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PhD PROGRAMMES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MALAGA FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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PhD PROGRAMMES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MALAGA

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


A) ABOUT THESIS DIRECTION 
B) ABOUT PUBLICATIONS ENDORSING THE THESIS
C) ABOUT THESES BY COMPENDIUM OF PUBLICATIONS
D) ABOUT ACCESS TO PhD PROGRAMMES REGULATED BY THE  99/2011 RD
E) ABOUT MASTER’S AND PhD STUDENTS OF THE 2013-2014 SCHOOL YEAR
F) ABOUT REGISTRATION TO PhD PROGRAMMES
G) ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL DOCTOR MENTION
H) ABOUT THESIS CO-TUTELAGE 
I) ABOUT THESIS GRANTS  
J) ABOUT THE RESEARCH PLAN 
K) ABOUT THE THESIS TRIBUNALS AND DEFENSE
L) ABOUT THE IN-SITE REGIME OF THE PhD PROGRAMMES

 


A) ABOUT THESIS DIRECTION 

A1. How many thesis directors can a PhD student have? How many tutors?

In general, a PhD student has a single thesis director, who is also the tutor if teaching in the same PhD programme. 

In some duly justified cases, the Academic Commission may appoint a second thesis director, who must meet the usual requirements. Only in exceptional cases can a third director be appointed, provided that all three directors are not from the same university. The designation of several directors must be approved by the Postgraduate Commission of the University of Malaga, after consideration of the justifications (e.g. if the thesis presents an interdisciplinary subject, requiring the participation of directors from different fields).

A PhD student can only have one tutor.

A2. Can a student’s family member serve as thesis director?

A family member may be the thesis director or tutor, provided that he/she meets all the requirements set by the current regulation and by the Doctorate Regulation of the University of Málaga in particular.

However, a family member cannot serve as an external examiner or as a member of the evaluation committee of a relative’s thesis, according to the articles 28 and 29, Chapter III, Title II of the 30/92 Public Administration Juridical Regime Law for abstention and disqualifying.  

A3. Is there a limit to the number of theses that a professor can direct simultaneously?

Not theoretically.  In practice, due to the amount of responsibility that it entails, professors are advised against directing more than two new theses per year.

A4. Can I change my thesis director or tutor at any time?

On the proposal of the Academic Commission of the programme, the Postgraduate Commission may modify the appointment of a tutor or thesis director when a reasonable justification exists. These changes may occur at any time during the PhD programme, except for 6 months before the thesis deposit deadline. Any request for these changes must be accompanied by a justifying report, presenting the motives and detailing the supervision activities of the former and/or new director.

A5. May the thesis director be a retired professor?

Retired professors may direct theses in any of the PhD programmes of the University of Malaga, provided that they meet all the requirements established by the Thesis Direction section of the UMA Doctorate Regulation.

In the event that a retired professor wants to work as the only thesis director, the Academic Commission of the PhD programme must assign a tutor to the PhD student. This will also be the case if a retired professor wants to co-direct a thesis with other researchers, when none of them belong to the PhD programme.

In the event that a professor’s retirement occurs when directing a PhD Thesis, he/she may continue to do so; if there is not a co-director in the PhD programme, the Academic Commission of the programme must appoint a PhD tutor.

A6. May the PhD tutor be a retired professor?

Retired professors cannot serve as thesis tutors. In the event that a professor’s retirement occurs when tutoring a doctoral thesis, he/she will not be able to continue doing so; the Academic Commission of the programme must assign the PhD student a new tutor.

A7. May a professor emeritus serve as a thesis director or tutor?

Professors emeriti may direct and tutor a thesis, provided that they have the merits and meet the academic requirements. Professors emeriti belonging to a PhD programme before their retirement may continue doing so if they wish, by formally expressing it before the Academic Commission of the programme and the Postgraduate and Doctorate International School.

A8. May a UMA professor in a situation of Special Services direct, or tutor a thesis?

By stating that a professor is in a Special Services situation, we signify that the said professor, although in connection with the UMA, is exempted from teaching and other tasks, due to other engagements (e.g. political responsibilities).

 Said professors may direct theses in any of the PhD programmes of the University of Malaga, provided that they meet the requirements established in the Thesis Direction section of the UMA Doctorate Regulation. In the event that a professor in a special services situation wants to serve as the only thesis director, the Academic Commission of the programme must appoint a tutor for the PhD student, at least for as long as the special services last. This will also be the case if the professor wants to co-direct a thesis with other researchers, when none of them belong to the PhD programme.

In the event that a professor is called to work on special services when directing a doctoral thesis, he/she may continue doing so; the Academic Commission of the programme must assign the PhD student a tutor, if there is not a co-director within the same PhD programme .

Moreover, professors in a special services situation cannot serve as thesis tutors. In the event that a professor is called to work on special services when tutoring a doctoral thesis, he/she will not be able to continue doing so; the Academic Commission of the programme must assign the PhD students a new tutor, at least for as long as the special services last.


B) ABOUT THESES BY COMPENDIUM OF PUBLICATIONS

B1) What does it mean when a publication “endorses” a thesis?

From the 2013-2014 school year, the new Doctorate Regulation establishes a minimum requirement for PhD students: doctoral theses must be “endorsed” by publications.

The Doctorate Regulation establishes that the PhD student must be able to generate a set of quality contributions directly related to the subject of the thesis. These contributions “endorse” the thesis.

