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Doctoral School / UAM

Industrial Doctorate



UAM encourages doctoral candidates to pursue company-based doctoral programs, in which they conduct all or part of their research in collaboration with a public or private company or a public institution.

These programs provide researchers with the skills needed to develop R+D projects and promote R+D+i activities in business environments, while improving interactions between the academic and business worlds, thus strengthening the social impact of doctoral studies.

Research Plans are based on projects that are relevant to the host company or organization and have the potential to generate knowledge leading to innovation. Projects are generally divided into:

a) Business research projects: These projects are oriented towards planned research or critical studies aimed at acquiring knowledge that is useful for developing new products, processes or services, or that substantially enhances existing products, processes or services. These projects involve creating components for complex systems and may include the construction of prototypes within a lab environment or with simulated interfaces based on existing systems. Pilot lines may also be developed when so required for business or industrial research, particularly for the purposes of validating generic technology.

b) Experimental development projects: These projects are oriented towards acquiring, combining, shaping and using already existing scientific, technological, business or other knowledge and methods in order to create new or improved products, processes or services. These may also include conceptual definition, planning and documentation activities in relation to new products, processes or services, among others. Experimental development may comprise creating prototypes, doing demonstrations, preparing pilot projects, conducting trials and assessing new or improved products, processes or services in real-life conditions, the ultimate goal being to introduce new technical improvements to products, processes or services that are not yet well established. Experimental development does not include customary or regular changes to products, production lines, manufacturing processes, existing services and other ongoing operations, even if such changes might bring improvements.

A framework collaboration agreement is signed if student projects are carried out collaboratively by the University and a company or public institution. This agreement establishes the obligations of the University and the obligations of the company or public institution, as well as the candidate selection process.

In addition to the Supervisor designated by the program’s Academic Committee, doctoral students are assigned a Supervisor by the host company or public organization, who may also act as Thesis Supervisor, in accordance with the specific requirements of the doctoral program.

European Industrial Doctorate Designation

Pursuant to Spanish laws, the following requirements must be fulfilled to receive the “European Industrial Doctorate” designation for theses completed in collaboration with a company:

a) Employment or commercial contract entered into by the candidate and a public or private company or a public institution, other than the University.

b) Participation of the doctoral candidate in an industrial research project or an experimental development project at the company or public institution where service is provided. The industrial research project or experimental development project in which the doctoral candidate takes part must be directly related to the doctoral thesis. This direct link must be reflected in a report subject to the approval of the program’s Academic Committee.

To request the “European Industrial Doctorate” designation, candidates are required to send the corresponding form to the Doctoral School at the time of submission of the doctoral thesis (forms are available on the Downloads area).