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Research plan

Important note! Please read, below, the extraordinary procedure for submitting the Research Plan by videoconference, due to the COVID-19 health alarm

Within one year of completing their first enrolment, doctoral students must prepare a Research plan.

Each doctoral program will specify the content of the Research plan, which must include the methodology used, the objectives pursued, the resources to be used, and a timeline for achieving objectives.

The research plan must be endorsed by the thesis supervisor and must be defended before a committee composed of three PhD holders, which will be appointed by the Academic Committee.

A positive assessment is essential for the doctoral candidate to continue on his/her Program and to be able to complete a Doctoral thesis. If the Academic Committee identifies significant deficiencies, it may require that the doctoral candidate submit a new Research Plan within six months. If the deficiencies are not remedied, the Academic Committee will issue a reasoned report and the doctoral candidate will be asked to withdraw from the program


Documentation to be delivered:

A PDF file, uploaded to the platform ATENEA PhD, during the established delivery period. (see section "contents and schedule")

After having incorporated the Research Plan to Atenea PhD, the PhD student must inform his/her thesis director, so that he/she can access Atenea PhD and "validate" the work, if appropriate.

During the submission period, the PhD student can change the file, as many times as he/she wishes, always before it has been "validated". The validation is essential for the presentation of the work before the tribunal to be established.

Please check with your director whether it is necessary to bring paper copies to the tribunal on the day of submission.

The Doctorate Office will not collect any copies of printed Research Plans.

 (Note: The access codes to Atenea PhD are the same as for the access to your e-Secretary and the other University’s intranets. If you have problems accessing the platform, please contact support service: or tel. +34 93 401 62 13)


Commitment document between the doctoral student and the thesis supervisor

If you have not delivered this document, at the moment of your registration, you should do it now, before the Research Plan defense.  Also, if there is a change in a thesis Supervisor, a new CDDT must be completed and delivered to the Doctorate Office .Please see the formats in this web page (Enrollment/New students)


Extraordinary procedure for submitting the Research Plan, due to the COVID-19 health alarm

In accordance with the extraordinary measures to be applied for the state of alarm by COVID-19, doctoral students who have not yet defended their research plan will have an extension for at least a period equivalent to that of the general suspension of administrative deadlines. But when the correct preparation of the research plan is not possible and, according to a supporting report from the thesis director, the Academic Committee of the program may agree to postpone the evaluation period, for periods of 3 or 6 months.

 Doctoral students who wish to renounce to the extension and present the research plan by videoconference in the next call (June-July) must explicitly request it. All you have to do is send us an email as follows:

Subject: Presentation of research plan by videoconference

Addressed to: (with a copy to your thesis supervisors)


“To the attention of the coordinator of the program, professor (name of the coordinator)

" I request to be able to submit my Research Proposal by videoconferente"

If the coordinator agrees with the request, the student will be able to submit their Research Plan by videoconference


Warning on the telematic procedure

Defenses are a public academic act. These are the conditions to be met in order to use the videoconference application:

  • Entry to the defense session on the Meet platform can be made within 10 minutes prior to the start of the session.
  • The Secretary of the Court will accept attendees up to the maximum number limited for technical reasons.
  • Once the session is started, no other attendees will be accepted. These must definitively leave the session at the request of the Court, once the academic act has finished.
  • Attendees must deactivate the audio and camera on their devices before entering the session and keep it that way for the duration of the entire event. The President of the Court may silence or expel the assistants who do not.
  • The total or partial capture or recording of the session, as well as its reproduction or diffusion in whole or in part (for example, in social networks or services dedicated to sharing annotations), whatever the medium or device used, is prohibited. Any improper action is a violation of current regulations and may carry legal responsibilities
  • Consult the information on data protection

Important: Schedule and identification

The court and the doctoral student will enter the session at the beginning of the access period that is published, to make connection tests and for identification. The doctoral student will be required to identify himself, showing his identity document, without showing the number.