By “quality contribution”, we signify those publications or merits liable to be assessed with at least 0,5 points according to the criteria of the National Quality and Accreditation Agency (ANECA) for the assessment of  the Doctorate Programmes with Mention to Excellence. The said criteria can be consulted in the following document.

The fact that these contributions have to be “directly related” to the thesis implies that they must contain and describe significant results obtained during the research process, on the subject of the thesis, and that must be included among those described in the thesis report.

B2. Which requirements must the contributions endorsing the thesis meet?

The requirements for the contributions presented in order to endorse a thesis are the following:

-        To be directly related to the subject of the thesis.

-        To have been published or accepted for publication after the thesis project registration date.

-        To have the PhD student as its first or second author.

-        To make the University of Malaga appear, through the thesis director’s or PhD student’s affiliation.

 

Regarding the latter, it is mandatory to take into account the “Good Practice Manual for Normalisation, Institutional Affiliation and Name of Authors in Scientific publications”, which establishes the way in which institutional affiliation is to be written for the publication to be correctly indexed and considered as a UMA publication.

In the event that some contributions remain unpublished when the thesis is to be defended, the PhD student must prove that they have been accepted for publication with the DOI of the article or with a letter from the publisher.  

B3. How many contributions are needed to endorse a thesis?

The regulation establishes that any thesis must be endorsed by a set of publications whose total score must be of at least 1 point according to the criteria of the National Quality and Accreditation Agency (ANECA) for the assessment of the Doctorate Programmes with Mention to Excellence.

The regulation also establishes that this minimum quality criterion is to be progressively applied.  Therefore, the minimum score required for the admission of a thesis procedure, calculated as the addition of the points awarded for each contribution will be:

-        0.5 points for theses submitted by PhD students admitted for the first time to a PhD programme of the University of Malaga in the 2013-14 school year.

-        0.75 points for  theses submitted by PhD students admitted for the first time to a PhD programme of the University of Malaga in the 2014-15 school year.

-        1 point for theses submitted by PhD students admitted for the first time to a PhD programme of the University of Malaga in the 2015-16 school year.

For example, students undertaking their PhD in the 2013-14 school year in an Architecture and Engineering PhD programme may endorse their thesis with an article published in a journal indexed in the JCR, regardless of the position of the said journal in the index.

B4. OBSOLETA

B5. I am a PhD student at the University of Malaga. May I use the UMA as an affiliation on my publications?

Yes, of course. In fact, it must be used. Being a PhD student, and thus registered in the University of Malaga, you must always use the said affiliation when signing articles. It is extremely important to take into account the “Good Practice Manual for Normalisation, Institutional Affiliation and Name of Authors in Scientific publications” of the University of Malaga, ”, which establishes the way in which institutional affiliation is to be written for the publication to be correctly indexed and considered as a UMA publication.


C) ABOUT THESES BY COMPENDIUM OF PUBLICATIONS

At the University of Malaga, theses may be presented in a monograph format or as a compendium of publications, as established by the Doctorate Regulation of the university. In the second case, the thesis will have to be formed of at least three publications (articles, book chapters or books).

These publications are the ones that endorse the thesis, and must all be published or accepted for their publication (with the DOI of the article or with a letter from the publisher). 

C2. Which requirements and criteria must a thesis by compendium of publications meet?

The publications that form a thesis by compendium must endorse the thesis, and must, therefore, meet the requirements demanded for any publication endorsing a thesis, described in the B2 question in the previous section.

Regarding the quality criteria they have to meet, the article 21.4 of the Doctorate Regulation states that “the addition of the scores of the publications forming a thesis presented as compendium of publications must be of at least 1 point, according to the criteria used by the ANECA or developed by the different doctorate academic commissions”.

For example, a thesis in the field of Architecture and Engineering presented as a compendium of publications must be formed by three publications in journals indexed in the JCR (regardless of the position of the said journal in the index); or by two publications in journals indexed in the JCR (regardless of the position of the said journal in the index) and an article in an international congress; or by a publication in a journal of the third tercile (1 point) and two publications in international congresses (0 points).

C3. Are three publications enough? Do I have to add more?

According to the Doctorate regulation, a thesis presented as a compendium of publications must have, at least:

-        an introduction to the research subject and a summary of its state,

-        the aims of the research,

-        the methodology,

-        an exposition of the conducted research,

-        a discussion of the obtained results --when appropriate--,

-        the conclusions and

-        the indexed bibliography.

It may, in addition, contain as much annexes as needed.

The introduction must be extensive enough and include the study on the state of the subject, preliminary matters and details that could not be included in the publications endorsing the thesis due to space limitations.

C4. May I present a thesis as a compendium of publications even if I am studying in a doctorate programme regulated by a real decree prior to the 99/2011 RD?

Any PhD student may present a thesis in this format in the University of Malaga, with the consent of the thesis director, and as long as the minimum requirements established in the Doctorate Regulation are met.

C5. Do the publications need to be extended or changed in format?

It is not necessary to extend or change the publications. The articles or publications may be included in the same format in which they were published, without modifying their content. The introduction must include the subjects which the PhD student and the thesis director consider not to be sufficiently addressed in the publications.

C6. May the publications in the thesis be included in different languages?

Yes, they may. In fact, they must be included exactly as they were published. Regarding the introduction of the thesis, it may be written in Spanish or in any of the usual languages used for scientific communication in the field of study, as described in the Doctorate Regulation.  However, for coherence and style, the employment of a single language is advised throughout the entire thesis. If the thesis is not written in Spanish, it must include a summary in this language, of at least five thousand words.

