PhD in Biotechnology
PhD thesis supervisor
At the time of making the admission proposal, the academic tribunal of the PhD programme assigns the PhD candidate a thesis supervisor, and this figure will be responsible for the coherence and appropriateness of the activities, impact and innovation in the subject field of the thesis and will guide the planning and adequacy of the research to other projects and activities.
The designation of a thesis supervisor may fall on any Spanish or Foreign PhD with accredited research experience independently of the university, centre or institution in which they work. At the same time, each PhD programme may establish additional criteria as necessary for the PhD thesis supervisor.
The supervisor's responsibilities are the following:
- Try to ensure that the project is original, innovative and viable, under the terms of the rules, and also that it is coherent with the group or line of the research to which it is linked.
- Agree to the plan for the supervision of research work and plan regular meetings. The supervisor informs what documents are required for each meeting (written reports, messages, minutes, handwritten papers etc) to be able to accredit the frequency of the meetings.
- Advise the PhD candidate on the research in general and the preparation of the thesis in particular.
- Indicate to the PhD candidate the most appropriate activities for their research when the PhD programme has been identified and sign the activities document.
- Facilitate the candidate's participation in the specific and transferrable training activities for the PhD programme in accordance with that established in the commitment document.
- Sign the commitment and activities document for the PhD candidate.
- Assist the PhD candidate in the definition of the PhD research project and the research that will eventually culminate in the PhD thesis.
- Revise and sign the research plan for the thesis.
- Undertake to regularly supervise in accordance with the commitment document, the research plan for the PhD candidate, and help them to focus the project while it is being carried out.
- Try to ensure that the PhD student takes the initiative and achieves increasing autonomy throughout the project.
- Assist the PhD candidate to find solutions for different aspects related to their research and establish the specific details and the means required and, where necessary, the experimental design.
- Let the PhD candidate know about all the means available to them at the University that are important for their research and help them to access them.
- Write the forms required for the annual review.
- Read, correct and comment on the draft thesis before it is deposited, on the conditions that the candidate has provided a copy a reasonable time beforehand.
- Ensure that the candidate understands the administrative and academic requirements for the assessment and defence of the thesis as well as the corresponding deadlines throughout the process.
- Communicate health and safety rules to the PhD candidate where necessary.
- Communicate any rule or ethical aspect that may be related to their research.
The designation of the thesis supervisor may be modified at any time during the PhD programme: whenever there are justified reasons the supervisor may reject supervision of the thesis (in which case the academic tribunal for the programme will suggest a replacement); on petition of the PhD candidate where there are justifications for doing so the academic tribunal of the PhD programme may change the designation of the PhD supervisor.
Thesis supervisors outside the PhD programme
Thesis supervisors who are not lecturers at the UAB or who have not been appointed as a thesis director must accredit their own PhD qualification and research experience, i.e. specific details of publications, research projects they have worked on and any other information relevant to the lines of research proposed on the PhD programme. Once the above supervisor has been approved, the academic tribunal for the PhD programme may authorise their incorporation into the programme as a possible thesis supervisor (or assign them to a single doctoral thesis).
Each PhD programme must establish which other lecturers, whatever their category as long as they are not included in the programme, are able to supervise the thesis.
Joint supervision of the PhD thesis
The PhD thesis may be supervised by other PhD holders where there are academic arguments for doing so (such as interdiscplinarity of the subject or national or international programmes) with the prior authorisation of the academic tribunal of the PhD programme. This authorisation may be withdrawn at a later date if, in the opinion of the academic tribunal, the joint supervision is not beneficial to the progress of the thesis.
A PhD thesis may be jointly supervised by up to three PhD holders.
Maximum number of theses per supervisor
Each supervisor may supervise a maximum of five PhD theses simultaneously. The supervision of the PhD thesis concludes at the time the thesis is presented and defended or if the PhD candidate withdraws. In terms of recognition of the teaching and research dedication in situations of joint supervision these should be divided equally.
Recognition of thesis supervision
One essential way to encourage thesis supervision is by ensuring that this task is recognised and valued: something that the UAB regulations achieve. The approval of the Academic Workload Model for UAB Teaching Staff by the Governing Council on 13 December 2017, significantly improved the system used to calculate and take account of supervision tasks. Article 10.3 stipulates that the supervisor of a doctoral thesis is to have 100 hours recognised per thesis supervised. If supervision is carried out by more than one person, this recognition is shared equally between them.
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