Those doctoral students who wish to be awarded the distinction of international doctor must comply with the requirements of the Royal Decree and the regulations governing the doctoral programme on which they are registered.
They must state this when they apply to deposit their thesis and present the required documentation.
First transitory provision of Royal Decree 576/2023 (BOE number 170, 18 July). Doctoral students who are pursuing their doctoral studies.
Doctoral students who initiated their doctoral studies before 19 July 2023 (the effective date of Royal Decree 576/2023) will be subject to the doctoral regulations in force at the time they began their studies. However, the regulations concerning the examining committee, defence and assessment of the doctoral thesis provided for in Royal Decree 576/2023 will be applicable to these students from the 2024-2025 academic year onwards.
International doctorate distinction
This distinction can be earned by those doctoral students who are registered on doctoral programmes regulated by Royal Decree 99/2011, modified by Royal Decree 576/2023.
Students who started a doctoral programme up to and including the academic year 2022-23
The obverse of the doctoral degree certificate may include the distinction of international doctor provided that the following requirements are met:
- a) The doctoral student must have studied or conducted research for at least three months at a higher education institution or research centre in a country other than Spain. This period and the activities must have been agreed to by the thesis supervisor and authorised by the academic committee of the doctoral programme, and are to be included in the doctoral student's activities document.
- b) Part of the doctoral thesis - at least the abstract and the conclusions - must be written and presented in one of the languages habitually used for scientific communication in the student's area of knowledge. This language must not be of the official or co-official languages of Spain. This requirement does not apply if the student's research visit and reports were undertaken in a Spanish-speaking country or if the experts on the examination panel are from a Spanish-speaking country.
- c) At least two expert doctors belonging to a non-Spanish higher education institution or research institute must have written a report on the thesis.
- d) At least one of the members of the examination panel must be an expert doctor affiliated to a non-Spanish higher education institution or research centre. This expert must not have been involved in the student's study visit.
The thesis must be defended at the URV or one of its affiliated research institutes. In the case of joint doctoral programmes, the thesis must either be defended at any of the participating universities or respect the stipulations of the relevant collaboration agreement.
Students starting a doctoral programme as from the academic year 2023-2024 (inclusive)
Article 15 of Royal Decree 99/2011, of 28 January, regulating official doctoral studies (BOE (Official State Gazette) number 35, of 10 February), amended by Royal Decree 576/2023 (BOE number 170, of 18 July).
For students starting a doctoral programme as from the academic year 2023-2024 (inclusive):
The title of Doctor may bear the "International Doctorate" mention on the front cover, provided that the following conditions are met:
a) The doctoral student must spend a minimum of three months outside Spain at one or more reputable higher education institutions or research centres to study or do research. In the case of multiple placements, at least one of them must have a minimum duration of one month. Placements and activities must be endorsed by the supervisor and authorised by the Academic Committee and, once completed and validated by the host institution, they will be included in the doctoral student's activities document.
b) Part of the doctoral thesis, at least the abstract and conclusions, must be written and defended in one of the languages commonly used for scientific communication in the field of study, and must not be an official language of Spain. This rule shall not apply when the placements, reports and experts come from a Spanish-speaking country.
c) At least two of the experts who have assessed the thesis prior to its submission must belong to a non-Spanish higher education institution or research institute. These experts must be different from those who were tutoring and supervising the doctoral student's tasks at the host institution.
d) At least one expert person from a non-Spanish higher education institution or research centre must be a member of the evaluation committee for the doctoral thesis. He or she must hold a PhD degree and be different from the person responsible for the placement mentioned in paragraph a).