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Thesis supervision

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Each student enrolled in the PhD Program has a Research Activities Record (in Spanish "Documento de actividades del Doctorando" [DAD]) where details of their own progress are registered in accordance with Spanish Regulations (artículo 2.5 del R.D. 90/2011). The DAD includes the records of all the activities completed by the PhD student according to the PhD requirements established by the University of Malaga, the PhD School, or the Academic Committee. For DAD consultation and data entry, access is granted to the PhD student, their tutor, director, Academic Committee, administration departments related to PhD Programs and studies, and the Graduate Committee. The records entered by the PhD student will be authorized and certified by their tutor and director. The tutor and thesis director will record their yearly reports, and the Academic Committee will record their yearly evaluations of the student. The DADs from all PhD students are created, updated, and maintained online via the DAD application from the University of Malaga. The DAD is available to all doctoral students at the PhD School website: http://www.uma.es/doctorado/

Before the end of the first year in the PhD Program, the PhD student will prepare a Research Plan, which will be endorsed by the tutor and director and approved by the PhD Academic Committee. The research plan has to include the following: the objectives of the research work, methodology used, resources required, and estimated schedule for the different stages of the work.

The Research Plan is used to determine whether or not the student has a specific work plan to complete the PhD. The project is drafted under the supervision of the PhD director and must include the following:

- A clear description of the research problem to be addressed or solved in the thesis work.

- A hypothesis or objective contribution to solve the problem.

- A brief review of the status of the subject matter to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the relevant extant literature to begin work on the thesis.

- A work plan and schedule to successfully address the research, together with a plan to disseminate the results via publications, conferences, etc.

- A list of the expected scientific and academic outcomes after completing the thesis; for example, competences and skills developed.

The Research Plan must be approved by the Academic Committee for the PhD Program, which will enter said approval in the student’s DAD.

The yearly assessment criteria were defined and approved by the Academic Committee on September 17, 2013 and included the points to be evaluated in each of the 3 years of the doctoral thesis. Fulfilling these criteria ensures that the doctoral student will make appropriate progress in acquiring competences and in conducting the work needed to the complete the PhD thesis. Adherence with these criteria is manifested by the PhD student signing the Official commitment agreement and thus accepting supervision. The Research Plan Follow-up is the key document for this yearly assessment. This document describes the level of adherence to the initial Research Plan and possible modifications or incidents. Every assessment of the PhD student's progress must include an updated version of the Research Plan Follow-up.

The tutor/director must agree on the first-year Research Plan as well as on the Research Plan Follow-up, which must be submitted every following year. The Tutor report and the Director Report are the forms used by the tutor and director to provide their approval of the PhD student's yearly work.

 

The Follow-up Committee conducts the yearly assessment using the criteria approved by the Academic committee of the PhD Program in Psychology.

First-year assessment [0-10]:

- Proposed research plan. [0-7]

Assessment of adherence with the PhD program, level of detail and specifics, and feasibility, as well as its relevance, innovation, credibility, and impact.

- Scientific production (results, publications, etc). [0-0.5]

- Stays and visits to other research centers, attendance at congresses, meetings, etc. [0-0.5]

- Activities and supplementary courses. [0-1.5] 

- Any other relevant activity or issue. [0-0.5]

- Total score.

 

Second-year assessment [0-10]:

- Progress on the PhD thesis based on the proposed Research Plan [0-5]

- Scientific production (results, publications, etc). [0-0.5]

- Stays and visits to other research centers, attendance at congresses, meetings, etc. [0-0.5]

- Other courses or training activities. [0-1.5]

- Any other relevant activity or issue. [0-0.5]

- Total score.

 

Assessment of the third and following years [0-10]:

- Progress on the PhD thesis based on the proposed Research Plan [0-4]

- Scientific production (results, publications, etc). [0-0.5]

- Stays and visits to other research centers, attendance at congresses, meetings, etc. [0-0.5]

- Other courses or training activities. [0-0.5]

- Any other relevant activity or issue. [0-0.5]

- Total score.

These criteria will be used by the Follow-up Committee to assess the yearly progress of the PhD student. The Follow-up Committee will evaluate the progress of the doctoral student based on the DAD and reports from the tutor and thesis director.

At first-year assessment, the Research Plan and the Thesis Project submitted by the PhD candidate will also be assessed and approved. If the committee rejects the project, the student has a second chance to amend it and submit it again 6 months later. If the project is rejected a second time, the student must re-apply for admission to the PhD program.

A positive score from the committee is a mandatory requirement to stay in the PhD program. In the case of a negative assessment, which will be duly justified in writing, the PhD candidate must be assessed again within 6 months and will need to make a new Research Plan. If the second assessment is also negative, the PhD candidate will not be considered a suitable candidate for the PhD program. However, they can appeal to the Postgraduate Committee of the University of Malaga.

In the case of a negative report, the follow-up committee will make recommendations and suggestions to the PhD student to help them to improve their proposal. The committee will make the Yearly Assessment Report available to the PhD candidate.

The Assessment Report issued by the follow-up committee will be recorded in the PhD Activities Report.

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