The supervisor

The doctoral thesis consists of an original research work elaborated by the doctoral student in any discipline of the research lines established in the doctoral programs of the UAH. This work will be carried out in accordance with the Regulations for the Preparation, Authorization and Defense of the Doctoral Thesis.

Before applying for admission to a doctoral program, it is advisable for the student to contact a possible Thesis Director. If the student needs advice or information, he/she can contact the Coordinator of the doctoral program.

At the time of admission to the PhD programme, the Academic Committee responsible for the programme will assign each PhD student a PhD Thesis Director, who may or may not coincide with the person tutoring the student. This assignment may be made to a person with a doctoral degree, of any nationality, with appropriate accredited research experience, regardless of the university, centre or institution in which he/she provides his/her services. For the purposes of accreditation of research experience, this is understood to mean the possession of at least one tranche of research activity recognised by the CNEAI in application of Royal Decree 1086/1989, of 28 August, on the remuneration of university teaching staff, obtained in the last ten years, or, in the event of not being in a position to accredit it in this way, having comparable research merits.

The Thesis may be co-supervised by other PhDs, who must meet the same requirements in terms of research experience, when there are reasons of an academic nature, such as thematic interdisciplinarity or programmes developed in national or international collaboration, with the prior authorisation of the Academic Committee of the Doctoral Programme. This authorisation may be subsequently revoked if, in the opinion of the Academic Committee, co-direction does not benefit the development of the Thesis.

In exceptional cases, the Academic Committee may authorise the co-direction of the thesis by doctors who do not meet the requirements in terms of accredited research experience.

In no case will the number of supervisors exceed three. In the event that co-direction by three people is considered, authorisation must be requested from the Doctoral School.

The Thesis Director will be responsible for the coherence and suitability of the training activities, the impact and novelty, in his/her field, of the subject matter of the doctoral thesis, as well as for guiding the planning and adaptation, where appropriate, to those of other projects and activities in which the doctoral student is enrolled.

The thesis supervisors will have the obligation to accompany and advise the doctoral student throughout the development of his/her thesis in all the tasks included in the research plan and in the personal training plan.

The Academic Committee, having heard the doctoral student and the Director, may modify the appointment of the Thesis Director at any time during the period of the doctoral programme, provided that there are justified reasons.


The functions of the Thesis Director are the following:

  • To subscribe to the Documentary Commitment and good practices adopted by the EDUAH.
  • Regularly review the Activity Document of their doctoral students.
  • To inform and endorse, periodically, the Research Plan and Personal Training Plan of their doctoral students.
  • Ensure that the research results of their doctoral students are fruitful and are disseminated and exploited through, for example, communications, transfers to other research contexts or, if appropriate, commercialization.
  • To report favorably on the doctoral thesis.

Since 2015 the Doctoral School has been awarding prizes for thesis supervisors that intend to recognise the work carried out by University of Alcalá teaching staff towards achieving results in the field of researcher training. Ver convocatorias y premiados.

In 2016 the Doctoral School began to run an annual workshop on doctoral thesis direction, whose main objective is to create a forum for discussion of key aspects of the work of the thesis supervisor, with a view to achieving quality supervision.

 Since 2019, this workshop has been included in the Training Program for Teaching and Research Staff offered by the Vice-Rectorate for Quality Management.

Among others, various issues related to the following topics are covered:

  • Code of good practice for the doctoral thesis supervision.
  • Frequent problems arising in the supervision process.
  • Responsible conduct of research
  • Monitoring of doctoral students
  • Strategies for correcting and providing feedback
  • Minimum requirements for the presentation of the dissertation
  • Co-supervision