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Research Plan / Thesis Proposal

According to Academic Regulations, all doctorands must elaborate and defend a report containing the research plan to be developed during the thesis. The research plan must be delivered up to one year since the date of first registration. The research plan shall be defended before a committee in the spring following the plan delivery.

Report structure

The report shall contain the necessary information to evaluate the originality, coherence and viability of the proposed thesis. It is suggested that the document is structured in the following sections:

  • Personal details of the doctoral student and the thesis supervisor(s).
  • Title of the thesis proposal.
  • Summary of the proposal.
  • Critical state of the art on the subject.
  • Thesis goals.
  • Methodology and resources needed.
  • Description of tasks to achieve the thesis objectives.
  • Workplan schedule with estimated deadlines.
  • Bibliography.
  • Material published in the field, if applicable.

Delivery procedure

The delivery and assessment is done through Atenea PhD(open in new window)  The Research Plan document needs to be uploaded  by the Doctorand, and validated by the Supervisor, before 1 year has passed after the date of first registration. Next is a description of the different steps involved;

  1. The Program administration enables the dates for upload of the research plan in Atenea PhD.
  2. The supervisor authorizes the upload of the document by the doctorand in Atenea PhD, Research Plan section.
  3. Doctorand uploads the updated version of the Research Plan in Atenea PhD, Research Plan section.
  4. Supervisor validates the submission, adding a comment in the Observations section.

When to defend the Research Plan

The Doctoral Program organizes the presentations of the research plans in early summer; typically, late June. The Program will appoint evaluation committees according to research areas, and all delivered research plans will be evaluated. The exact dates for Research Plan defenses will be announced by the Program.

It is the responsibility of the doctorand to have delivered the Research Plan via Atenea in due time. Failure to deliver the Research Plan at the time of presentation implies the dismissal of the program.

Research Plan Evaluation

The research plan shall be examined by a committee composed of three doctor members, one of them a professor of the program representing the CAPD, another member a professor of the program expert in the subject of the proposal, and a third member an expert external to the Program. The evaluation criteria used by the jury can be found in the Guidelines for the evaluation of the thesis proposal / research plan.

The evaluation committee will address the candidate comments and recommendations about his/her thesis proposal. These comments and recommendations must be considered by the doctorand, together with the thesis advisor. In case the evaluation committee writes them in the assessment report, the Academic Committee is in charge to check how they have been attended.

Throughout the following years, the doctorand will have to justify the thesis progress compared to the proposed research plan, as a part of the yearly tutorship evaluation. This justification may also include an update, revision or improvement of the research plan, with the validation of the thesis advisor.

Documents and forms: