Escuela Internacional de Doctorado

Coordination

Mr. Manuel Vidal Sanz

Location: Faculty of Optics and Optometry,

Campus of Espinardo, 30100 Murcia.

 

Email: manuel.vidal@um.es

Tel.: + 34 868 88 7575

Fax: + 34 868 88 3962
 

General Information

Presentation

Programme guidelines

  • Research teams and lines
  • Training activities
  • Training complements
  • Access profile and admission criteria
  • Academic Committee
  • Quality Assurance
  • Grants and scholarships

 

Research teams and lines

The University of Murcia offers the following research lines of the Vision Sciences program:

1. Retinal degenerations

2. Inflammatory diseases of the ocular surface

3. Pain assessment

4. Glaucoma

5. Optical neuropathies

6. Visual optics

Research Team No. 1: Experimental ophthalmology of the University of Murcia

 

Research Line 1. Degeneration and Regeneration of Retinal Ganglion Cells.

This line studies and identifies the structural, functional and molecular consequences of different types of damages on the retina ganglion cells. It also develops experimental models of neuroprotection and regeneration of these cells and their application to nervous system pathologies.

 

Research line 2. Degeneration of the Retina Photoreceptors.

It studies and identifies the structural, functional and molecular consequences of hereditary or induced photoreceptors degenerations. In addition, it develops neuroprotection models of the photoreceptors for their application in those retinal pathologies leading to these cells degeneration.

 

Research Line 3. Neuroprotection.

It studies the mechanisms and/or techniques that allow to slow down or stop degenerative processes after a neuronal injury. It pursues the use of these techniques and mechanisms to re-establish the structure and function of the injured nervous system and, in particular, the visual system.

 

Research Line 4. Research on the Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Glaucoma.

Study of the glaucomatous disease. Research on methods of early detection, diagnosis and progression of glaucoma. Research on new methods of glaucoma diagnosis and treatment.

 

Research Line 5. Research in Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Retinal Diseases.

It studies the different retina diseases and, in particular, myopic retinopathy, macular degenerations and vascular pathologies. Research on the methods of these diseases diagnosis and monitoring as well as their treatment with drugs.

 

Teachers-Researchers:

PhD.  Vidal Sanz, Manuel Antón

Professor. University of Murcia

 

PhD.  Imperial Mora Figueroa, Jaime Miralles

Professor. University of Murcia

 

PhD.  Villegas Pérez, María Paz

Professor. University of Murcia

 

PhD.  Gutiérrez Ortega, Ángel Ramón

University lecturer. University of Murcia

 

PhD.  Selles Navarro, Immaculate

University lecturer. University of Murcia

 

PhD.  Sobrado Calvo, Paloma

University lecturer. University of Murcia

 

PhD.  Avilés Trigueros, Marcelino

Contracted lecturer. University of Murcia

 

Mrs. Agudo Barriuso, Marta

Associate lecturer. University of Murcia

 

Research Team No.2 : Laboratory of Optics of the University of Murcia

Research Line 1. Visual Optics.

Experimental research focused on the study of the human eye physical properties as an imaging system, as a detector of these images and as a first step in the process of vision.

 

Research Line 2. Physiological Optics.

Experimental research focused on the measurement and modeling of vision, with special emphasis on the relationship between image quality and visual quality.

 

Research Line 3. Biomedical Optics.

Research focused on the development of new techniques for the analysis of the properties, structure and organization of ocular tissues using state of the art microscopy techniques.

Research Line 4. Adaptive Optics.

Experimental research projects focused on the development and management of techniques and instrumentation for the correction of optical system aberrations in general and of ocular aberrations in particular

Teachers-Researchers:

PhD.  Artal Soriano, Pablo

Professor. University of Murcia

 

PhD.  Bueno García, Juan Manuel

University lecturer. University of Murcia

 

PhD.  Prieto Corrales, Pedro María

University lecturer. University of Murcia

 

PhD.  Fernández Martínez, Enrique Josua

University lecturer. University of Murcia

 

Research Team No. 3. University Institute of Applied Ophthalmology (IOBA) of the University of Valladolid

Research lines:

1. Refractive surgery and quality of vision (myopia, refractive surgery, scarring and inflammation of the anterior segment).

