The doctoral programme (DP) is structured for a 4-year period. It must include a set of curricular units (CUs) with a minimum workload equivalent to 30 ECTS, a seminar/project of the thesis and the thesis itself.
The curricular program will be anchored on existing PhD and advanced MSc level CUs of the PIs, namely in Civil Engineering. This will promote diversity (areas), flexibility (type of thesis) and mobility (PI/PIs where the CUs are given and the co-supervision provided) in what concerns the students’ chosen path. The set of CUs should preferably cover all the main domains of the DP . However, depending on the inclination of each student in terms of research interests and future theme of the thesis, the student’s Steering Committee, together with the student, define the Personal Study Plan (PSP) leading to a more focused set of CUs, which must be approved by the Evaluation Committee.
Besides conventional skills developed within the core CUs, the students will be encouraged to acquire transferable skills (e.g. language, communication and scientific writing) and entrepreneurship skills within the wider scope of the PIs curricular offer. Whenever applicable, industrial placement within an industrial organisation or any other organisation that is part of the network of contacts of the PIs will be promoted. Students will also be encouraged to attend and deliver research seminars, in which they are expected to present the research developed within their theses to delegates of the different PIs and industrial contacts.
An annual summer school will be organized with the purpose of promoting synergies and internal/external performance assessment. Students are expected to present their on-going research and discuss future development with colleagues and academic staff from the PIs. This event will be organized alternately by the PIs.
The aim of the seminar/project of the thesis is to promote the collection of the data/knowledge needed to clearly define the scope of the thesis, the objectives and the methodology to be followed and the working plan/timeline of the thesis. Whenever applicable, this should include writing a state-of-the-art on the subject to be pursued. The final purpose is to assess the maturity of the student in terms of going forward with the main part of the research leading to the thesis.
The DP will offer a pool of potential PhD thesis themes, preferably within on-going or future research projects of the PIs. All themes proposed by the academic staff are subjected to an analysis by the EC, in the following aspects: CV of the potential supervisors; the strongly encouraged existence of joint supervisions between PIs; coherence of the theme with the scope of the DP. The thesis will be accepted if it complies with the regulations of the DPs within the PIs. Two formats are accepted: a conventional one or a collection of ISI journal papers. Regardless of the format, before the public presentation of the thesis, students are strongly encouraged to be fully involved in the preparation/submission of papers in ISI journals and to participate in international conferences. This aims at guaranteeing additional screening of the PhD work before it is finalized, and promoting the scientific relevance and impact of the research developed within the DP.