Doctorate Program in Business and Regional Competitiveness, Innovation and Sustainability

Joint Doctoral Program with the University of Deusto and IQS School of Management (Ramon Llull University)

Admission request

+ Information

Application Period:
from April 15 to May 31

12 places available at Comillas

12 places available at Deusto

8 places available at IQS

+ Information

For further information contact:
Juan José Barbachano

+ Information



Full time: 3 years
Part-time: 5 years





+ Information

Lines of Research

Official Information on the Degree

+ Information
This Degree provides the training necessary for research in the area of Economics and Business

What is the Doctorate Program in Business and Regional Competitiveness, Innovation and Sustainability?

Adapted to the regulations contained in Royal Decree RD 99/2011, this Degree enables students to begin a professional career as a researcher at Universities, Technological Institutes, and private or public Research Centers. This Doctoral Program was conceived within the framework of the Aristos Campus Mundus International Campus of Excellence 2015, whose initiative is the result of the strategic alliance of three socially active universities (the University of Deusto, the Comillas Pontifical University and the Ramon Llull University). This Alliance includes, in addition, an advanced strategic Agreement for Collaboration with Georgetown University, Boston College and Fordham University.

We need research to discover and develop solutions for our broken world for.

This PhD fully taught in English allows participants to delve into the different factors that affect the competitiveness and sustainability of companies and territories, in order to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, special emphasis is placed on innovation as a critical factor for competitiveness and sustainability, which represents a key element to safeguard and guarantee the well-being of future generations. With these thematic axes, the program provides solid and rigorous training in Research Methodology to train researchers to develop solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Download brochure See related studies
mba-empresas alumno-master-mba-administracion mba-empresas-comillas

Our students say the following

Many people like you are already making the most of their doctorate. Read about their experience.

What makes us different?

Group 3


Dissertations READ

Number of PhD dissertations defended.

ICO 03



Number of research projects which received funding.

ICO 04


Graduate students' evaluation

Mark given on “I would recommend the University for this Degree” (on a scale from 1 to 10)

All you need to know


Admissions Process


Application Period for Admission to the Degree: from April 12 to May 31

What should candidates do?
If you are interested in applying to the Program, these are the steps that you must follow:
• First, you will need to request a meeting with the Program Coordinator to verify the line of research and check whether it fits with our research expertise and so the Coordinator can recommend a potential Supervisor.
• Second, you must contact a potential Supervisor (see Faculty) (the Coordinator will be able to provide you with more specific recommendations when your research topic is known) and a first meeting should be set up. In order to be admitted to the Degree, a Faculty member must agree to supervise the candidate. If a candidate already has the acceptance of a Director at another university, the candidate may be accepted on the Program and a Tutor will be designated from among the Faculty members.
• Third, you must prepare and present the documentation that demonstrates that you meet the requirements set forth in Royal Decree RD99/2011 (Note with information on the documentation to be presented) and the profile for acceptance to the Degree.

Candidates are recommended to have a good understanding of the rating system for the evaluation of their application so that they can provide evidence that they meet the requirements.

What are the next steps?
Assessment of the candidate's merits
The Program Coordinator will carry out an initial assessment of the documentation submitted by candidates. The suitability of candidates and the assessment of their merits will be carried out by taking into account the following weighting system:
- Suitability of the Bachelor's or Undergraduate Degree with the program area (10%)
- Grade point average on the academic transcript for the Bachelor's or Undergraduate Degree (15%)
- Suitablility of the Master's Degree with the program area (20%)
- Grade point average on the academic transcript for Master's Degree studies (15%)
- Knowledge of English (5%)
- Previous research experience (publications and projects) (5%)
- Other merits (continuous education and training, professional or volunteer experience, periods of stay/study abroad) (10%)
- Other merits (professional goals, expectations concerning the program, attitude and personal maturity, expected dedication to the program) (10%)
- Research grant (10%)

Assessment of the candidate and final decision
This assessment, together with the candidate's CV, is assessed by the Academic Committee, which decides on the admission of candidates.

Both full-time and part-time program candidates will be considered. With regard to the latter, expected candidate’s availability to carry out the activities planned for the program will also be taken into account.

Admission and Enrollment
The Academic Committee of the Program, at the time of admission, will assign a Director to each Doctoral student and will establish whether or not candidates must take supplementary training courses. Completion of these supplementary training courses will not count toward the time established to complete and submit the Doctoral thesis (please see Regulations).
The Rector approves admissions to the program at the beginning of the academic year. Those candidates accepted will receive a letter of acceptance, which will specify the name of their Director and which supplementary training courses are to be taken.
After receiving the notification of admission, the University Registrar´s Office will send an email to those admitted, containing information on registering for enrollment, the program and the supplementary training courses, whenever applicable. Those candidates intending to enroll will have a period of one month to carry out their registration or to officially decline admission to the program.

Quick guide to admission to the PhD programme at Comillas

Program for attention to students with specific learning needs derived from a situation of disability and/or illness.


Important Dates


Application Period for Admission to the Degree: from April 12 to May 31

Classes begin: Second week in September

The training activities, as well as the supplementary training courses, if applicable, will be offered from Monday to Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Attendance during the first semester (September to December) will involve a minimum of 4 afternoons per week, with face-to-face attendance, for those who require additional training. For the rest of the academic year: 4 afternoons per month (approximately).


Applicant Profile/Requirements and Documentation


Access requirements:
In general, for access to an Official Doctoral Program, it is necessary to comply with the requirements for access established in Article 6 of Royal Decree RD 99/2011, of 28 January 2011, which regulates Official Doctoral Studies.

