Once you have the acceptation from the academic board of the PhD program, you must deliver the admission application form signed and properly filled to the administrative staff of the department. This document is addressed to the School for Doctoral Studies of the UAB, which will give you a definite answer on your admission to the program in about two weeks.

When you receive the admission from the School for Doctoral Studies, you have four weeks to register. Each academic year the PhD candidate must register for the annual reviewRegistration in the first year should be done at the Help Centre on the 1st floor of the School for Doctoral Studies, once the decision is made and no longer than one month after the decision is made. 

The UAB also has an Intranet self-enrolment section which students can use to register for the second and third years on line.

Prior to registration, please check the additional information and indications on the registration procedure. For more information on the admission procedure, click here.You may ask for help with the administrative process to Pilar Bernabé (pilar.bernabé


When PhD students have registered they need to use the UAB Intranet self-enrolment system and produce the statement of commitment, the activities document and the research plan. This section describes the nature of these documents and the way in which they should be prepared. There is also other information that should be taken into account when carrying out doctoral research, such as the annual review, part or full time study and cases of withdrawal from the programme.

  1. Statement of commitment
  2. Activities document
  3. Research plan
  4. Annual monitoring
  5. Other aspects to be taken into account: full time or part time, code of good practice, withdrawals and non-continuation


1. Statement of commitment

The statement of commitment is a written agreement that establishes the relationship between the PhD candidate, the supervisor, the academic tutor and the UAB, and the rights and responsibilities of each.

Within a maximum period of three months from the date of admission to the PhD program, the conditions are negotiated between the student, the supervisor and the academic tutor, agreeing the conditions of collaboration between the student and the thesis supervisor, their obligations, the corresponding dedication of the student, supervisor and tutor, and systems of resolving conflicts etc., through a statement of commitment which must be signed by the PhD student, the thesis supervisor, the academic tutor and the program coordinator.

Once the document is signed, the PhD student must digitize it into Sigma, in the "Research Plan" tab.

Where the statement of commitment cannot be completed as a result the circumstances of the PhD student, the registration will be cancelled and there is no right to a refund of the fee.


2. Activities document

During the preparation of the doctoral thesis the student must carry out a series of activities that will help their academic development, and which have been previously identified by the academic board of the PhD program. There are two kinds of activity: Compulsory and optional.

The activities document is the individual register for controlling the PhD activities.

Within three months from the date of admission to the PhD programme, the PhD students must agree with the program coordinator the activities they will undertake during the preparation of the thesis. The compulsory activities are already included in the activities document; however, the optional activities must be registered for.

The type and number of activities may be modified later using the same procedure, but they must be approved by the thesis supervisor and the academic tutor and also have the approval of the PhD program coordinator, and be recorded in the activities document.

To justify that the activities have been successfully completed the PhD student must hand over a certificate to the supervisor and, where necessary, follow the indication of the coordinator or administrative staff to include the certificates in the activities document.

Since in order to deposit the PhD thesis, the academic board requires the PhD candidate, among other things, to have done all the activities included in the activities document, it is a good idea for the PhD students to ensure that they are duly recorded and marked as having been completed in the activities document.

The tutorial for the UAB self-enrolment system explains how to introduce activities in the activities document. It can be accessed through the UAB Intranet self-enrolment scheme.


3. Research plan

Within three months from the date of acceptance to the PhD program, the candidate must write a research plan with the support of the supervisor, who will help the candidate to define the research project.

Ideally, your research plan should include:
  1. The title of the thesis
  2. An introduction in which you put forward the key question and the objectives of the research
  3. A brief overview of the current state of your selected topic
  4. The methodology of the research
  5. A short description of at least three research chapters in which you bring new ideas or insights about current open questions
  6. A timescale planning of the planned advances in your research
  7. Information about your sources of financing

As for the content of your research, make an effort to:

- Define as precise as possible your central research question pointing out its novelty and the relevance for the current economic literature in the selected field. Consider that a PhD thesis needs to build around at least three publishable papers.
- Sketch the research strategy you are planning to follow showing your expertise and ability to handle your selected topics.
- Provide a description of your expected results as well as the associated interpretation for each of your original contributions.

