The supervisor

The doctoral thesis is an original piece of research written by the student in any discipline covered by the research lines set out in the School’s doctoral programmes. This research is carried out under the guidance of a supervisor in compliance with the Regulations concerning the writing, authorization and examination of doctoral theses (The effectiveness of the articles of this regulation has been suspended since 29/03/2022 as a result of the Delegation of Powers from the Rector to the Vice-Rector for Research and Transfer).

Before applying for admission to a doctoral programme, the student should contact a possible thesis supervisor. Should you need advice or information, you can get in touch with the coordinator of the doctoral programme.

At the time of admission to the doctoral programme or no later than three months after enrolment, the Academic Committee in charge of the programme will assign each student a doctoral thesis supervisor, who may be any Spanish or foreign doctor.

The thesis Supervisor will have full responsibility for the coherence and suitability of the training activities, for the impact and innovativeness of the thesis’ subject matter in its field, and for guiding the planning and tailoring, where necessary, of other projects and activities in which his or her student participates. 

The duties of supervisors are to:

  • Agree in with the Learning and good practice agreement adopted by the School.
  • Review their Record of Activities Document regularly.
  • Report on and endorse their’ Research Plan periodically.
  • Ensure that the results of their students’ research are fruitful, and are disseminated and put to use by means, for instance, of papers, transfers to other research contexts or, where appropriate, commercialization.
  • Emit a favourable report on the Doctoral Thesis.

The thesis may be jointly supervised by other doctors when there are good academic reasons for doing so, such as the interdisciplinarity of the subject matter or programmes run in collaboration with national or international partners.

Supervisors of doctoral theses must have demonstrable research experience, as accredited by the award of a favourable six-year research assessment in the last ten years or by satisfying any combination of the following criteria: leadership of research projects, participation in research projects, supervision of doctoral theses, and publications. In the case of joint supervision, only one supervisor need be in possession of a favourable six-year research assessment. 

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