2. Glaucoma (genetic studies, scar response to surgery, neuroprotection, development of new technologies to measure IOP).

3. Inflammatory Diseases of the Ocular Surface (dry eye, limbic insufficiency).

4. Biomarkers and Advanced Therapies for Reconstruction of the Ocular Surface.

5. Scarring, Repair and Genetics of Retinal Inflammation.

6. Clinical Research on Retinal Degenerative Pathologies.

7. Advanced Therapies for Retinal Reconstruction in Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

8. Teleophthalmology.

 

Teachers-Researchers:

PhD.  Pastor Jimeno, José Carlos

Professor. University of Valladolid

 

PhD. Calonge Cano, Margarita

Professor. University of Valladolid

 

PhD.  Corell Almuzara, Alfredo

University lecturer. University of Valladolid

 

PhD. Cuenca Navarro, Nicolás

University lecturer. University of Alicante

 

PhD. Diebold Luque, Yolanda

Contracted lecturer. University of Valladolid

 

PhD. Enríquez de Salamanca Aladro, Amalia

Specialist practitioner

 

PhD. González García, Mª Jesús

Contracted lecturer. University of Valladolid

 

PhD.  Maldonado López, Miguel

University lecturer. University of Valladolid

 

PhD.  Martín Herranz, Raúl

Contracted lecturer. University of Valladolid

 

PhD. Martínez García, Mª Carmen

University lecturer. University of Valladolid

 

PhD. Tomás Pérez, Magdalena Santo

University lecturer. University of Valladolid

 

Research team No. 4. Visual neurophysiology of the University of Alcalá

Research lines:

1. Retinal Physiology

2. Degenerative Retinopathy.

 

Teachers-Researchers:

PhD.  Villa Polo, Pedro de la

Professor. University of Alcalá de Henares

 

PhD.  Blanco Velasco, Roman

University lecturer. University of Alcalá de Henares

 

PhD.  Pérez Rico, Consuelo

Associate lecturer. University of Alcalá de Henares

Research team No. 5: Design and evaluation of ophthalmic biomaterials products of the Complutense University of Madrid

 Research lines:

1. Pharmacology and Glaucoma

2. Disorders of the Binocular Vision

3. Clinical Research in Ocular Pathology: Glaucoma, Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Dry Eye

4. New Techniques for Early Diagnosis of Glaucoma.

5. Development and Evaluation of New Treatments in Ocular Pathology: Keratoconus, Dry Eye, Glaucoma, AMD

 

Teachers-Researchers:

PhD.  Benitez del Castillo, José Manuel

Professor. Complutense University of Madrid

 

PhD.  García Feijoo, Julián

Professor. Complutense University of Madrid

 

PhD.  Gómez de Liaño, Rosario

University lecturer. Complutense University of Madrid

 

PhD.  Martinez de la Casa, José M.

University lecturer. Complutense University of Madrid

 

Research team No. 6. Basic research on Vision Sciences of the Ramón Castroviejo Institute of Ophthalmological Research of the Complutense University of Madrid

1. Ocular innervation

2. Basic Research on Ocular Ischemic Pathology (Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma)

3. Role of Glial Cells in Ocular Pathology

4. Ocular Vascularization

5. History of CC. of the Vision

6. Pharmacology and Glaucoma.

7. Evaluation of New Treatments in Ocular Pathology: Glaucoma, AMD, Hypercholesterolemia

 

Teachers-Researchers:

PhD.  Ramírez Sebastián, José Manuel

Professor. Complutense University of Madrid

 

PhD.  Triviño Casado, Alberto

Professor. Complutense University of Madrid

 

PhD.  Salazar Corral, Juan J.

University lecturer. Complutense University of Madrid

 

PhD.  Ramírez Sebastián, Ana Isabel

University lecturer. Complutense University of Madrid

 

PhD.  Hoz Montañana, Rosa de

University lecturer. Complutense University of Madrid

 

PhD.  Rojas López, Blanca

University lecturer. Complutense University of Madrid

 

Research team No. 7. Thematic networks for cooperative health research (RETICS) of the University of Navarra.

Research lines:

1. Ocular Pathology of Aging

2. Visual Quality

3. Quality of Life

 

Teachers-Researchers:

PhD.  Moreno Montañés, Javier

Assistant lecturer. University of Navarra

 

PhD.  García Layana, Alfredo

Assistant lecturer. University of Navarra

 

PhD.  Salinas Alamán, Ángel

Contracted lecturer. University of Navarra

 

PhD.  Fernández, Patricia

Associate lecturer. University of Navarra

 

PhD.  Recalde, Sergio

Associate lecturer. University of Navarra

 

Research team No. 8. Micro-Optics and wavefront sensors at the University of Santiago de Compostela

 

Research lines:

1. Microoptics

2. Wavefront Sensors.

3. Metrology and Quality Control

4. Optical Tomography.

5. Physics of Vision

6. Nonlinear Optics

7. Light Pollution

 

Teachers-Researchers:

PhD. Acosta Plaza, Eva

Professor. University of Santiago de Compostela

 

PhD.  Bará Viñas, Salvador

University lecturer. University of Santiago de Compostela

 

Research team Nº 9. Ophthalmology of the University of Santiago de Compostela

 

Research lines:

1. Diseases of the Ocular Surface and Cornea.

2. Ocular Surface Tissue Transplantation: Corneal Transplantation, Limbus Transplantation, Amniotic Membrane Transplantation.

 

Teachers-Researchers:

PhD.  Capeans Tomé, Mª Carmen

Professor. University of Santiago de Compostela

 

PhD.  Gómez-Ulla Iridiazabal, Francisco

Professor. University of Santiago de Compostela

 

PhD.  Rodríguez Ares, Mª Teresa

University lecturer. University of Santiago de Compostela.

 

Training activities

 

SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES OF THE PROGRAM

- ANNUAL CYCLE OF SEMINARS ON EACH DEPARTMENT AND PARTICIPATING INSTITUTION RESEARCH WORK

Type: Compulsory

- YOUNG RESEARCHERS SESSION

Type: Compulsory

 

- PARTICIPATION IN CONFERENCES

Type: Optional

 

- GROUP MEETINGS

Type: Compulsory

 

- MOBILITY

Type: Optional

 

- WORKSHOPS

Type: Optional

 

Complementary Training

Additional training is considered after examining the adequacy of the student’s skills and knowledge related to his/her academic background and the ones provided for in the Program contents. In any case, the complementary training will not exceed 20 ECTS and will be assessed individually, depending on the deficiencies detected. These credits will be obtained from subjects of the Master's Degree in Research on Vision Sciences and must be obtained within the first year of the doctoral programme.

On the other hand, given that future graduates in Medicine will receive simultaneously their Degree and Master titles, they will be required to get complementary training in order to access the Doctoral Programme in Vision Sciences. These complements will be carried out within the first year and will consist of the following:

 

• Optional subject of the Master's programme in Research on Vision Sciences entitled "Basic Elements of Research", 6 ECTS. This course is taught in the first semester of the course, usually in the last weeks of October. The lecturers and researchers in charge of this subject are specialized in the different topics held therein and focus their clinical, teaching and/or research activity on those topics. The objectives, structure and program are described below:

Objectives of the course:

Provide the student with general knowledge about:

1) the ethical standards governing biomedical research; (2) the structure of any research project, the preparation of budgets and an overview of available funds for research; 3) biomedical research structures in Spain; 4) general structure of any scientific publication and bibliographic searches; 5) basic knowledge of applied statistics that allows doctorates to seek the appropriate advice before any research work; 6) general knowledge about the protection of the researcher’s intellectual property rights (registers and patents); 7) communication of research; 8) the creation of companies and other tools to transfer research to productive sectors; 9) clinical research (clinical trials); 10) legislation and ethical standards governing research with experimental animals; 11) alternative methods or techniques, both in general biomedical research and particularly in vision sciences; 12) animal models currently used in research on ophthalmology and vision sciences.