Once the research plan has been written it must be attached to the PhD transcript through the UAB Intranet system for approval by the thesis supervisor and the academic tutor. In the tutorial for the UAB self-enrolment system you will find instructions on how to attach it.

Finally it must be presented jointly with the research plan approval request form, filled in and signed, to the academic board of the program which will evaluate and, where appropriate, approve it.

The research plan may be improved, have details added or be corrected during the PhD program. Where this is the case the same procedure must be followed but using the research plan modification request form

Before writing your research plan, we recommend you to take a look at the PhD thesis guidelines.


4. Annual monitoring

Once PhD students are accepted to the program, they must register every academic year (including the year when the thesis is deposited) in order to confirm their status. The subject registered for is called review, and it is an evaluation of the training received during the year and the progress on the writing of the PhD thesis.

Each academic year the academic board arranges a review, in which three PhD holding lecturers assess the progress made by the candidates in their research plan and activities document and the report by the thesis supervisor and academic tutor. In their report, the supervisor and the academic tutor must state, at least, that the candidate has fulfilled the number of meetings arranged with the thesis supervisor and has carried out the activities planned for that academic year. In addition, the progress in the research plan must be presented in a doctoral workshop.

In exceptional cases (research residencies or work camps), and with a previous report from the academic board, the PhD committee may authorize substitution of the oral presentation in the presence of the tribunal for another format.

Failure to present an annual review with no justification will lead to the PhD candidates definitive withdrawal from the program, since positive evaluation during the review is an essential requirement for continuing on the program and registering for the following year. If the annual review is negative the candidate may re-register for the same review within the registration calendar, make a new research plan and present for a new review the following March. If the March review is positive the candidate must register for the next review in the same academic year. If the March review is negative the candidate must withdraw from the PhD program.


5. Other aspects

Full or part time

The PhD program is a minimum of two years full time and a maximum of three years full time counted from the date of admission to the program to the deposit of the thesis in the School for Doctoral Studies However, the academic board of the PhD program may authorize the student to undertake the PhD on a part-time basis, which means a maximum duration of five years from the date of admission to the deposit of the PhD thesis.

During the first two years of the PhD, counted from the date of admission, the PhD student may request a modification of the dedication to the program from the academic board, as long as this can be justified. If authorization is granted, the academic board will inform the School for Doctoral Studies of this change.

However, in exceptional and documented cases the Doctoral Committee may approve a change outside that time period.

Whether the PhD candidate participates in the program on a full time or part time basis is approved and recorded when registering, in the statement of commitment and in the research plan, and any variation thereof must be made in accordance with the procedure established in the research plan.

Code of good practice

The UAB is committed to the objective of achieving excellence in teaching, research and knowledge transfer, and supports the development and use of learning methodologies adapted to each stage.

The School for Doctoral Studies, as an integral part of the UAB, subscribes to that commitment and sets it out in the code of good practice, which is understood as a code of values and principles that inspire its activities and adhered to by all those taking part in them. It should therefore be understood that the School for Doctoral Studies has an internal set of rules including the rights and responsibilities of the supervisors, academic tutors and PhD candidates.

Non-continuation and withdrawals

Regardless of whether the PhD program is followed on a full or part-time basis, the calculation of research activity does not include sick leave, maternity leave or any other cause contemplated in the current rules for doctoral studies. Where PhD students find themselves in any of these situations they must communicate this to the academic board of the PhD program, which will inform the School for Doctoral Studies so that the total time spent on the program may be calculated.

Additionally, the PhD student may request temporary leave for a maximum period of one year, extendable to two years. The request must be justified and sent to the academic board of the PhD program which will decide whether or not to grant the leave. Each PhD program has its own conditions regarding the reincorporation of the student to the program.

Tutorial for the UAB self-enrolment system

The tutorial for the UAB self-enrolment system explains how to access the system and manage your PhD transcript.

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