Doctorate Program in Business and Regional Competitiveness, Innovation and Sustainability

Submission of applications:
Start: April 15
End: May 31.

3/5 years (Full-time/Part-time study)

Alberto Aguilera 23, Madrid

Places available:

Language: Spanish (some educational activities will be given in English)

The Doctorate Programme in Corporate and Territorial Competitiveness, Innovation and Sustainability (CETIS), adapts to the regulations set forth in Royal Decree 99/2011, of 28 January, and presents a structure which maintains the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration's traditional research training, with said faculty joining forces with the Universidad de Deusto and with the IQS School of Management (Universitat Ramon Llull), to offer a joint doctorate programme.

Said programme has been born within the framework of the "Aristos Campus Mundus 2015, commitment to socially responsible and sustainable innovation" initiative. This initiative is the result of a strategic aggregation of three universities with a social mission (the Universidad de Deusto, the Universidad Pontificia Comillas and the Universitat Ramon Llull). Moreover it has signed a strategic cooperative agreement with Georgetown University, Boston College and Fordham University.

The ACM 2015 project was awarded the qualification of Campus of International Excellence in the European regional category in the Ministry of Education’s 2011 call for applications. Its aim is to foster excellence in academics and research while achieving full "glocalisation" of their university projects which call for a joint commitment to responsible and sustainable social innovation.

Doctorate Coordinator:
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Academic Commission:
The composition of the Academic Commission can be found by following the link.

For more information:
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915422800 ext. 2284

Entry requirements:

  • In general terms, admission on to an official doctorate programme is subject to the candidate fulfilling the admission requirements set out in Royal Decree 99/2011, of 28 January, which regulates official doctorate teachings.

Applicant profile:

  • The programme is primarily aimed at those who want to train as researchers and acquire the skills which are necessary to write a doctoral thesis in the area of Economy and Business, which allows them to incorporate R+D+i tasks from the academic field into the public or private sector.

As well as fulfilling the indicated admission requirements, it is recommendable for candidates to have completed an Official, researched based, Master's Degree, preferably in the area of Economy and/or Business. Furthermore, it will be considered as an advantage if the candidate has:

  • Excellent grades in their undergraduate studies.
  • Excellent grades in their master's studies in the area of Economy and/or Business.
  • C1 or equivalent level of English. This level implies that the student is capable of understanding a wide range of extensive, often demanding texts, as well as recognising the implicit meaning within them; that they are capable of fluently and spontaneously expressing themselves without an obvious amount of effort; that they are able to flexibly and effectively use the language for social, academic and professional purposes; and they are capable of producing clear, well-structured, detailed texts about complex matters, displaying a correct use of organisation mechanisms, articulation and cohesion of the text.
  • Interest in the doctorate programme's lines of research and an assigned faculty doctor previous to admission.
  • Research experience in the area of knowledge (participation in research projects, publications, etc.) previous to the doctorate programme.
  • Continuous training related to the area of knowledge.
  • Professional or voluntary experience in the area of knowledge.
  • Periods abroad.
  • Defined professional targets, research ambition and personal maturity.
  • Willingness to develop activities planned on the programme, and particularly periods in other universities and research centres.
  • A research grant granted by a national or international body based on the merits of their CV.

Those candidates that fulfil the general admission requirements, but do not meet the recommended profile outlined above, should undergo additional training with the aim of reaching the basic methodological competencies which are stipulated in a master's programme with said profile. However, should the candidate have enrolled in the corresponding training of such basic methodological competencies, yet they are still without the Research Master's Degree certificate, they will be exempt from enrolling in additional training.

Application period:

April 15 - May 31

Information about the documents to be submitted.

The coordinator or coordinators of the programme will carry out an initial evaluation of the documents that the candidate presents and will hold a personal interview with said candidate (they can also delegate the interview to a doctor linked to the programme).

The suitability of the candidate and an evaluation of their merits will be carried out using the following weighting:

  • Resemblance of the Undergraduate Degree title with the area of the programme (10%):
  • Average grade on the Undergraduate academic record (15%)
  • Resemblance of the Master's Degree title with the area of the programme (20%):
  • Average grade on the Master's academic record (15%)
  • Knowledge of English (5%)
  • Previous research experience (publications and projects) (5%)
  • Other merits (continued training, professional or voluntary experience, periods abroad) (10%)
  • Other merits (professional targets, expectations of the programme, attitude and personal maturity, foreseen dedication to the programme) (10%)
  • Research grant (10%)

Admission onto the programme is subject to the decision by the Academic Commission. Both full-time and part-time candidates will be considered and, in the case of part-time candidates, their availability to undertake the activities within the programme will be taken into account.

Upon admission, the Academic Commission will assign the doctoral student with a director. This will be a Doctor with accredited research experience who participates on the programme as, among other reasons, the admitted students will have been selected because their thesis project fit with the lines of research of the programme and therefore, it is possible to assign a Doctor to supervise their thesis. In this regard, it is important that the candidate looks into this possibility and gets in touch with the Programme leaders before presenting their admission documentation.


Enrolment: In concept of academic tutelage (from admission to defense of the thesis):

Full-time students: € 3,355.00 per course, in two installments of € 1,677.50

Part-time students: € 2,791.00 per course, in two installments of € 1,395.50

In concept of training complements (for those students that require them): € 141.85 per credit.

Full-time students must have paid at least the registration for three academic years in order to defend their doctoral thesis.

Part-time students must have paid at least the registration for four academic years in order to defend their doctoral thesis.

