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Frequently asked questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE "RAPI2" APPLICATION

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 1. What requirements do I have to meet to apply for admission to a PhD programme?

Those established by the legislation in force and by the specifics of the programme to be carried out. The general requirements are available at: www.ucm.es/doctoral-school/how-to-access

The specific requirements for each programme are available on each programme's website: www.ucm.es/doctoral-school/programmes.

 2. Is it possible to access PhD studies without an official master's degree with a 5 year Bachelor degree?

Yes, the agreement of the Governing Council dated 4 March 2014 establishes that the degrees of bachelor/engineer and/or architect issued in Spain give access to doctoral studies.

 3. In the case of previous studies undertaken in accordance with educational systems that do not belong to the European Higher Education Area, what requirements are necessary to enrol in a PhD programme in Spain?

If you have an accreditation of homologation or declaration of equivalence of your studies to the title and academic level of Bachelor, Architect, Engineer, Doctor or Graduate (whose duration, according to the norms of European law, is of at least 300 ECTS) granted by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, the procedures to be carried out to request admission to doctoral studies will be the same as those of the students who have obtained their degree in Spain. If you do not have any official recognition or equivalence in Spain and your degree comes from a country outside the European Higher Education Area, you may access PhD studies by applying for a doctoral access permit prior to pre-registration (although you may apply for a place, if you do, admission will only be valid if you already have the authorisation granted). The procedures for this permit are to be performed in:

Vice-rectorate of Students. Negociado de Convalidaciones
Avda. Complutense, s/n
Ciudad Universitaria. 28040 MADRID
Telephone: 91 394 1288
E-Mail: convalid@rect.ucm.es

If you are granted permission by the rector to study for an official Master's degree at this or any other Spanish university and you are in possession of this degree (master's degree), it will not be necessary to apply for the authorisation referred to in the previous paragraph.

 4. What do I have to do to perform my PhD at the UCM?

To apply for admission, online, to one of the programmes offered by the UCM within the period established in the annual call for applications, provided you meet the access requirements established by the legislation and the specific admission requirements indicated in the PhD programme to be performed.

 5.  Who is responsible of the admission to PhD programmes?

The coordinator of the PhD programme under the supervision of the Academic Committee of the programme.

 6. How do I know if I have been admitted?

Checking with the e-mail account and password with which you registered, on the website of the admission application, on the date of publication established in the admission notice. If you are admitted, you will be assigned a tutor.

 7. What should I do after I am admitted?

You must enroll at the school's student office within the established deadline. When enrolling, the option to complete the "PhD candidate activities document" as an individualised record of the activities of interest for the development of the doctorate will be opened. In addition, before the end of the first academic year, you must draw up a "research plan" which you can detail and improve during your stay in the programme.

 8. What is the PhD Activities Document?

It is an electronic document to which you will have access once enrolled in one of the regulated PhD programmes. Access is via a computer application called RAPI2, following the path: http://www.ucm.es/ > UCM ONLINE > GEA -UCMnet > PhD students (see annex with frequently asked questions about RAPI2). In it, you must record your activities during the doctoral period. This document will be regularly reviewed by the tutor and the thesis director, and evaluated by the Academic Committee responsible for the PhD programme.

 9. Can I carry out training activities outside the UCM?

The Academic Committee may authorize (or recommend) you to carry out activities proposed by other academic institutions, which may be included in the activities document.

 10. What is the Research Plan?

It is the PhD candidate's pathway plan; it must contain at least the following:

  • The methodology that provides the framework for the research.
  • The objectives pursued.
  • The means to be used.
  • Time planning to achieve the objectives.

Each September, the Academic Committee of the programme will assess the Research Plan together with the reports issued by the tutor and the director. A positive evaluation will be a prerequisite to continue in the programme. In the event of a negative assessment, which shall be duly substantiated, you will be re-assessed within six months (March), a new Research Plan shall be drawn up to this purpose. In the event of a new negative evaluation, you shall be permanently removed from the programme.

The Research Plan will be updated annually and, like the Activities Document, must be endorsed by the tutor and the director.

 11. When do I have to register my thesis project?

Within a maximum of three months from enrolment and always before January 31st of your first academic year in the programme.

 12. How do I fill in the Activity Document and the Research Plan?

Online, using RAPI2 application, following the route: http://www.ucm.es/ > UCM ONLINE > GEA -UCMnet > PhD students.

 13. How do I access RAPI2?

To access the application, you must login with your active UCM e-mail account and your password, at: http://www.ucm.es > UCM ONLINE (at the bottom of the screen) > GEA - UCMnet > PhD students.
In the left part of the screen, select the label "Activities Document and Research Plan".

