Research plan: Evolution and evaluation

The Research Plan describes  the general goals proposed for the thesis, its justification according to the state of art in the research area, and the exposition of the way the main goals are expected to be reached together with the progress done. The Research Plan has to be designed during the first academic year and handed to the Academic Commission (CAP) as part of the DAD.  The Plan  has to be kept up to date along the duration of the doctoral studies. In the second Academic year on the program the Research Plan has to be presented in front of an examination panel. In successive years, unless otherwise stated by the Academic Commission (CAP), an update of the Research Plan must be submitted.

Before the public presentation,  doctoral students  must upload  a pdf  holding the Research Plan to Atenea-PhD,  within the period determined in the academic calendar (at least one week before its public presentation).

The handed-in document must be aproved by the director(s) or tutor. It must contain, at least, a self-contained memory, where the general goals of the thesis are determined and justified according to the state of art of the research area they belong to. 

Besides the document must contain:

  • Personal information about the student, the thesis director(s) and, when considered necessary, the tutor. 
  • Provisional title of the thesis.
  • Summary of the project.
  • Goals.
  • State of  the art.
  • Exposition of the way chosen to reach goals.
  • Working plan, with an estimated calendar.
  • Publications already done about that study field (when available)

The document will be evaluated after a public presentation. The Proposal will be marked with Pass or Fail.


The CAP will establish two periods for the public presentation of the Research Plan in the Academic Calendar. They will usually be placed at the end of each semester. 

The CAP will name every semester one or more tribunals, and assign the candidates to the most suitable tribunal. This tribunal will analyse the Research Plan  and will determine the date for the oral and public reading inside the period established in the academic calendar.

The CAP evaluates the Research Plan at the end of each Academic year.  In the first Academic year this evaluation is based on a first draft,  handed together with the other documentation, endorsed by the supervisor(s). In the second Academic year this evaluation is based on the second draft, handed to the examination panel, as well as  the marks and comments awarded by the examination panel. In successive years, unless otherwise stated by the CAP, the evaluation will be based on  the submitted update of the Research Plan.