Program structure: Research Plan and Activities



Program structure

The current regulation and the adaptation to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) defines a unique period in Doctoral studies devoted to the development of the thesis work. 

The Academic Committee may require the acquisition of complementary scientific background.  In that case, it will determine and monitor the achievement of the additional training establishing suitable criteria to limit its duration. Complementary courses cold be devoted to  research training or theoretical or scientific training, without overpassing the legal limit  of 60 ECTS.

Complementary courses will be selected from the curricula of the Master's degrees that grant priority access to the program: Master in Innovation and Research in Informatics and Master in Advanced Mathematics and Mathematical Engineering as well as other Master studies offered at UPC that cover the required skills. 

The students will have two opportunities for passing complementary courses, the required time will depend on the periodicity of the offer of the subjects that they have to pass.

Doctoral Training Activities

Doctoral students will be trained to obtain the knowledge and abilities to perform research of international quality in the area. This training will be composed by different activities that will lead to the elaboration and defense of a Thesis. 

Usually students will  not need to register for courses, but they must register every academic year for the tutoring they receive.  All the training activities must be registered in the Doctoral Student Activity Report (DAD).

In the following table provides the list of expected training activities, with an indication of a reasonable  number of hours to be devoted (in total during the three years period) to the activity.  All the performed activities should be included in the DAD.

Tutoring Discussion sessions and research work with the supervisor/tutor 180 Supervisor
Attendance and participation in the joint seminar, aimed at all participants in the program. With the objective of presenting the latest developments in the various research areas related to the program and most representative contributions of the research groups that support the program. 6 Seminar responsible
Seminars Seminars organized by the research groups that support the program. The doctoral students will have the opportunity to actively participate by presenting their contributions or a research article of interest. The seminars are open to all doctoral candidates to facilitate interdisciplinary training. 30 DAD
Courses Intensive courses (1 or 2 weeks, 10 hours per week) linked to mobility programs or research groups participating doctoral program. (*) 30 Course  grade
International Scientific Conference or Workshop Attendance to a international conference or workshop. 36 Certificate of attendance

(*) Under the supervisor/tutor guidance some of the transversal research activities offered by UPC must be selected.


Research Plan

The research plan provides an outline of the work the doctoral student is going to perform. It is  evaluated annually by the Academic Comission of the Program and presented publicly in the assigned period of the second course. It must include, at the very least, the methodology to be used and the objectives to be pursued, as well as the resources required and a timeline. The research plan must be updated every year coinciding with the period established for the annual evaluation. The document forms part of the DAD.

A satisfactory research plan is an essential requirement for continuance on the doctoral program. If the research plan is deemed unsatisfactory, the doctoral student shall have six months to prepare and submit a new plan, which shall be evaluated by the academic committee for the doctoral program. This committee shall, on an annual basis, once again evaluate the research plan, in addition to all other items listed in the Doctoral Student Activity Report.

If the research plan is deemed unsatisfactory in two
consecutive evaluations, the student shall be permanently dismissed from the program.

If the doctoral student decides to change his/her thesis topic, he/she must submit a new research plan, the Academic Committee will determine whether the new research plan has to be presented publicly.

Quality internal guarantee system (SGIQ) 

The PhD program in Computing implements the SGIQ at two levels. At Department level the SGIQ provides the mechanism for the external revision of the PhD thesis before defence  while  at UPC level the Doctoral School provides the mechanisms for the remaining quality control. 

For the implementation and definition of the SGIQ at University level we refer to the web page (in Catalan)