Classes begin:

Second week in September.


Training and additional training courses, should they occur, will take place Monday to Friday from 4pm to 10pm.

A minimum of 4 afternoons per week must be attended in person during the first semester (September to December).  Remainder of the year: 4 afternoons a month (approximately).

Nº of new places available:

12 places


Training activities as well as complementary training modules, if applicable, will be taught from 16:00-22:00, Monday to Friday. Several Saturday morning sessions will also be offered since, in light of the student profile for this program, intensive and weekend courses are included to provide greater flexibility.

Main location:

Faculty of Economics and Business Administration
C/ Alberto Aguilera 23
Comillas Pontifical University


3 years (full time)

5 years (part time)

Admission onto doctorate programmes may require specific additional training, the completion of which will not be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the established limit.

A flow chart with different time lines which are established for the deadlines and stages of Doctorate studies which lead to the title of Doctor in the two modalities can be found via the following link

This Doctorate Programme is coordinated around two key lines of research that, at the same time, make up various sub lines (check the faculty window for more information about the lines of research of the Programme at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas):

  • Economic and Territorial Competitiveness
  • Management of Organisations and Corporate Competitiveness

With competitiveness (whether territorial or corporate) being the central axis of each of these two lines, both the innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as sustainability, also make up key elements of each of them (approaching them from a territorial economy point of view in one case, of a business management point of view in the other).

Comillas Pontifical University

Faculty at the the Deusto University and Ramón Llull University


The following link will take you to the information regarding academic training:

Periods in other research centres

Mobility for doctoral students

International Mobility is a highly recommended component of any prestigious Doctoral Research Program. Doctoral students, in consultation with their supervisors, must identify the most appropriate opportunities for mobility for their research from among the existing possibilities.

Comillas Pontifical University has an extensive network of agreements for cooperation with universities around the world, some of which also cover Mobility for Research. The university also participates in multiple international university networks.

However, it should be noted that mobility for Doctoral research is not governed by the same procedures and criteria as those for mobility in Undergraduate Degrees or Master’s Degrees.  In this case, it is essential to have direct contact and personal relationships, from either students, or their supervisors, with researchers from the host universities. It is through these personal relationships that the possible mobility of students must be managed, so that the lines of research of interest for all parties, including the supervisor at the host university, are clearly identified.

Comillas Pontifical University has financial aid/or and grants available for student mobility, subject to contractual relationship requirements with Comillas or other conditions. In addition, students may receive other types of aid, grants, etc., either public or private.

Procedure for Mobility in Doctoral Studies

The doctorate programme in Corporate and Territorial Competitiveness, Innovation and Sustainability (CETIS as per its acronym in Spanish) from the Universidad de Deusto, the Universidad Pontificia Comillas and the Universitat Ramon Llull (specifically through the IQS School of Management), builds a strategic alliance between prestigious institutions in the academic and research fields within the framework of the Aristos Campus Mundus 2015 established between the three universities.

The ACM 2015 project was awarded the qualification of Campus of International Excellence in the European regional category in the Ministry of Education's 2011 call for applications. Its aim is to foster excellence in academics and research while achieving full "glocalisation" of their university projects which call for a joint commitment to responsible and sustainable social innovation. In its full development, the ACM 2015 project will make a qualitative jump possible in the internationalisation of the aggregate universities and their position as a pool of universities of excellence and of international recognition in terms of social innovation.

The axis of the R+D+i and of the thematic specialisation is based on the concept of "focus areas" (FA) which correspond to strategic research areas (often interdisciplinary), all of which are in answer to specific social challenges. In this field, research groups from the three universities are coordinated in a series of well positioned, priority lines and this cooperation is extended to three North American universities, as well as coordinating the systems for transferring results and creating a scientific, technological, business and innovative e-park.

The training received is preparation for the following professional profiles:

  • Researcher and lecturer at higher education institutions.
  • Experts, advisers and consultants in service companies in the private sector, as well as high level professionals in any organisational area.
  • Leaders and managers of department and lead researchers in public or private organisations when research and development activities are carried out.

Basic Competences

  • CB11 Systematic understanding of a field of study and command of the skills and research methods related to said field.
  • CB12 Capacity to think of, create or design, put into practice and adopt a substantial research or creative process.
  • CB13 Capacity to contribute to the expansion of the borders of knowledge through original research.
  • CB14 Ability to carry out critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas.
  • CB15 Ability to communicate with the academic and scientific communities and with society in general regarding areas of knowledge and in the way and language that is commonly used in the international scientific community.
  • CB16 Ability to encourage, in academic and professional contexts, scientific, technological, social, artistic and cultural advances within a society based on knowledge.

Personal abilities and strengths

  • CA01 To get involved in contexts where there is little specific information.
  • CA02 To find the key questions that must be answered in order to solve a complex problem.
  • CA03 To design, create, develop and launch new and innovative projects within your area of knowledge.
  • CA04 To work both as a team and individually in an international or multidisciplinary context.
  • CA05 Integrate knowledge, face complexities and formulate opinions with limited information.
  • CA06 Intellectual criticism and defence of solutions.

Other competencies

  • CB17 Apply the ethical standards and criteria of scientific integrity in the research process, regarding the dignity of people, the search for benefits for society and especially for those most unfortunate.

List of doctoral theses defended in the program

See the theses and their scientific contributions

List of funded research projects

See the research projects

© Universidad Pontificia Comillas | C. Alberto Aguilera 23 Madrid-28015 - Tel.:(+34) 91 542 28 00

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