C7. When the thesis is not a compendium of publications but in a monograph format, may previously published research results be included?

Yes, they may. In fact, previously published results should be included in the publications endorsing the thesis. If the thesis is not a compendium of publications, these results should be described and explained in the thesis, making a reference to previous publications in the text itself (it will not be necessary to include them as annexes). Therefore, previous publications cannot make up any part of the thesis, but the contributions described in them must be integrated in the writing as an integral part of the manuscript. It is also possible to include in the thesis contributions and results that have not been previously published. 

 


D) ABOUT ACCESS TO PhD PROGRAMMES REGULATED BY THE  99/2011 RD

D1. Can graduates, architects or engineers access the PhD studies directly, without the need of an official Master’s?

According to the 99/2011 RD, access to an official PhD programme is granted to those students in possession of an official Spanish university degree obtained in agreement with previous university ordinations, that is, graduates, architects, engineers, holders of a diploma, technical architects and technical engineers (degrees giving access to a Master’s programme) having completed the official university studies with a minimum of 300 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 must be on a Master’s level. In October 2013, the General Secretary for Universities emitted an information  note clearly indicating that “it is in the responsibility of each university, according to their specific regulation, to determine the equivalencies between  LRU credits and ECTS credits, as well as the evaluation criteria of the 60 ECTS credits that must be considered as Master’s level, for these graduates to gain access to PhD studies”.

Therefore, the University of Malaga, through the Presidential Resolution of November 2014, establishes an equivalency between LRU and ECTS credits (1-1), and, in order to access the PHD studies of the University of Malaga, considers that official UMA university degrees previously regulated by the 1497/1987 Real Decree of November 27th are worth 60 ECTS credits. Similarly, the last year of the above-mentioned degree programmes will be considered as Master’s level. Thus, graduates, engineers and architects with UMA degrees and at least 300 credits may gain access to doctorate studies regulated by the 99/2011 RD.

The possibility of access to the studies does not imply the admission to the PhD programmes, as the procedures are different. Each doctorate programme has established its own admission requirements. Additionally, the Academic Commissions of the PhD programmes may demand that some students undertake a complementary course during the first year.

Regarding graduates, engineers and architects from other universities aspiring to gain access to PhD programmes of the UMA, they will be required to present a certification issued by their universities, confirming the above-mentioned equivalencies.

D2. How is the equivalent education level accredited by foreign students when accessing PhD programmes?

For the admission of foreign students to the research period of a PhD programme, two requirements exist:

1. Accrediting an education level equivalent to the corresponding official Spanish Master’s programmes.

2. Accrediting that the degree gives access to PhD studies in the country issuing it.

 

The issue concerns “accreditation”. How is the equivalent education level accredited?

In order to determine the level of education equivalent to the Master’s level, the same guarantees of our education system must be demanded, as summarized in the requirements applicable to the following studies:

-        that they provide an advanced education, of a specialized or multidisciplinary nature, oriented towards professional or academic specialization, or promoting the initiation in research work (art. 10, 1397/2007 RD)

-        that they have a duration of between 60 and 120 credits (art. 15, 1397/2007 RD)

In regards to the official nature of the degree and its position in the education system as studies prior to the PhD, those must be included in the specific certification required.

D3. I have undertaken my PhD in a PhD programme regulated by a RD previous to the 99/2011 RD. Can I change to a new PhD programme, regulated by the 99/2011 RD?

Any PhD student, both from the UMA and any other university, can ask to be transferred to one of PhD programmes of the UMA regulated by the 99/2011 RD.                 

The request processing, paperwork and resolution of the transfers and of the following validations must be executed through the University responsible for the programme, being in its Academic Commission’s hands to decide of the admission, as established by the Verification Report of the programme and the minimum requirements set in the 99/2011 RD. The Academic Commissions may demand that some students undertake specific education complements or to validate them for other academic activities previously undertaken by the student.

If the student comes from a PhD programme where neither the “Activity Document” nor the “Investigation Plan” exist, the PhD student must produce them, based on the activities developed up to that moment, and attach them to the rest of the accredited documentation of the studies, education complements, work and merits liable to be validated.

D4. I am a graduate or a technical engineer with an official Master’s, but with less than 300 credits total. How can I gain access to the PhD?

The demand of the 99/2011 Real Decree is that, besides having an official Spanish university degree giving access to a Master’s, the students must “have completed a minimum of 300 ECTS credits in their official university studies, of which 60 at least must be of a Master’s level”.

First of all, the UMA establishes a 1-1 equivalency between LRU and ECTS credits. Therefore, if I am, for example, a technical engineer with 225 LRU credits and 60 ECTS credits, I am only missing 15 credits for the 300 required.

The easiest way to get those 15 credits is by means of a non-official admission in the Extension of Knowledge modality. Students who choose to do so wish to undertake “official university studies”, even if they do not seek to obtain any degree (as they already have).

Each year, the UMA offers a variety of subjects (both at university and Master’s levels) which can be undertaken for the extension of knowledge. The procedures can be consulted at: http://www.uma.es/ secretariageneral/newsecgen/ index.php?option=com_content& view=article&id=435: matriculacion-extraoficial- curso-academico-2013-2014& catid=2:uncategorised

D5. Which is the equivalency between LRU and ECTS credits?