The subject is structured in two thematic blocks, the first one related to the regulation, financing, management and communication of scientific research, and the second one focused on the use of animals in scientific experimentation in vision sciences and alternatives.

At the end of the course the student should be able to:

Thematic Block 1:

1. To seek, understand and apply the ethical standards governing human research at EU level.

2. Name the biomedical network research structures in Spain, both in the public and private sectors.

3. Name the sections of the general structure of any biomedical research project.

4. Name the general guidelines for the preparation of the budget of a research project.

5. Name the sections of any scientific publication and identify them in an example.

6. Perform a bibliographic search using keywords.

7. Determine the impact index of any biomedical publication.

8. Determine the Hirsch index of a particular author.

9. Define the concept of communication applied to biomedical research.

10. Define the concept of a patent in the biomedical field and the minimum requirements essential to maintain the patentability of an idea.

11. Define the concepts in confidentiality, intellectual property and industrial property agreements.

12. Define the concept of transfer of research results.

13. Define the concept of clinical research and name the phases of a clinical trial defining its content.

14. Define the concept of the Ethic and Clinical Research Committee and list its most common competencies.

Thematic Block 2:

15. To seek, understand and apply the ethical standards and legislation governing animal research in Spain and internationally.

16. Define the role of the Ethics and Animal Research Committees.

17. Describe the main differences in ocular anatomy in fish, birds and mammals.

18. Describe the general characteristics of housing, feeding and care of experimental animals provided by the Animal Hospital of the Faculty of Medicine.

19. To recognize the main animal species used in experimentation in Biomedicine and in the field of Vision Sciences.

20. Identify the pros and cons of current animal models in research in ophthalmology and vision sciences.

21. Define the concept of alternative methods or techniques for the use of experimental animals.

22. Look for specific alternatives to animal testing in general and for eye research in particular.

23. Describe alternative and validated methods for ocular research.

Program of contents and activities:

Thematic Block 1: Regulation, financing, management and communication of scientific research.

 

Unit 1. Ethics and biomedical research.

Unit 2. General concepts on biomedical research.

Unit 3. Networks and other cooperative research structures. Search for opportunities for biomedical research.

Unit 4. Translational research and transfer of research results: clusters.

Unit 5. Statistics applied to biomedical research.

Unit 6. A project development.

Unit 7. Clinical Research. Clinical Trials. Functions of the Ethic and Clinical Research Committee. Clinical trials in Ophthalmology.

Unit 8. Measurement of research. Bibliometric indexes.

Unit 9. Dissemination and communication of research results.

Unit 10. Research management. General lines for the elaboration of a research budget. What is a project manager?

Unit 11. Patents, spin-offs and other opportunities for researchers.

Unit 12. Patents in biomedicine.

Unit 13. The elaboration of a publication.

Unit 14. Interactive work on the critique of publications.

 

Thematic Block 2: Alternatives to the use of animals in scientific experimentation.

Topic 1. National and international legislation for the protection of animals used in experimentation; Particular features in the field of Vision Sciences.

Topic 2. General concepts on ethics in animal testing. Functions of the ethical committee of animal testing.

Unit 3. Comparative ocular anatomy. Development and applicability of animal models.

Topic 4. Animal models in vision sciences.

Topic 5. Use of alternative techniques to the use of animals in experimentation.

Topic 6. Specific alternatives in ocular research. Concept of validation and international agencies.

Compulsory activities in thematic Block 2:

• Activity 1. On-line search for the currently validated alternative ocular techniques.

Information will be provided on searchable websites. The student should carry out a small work with the validated alternative ocular techniques he found, the websites he visited to find them and the detailed description of one of them, free choice, along with a personal critical evaluation of the selected technique.

• Activity 2. Oral presentation at a colloquium.

