Supervision and Assessment
The figure of the thesis director (or directors) is essential in the supervision of the doctoral student. The appointment of the thesis director rests with the Academic Committee of the PhD Program. The committee will appoint a director according to the student’s profile, their preferences, and the availability of researchers who can take the role of director.
GUIDE TO GOOD PRACTICES
Like all PhD Programs from the PhD School of the University of Malaga, the Psychology PhD Program provides a Good Practice Guide for the direction and supervision of the students and the development of the PhD thesis. The Guide is available at the following link: http://www.uma.es/doctorado/info/71932/guia-buenas-practicas-doctorado/
ACTIONS TO PROMOTE SUPERVISION OF PhD THESES
We try to ensure that at all times each faculty member assigned to the PhD program is directing at least one thesis and that every 5 years at least one of the theses they direct is defended. To encourage the direction of doctoral theses, the UMA provides directors with an economic endowment for each thesis defended. This aid may cover some of the expenses associated with the defense of a thesis (i.e. binding, protocol expenses), as well as other research expenses incurred by the director. This endowment was previously assigned to the departments, but is now directly assigned to the directors, who have to justify expenditures by means of invoices and receipts. The amount allocated will depend on several factors such international mentions of the thesis, and the quantity and quality of the publications endorsing the thesis.
Another measure to encourage PhD directors is the allocation of 25 working hours per thesis. This time is assigned to supervising and tutoring the PhD Thesis.
The Academic Committee will promote the quality of PhD thesis supervision among the researchers and faculty through several mechanisms:
- The Supervision Meetings for directors and PhD students encourage bidirectional feedback between the PhD student and directors.
- Good instruments to steer the thesis in the right direction are represented by the yearly assessment of the Research Activities Record (DA) of each PhD student and the recommendations of the Academic Committee.
- Directorship is also encouraged by attendance at congresses, because researchers can keep abreast of the latest developments, thus stimulating collaborations and new hypotheses that may contribute to the better supervision of thesis activity.
PROMOTING THE CO-DIRECTORSHIP OF PhD THESES IN ACADEMICALLY JUSTIFIED CASES
Each PhD student will have one or two directors and a tutor. Whenever possible, the role of tutor and director should be filled by the same person. Normally, when the director is not part of the faculty assigned to the PhD Program, or when the director is not from the University of Malaga, the tutor and the director will not be the same person.
The Academic Committee will encourage the co-direction of the thesis in the following cases:
- The thesis addresses an interdisciplinary topic that requires the participation of directors from different areas.
- One of the directors lacks wide experience in directorship, and given the subject of the thesis, the participation of a more experienced director is recommended.
- The co-direction by international researchers is beneficial for the doctoral student.
- It could help to strengthen the relationship between academia and the business world.
Some activities to encourage co-direction could include the following:
- Stays in foreign centers to facilitate the collaboration and co-direction of thesis.
- Attendance at national and international conferences to facilitate collaboration based on ongoing research results presented by the PhD students.
- Participation in organized research seminars to facilitate the building of relationships with other researchers, which may lead to the co-direction of PhD theses.
- When a director who is new to the role is appointed, the Academic Committee will select senior researchers from the faculty of the PhD program to co-direct the doctoral thesis and propose a co-directionship.
PROMOTING THESIS CO-TUTORSHIPS
In line with the PhD educational strategy of the University of Malaga, international co-tutorship agreements with other universities are promoted to encourage interactions with international groups and provide graduates with the possibility of obtaining doctoral degrees from both universities.
The University of Malaga will promote co-tutorships via scholarships from The UMA Research Plan and via scholarships arranged with other organizations such as the AUIP (Ibero-American University Association Postgraduate). Likewise, the PhD Program in Psychology will promote the co-tutoring of thesis with other institutions with which the UMA has specific agreements.
THE PARTICIPATION OF INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS IN FOLLOW-UP COMMITTEES, DRAFTING REPORTS, OR THESIS COMMITTEES
The Academic Committee will facilitate the participation of international experts in Follow-up Committees, drafting reports, and/or in Thesis Committees with whom the PhD Program research teams maintain collaborations. When a PhD student undertakes a postdoctoral stay in a foreign institution, the researcher in charge will issue a report on the activities conducted and their fulfillment. The report will be included in the Research Activities Record (DA) of the student. If the PhD student wishes to obtain the International PhD mention, a minimum of two international experts will be invited to issue a report prior to the defense of the thesis, and at least one international expert will be part the Thesis Committee to assess the defense of the doctoral thesis.