 14. Can I have more than one thesis director?

  1. Yes, you can have up to a maximum of three provided it is authorized by the Academic Committee of the programme.
  2. The Academic Committee, within a maximum period of three months from the first enrolment in the programme, and in any case before January 31st, must assign the director(s). At that time you must register your thesis project and sign the "Written Commitment".

 15. What is the "Written Commitment"?

It is a document that sets out the supervision arrangements of the PhD candidate, as well as aspects relating to intellectual or industrial property rights, and a dispute resolution procedure. It must be signed, when the thesis project is presented, by the PhD candidate, the tutor, the director/s and the representative of the Academic Committee of the programme.

 16. Is it possible to change the tutor or the director of the thesis at any time?

Yes, the Academic Committee of the programme may authorize the change of appointment of a tutor or thesis director at the request of the PhD candidate as well as at the request of the tutor and/or director.

 17. What is the maximum time until the presentation of the thesis?

If you are enrolled full time, three years counted from October 15 of the academic year in which he/she has been admitted and registered, to the deposit of the thesis in the Academic Committee of the programme; in the case of being enrolled part time, five years counted in the same way.

 18. When and how can I apply for a change of status (full-time/part-time)?

The change from one to other modality may only be made annually, at the time of renewal of the academic fees for each academic year. The change from full-time to part-time must be approved by the Academic Committee of the programme, subject to justification of the reasons for this. The Academic Committee will request, when it considers it appropriate, a favourable report from the director of the thesis and your tutor.

 19. When can I request an extension?

If you foresee that you will not be able to present the thesis before the end of the maximum time according to your dedication (full time or part time), you may request an extension in the four months prior to the end of the period of stay in the programme according to your dedication regime  (the deadline is 15 October, unless you have been on temporary leave due to illness, maternity, paternity, etc.). The request for extension must be approved by the Academic Committee according to the documents provided by the PhD candidate.

 20. When can I start the process to submit my thesis and defend it?

  1. Not before the end of the first academic year after admission.
  2. The evaluation prior to submission of the thesis must necessarily be positive. 

 21. What documentation do I need to submit my thesis?

  1. Once the thesis has been completed, with the approval of the director(s) and the tutor, an original in electronic format must be submitted to the Academic Committee and the thesis deposit form completed (053).
  2. The Academic Committee will obtain assessment reports within a maximum period of one month.
  3. Once the evaluation reports received, the Academic Committee will obtain the PhD candidate and, within a maximum period of fifteen working days, will decide whether to authorize or deny its admission.

 22. Can I submit and defend my thesis in a language other than Spanish?

Yes, it may be performed and defended in the usual languages for scientific communication in its field of knowledge, subject to the approval of the Academic Committee of the programme.

 23. Can thesis be submitted in 'papers-style'?

  1. Yes, provided that the PhD candidate has participated as the main author in the papers making up the thesis and that they have been published in journals in the field of the speciality that have been included in contrasted quality indexes or of a similar scientific level in books.
  2. The Academic Committee of the programme will be in charge of assessing if it meets the established requirements.

 24. What are there rules for the presentation of the thesis?

  1. The thesis should include a summary of 500 to 1000 words with the objectives, methodology, results and conclusions of the research, in Spanish and English, plus a third version in the language in which the thesis is written, if different from the previous ones. The abstract will be included in the table of contents of the thesis issue.
  2. The copy of the thesis must be bound and duly identified. The thesis must be accompanied by an equally identified and protected CD (not in unidentified envelopes or boxes).

 25. What is the "International PhD" mention and how can I get it?

It is an honourable mention that may be included on the front of the PhD Title if the following requirements are met:

  1. A stay of at least three months outside Spain in a prestigious higher education institution or research centre. This stay may be divided into a maximum of two periods, which may in no case be less than two weeks.
  2. Part of the thesis, at least the abstract and conclusions, has been written and presented in one of the usual languages for scientific communication in its field of knowledge, different from any of the official languages of Spain.
  3. The thesis is assessed by a minimum of two expert PhDs from a non-Spanish institution.
  4. At least one expert from a non-Spanish institution, other than the person responsible for the stay, must be part of the evaluation panel of the thesis.

 26. What is International joint supervision and how can I get it?

It is a certification that appears on the front of the PhD Title in the event that the doctoral thesis is co-directed or co-tutored by two or more Doctors from a Spanish University and a foreign university, as provided for in Article 15. 2 of Royal Decree 99/2011 of 28 January, and is not part of a joint programme. How to apply