The student will prepare a small presentation in power point, maximum 5 slides, on a subject freely chosen among the contents in the thematic block. He will present his work orally, maximum 5 minutes, in a colloquium to be celebrated the last morning of the course. Special attention will be paid to originality in the selected topic and respect for the established time and number of slides.

 

Admission profile

The recommended admission profile is as follows: graduates with former bachelor's degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Pharmacy, Physics, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Statistics, Computer Engineering, Telecommunications, Industrial and Electronic Engineering, as well as the old diplomas in Optics and Optometry and Nursing. Under equal conditions, graduates of official masters’ at any of the universities participating in this programme will be given priority.

Students must have extensive knowledge in the field of Vision Sciences, especially in the areas close to what would be their line of research. A strong background in experimental design and statistical analysis are essential, as well as a good level of English, particularly in reading, but also orally and in writing. They must also be able to synthesize knowledge of one of the disciplines in Vision Sciences, be able to assess data in a critical way and draw conclusions, and apply the analytical and critical sense with creativity in such a way that allows them to generate new ideas in the programme research area.

Admission Criteria

Taking into account the recommended admission profile mentioned above, the Academic Commission of the program will be in charge of evaluating the applications after the deadline, and will decide on admission based on the criteria listed below. The admission criteria will be made public on the corresponding websites, at least one month before the end of the admission period.

The criteria and admission procedures for part-time students will be the same as those for full-time students. For a student to be admitted, he/she must necessarily surpass the minimum scoring thresholds established for criteria 1, 2 and 3, and obtain at least 50 points as a result of summing up the obtained scores on the set of criteria.

The following admission criteria will be applied:

Criterion 1. Average grade of academic record (minimum 17 points)

Criterion 2. Proposed line of research (up to 10 points)

Criterion 3. Knowledge of English (up to 10 points)

Criterion 4. Acceptance letter of thesis direction (up to 20 points)

Criterion 5. Tutor’s acceptance letter (10 points)

Criterion 6. Other merits (up to 10 points)

Criterion 7. Personal interview (up to 20 points)

1. AVERAGE GRADE OF THE ACADEMIC RECORD

The score will be obtained by multiplying by 10 the average grade of the academic record obtained according to scale 1-4, on the basis of the following scale: Passed = 1. Noteworthy = 2. Outstanding = 3. With honors = 4. In any case, the student must obtain at least 17 points to overcome this criterion.

A) The average grade of the academic record will be calculated taking into account all the studies carried out to complete the requirements for access to doctoral studies, including all subjects or credits obtained and not just the required ones.

The average grade of the bachelor’s degree or equivalent title (X_1) and the average grade of the Master’s degree (X_2), both with two decimal places, shall be calculated separately. In each case, the number of credits per subject will be multiplied by the grade obtained, according to the previous scale 1-4, and subsequently the sum of the results in all subjects will be divided by the total sum of credits.

The final grade will be obtained (also with two decimal places) as the weighted average by the number of credits between the average grade obtained in the bachelor’s degree and the average grade obtained in the master's degree. That is, it will be the result of (X_1 * G + X_2 * M) / (G + M) where G is the number of credits in the bachelor’s degree, and M is the number of credits obtained in the Master’s degree.

B) For students who joined a Master’s programme but did not complete it by the time of application, the average grade of the records appearing in their updated provisional transcript will be used.

C) Students who have not completed master's degrees but follow doctorate courses in expiring programs regulated by Royal Decree 778/98 of April 30, and which have obtained the title DEA (Diploma of Advanced Studies ), a grade equivalent to the average of the master's degree will be obtained from the scores in these doctoral courses.

D) The average marks of the degrees obtained in studies carried out in two or more universities must contain all the subjects and credits the student passed, with the corresponding score.

