by the end of the deposit period.

If any comments are made, the PhD programme committee shall review the content and write to the UPM PhD Committee stating its opinion on whether the process should proceed or be stopped. They have a period of seven days as of the expiry of the deposit period to do so.

Authorization to proceed to PhD thesis defence

If no comments have been made by the end of the deposit period, or if comments made have been addressed, the UPM PhD Committee must decide whether to authorize the thesis to proceed to defence.

The CADSSC shall be notified of the decision, which shall then be reported to the PhD candidate and the thesis supervisors within, at most, five days. If the thesis is not authorized to proceed to defence, the grounds and reasons for this decision must be specified.

The UPM PhD Committee's decision shall be considered firm and final and concludes the administrative procedure.

Appointing the examination board

At the same time that it notifies its decision authorizing the PhD thesis to proceed to defence, the UPM PhD Committee shall approve the board that is to examine the thesis, considering the proposal submitted by the PhD programme. The board shall be composed of five regular members and two substitute members. The UPM PhD Committee shall appoint two of the board members as chair and secretary of the board.

The PhD programme shall be notified of the appointment of the board so that it may forward notification of appointment and a copy of the thesis to each member. The PhD programme must also notify the PhD candidate and thesis supervisors of the board's appointment within five days.

In the event of resignation, on justified grounds, of a regular member of the board, the chair shall proceed to appoint one of the substitute members. If the examining board chair must be unexpectedly substituted, the PhD programme shall propose one of the members sitting on the board to stand in. In any case, the UPM PhD Committee must be notified of the substitution as soon as possible.

The thesis must be defended no later than three months after the board is appointed. Otherwise, the proposal of board members must be resubmitted to the UPM PhD Committee.

Defending and evaluating PhD theses

The School's PhD web page provides a summary of the defence proceeding.

PhD thesis defence proceedings

Theses shall be defended at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

Notice of the defence proceedings shall be served by the chair and notified by the secretary to the board members with sufficient advance notice (at least 10 in advance). The thesis must be defended no later than three months after the board is appointed.

Once notice of the proceedings has been served, the chair of the board shall establish the proper substitution procedures. If any of the members fail to appear on the date set for the public defence and presentation proceedings, the substitutes shall join the board. If this is not possible, the chair shall, after deliberation with the other members and the chair of the CADSSC, decide whether the defence proceedings should proceed. For the defence to proceed, at least four members must be present. If it is decided to suspend the proceedings, another date shall be set for the defence, agreed upon by the other members of the board and the PhD candidate. Any changes to the board must be notified to the UPM PhD Committee as soon as possible.

If any member is prevented by an act of God from attending the defence proceedings but remote access (audio or video conferencing) is an option, the board's chair has the authority to allow the member to attend remotely under the same conditions as the members present, and to participate in the defence proceedings and subsequent deliberations.

The PhD thesis shall be evaluated at the defence proceedings. These proceedings shall take place in a public hearing and shall consist of the presentation and defence of the research work developed by the PhD candidate before the members of the board.

The board members must express their opinion and shall ask the PhD candidate as many questions as they see fit. Any PhD holders present at the public hearing shall be entitled to ask questions at the time and in the manner stated by the chair of the board.

Evaluating theses

At the end of the defence and discussion of the PhD thesis, each board member shall write an appraisal of the thesis (Thesis appraisal form).

The examining board shall have an activity document which includes the student’s Training Activities, Seminars, publications... This document is designed for monitoring purposes and shall not provide a quantitative score. It shall, however, serve as a qualitative evaluation mechanism to supplement the examination of PhD theses.

The examining board shall issue a report and the overall grade awarded to the thesis on the following scale: "rejected," "approved," "very good" and "excellent". The examining board may award "cum laude" distinction if the overall grade is "excellent" and the result of the secret ballot is unanimously in favor.

Each board member shall issue a secret vote whether to award the "cum laude" distinction. These votes shall be placed in an envelope that shall be sealed and signed on the top flap by all the board members. The secretary of the board shall deliver the envelope to the School's Regsitry, who shall forward it to the CADSSC.

The envelope containing the secret votes shall be opened at the next CADSSC meeting. The PhD thesis shall be awarded the "cum laude" distinction if the board votes unanimously in favor of doing so.

Archiving PhD theses in digital format

After PhD theses have been approved, the University shall be responsible for digitally archiving and electronically forwarding a copy of the respective thesis and any necessary supplementary information to the ministry responsible for PhD programmes for the record.

