Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Supervision and evaluation of doctoral students

Every year, the work carried out by doctoral students during the process of writing their doctoral thesis will be evaluated through the online platform SAD - Supervision and Assessment of Doctoral Students.

Before the deadlines established by the academic calendar, doctoral students have to upload their Doctoral Student Activities Document (DAD) and Research Plan (PLAINV) on the online platform. Students starting their doctorate as from the academic year 2023-2024 (inclusive) must include their personal learning plan in their PLAINV.

Students who have exceeded their time at the doctoral programme or who have deposited their thesis can access the SAD in view mode but cannot edit or add any information.

Thesis supervisors and tutors (when applicable) have to supervise their doctoral students using the SAD online platform. They have to submit the assessment reports for their students via the SAD observing the established evaluation calendar.

Every year, the academic committee evaluates the information that the student has entered into the SAD. They also take into account the evaluation in the monitoring report that the supervisor or tutor have uploaded to the SAD. On the basis of this information, the academic committee grades doctoral students.

Doctoral students must be given a favourable report and pass the annual evaluation in order to continue in the doctoral programme and register for the next year. If they do not pass (fail or absent), they will be withdrawn from the programme.

Research plan and personal learning plan (PLAINV)

Students who started the doctoral programme up to and including the academic year 2022-2023 must keep on updating their research plan, but they do not need to include the personal learning plan.

Doctoral students starting the programme as from the academic year 2023-2024 (inclusive) must write and submit a document that contains the self-assessment questionnaire for ethical aspects of the doctoral thesis filled in and signed, together with a research plan and a personal learning plan (PLAINV). This document must be submitted before the end of the first academic year, according to the academic calendar. The PLAINV will be improved and supplemented while the student is on the doctoral programme and must be endorsed by their supervisor(s) and their tutor(s) if applicable.

When filling in the PLAINV, students should enter plain text in the SAD. If they need to format the text, (headings, bulleted lists, font styles, etc.), they will be able to do so by using the SAD's native text editor.

First-year students, after generating the research plan, have to click on "Edit or show details", enter the information in each section and save.

Non-first-year students, after generating the plan, will see the information they presented in the previous year. They have to click on "Edit or show details" to update it and save the changes. The message “Modified” in orange letters indicates which section has been updated.

While the drop-down is as "Editing", information can be updated.

Before the deadline, all students have to save all the drop-downs as "Reviewing" so the content will no longer be able to be modified. Then, the supervisor will review the content.

 Video: how to generate the research plan, edit it, fill it out and save it.

The document must include the following information:

  • Thesis title
  • Objectives
  • Methodology
  • Tools and Techniques
  • A plan of the work to be done
  • ORCID identifier: take a look at the 10 reasons for having an ORCID at the URV and apply for it on the ORCID website. State your ORCID number.
  • SCOPUS Author Identifier: see the CRAI website, which contains information about the digital identity of researchers and explains what this identifier is. If some of your articles are indexed in SCOPUS, state your ScopusID number in this section. If not, then indicate "I do not have a ScopusID yet".
  • Annex: if your research plan contains tables, forms, images, questionnaires, articles, or other documents related, you can upload them in PDF in the annex section of the PLAINV.
  • Self-assessment questionnaire for ethical aspects of the doctoral thesis: visit the section Ethics in research and innovation on the Research tab on the Intranet (login necessary), where you can download the template for the self-assessment questionnaire, which you must fill in with help from your thesis supervisor. You have to upload it to the corresponding section of the PLAINV. Moreover, if you have not already done so, you also need to follow the instructions at the bottom of the questionnaire and send it to the Ethics Commission for Research and Innovation (CERI) Technical Secretariat so that they can advise you about which ethics committee has to evaluate your doctoral thesis. – This only applies to doctoral students starting their doctoral programme as from the academic year 2022-2023.
  •   NEW!   Personal learning plan: it must propose the learning activities that the student will participate in during the entire doctoral programme (attendance and/or talks you will give at courses, lectures, symposia, seminars, publications, industrial protection and/or intellectual property rights, mobility, projects, teaching, internships, awards, subsidies, prizes you will apply for, etc.). The activities already done have to be introduced at the ACTIVITIES tab in the SAD platform. – The Personal learning plan only applies to doctoral students starting their doctoral programme as from the academic year 2023-2024.

Doctoral Student Activities Document (DAD)

As students complete their planned learning activities, they will need to enter them in the ACTIVITIES tab of their SAD. These learning activities already carried out configure the so-called DAD or activities document.

The Document of Doctoral Activities (DAD) is a record of all the relevant activities carried out during the doctoral thesis. For example:

  • Attending and/or teaching courses and lectures, and/or attending and/or giving talks at symposia, seminars, etc.
  • Publications (articles, books, etc.)
  • Industrial protection and/or intellectual property rights (patents, etc.)
  • Mobility
  • Participation in projects
  • Teaching
  • Internships
  • Awards, subsidies or other prizes
  • Open Learning Programme from the URV

After an activity has been created, students have to click on "Edit or show content", introduce the information in each section and save. Information can be edited or deleted while the drop-down is as "editing".

All drop-downs have to be saved as "reviewing" before the deadline for students closes. Sections under "reviewing" are blocked and can no longer be edited. Then, the director and the tutor will review the content.

 Video: how to generate activities, edit them, fill them out and save them.

Assessment and grading

When the period for introducing and/or modifying the DAD and the PLAINV is over, both documents will be assessed in the following way:

  1. The supervisor(s) and tutor will issue a follow-up report on the content added by the doctoral student, which will have one of three grades: favourable, unfavourable or absent.
  2. On the basis of the report issued by the thesis supervisor(s) and tutor, and of the DAD and PLAINV presented by the student, the academic committee will assess the documents provided by giving one of four possible grades: pass, fail, absent or absent due to a temporary leave.
  3. Finally, the Steering Committee of the Doctoral School will approve the Grade Report issued by the academic committees. The Grade Report will be published on the Intranet.

Students must get a favourable grade (pass) if they are to continue on the programme and complete their registration for the next academic year.

If they do not pass (fail or absent) or are absent due to a temporary leave, they will be re-assessed in a second exam session (as established in the academic calendar) where they must submit a new PLAINV and DAD. If they do not pass (fail or absent) a second time, they will be required to withdraw from the programme.

Even first-year doctoral students who have been given permission to take temporary leave need to pass the annual assessment. They need to be assessed favourably (pass) if they are to be allowed to resume studies and register for the next academic year.

Those non-first-year doctoral students who are on a duly authorised temporary leave that coincides with the second exam session will be given a grade of absent due to a temporary leave. When they apply to resume studies, the favourable assessment (pass) of the previous academic year will be taken as a reference.