Length of program 3 years (full time) or 5 years (part time)
CoordinationUrsula Oberst, Ph.D.
ursulao@blanquerna.edu
doctoratsDCPA

The PhD Programme integrates four branches/areas of research, each one based on expertise within the universities involved in the programme. The research that underlies the programme is conducted in both laboratory and applied settings. Overall, a multimethod approach is considered and methodological tools related to the neurosciences may be used with the resources of the Laboratories of the partner universities (e.g., at NTU, the Laboratory of Human Movement and the Driving Simulation Laboratory; at UCP, the Human Neurobehavioral Laboratory; at URL, the Speech Therapy Laboratory and the Psychology Laboratory). Through curricular units, courses, seminars and research internships, students have the opportunity to develop specific competencies appropriate to one of the four scientific branches/areas and to acquire skills and knowledge that contribute to programmes and policies directed to individuals, their families, and communities.

Students enrol in one of the partner universities (“home institution”), where they spend most of their research time. Each student has three supervisors, one from each partner university, and is required to spend at least 12 months in one/two of the other partner universities.

Engaging in research with faculty staff in at least two different countries, students gain considerable experience conducting research and fieldwork relevant to psychological assessment, evaluation, and intervention. By participating, designing and implementing cutting-edge research from an international perspective, students will find ideal conditions for being guided towards scientific excellence and the development of technical, methodological and interpersonal skills, essential components to succeed in their following careers. Based on this training, students will be prepared to apply for postdoctoral positions and assistant professorships, or for top positions in the private sector or the public service.

By the end of the PhD Programme, students are expected to be able to demonstrate:

  • Systematic understanding of a field of study and mastery of the skills and research  methods related to that field.
  • Ability to conceive, design, and put into practice a body of research in one of the branches/areas of the programme.
  • Ability to stretch the frontiers of knowledge through original research.
  • Ability to perform a critical analysis, to assess and summarise new and complex ideas related to the programme’s field of study.
  • Ability to communicate with the academic and scientific community and with society in general about their chosen area of study.
  • Capacity to promote, in academic and professional contexts, the scientific, technological, social or cultural breakthroughs of their research.
  • Teamwork and autonomous work skills in international context .

The educational activities to be completed can be divided into three overarching areas as follows:

a) Activities aimed at the completion of an original research project in order to obtain the title of Ph.D.

The doctoral student will develop the thesis in the framework of one of the research areas of the program. Each student will be attached to a research group and will participate in the activities and projects of the group, in close collaboration with the thesis supervisors.

Participation in the research group work and team meetings is a key learning activity to carry out an original piece of research to obtain a doctoral degree (project planning and formulation of relevant hypotheses, laboratory or fieldwork, data analysis, writing of research reports). In the context of these meetings, students will have the opportunity to hone their skills in disseminating research, conducting oral presentations and preparing documents for publication.

b) Advanced training in methodology

Students are expected to take advanced seminars on research methods, according to their specific needs.

c) Mobility

During the programme, the students will spend mandatorily 12 months (two semesters) at another partner university: those from URL and UCP at NTU, and those from NTU at UCP and/or at URL. Additionally, students may have a 1-6 months internship at the third university, depending on the needs of their research project. These periods may be uninterrupted or may be divided into shorter periods, depending on the needs of any given thesis project.

During the periods at other university or universities, the student will collaborate with the research team of his or her co-supervisor, who will take on responsibility for the progress of the student’s learning process during the hosting period.

During mobility, students will be involved in the seminars of the research group of their codirectors. Accordingly, students may attend the advanced methodological training in any of the partner institutions.

The programme