The validated subjects will have the equivalence in points corresponding to the qualification obtained in the center of origin; in adapted subjects, the qualification obtained in the center of origin will be taken into consideration, while -in accordance with the provisions of Royal Decree 1044/2003 of 1 August and Royal Decree 1125/2003 of 5 September- the recognition of credits with no qualification or corresponding to non-integrated training activities in the curriculum will not be taken into account when calculating the average grade,

D) In ​​studies carried out partially or totally in foreign university systems adapted to the EHEA, the average grade will be calculated on the complete Bachelor’s degree studies or equivalent title. When the number of credits of the Bachelor’s degree is less than 240 ECTS, the average grade will be calculated on those studies plus all credits obtained in the master’s programme; both together must sum up at least 300 credits.

E) In the case of studies carried out partially or totally in foreign university systems not adapted to the EHEA, the average grade will be calculated on all studies completed to obtain the bachelor’s degree, applying the equivalences corresponding to the Spanish university teaching.

In the case of the average marks of studies carried out abroad, whether they were validated or not, it will be in accordance with the Resolution of 16 July 2008, of the General Directorate of Universities, establishing the criterion to be applied for the calculation of the average grade of academic records of validated foreign qualifications.

Criterion 2 PROPOSAL FOR THE RESEARCH LINE

Explanatory document of the line of research to be developed during the doctorate, reasons for this choice and scientific objectives pursued, or, for applicants proposing a thesis director, research project with the director’s approval. The submitted document should not exceed 3000 words and its assessment (up to 10 points) will consider the adequacy of the proposal to the lines of research of the doctoral program, and its scientific interest, originality and degree of concreteness. If deemed necessary, the Academic Commission or delegated professors of the doctoral program may summon the applicant to personal interviews to delve into the content of this document. In any case, at least 5 points must be obtained to overcome this criterion.

 

Criterion 3 ENGLISH LANGUAGE KNOWLEDGE

 

This criterion will contribute up to 10 points. The minimum score may be obtained by accrediting a B1 level, or by satisfactory personal interview conducted in English by members of the Academic Commission or delegated professors of the doctoral program. The maximum score can be obtained by accrediting a C1 level or higher, or also, if the student's mother tongue is English or if he/she has completed university studies in that language. In any case, at least 5 points must be obtained to overcome this criterion.

 

Criterion 4 LETTER OF ACCEPTANCE OF THESIS DIRECTION

Acceptance letter from at least one PhD researcher with accredited research experience to act as the applicant’s doctoral thesis director in case of admission, and availability of means to support research (up to 20 points).

A) When this acceptance letter is signed by a researcher of the team linked to the doctoral program, a letter signed by the candidate will be attached indicating: (1) his willingness to direct the candidate’s doctoral thesis (10 points); and (2) the means available to carry out the research (up to 10 points).

B) When the acceptance letter is signed by a PhD researcher who is not attached to the teaching/research staff of the doctoral program, in addition to the requirements mentioned above, a curriculum vitae in standardized format will be attached for assessment by the Academic Commission according to the following criteria: lines of research, publications, direction of doctoral theses and participation in research projects. In general, the level may be considered satisfactory when a research profile is consistent with one of the research lines of the doctoral program and at least one period of six years research activity within the last 10 years is accredited. It will be satisfactory too when the researcher occupies a position in which this criterion of evaluation is not applicable but there exist comparable accredited merits. In the case of a negative assessment of this section, the overall score for criterion 3 might be zero.

C) When two or more medical researchers have accepted to act as co-directors of the doctoral thesis, the evaluation will be based on the Curriculum vitae that gives the most favorable score for the applicant.

 

CRITERION 5 LETTER OF TUTORSHIP ACCEPTANCE

Letter of commitment of a PhD researcher, other than the thesis director, belonging to the teaching staff of the doctoral program and willing to act as applicant’s tutor in case of admission. 10 points.

 

Criterion 6 OTHER MERITS

Up to 10 additional points may be obtained for merits related to the candidate’s scientific production and mobility activities, specialization courses received outside official university education and previous professional experience related to the topic of the doctoral program. The authorship of publications or scientific-technical documents, participation in congresses, Erasmus stays, SICUE-Séneca or similar will be especially valued.

Up to two letters of recommendation written by university lecturers, researchers and, exceptionally, professionals who kept a relationship with the candidate and have participated in their academic or professional training may also be taken into account. The Academic Commission may communicate directly with the authors of these references in order to obtain more information about the candidate.