 In October 2013, the General Secretary for Universities emitted an information  note declaring that “it is in each university’s responsibility to determine the equivalencies between LRU credits and ECTS credits, according to their specific regulation. The University of Malaga establishes a 1 to 1 equivalency, meaning that one LRU credit corresponds to one ECTS credit.

 


E) ABOUT MASTER’S AND PhD STUDENTS OF THE 2013-2014 SCHOOL YEAR

E1. I have undertaken my PhD in a PhD programme regulated by a RD previous to the 99/2011 RD and wish to remain in it. Until when can I defend my thesis?

The Doctorate Commission of the University of Malaga has created a document detailing the thesis defense deadlines for PhD programmes previous to the 9/2011 RD, available at:  

http://www.uma.es/cipd/navegador_de_ficheros/Doctorado/descargar/Normativa/FechaslimiteLecturaTesis.pdf

As a summary, the following table shows the different possibilities for the access to the current PhD programmes of the UMA (regulated by the 1393/2007 RD) depending on the kind of Master’s and their admission date.

 

A

ACCESS TO PhD PROGRAMMES REGULATED BY THE Real Decree 1393/2007

THESIS PROJECT ADMISSION DEADLINE

THESIS DEFENSE DEADLINE

Students with Master’s, postgraduate official degrees or periods of their education in PhD programmes regulated by the Real Decrees 778/1998, 56/2005 or previous to the RD 1393/2007.

30/6/2013

10/2/2016

Students with official Master’s regulated by the RD 1393/2007 previous to the 2012-13 school year, that is, admitted to an official Master’s during the 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2012-13.

30/6/2013

30/9/2017

Graduated students from foreign education systems that can gain access to PhD programmes regulated by the RD 1393/2007.

30/6/2013

30/9/2017



F) ABOUT REGISTRATION TO PhD PROGRAMMES

F1. Before, it wasn’t compulsory to get registered yearly during the period of research of the PhD programmes, but only the year of the thesis defense. Has this changed?

Yes, it has. Since the 2013-14 school year, it is necessary to get registered every year during the research period of the PhD programme. Being registered gives accreditation as student of the University of Malaga, necessary in order to have access to university services such as library, ports, etc, as well as to regulate the student’s vinculation with the university. Besides, failing to pay the annual university fee causes the expulsion from the PhD programme, as established by the Doctorate Regulation.

Those students who currently have their thesis project registered but that have not been enrolled in the last few years only need to formalize their enrollment, through an online procedure as of October 2013. These students are not required to pay the admission fee for previous school years, as this measure was not compulsory then.  The official fees for the PhD tutelage period are around 60 Euros, as stated in the Enrollment Guide of the University of Malaga.

F2. Can I directly get enrolled in PhD programme, or do I have to be admitted first?

Those who wish to undertake their PhD at the University of Malaga must ask for an admission first, in one of the PhD programmes, according to the procedures established by the General Secretary. The admission procedure is necessary, as PhD programmes have limits to the number of newly admitted students each year.

Therefore, at the beginning of every school year a pre-enrollment period will be opened for all the students interested in being admitted for the first time to present an admission request.

The admission request can only be made by completing the online form, accompanied by the following documentation (in PDF format, attached to the form):

-        University degree necessary for the admission, according to the admission requirements of the Programme, or, in its absence, a certification accrediting that the said degree has been requested. Foreign university degrees must be accompanied by a certification issued by the competent authorities of the country, proving that the degree gives access to a PhD.

-        Academic Certification of the studies corresponding to the degree presented for admission, including the grades obtained by subject.

-        Curriculum vitae of the student, with relevant information in regard to the admission criteria and access grades of the PhD programme.

 

The admission request is executed for a single PhD programme, which must be indicated in the corresponding formulary. In order to apply to more than one PhD programme, the student will have to make an admission request for each programme.

Every request will be revised by the Admission Section of the University of Malaga in order to verify that it meets the administrative and academic requirements. Once revised, the list of requests that have not been admitted will be published on the UMA website, with the corresponding motive, so that students may make the convenient statements in the time period and through the procedure indicated on the website.

The admitted requests will be graded by the Academic Commission of the programme, according to the grading scale established and approved by the Postgraduate Commission of the UMA. Once graded, they will be published on the UMA website.

The admitted students will be able to get registered in the PhD programme.

F3. May I request an admission in several PhD programmes?

Yes, you may. A student may request an admission in several PhD programmes, in the University of Malaga as well as in other universities. An individual request will have to be sent to each of the programmes. In the event of being admitted in more than one of them, the student will have to choose only one to be registered in, as it is only possible to be registered in a single PhD programme.

F4. I have been admitted in a PhD programme, but in the end I didn’t get registered. Can I get registered in the next school year without having to make a new admission request?

No, you cannot. The admission request corresponds to a specific school year.

F5. How do I get registered in the research period of a PhD programme?

Once a student has been admitted in a PhD programme, he/she will have to get registered during the registration period fixed by the university. The registration procedure for the UMA PhD programme is described here: http://www.uma.es/secretariageneral/AdministracionElectronica/Doctorado/indoctorado.php.

Those students who do not enter for the first time must get registered each year through the UMA Doctorate Service (Pabellón de Gobierno, Campus de El Ejido, 1st floor), in October.

F6. Is there a specific deadline for the registration in PhD programmes?

Yes, there is. The University of Malaga, before each school year, establishes the time window for admission requests to PhD programmes as well as the time periods for registration, for both new-entry students and students already studying in PhD programmes.

