The PhD studies in Spain are regulated by the Royal Decree 99/2011 of 28 January 2011 issued by the Spanish Ministry of Education. This decree regulates all kinds of studies; there are no specific regulations for any discipline.

The quality of the PhD programs is evaluated by the Agencia Nacional de Evaluación de la Calidad y Acreditación (ANECA). This Agency awards an “excellence” label to those Phd programs which fulfill a series of requisites, for example, program content, number of publications, relationships with other programs, and number of thesis completed.

The regulations distinguish between a Doctoral Program and a Doctoral School:
• A Doctoral Program is made up of series of activities leading to the acquisition of competencies and skills necessary to obtain the title of Doctor. This program will aim at developing different aspects of doctoral training and establish procedures and lines of research for the development of doctoral theses. They can be conducted jointly by different universities.
• A Doctoral School of the unit formed by one or more universities and possible collaboration with other agencies, schools, institutions and entities with R + D + i, domestic or foreign, whose fundamental purpose is the management of doctorate studies, in one or more branches of knowledge or interdisciplinary. The Doctoral Schools should ensure leadership in a field and a critical mass of teachers of postgraduate doctors and doctoral students in their field of knowledge.

The main premises of the doctoral studies are:
• Doctoral studies are third cycle university studies, leading to the acquisition of competencies and skills related to quality scientific research.
• The core component of doctoral training is the advancement of scientific knowledge through original research.
• The participants in doctoral programs are considered not only students, but researchers in training
• To align doctoral training, career research and knowledge transfer to society, to fulfill the goals of the Bologna process

PhD students in the School of Architecture are funded through research projects and grants provided by the central or autonomous governments.

The gross income is about 15.000 Euros per year. This is the amount provided the government grants, typically for a period of three years. If the funding comes from a research project, the PhD student receives a similar amount.

Currently, there is only one degree named Doctor which is awarded by the universities and is not linked to any particular discipline.

Programme Structure
Each university or group of universities creates their own PhD programs; there are no national programmes.

National Research
In the near past, a commission caring for research in the different areas had a number of assessing committees, such as ANEP, in charge of evaluating research projects. Priority research lines are labeled as ‘National Plans’, in which specific applications can be made. There is a ‘General Knowledge Progress’ line, which holds the rest of research lines. Quality agencies for research and universities, to assess individual researchers and university programs, exist both at national al local government level.

The current government has not stated the new structure for research. Research is now under the new ministry of science and competititivity.

Author: Leandro Madrazo, La Salle School of Architecture, Universitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona