The research plan is a document created by the doctoral candidate, with the endorsement of the director and advisor, following the criteria approved by the Academic Commission of the programme. This plan describes the original research project the doctoral candidate will undertake to obtain the doctoral degree.
Before the end of the first year, assuming successful completion of the training activity established in the academic itinerary for the same period, signing of the commitment letter for the doctoral programme and assignment of a thesis director, the doctoral candidate must request an evaluation of the research plan by the Academic Commission.
In this process, undertaken by the Academic Commission taking into account the document of activities and the reports received, the content of the research plan is evaluated and a decision regarding its approval is taken. The decision determines whether the doctoral candidate may remain in the doctoral programme. The corresponding Academic Commission annually evaluates the progress of the research plan and the document of activities based on the reports submitted. A favourable evaluation is a requirement for continuing in the programme.
The members of the thesis committee participate in the evaluation of the research plan and the yearly progress assessments of the activity of the doctoral candidate at the end of each academic year. Each member must submit the corresponding report for the Academic Commission supporting or opposing the doctoral candidate's request to continue in the doctoral programme. In these cases, and with respect to the evaluation of the research plan presented at the end of the first year, another PhD with accredited research experience designated by the Academic Commission shall also participate in the evaluation, along with the thesis committee, issuing the corresponding report on its proposal to approve or not the plan.
The activity document is a personal progress record, offering proof of the attainment of research skills. This document includes all the activities established for doctoral students' development and is regularly reviewed by their tutor and thesis supervisor, the Academic Committee and their Thesis Supervisory Committee.