The latter wishing to renew their annual registration must follow the deadlines and the calendar established by the UMA. The registrations usually begin in October, as described in the UMA Registration Guide. It is important to point out that a non-renewal of the registration causes the expulsion from the PhD programme. Likewise, students who currently have their thesis enrolled in a PhD programme regulated by a Real Decree previous to the 99/2011 RD must get formally registered.

In regard to students entering a PhD programme for the first time, they will be able to request their admission in a PhD programme once the official registration period passed, if there is any vacancy and as long as the Academic Commission of the programme authorises it. For this reason, the administrative admission and registration time period for PhD programmes each year will remain open until May. However, it is important to take into account that there is a limited number of vacancies for new-entry students each year. Thus, we recommend that the students execute the admission and registration procedures as soon as possible. Please remember that, like any official programme, PhD programmes follow a strict calendar, causing some programmes to refuse the admission of new students after a certain date.

F7. May I get any exemption to the payment of the registration fee?

The exemptions for any UMA official degree can be consulted in the corresponding UMA General Secretary Guide.

 


G) ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL DOCTOR MENTION

G1. What is the difference between a European Doctor and an International Doctor? Which one do I request for my thesis?

The International Doctorate degree appears in the 99/2011 RD, in order to replace the European Doctor mention that previously existed. However, neither the 99/2011 RD nor any other RDs abrogated the European Doctor mention, so both are valid. In any case, the “International Doctor” mention is the one to be requested.

Regarding the differences between both mentions, they both have similar value, but the later allows for stays anywhere in the world, not just in Europe. Another difference is that in order to request the European Doctorate mention in the UMA, it was necessary to obtain the “cum laude” mention, which is not required for obtaining the International Doctor mention.

G2. I have carried out my thesis in a PhD programme regulated by a Real Decree previous to the 99/2011 RD. May I request the International Doctor mention or do I have to request  the European Doctor mention?

The International Doctorate mention may be requested for any thesis, regardless of the Real Decree regulating the PhD programme undertaken (1393/2007 RD, 56/2005 RD, 778/1998 RD or previous RDs).

G3. Does the thesis report have to be written in English in order to obtain the International Doctor mention? Do I have to present it in English?

The minimum requirement is that part of the report, and at least the summary and conclusions must be written and presented in one of the usual languages for scientific communication in the field of study, different from any of the official languages in Spain. However, in the case of stays, reports and experts from a Spanish-speaking country, the regulation allows for the thesis to be written in Spanish.

It is important to point out that when the thesis is not written in Spanish, it must include a summary in the said language, of at least five thousand words. Equally, when a thesis aspiring to the International Mention is written in Spanish, it must include a summary in one of the usual languages for scientific communication in the field of study, different from any of the official languages in Spain, of at least five thousand words.

In regard to the defense of a thesis aspiring to the International Doctor Mention, the PhD student will have to carry out at least part of the oral presentation (the description of the results and the conclusions, at least) in one of the usual languages for scientific communication in the field of study, different from any of the official languages in Spain

 However, this requirement does not apply to stays, reports and thesis tribunal members from a Spanish-speaking country, or when thus agreed on by the unanimity of the thesis tribunal, allowing the PhD student to present the thesis in Spanish.

G4.  May the researcher responsible for any of the stays presented as merits by the PhD student in order to obtain the International Doctor Mention serve as an external thesis evaluator?

No, he/she may not. Nevertheless, any other researcher of the higher education institution or non-Spanish research institution in which the PhD student has made the stay, different from the person responsible for it, can serve as an external evaluator.

G5. Do I have to make the three-month stay in the same foreign centre, in a single time?

No, you do not. Even if it is the most usual way, the three-month stay abroad does not need to be carried out in the same centre or institution, nor in continued over time. However, each stay period in a centre has to be endorsed by the thesis tutor, and have the approval of a researcher responsible in the centre.

 


H) ABOUT THESIS CO-TUTELAGE

H1. What is the main difference between the co-tutelage of a thesis and an international thesis?

A thesis in co-tutelage is one directed by two researchers belonging to two different universities, whose report is finally submitted for defense in one of the universities, obtaining the Doctor title in both universities.

Besides from having a director in each university, it is compulsory to make a stay of at least 9 months in each. These stays do not need to be consecutive.

Although it also requires a stay in another institution (but of at least 3 months), the thesis with international mention is very different, as  it does not require a director from another institution, and only one title by the university of Malaga is obtained.

The intern regulation of the UMA for Doctoral Theses in co-tutelage regime appears in the UMA Doctoral Thesis Co-Tutelage Regulation.

H2. May both universities be Spanish?

No, the co-tutelage must be made between a Spanish university (the UMA, in this case) and a foreign one. It cannot be made in two Spanish universities, as it is not possible to obtain two Doctorates from the Spanish State for a same thesis.  

H3. I am a student in the University of Malaga and I intend to undertake a thesis in co-tutelage. I have already identified the foreign university, the UMA thesis director and the thesis director in the other university. What should I do now?

First of all, you need to be registered in one of the PhD programmes of the University of Malaga in order to undertake a thesis. It is also necessary to confirm that all the admission requirements of the PhD programme in the foreign university are met.

Secondly, an authorization for the co-direction of the thesis in a co-tutelage regime must be requested to the competent authority in each university. Regarding the University of Malaga, the competent authority is the Postgraduate Commission, and to make the request, filling out a form (“Co-Tutelage Request Model”) suffices, which is available at:  http://www.uma.es/doctorado/info/12385/formularios-doctorado/#Cotutelas.

Once authorised, the co-tutelage will be formalised in a specific agreement between both universities, stating the conditions, as well as the informati0on about the PhD student, the thesis and the thesis directors. This agreement will also establish in which university the PhD student ihas to pay the registration fee each year. The PhD student must be registered in both universities, but pays the registration fees in only one of them.

Once registered in both universities, it is a matter of carrying out the thesis with the two corresponding directors. The thesis preparation time will be divided between both universities (the minimum amount of time spent in each being 9 months).

The University of Malaga may celebrate agreements with foreign universities with strategic interest, in order to ease the development of theses in co-tutelage regime between both universities. The information about these agreements can be consulted at: http://www.uma.es/doctorado/cms/menu/Cotutela/.

H4. I am a student from a foreign university and intend to undertake a thesis in co-tutelage with the University of Malaga. I have already identified the UMA thesis director and the thesis director in the other university. What should I do now?

First of all, you need to be registered in one of the PhD programmes of one of the universities.

Those students who have undertaken PhD studies in the foreign university may gain access to the Research Period of the PhD programme in the University of Malaga, as long as they meet the admission requirements of the programme. In order to do so, the Academic Commission of the PhD programme must accredit the studies, even requesting education complements if necessary.

Once pre-admitted in the UMA PhD programme, the student must request the signature of the co-tutelage agreement between both universities, as described in the previous question.

H5. I have already finished my thesis in co-tutelage, and would like to defend it. Where and how am I to do it?

The thesis report must be written in a language accepted in any of the two universities.

It is also important to point out that those theses not written in Spanish must include a summary in the language, of at least five thousand words. Equally, when a thesis in co-tutelage is written in Spanish, it must include a summary in one of the usual languages for scientific communication in the field of study, different from any of the official languages in Spain, of at least five thousand words.

Once finished, the thesis must be deposited in both universities. The requirements for the deposit, publicity and defense of the thesis will be those established by the universities.

The thesis will be subject to a single defense in any of the two universities, in the one previously established by the specific agreement.

The tribunal before whom the thesis is to be defended will be designated by the two universities, and its composition will follow the regulation of the university where the defense takes place, but it must also meet the requirements of the 99/2011 RD. If any doubt remains, feel free to ask the postgraduate service of the University of Malaga (doctorado@uma.es)

Finally, the archiving and diffusion of the thesis will take place in both universities, according to the specific procedures of each.

H6. Who pays for the thesis and the tribunal costs?

According to the co-tutelage agreement between the two institutions, the payment of any cost produced by the defense of a thesis under the co-tutelage regime will be made as established by the regulation of the university where the defense is to take place.

If the thesis is to be defended in the University of Malaga, the administrative and financial procedures in force will be applied. Those concern the costs derived from the move of the tribunal members, as well as the possible grants to the thesis defense; without any difference from any other thesis presented in the University of Malaga.


I) ABOUT THESIS GRANTS (GRANT PLAN FOR PhD STUDENTS, APPROVED BY THE GOVERNING BOARD ON APRIL 18TH 2013)

I1. I am a PhD student in the University of Malaga. May I ask for the “Quality Contribution Publication Grant” before presenting my thesis?

Yes, you may. This grant may be requested at any time once the PhD has been registered. You just have to fill out the corresponding application, including the information about the contributions endorsing the thesis, as well as the quality indications of the contribution (see questions B.1 and B.2 of this document).

The rest of the “Grants for the Carrying out of Theses” (for defense, International Doctor Mention, belonging to Andalusia Tech, collaborations with companies and defense in three years) can only be requested after the thesis has been defended.

I2. Do I have to use the “Grant for the Carrying out of a Thesis” in one sitting?

In general, there is no restriction on how to use this kind of grants.

For example, a student who has obtained a quality publication during the second year of his/her PhD can ask for the corresponding grant when the contribution is accepted for publication. If granted, the student can use 300 of the 700€ awarded to pay the publication costs, justifying the money with the original receipt. Afterwards, before the thesis defense, 300€ can used to pay for the thesis binding. Finally, after defending the thesis and obtaining the cum laude mention, the student may ask for the corresponding 300€ and use them, along with the remaining 100€, to justify the costs of a conference.

Another student could request grants for the publication of each quality contribution, and use them all at the end, along with grants for the thesis defense and the international doctor mention, to pay a stay in a research centre after the thesis defense.

Finally, yet another student could decide not to ask for any grant for the carrying out of a thesis until its defense, and then ask for the corresponding grants all at once.

For effectiveness purposes, justifications to the use of the grant should not be of under 200€. In the event of having receipts for little sums, we recommend to group them in a single justification of at least 200€.

I3. May I request the grants of this Plan if I defended my thesis before its enforcement?

No, you may not. Only the students registering their thesis after the inforcement of the Plan (19/4/2013) may ask for the grants.

I4. I have already done a stay for the International Doctor mention, subsidised by another grant plan. May I obtain the “Grant for the International Doctor mention” of this plan in order to make another stay?

No, you may not. The aim of this grant is to give the possibility to PhD students with little resources to make a stay in order to obtain the International Doctor mention. If a student wants to make yet another stay, he/she should look for some other financing source (e.g. the Non-official Research Plan of the University, mobility grants from the Ministry or the Junta, etc.).

I5. I am currently in a PhD programme of the University of Malaga and I have published, before the enforcement of this plan, a quality contribution which meets all the necessary requirements. May I ask for the quality contribution grant today?