 

Criterion 7 PERSONAL INTERVIEW

Candidates will be personally interviewed by members of the Academic Committee. You will be asked about different aspects of your Curriculum Vitae and your expectations about the program. Up to 20 additional points can be obtained.

 

PLACES

Number of places offered: 54 (6 places at the University of Murcia)

 

Regulation and thesis oral defense

The University of Murcia in its Regulation on the official teaching of Doctoral Studies, in Chapter II of BORM 11-02-2012 (approved by Governing Council of 27 January 2012 and modifications approved in Governing Council of 26 July 2013), establishes the rules for the presentation and defense of Doctoral Theses.

All updated information can be consulted on: http://www.um.es/web/vic-estudios/contenido/doctorados/tesis

 

Academic Committee (Doctoral programme in Vision Sciences)

Coordinator of the program at the University of Murcia

 

D. MANUEL VIDAL SANZ

Location: Faculty of Optics and Optometry, University Campus of Espinardo, 30100

E-mail: manuel.vidal@um.es

Phone: + 34 868 88 7575

Fax: + 34 868 88 3962

 

Quality Assurance System (Doctoral programme in Vision Sciences)

The system of quality assurance for doctoral programmes at the University of Murcia is based on the collection of information on key development aspects of the programmes and a thorough analysis thereof to reach the appropriate conclusions. It aims at the solution of possible deviations with proposals for improvement. This analysis is the cornerstone of the system and it is therefore essential that it is accurately reflected in the various minutes of the Quality Assurance Committee (section 3). This way, the minutes will show the programme performance in all its areas.

The doctoral programmes are developed according to a previous planning based on the report prepared for the verification process at national level. The results of the development must become the input for the Quality Assurance Committee analyses.

Responsibilities for the management, coordination and follow-up of the programme Quality Assurance System

Quality coordinator of the doctoral programme: The coordinator is responsible for the implementation of all actions included in the programme quality assurance system.

Quality assurance committee of the doctoral programme: The programme academic committee will count on the possible participation of other agents involved in the doctoral programme: faculty, doctoral students, academic staff, support staff and other external agents, at the Committee's own decision. To this purpose, it will take into account the features of each doctoral programme and the relationship with other research institutions, such as the CSIC, companies or entities of recognized prestige, other research and innovation centers, etc. The function of this Committee will be to analyze the results of the different procedures that make up the quality assurance system and, based on the resulting analysis, to elaborate the proposals of action the Committee deems convenient and to carry out the follow-up.

If the doctoral programme is attached to a Center, the QUALITY ASSURANCE COMMITTEE will report the results of the analyzes to the Quality Assurance Committee of the Center. In case the programme is attached to the International School of Doctoral Studies, the Committee will inform the Board of the School.

University: It commits itself to keep  the norms on submission and oral defense of doctoral theses permanently updated. It also guarantees the availability of mechanisms for the recognition of the authorship and direction of the thesis.

Satisfaction of the groups involved

In order to know the satisfaction, needs and expectations, the QUALITY ASSURANCE COMMITTEE will elaborate a multi-year plan of surveys that will take into account target groups to be consulted (doctoral students, academic staff, graduates, etc.), the key information to be transmitted, the right time to do so (timeline) and how to do it (surveys, focus groups, etc.). Said plan must be approved and recorded by the Committee.

The results of the satisfaction survey will be analyzed by the Committee itself and the results will be recorded.

Development of the doctoral programme

The doctoral programme will count on a planning of training activities, including duration and schedule and organizing part time students’ participation. The QUALITY ASSURANCE COMMITTEE will monitor the development of the doctoral programme on a quarterly basis, with respect to the monitoring procedure of training activities as held in the verification report.

Likewise, the Quality Assurance Committee will ensure that the guide of good practices for the management of doctoral theses is permanently updated and will verify too that a tutor and thesis director is always appointed as planned. The Committee, based on the “doctorate file”, will also guarantee that the doctorate’s portfolio of activities is thoroughly examined, that the data therein contained are certified and the student’s research plan and activities are assessed.

