Application for a doctoral thesis under joint international supervision

The UAB may execute agreements with foreign universities for PhD theses to be written under joint international supervision. In this case, the PhD students will be assigned a thesis supervisor at each of the two centres subscribing to the agreement.

Agreements may only be signed within the first year of research, which is understood to begin on the date when the admission to the doctoral programme of the UAB is registered. You must keep in mind that the approximate time of processing the joint supervision is six months. Therefore, you must initiate the process, submitting the application in the Doctoral School, in sufficient time.

Once the doctoral candidate has successfully defended the thesis written under joint international supervision, he/she is entitled to two PhD degree certificates, one from each centre, as agreed by both institutions.



First you must agree the basic aspects of the agreement with the other university bearing in mind:
  • Period to be spent at each university: the minimun stay in each university must be six months, during the total period of the thesis. This period can be divided between different academic years.
  • Payments: independently of what you are asked to pay by the other university, the administrative fees must be paid each year to the UAB. The academic fees may be paid to each university depending on your agreement.
  • Language of the thesis: both the writing and defense of the thesis must be in one of the languages accepted by the university where you defend the thesis and must be accompanied by a summary in one of the languages accepted by the other university.
  • Composition of the panel: between three and eight members with two or three reserves. Most of the panel members should be external to both universities. The supervisors may only form part of panels with 5 members or more.
  • Place of defense of the thesis: you must agree whether this will be at the UAB or the other university.

To facilitate the process, we recommend that you use one of our models (Catalan-English, Catalan-French and Catalan-Spanish versions at the bottom of this page), since they contain all the information necessary to sign the joint supervision. However, it is also possible, in some cases, to use the models provided by the other university. In these latter cases, the deadline for processing will probably be extended, so it will be necessary to submit the application well in advance.


Present the "Request for joint supervision" (download at the bottom of this page) to the Permanent Board of the School for Doctoral Studies of the UAB (you must make an appointment).

Appointment request to Escola de Doctorat

If you cannot go in person you can authorise another person to present you application. You must provide them with written authorisation to undertake this along with your ID document (NIF, NIE, passport) and the application form.

The application form must be original and signed by all the parties involved and accompanied by an agreement proposal for consideration and approval by the School for Doctoral Studies.

For any other information not covered here please contact:


Once the Permanent Board has approved your application you can begin the signing process with the Doctoral Studies Administration Office. You should provide the number of copies requested by each university.

  • If the agreement is signed first at the UAB and then all the originals are sent to the other university for signing. When all the copies have been signed by both universities you must send us a complete copy of an original within 6 months of the approval of the document for the joint supervision to be valid.
  • If the agreement is signed first at the other university, the UAB will complete the signing process on receipt of the copies signed by the other university and send it the required number of originals.
  • The PhD candidate has the right to one of the originals.

From that time you should continue working on the thesis under the same general conditions as the other PhD candidates at the UAB while fulfilling any conditions specified in the joint supervision agreement, such as payments, monitoring, deposit or defence of the thesis.


It will be necessary to have justified in your file, at least, the following activities:

  • 62-Joint-Supervision_Research stay at the UAB
  • 63-Joint-Supervision_Research stay in foreign centers, public or private

To carry out the activities management, consult the self-service tutorial of the UAB.

Finally, in the case of a single thesis defence and in  accordance with the specific details of the agreement, the universities will issue individual PhD certificates once the specific administrative procedures have been carried out for the issue of the certificate. The UAB will include on the front of title the diligence of "Thesis on joint international supervision" with the indication of the university which has made the joint supervision.

In the case of regulations for joint supervision at a higher level than those of the UAB the agreement may be affected in terms of certificate issue, composition of the panel, etc.


If you did not find in this page the information you need, you can contact the Doctoral School at


Application to write a thesis under joint international supervision
Model agreement for a thesis under joint international supervision (Catalan-English)
Model agreement for a thesis under joint international supervision (Catalan-French)
Model agreement for a thesis under joint international supervision (Catalan-Spanish)