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Examining Board and Thesis Reading

Examining Board


The examining boards shall be composed of three members and two substitutes (who may be the pre-reviewers). Should the thesis be related to more than one subject or field of scientific, technical or artistic knowledge, the participation of specialists in the different subjects or fields of reference shall be guaranteed in the examination board. The following requirements shall be fulfilled:

  1. All members shall have a doctorate and at least 1 year of postdoctoral research experience. In any case, the examining board shall consist of a majority of members from outside the University and the collaborating institutions of the doctoral programme. Under no circumstances may the thesis supervisor(s) be part of the examining board.
  2. Within a period that may not exceed fifteen calendar days from the approval of the defence date by the corresponding Academic Committee, the Academic Registry of the Doctoral School shall send each of the examining board members the corresponding appointment, a copy of the thesis to be evaluated, the doctoral student's follow-up notebook, the curriculum vitae and the thesis assessment form, which must be delivered duly completed at the defence act.
  3. In case of applying for the International Mention, the conditions established for this purpose in Royal Decree 99/2011 must be fulfilled.


Thesis Reading and Defence


The doctoral thesis shall be assessed at a public reading, which will consist of the presentation and defence, in the presence of the examining board members, of the research work conducted by the doctoral student.

The examining board shall be established prior to the doctoral thesis reading in the presence of its three full members or their substitutes. Minutes shall be drawn up of the act of constitution.

The docotoral thesis defence shall consist of an oral presentation by the doctoral student on the content of the thesis, highlighting their original contributions.

Examining board members shall express their opinion on the thesis presented and formulate as many questions and objections as they deem appropriate, to which the doctoral student shall answer. In addition, the examining board shall have the doctoral student's training activities document. This follow-up document shall not give rise to a quantitative score, but it shall constitute a qualitative assessment tool which shall complement the assessment of the doctoral thesis.

Furthermore, doctors present at the public event may formulate questions and objections, to which the doctoral student shall respond in due time and form indicated by the examination board chair.

Upon completion of the defence of the thesis, the examining board shall issue both a report and the overall grade awarded to the thesis according to the following scale: Fail, Pass, Merit and Distinction. The examining board may propose the thesis to be awarded the mention of "cum laude" if a unanimous positive secret vote is cast to this effect. The University shall set up the necessary mechanisms for the final awarding of said honour, ensuring that the votes for this award are counted in a different session from that corresponding to the defence of the doctoral thesis.

The speech order shall be in inverse order to the seniority of the examining board members in their corresponding categories and, alternatively, in the degree of Doctor. The Rector of Ucam shall chair all the examination boards of which she is a member.