Given the interest of the programme in the participation of international experts, it will be promoted to the extent allowed by the circumstances and the available resources. Evidence of this participation will be collected and analyzed by the Committee.

Mobility Programmes

The doctoral programme is concerned with the mobility of its doctoral students. Consequently, it establishes relationships and agreements with companies and other entities, reporting to the Quality Assurance Committee to analyze its convenience and accordingly, to establish participation and selection criteria. Likewise, the Committee will be responsible for guaranteeing that the doctoral students are properly informed, will carry out the selection of the participating doctoral candidates and will monitor and evaluate the activity carried out by each doctoral candidate.

To that end, the Committee will establish, follow-up and update the evaluation criteria, being allowed to delegate the follow-up to the doctorate’s directors, who will report on the results obtained.

The Committee will systematically analyze the results of the mobility and will record the analysis and conclusions as well as new proposals for improvement in the corresponding report.

Results of the doctoral programme

Taking into account the estimates made in the report or the limit values ​​(objectives) established for the different indicators, the QUALITY ASSURANCE COMMITTEE will analyse the results and record the analysis in the corresponding report.

The information to be analyzed will consist of at least:

Satisfaction results of the different agents involved in the doctoral programme (PhD. students, academic and administration and services staff, etc.)

Mobility Results

Percentage of doctoral students who get postdoctoral contracts, in order to check if forecasts are met.

Data on the doctorates employability during the three years after the oral defense of their thesis, in order to analyse if they are positively valued and the forecasts are met.

Results of the doctoral programme (thesis produced, success rates in the accomplishment of the doctoral programme, the quality of theses and resulting contributions) to verify if the forecasts are being met.

Number of new students and of foreign students.

 

During the review and improvement process the Quality Assurance Committee will use the analysis results to get information on the suitability of the programme and to establish the actions for improvement that are deemed convenient.

 

Monitoring of the Report submitted to verification

The Quality Assurance Committee will monitor the report submitted in order to ensure that human and material resources, programme planning, etc. are carried out and updated as said in the aforementioned report.

In addition, the Committee will check:

The recommended access profile (as published in the memory) to verify that it is still valid or to proceed with its update.

That the research teams have active research projects related to the programme research.

That the material resources explained in the report remain appropriate and that a provision of external resources is available

The number of programme staff’s contributions so that the database can be updated

 

Release of information (on programme, development and results)

The Quality Assurance Committee commits itself to transparency and accountability before all agents interested in the doctoral programme. To this end, it undertakes to provide information on the programme, the access profile, group satisfaction, the programme development, the results obtained as well as the analysis and improvement proposals. To do so, the Committee will make use of the programme website and will offer information face to face (meetings or e-mail) to students and teachers.

At its quarterly meetings, the Coordinator will report to the Quality Assurance Committee on the updating of the web and the communication maintained with teachers and students.

In addition, the Coordinator will ensure that updated information on enrollment, orientation for incoming students, admission and selection procedures, training complements, etc. is available on the web.

 

 

Review of Quality System compliance

The Quality Assurance Committee will annually verify that all foreseen actions have been implemented and that, consequently, the corresponding Improvement Plan has been drawn up, weather it is  a plan as such or a series of specific actions approved throughout the course.

Interuniversity programmes

In case of doctoral programmes in which more than one university participates, an agreement will be established between all of them in order to ensure that the University responsible for coordination receives information from the rest on the follow-up of the development and results analysis.

Likewise, the Committee will guarantee that the information provided is complete and up-to-date on the websites of all universities participating in the programme, and that appropriate analyses are carried out to monitor the programme, report and guarantee the system at each partner university.

Scholarships and grants

If you have Spanish nationality or your permanent residence is in Spain, please visit the following site.

http://www.um.es/web/eidum/contenido/estudios/doctorados/artes/becas

If you are a foreigner, please visit our Service of International Relations and try one of our exchange programmes or just contact the Office of International Relations for further information.