Yes, of course. It is not necessary to wait until the defense of the thesis, even if the contribution was obtained before the enforcement of this plan.

I6. I made a quality contribution before getting registered to the PhD programme. May I ask for a grant?

No, you may not. The contributions must have been published or accepted for publication after the registration of the thesis project (article 3.3.1 of the Grant Plan). The afore-mentioned publication cannot endorse the thesis (at least not without the explicit consent from the Academic Commission of the PhD programme and from the Postgraduate Commission).

I7. May I ask for a grant for a thesis-related publication that has been accepted for publication after the thesis defense?

No, you may not. The contributions liable to obtain grants must be endorsing the thesis, having been published or accepted for publication after the registration of the thesis project and before its defense.

I8. How do I prove the quality of a contribution endorsing the thesis?

In the grant request form, there is a section where the details on the contribution are to be indicated: authors, journal title, publication year, publisher, pages, DOI, etc., as well as the quality of the contribution.

As quality indicators, we recommend that you clearly indicate the impact index of the journal, its category and relative position in the JCR listing of the journal, the number of quotes, and any other information that may prove the quality of the contribution, according to the criteria of the ANECA in regard to the evaluation of PhD programmes with Mention to Excellence, which depend on the field of study (see question B.1).

In the event that the contribution is a publication in a journal that is not included in the indexes defined by the ANECA for the corresponding field of study, or that it is a different kind of contribution (e.g. artistic), the quality indication will rely on the international impact of the contribution.

Grants will not be given to contributions without quality indicators.

I9. How and where do I request a grant from this Plan?

The necessary forms to request and justify the grants in this Plan are available at: http://www.uma.es/cipd/info/9839/becas-alumnos-de-doctorado/

First of all, you need to fill out the form requesting the corresponding grant. Once duly completed and signed by the PhD student and the thesis director (or directors), it must be addressed, along with the required documentation, to the Director of the Postgraduate International Centre and Doctorate School (CIPD) of the University of Malaga.

The requests have to be presented through the General Register of the University of Malaga, or through any of the options appearing in the section 4, article 38 of the 30/92 Law of the Juridical Regime for Public Administrations and Common Administrative Procedure.

I10. What happens after I present the grant request?

Once received by the CIPD, and that the demanded documentation is in order, the requests are sent to the Postgraduate Commission of the University of Malaga for their evaluation and report. Once each request has been evaluated, the Director of the Postgraduate International Centre and Doctorate School will notify the resolution to the applicant.

In general, the evaluation and notification procedure will be of under a month since the request is received at the CIPD.

In the event of a positive resolution, the applicant may use the granted money through the corresponding “Justification” form, available at: http://www.uma.es/cipd/info/9839/becas-alumnos-de-doctorado/

I11. What can I do if a grant request of mine has been denied?

Negative resolutions will be accompanied by the corresponding justification from the Postgraduate Commission. If disconformities with the negative resolution prevail, the applicant may make a complaint to the Director of the Postgraduate International Centre and Doctorate School.

The afore-mentioned complaint must be presented through the General Register of the University of Malaga or through any of the options appearing in the section 4, article 38 of the 30/92 Law of the Juridical Regime for Public Administrations and Common Administrative Procedure.

I12. May I use the grant in order to pay the costs from the thesis reading, tutelage and degree dispatch?

Yes, you may. Those costs can be justified, with the original receipts.

I13. May I use the grant money to pay the thesis tribunal costs?

No, you may not, as the University of Malaga already pays for costs related to travels and expenses of the tribunal. Regarding other costs, such as food, it is impossible, as these grants do not cover expenses related to protocol.

I14. Do the grants for the publication of quality contributions include publications in conference minutes (as the plan establishes that publications in indexed journals or equivalent merits)? What would be considered as equivalent merits?

In general, conference contributions are not taken into account for the thesis evaluation. However, in certain fields of study, the works and architectural projects with international awards, patents, etc. are taken into account, as explained in the B section of this document.

I15. The point 3.6.2 of the Grant Plan specifies that the PhD student has up to 6 months after reading the thesis to use the grant, justifying the expenditures with bills or receipts. Can I, then, justify something (a congress or stay, for example) that has taken place after presenting my thesis and within those six months?

Actually, that’s the idea; that you can use the money to make a stay or go to a conference, once the thesis is presented: the answer is yes.

I16. Regarding the bookbinding costs, is there a limit to the number of bindings?

No, there is not.

I17. Regarding the material costs during the thesis, are the printer ink and sheets of paper included?

Yes, those expenditures can be included as material costs, if justified with the original bill or receipts. The same applies to the material used for thesis experiments (e.g. laboratory material).

I18. I am interested in requesting two kinds of grants: the one for quality contributions and the one for the doctoral thesis reading. Can the quality contributions used to justify both grants be the same?

Yes, they can. In fact, they usually are.

I19. I’ve seen than one of the justifiable expenditures of the thesis defense grant is “assisting to congresses”. Does the grant cover the registration payment of the congress?

Yes, it does, along with the accommodation (hotel), plane or train tickets, taxis, etc. However, it does not include food or mileage expenditures.

I20. I have just requested a grant to the Junta of Andalusia for a stay, research and exchange of ideas related to teaching. It has not been granted to me yet, but I want to stay abroad for a month. Is it incompatible with THESIS WITH INTERNATIONAL MENTION GRANT?