Any PhD theses subject to non-disclosure clauses shall be published in the UPM's open repository once the protection or knowledge-transfer process has come to an end, or when the PhD candidate duly informs the UPM.

Applying for PhD degree certificates

Once the public thesis defence and presentation proceedings are complete, the PhD thesis has been approved and the envelope with the "cum laude" secret votes has been opened, PhD candidates shall be eligible to apply to the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos Postgraduate Office for their PhD degree certificate; to this end, they must pay the respective fees.

While waiting for the definitive PhD degree certificate and 30 days after paying the fees, the student may request a substitute certificate from the UPM Rectorate's General Secretary.

International Doctor Distinction

The "International Doctor" distinction (International doctor application form) may be added to of the back of the PhD degree certificate, provided all the following circumstances apply:

  1. During the required PhD research period, the PhD student has completed a stay of at least three months studying or conducting research at a prestigious institution of higher education or a research center outside Spain. The visit and activities must be endorsed by the supervisors and authorized by the CADSSC, and shall be added to the candidate's documented activities. An original certificate issued by the institution of higher education or research center where the stay was completed must be provided. This certification must include the start and end dates of the stay, as well as the name of the director of the research group in which the student collaborated.
  2. Part of the PhD thesis, at least the summary and conclusions, must be written and presented in any of the common languages for scientific communication in the respective field of knowledge other than the official languages of Spain. This rule shall not apply where the stays, reports and experts come from a Spanish-speaking country.
  3. At least two experts from a non-Spanish higher education institution or research institute must provide their review of the manuscript (Expert thesis report). The experts must each submit an original report, along with their resumes.
  4. At least one member of the thesis examining board holding a PhD and not responsible for the visits mentioned in section 1 should be from a non-Spanish higher education institution or research center.

Theses must be defended at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

The Universidad Politécnica de Madrid shall provide a document stating that the PhD thesis has been awarded the "International Doctor" distinction. Moreover, "International Doctor" shall be added to the back side of the PhD degree certificate.

Industrial Doctor Distinction

The "Industrial Doctor" distinction may be added to the back side of the PhD degree certificate, provided the student has participated in an industrial research or experimental development project directly related to the PhD thesis and conducted at a public or private company (not a university). The student must have an employment contract with the company. In addition to student procedures, all the following circumstances apply:

  1. No later than 3 months after beginning studies, the student must send the CADSSC an application for the Industrial PhD (Industrial PhD Application form). The student must provide the name of the responsible party at the company to the PhD in Software, Systems and Computing Academic Committee. This party must be specified during the first 3 months of the PhD studies and shall be the contact person between the company and the PhD in Software, Systems and Computing Academic Committee. This party may be modified, if needed.
  2. The first Research Plan should clearly specify that it is an industrial thesis. This Research Plan must be approved in order to obtain the "Industrial Doctor" distinction.
  3. If the thesis is the result of a joint research project between the University and the company, they must both enter into a general contract and a specific contract. These contracts must be sent to the Vice-Rectorate related to PhD studies.
  4. At the end of the thesis, and prior to the thesis deposit, the student must send the Industrial Doctor Distinction application to the CADSSC. The student must provide:
    • A report demonstrating the relationship between the thesis and the industrial research or experimental development project of the company.
    • A copy of the employment contract with the company. This contract must cover the entire thesis development period (at least 3 years for full-time students, and at least 5 years for part-time students).
    • A copy of the agreement between the University and the company.

Theses must be defended at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

Extraordinary PhD awards

Awards shall be granted to worthy applicants who have defended a thesis in the previous academic year that was graded "cum laude".

Applications must be addressed to the director of the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos and submitted to the UPM general registry by the closing date established by the UPM PhD Committee.

The School shall then formulate reasoned proposals for granting awards, subject to a report from the academic committees of the PhD programmes conducted by the candidates for extraordinary PhD awards. These proposals must be forwarded, along with the applications submitted by applicants, to the UPM PhD Committee by the date established by the aforesaid committee.

Finally, the UPM PhD Committee shall grant the extraordinary PhD awards, all of which shall be of equal rank.

Calculating deadlines

The periods established in these regulations shall be calculated as calendar days, not including the period from 1 to 31 August or holidays. Deadlines that fall on a Saturday shall be extended to the next business day.