Doctoral Thesis Defense by videoconference
The Rector of the Universidad Católica of Murcia, in accordance with the provisions of the Third Additional Provision of Spanish Royal Decree 463/2020, of 14 March, declaring an state of emergency for the management of the health crisis caused by COVID-19, and as established by the Governing Council of the Universidad Católica of Murcia, adopting emergency measures following the declaration of the state of emergency by Spanish Royal Decree 463/2020, which establishes that, in view of the suspension of the administrative deadlines, the competent body agrees the organisational and instructional measures strictly necessary to avoid serious harm to the rights and interests of the interested party:
One. In view of the impossibility of holding onsite doctoral theses defence acts, the Official Doctoral Programs of EIDUCAM, through its Academic Committees, may request their celebration by means of the participation by videoconference of all the members of the tribunal, as well as of the doctoral student. It also being necessary to guarantee, by this means, the celebration of this act in public session.
Second. The presentation and defence of the thesis by videoconference shall have, as necessary and prior to the reading, the following requirements:
- The doctoral student must request the defence in this modality to the corresponding Academic Committee, which shall assess the statement of reasons provided, and if it is considered sufficient, will submit it for approval to the Governing Board of the International Doctoral School.
- The members of the examining board must declare their availability and means to carry out the defence in this modality.
- The members of the examining board and the doctoral student must accept the platform provided by EIDUCAM for the constitution of virtual rooms. They must have also stated that they have the necessary technological means to participate in the evaluation process in this modality.
- For the determination of "Cum Laude" Mention, if applicable, EIDUCAM shall guarantee the secret votes of the examining board members by establishing an anonymous web form. Said form will also request that the examining board make a decision on the suitability of the thesis for the extraordinary award in the corresponding call for applications.
- The members of the examining board must state that they understand the operation of the IT tool offered by EIDUCAM for the secret voting of the Cum Laude rating, if applicable.
- All participants must accept the operating protocol provided for in this resolution.
Third. The operating protocol for the deposit and defence of the doctoral thesis will be as follows:
- The doctoral student shall begin the procedure of depositing and defending their doctoral thesis by delivering all the documentation required in the doctoral studies regulations of the EIDUCAM, at the following email: email@example.com. They shall also provide a reasoned request justifying the need for defence by means of videoconferencing.
- The deposit and defence request shall be submitted to the corresponding Academic Committee, which shall approve the deposit for its publication, appoint the examining board and submit the request for the defence of the Doctoral Thesis by videoconference to the Governing Board of the International Doctoral School.
- EIDUCAM shall guarantee the public presentation of the Doctoral Thesis through the necessary tools so that it can be consulted electronically. A web link shall be enabled for consultation of the submitted thesis, which shall be sent to the entire university community and located on the notice board of the Doctoral School.
- Upon expiry of the deposit period, the Supervisor of the Doctoral Thesis shall agree on a date for the celebration of the Defense Act and the following actions shall be carried out by the EIDUCAM Academic Registry:
- Sending the announcement of the defence of the Thesis, expressly detailing that the defence will be carried out by videoconference. The announcement shall include the link to the virtual room created for the event. This notice shall be addressed to the entire university community, and it shall be located on the virtual notice board of the International Doctoral School.
- The following information and documentation shall be sent to the examining board:
- Individual Assessment Report Templates.
- Constitution Minutes.
- Meeting Minutes.
- Link to the Virtual Room established for the constitution and deliberation of the
- Examining Board.
- Link to the Virtual Room created for the celebration of the Thesis Defense Act.
- Completion instructions and link to the web form created for the issuance of the secret vote to grant the "Cum Laude" mention.
Fourth. After the defence of the doctoral thesis, the doctoral student may request an accreditation certificate and, if applicable, initiate the necessary procedures for the issuance of the corresponding doctoral degree.
Particularities of the Process on the day of the Defense Act
Two virtual rooms shall be enabled, one of them shall be available 30 minutes before the scheduled time for the defence. During those 30 minutes this room shall be for the exclusive use of the members of the examining board and the staff of the EIDUCAM Academic Registry. During said time, the members of the examining board will be identified by providing an identity document, for its constitution, the constitution minutes shall be signed by the Examining Board Secretary.
At the time indicated for the defence, the second Virtual Room shall be available, giving access to the doctoral student and the general public, as well as to the members of the Examining Board who shall join the room after the Examining Board constitution.
The Chairperson shall begin the meeting. After identifying the doctoral student, he shall give him the floor. At the end of the presentation, the Chairperson shall take the floor to conduct the debate. Before concluding, the doctors present may be invited to speak. Upon finalisation of the defence act, the examining board shall proceed to meet to deliberate. All attendees and the doctoral student shall be able to remain connected in the Virtual Defense Room, awaiting the evaluation of the examining board, which shall return to the Defense Room to publicly announce the grade awarded to the doctoral student.
The deliberation of the examining board shall be held in the room enabled for the exclusive use of the examining board members. At this meeting, the members of the examining board shall complete the individualised reports that shall be signed electronically (preferably), inserting a scanned signature, or manually signing and subsequent scanning. The minutes of the meeting shall also be completed with the agreed grade.
Should the doctoral student obtain the "Exceptional" grade, the examining board shall access the web form enabled to cast the secret vote that shall grant the "Cum Laude" mention if applicable, as well as consider the suitability of the Thesis in regard to presenting it to the Extraordinary Doctorate Award Call. The vote shall be received by the management of EIDUCAM which, in a subsequent session, shall grant the mention in case of unanimity in the vote count.
The examining board shall reconnect with the Virtual Defense Room. Once the public meeting is resumed, the Chairperson shall publicly announce the grade and conclude the meeting.
The Examining Board Secretary must send the following documentation to the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Signed Constitution Minutes.
- Signed Meeting Minutes.
- Signed assessment reports of each examining board member.
Once this documentation has been received, the EIDUCAM Academic Registry shall confirm the receipt to all the examining board members and will proceed to communicate the result of the Cum Laude vote to the doctoral student.
Not until all documentation is received will the doctoral student be informed of the result of the Cum Laude vote, nor will they be able to process any aspect related to the issuance of certificates accrediting the degree obtained.