If you are to use the stay requested to the Junta of Andalusia to endorse the International Doctorate mention, then it is incompatible; but, as it has not been granted yet, you may request the one from the UMA, clearly stating in the form that you have also requested the grant from the Junta. In any case, the grants from the UMA are granted for stays of at least three months, so your stay should be complemented with some others of another two months in order to be requested.

I21. I have seen that one of the justifiable expenditures of the thesis defense grant is “attending congresses”. When I was making my thesis, a grant covered part of these expenditures, but not all of them. May I use the thesis defense grant to pay for expenditures that are not covered by other grants?

Yes, you may, only when these expenditures have not been covered by other grants. It is important to point out that no expenditure can be covered by more than one grant. Therefore, if I have attended a conference or a stay that has been financed by another grant, I will not be able to justify expenditures already covered by other grants. However, if there are enrollment fees, accommodation or transportation costs that could not be covered by any other grant, they could be eligible for this grant, as long as they are justified with the original bills or receipts. It is also essential for the applicant to provide a sworn declaration claiming that these costs have not been covered by any other grant.

I22. Does the University of Malaga have to appear in the quality contributions used to obtain the grant for publications?

Yes, of course. As a PhD student at the UMA, you must indicate the UMA as an affiliation when signing scientific contributions, as stated in the B5 question. If the UMA does not appear in the affiliation, you will not receive any grant.

Furthermore, since the “Good Practice Manual for Normalisation, Institutional Affiliation and Name of Authors in Scientific publications” of the University of Malaga was published, on February 11th 2014, it is essential that these institutional affiliations respect what is indicated in it for the grant to be received, and so that the publication is correctly indexed and considered as a UMA publication.

 


J) ABOUT THE RESEARCH PLAN

J1. What does the structure and contents of the Research Plan have to be like?

According to the 99/2011 RD, all the PhD students registered in PhD programmes regulated by the RD must make, before the end of the first year, a Research Plan, endorsed by the tutor and the thesis director and approved by the Academic Commission of the programme. The format and contents vary from one field of study to another, and will be established by each PhD programme. The research plan is aimed at evaluating if the student possesses a concrete work plan for the thesis. This plan is written under the supervision of the thesis director and must contain, at least:

1. The definition of a clear research problem that the student intends to treat in the thesis, or a problem meant to be solved. This implies a brief study on the state of the art on the thesis subject, demonstrating a sufficient knowledge of the relevant literature in order to undertake the thesis.

2. The work hypothesis or contributions intended to solve the problem.

3. The aims that the PhD student wishes to accomplish.

4. A methodology, a work plan and a chronogram in order to tackle the research with success.

5. A result dissemination plan (publications, congresses, etc.).

6. A list of the expected results after concluding the thesis, both scientific and academic (e.g. developed abilities).

J2. Is there any limit regarding its extension or any format requirement?

There is no limit on the University’s account, but the PhD programmes may establish some recommendations or requirements if they wish. In another case, the number of pages, format, etc. are decided by the thesis director.

 


K) ABOUT THE THESIS TRIBUNALS AND DEFENSE

K1. May the coauthor of one of the articles endorsing the thesis belong to the evaluation tribunal or be an external evaluator?

 No, according to the articles 25.6 and 26.1 of the UMA Doctorate Regulation.

K2. May a coauthor of any of the contributions derived from the thesis work be a member of the thesis tribunal (or serve as an external evaluator)?

The answer is no. As a coauthor of a part of it, he/she could not judge the thesis independently and objectively, according to the articles 28 and 29, Chapter III, Title II of the 30/92 Public Administration Juridical Regime Law for abstention and disqualifying. 

By “contributions derived from the thesis work”, we mean those contributions that belong to the work developed in the thesis.

In general, those contributions describe results obtained during the thesis work, being directly related to it, or closely related to it (e.g. those contributions previous to the thesis establishing the theoretical basis or the model that the thesis develops).

The publications “endorsing” a thesis (used in the thesis defense, when requesting grants) are an example of these contributions. The publications belonging to the manuscript of a thesis by compendium of publications are, too, although they may not be the only ones.

Are not included in this circumstance the coauthors of contributions unrelated to the thesis work.  

K3. May a PhD student’s relative serve as a thesis tribunal member, or be an external evaluator?

No, he/she may not, according to the articles 28 and 29, Chapter III, Title II of the 30/92 Public Administration Juridical Regime Law for abstention and disqualifying. A relative may serve as a thesis director, but not as a tribunal member or an external evaluator.


L) ABOUT THE IN-SITE REGIME OF THE PhD PROGRAMMES

L1. May a student undertake a distance PhD?

In general, PhD students follow in-site courses. However, in order to increase the internationalization of the UMA PhD programmes and of the students themselves, the Postgraduate Commission agreed on the following possibilities:

1. Those students whose thesis includes field work or research focused in a setting far from the University of Malaga and demanding a long stay will be able to request to the Academic Commission that certain education activities are undertaken in a virtual or semi in-site manner. These activities will be accounted as additional mobility hours of the programme.

2. The requests may affect students in full-time regime as well as students in part-time regime.

3. The Academic Commission will fix the minimum amount of hours that the student will have to attend in person at the University of Malaga, and the annual evaluation procedure.

4. The Postgraduate Commission of the University of Malaga may take into account those students’ particularities in the grants that they may request.

5. Except for the existence of a specific agreement stating otherwise, or justified reasons preventing so, the thesis defense will take place at the University of Malaga, where the PhD must attend.

 


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