Candidate Profile:
The Program is aimed, fundamentally, at those who wish to train as researchers and acquire the necessary skills and abilities to carry out a Doctoral Thesis in the area of Economics and Business, which allows them to join R + D + i tasks in the academic field, in the public or private sectors.

In addition to meeting the access requirements indicated, the profile recommended for acceptance to the Degree is as follows: completion of a Master's Degree, with a profile in research, preferably in the area of Economics and / or Business. In addition, the following will be valued highly as assets for candidates:
- Excellent grades in their Bachelor´s Degree or Undergraduate Degree studies.
- Excellent grades in their Official Master's Degree studies in the area of Economics and / or Business.
- European C1 Level of English or equivalent. This level certifies that students are capable of understanding a wide variety of extensive texts of a demanding nature, as well as of recognizing implicit and underlying meanings in them; that they are able to express themselves fluently and spontaneously, without explicit signs of excessive effort, to find the correct means of expression. Candidates should be capable of flexible and effective use of language for social, academic and professional purposes; and be capable of producing clear, well-structured and detailed texts on topics of a certain complexity, showing a correct use of the mechanisms needed for organization, articulation and cohesion of texts.
- Fit with the research lines of the Doctoral program and a Supervisor having accepted the candidate prior to admission.
- Research experience in the area of knowledge (participation in research projects, publications, etc.) prior to entering the Doctoral program.
- Continuous training related to the area of the field of knowledge.
- Professional or volunteer experience in the area of knowledge.
- Periods of stay or study abroad.
- Well-defined professional goals, ambition in research and personal maturity.
- Availability to carry out the activities foreseen in the program and, particularly, periods of stay at other universities and research centers.
- A research grant awarded by a national or international body based on an assessment of your curriculum vitae.

Those candidates who cannot provide evidence of training in research methods, must take the supplementary training courses provided in the Program, in order to acquire the basic methodological skills and abilities stipulated for a Master's Degree with this profile. However, if candidates prove to have completed the training required, even in the case of not having a Master's Degree in Research, they may be exempted from taking the supplementary training courses.


Information on Fees, Payments, Grants and Scholarships


Fees related to the academic aspects of the Program (from the time of admission to the defense of the thesis):
- Full-time students: € 3,445.00 per academic year, in two installments of € 1,722.50
- Part-time students: € 3,391.00 per academic year, in two installments of € 1,695.50
- For supplementary training courses (for those students who require them): € 145.54 per credit

Full-time students must have paid, as a minimum, the full tuition for three academic years in order to defend their Doctoral Thesis.

Part-time students must have paid, as a minimum, the tuition for a total of four academic years in order to defend their Doctoral Thesis.

The Faculty has a program of measures and means to promote research. Please enquire for further details.

Click here for more information on scholarships and study grants from the university.


Contact Information


Doctoral Coordinator: Carmen Valor Martínez

Academic Committee:You will find more information concerning the members of the Academic Committee on the following link.

For further information:
Juan José Barbachano Herrero / +34 915422800 ext. 2284
Pilar Drake / 915422800 ext. 2286


Apply for Admission


Are you convinced about studying this PhD degree? You need not wait any longer!

Application for admission

Curriculum Flecha DownCreated with Sketch.

In this CALENDAR you will be able to check the required Training Activities, Training Complements and Research Seminars, as well as other key events.

The Guide to Managing Doctoral Activities for the Student. contains the specific steps that students must follow in order to register the activities they carry out during their PhD studies

The training activities offered are the following:
1.- Ethics and research ICO/DESCARGA
2.- Themed courses on research competencies ICO/DESCARGA
2.1.- Doctorate and Scientific Investigation at Comillas ICO/DESCARGA
2.2.- Bibliographic management workshop ICO/DESCARGA
2.3.- Introduction to structural equation modelling ICO/DESCARGA
2.4.- Essential researchers’ tool kit: basic econometric models with Stata ICO/DESCARGA
2.5.- Academic writing ICO/DESCARGA
2.6.- Critical thinking ICO/DESCARGA
2.7.- Publishing in scientific journals ICO/DESCARGA
2.8.- Software for qualitative analysis ICO/DESCARGA
2.9.- Introducction to Machine Learning ICO/DESCARGA
2.10.- Introducction to QCA ICO/DESCARGA
2.11.- Approach and development of a doctoral thesis (Advances in Business Research) ICO/DESCARGA
3.- Research seminars ICO/DESCARGA
4.- Interdisciplinary seminars ICO/DESCARGA
5.- Public presentation of research work linked to the thesis ICO/DESCARGA
6.- Periods in other research centres ICO/DESCARGA
7.- Presenting at conferences ICO/DESCARGA
8.- Admission of an article in an indexed publication ICO/DESCARGA

In addition to the institution's own offer, this interuniversity program offers other Training Activities, at Deusto University and IQS. The students of the program may take Training Activities at any of the centers in order to complete the 6 compulsory ones.

English version ICO/DESCARGA
Spanish version ICO/DESCARGA
English version ICO/DESCARGA
Spanish version ICO/DESCARGA

There are two supplementary courses planned

Research Methods I: Introduction, Information Sources and Quantitative Research Methods 6.0 ECTS ICO/DESCARGA
Research Methods II: Epistemology of Science, Qualitative Research and Writing Scientific Texts 6.0 ECTS ICO/DESCARGA




Who are you going to study with? and what are you going to learn?


Comillas ICADE

Alberto Aguilera, 23.

Its origins date back to the year 1956, when Business Management courses were first taught at the residence, owned by the Jesuits, at calle Zorrilla. ICADE has been a reference for more than half a century, up to the present time, in the areas of Law and Business Administration and Management, playing a pioneering role in the implementation of dual degree programs in our country.



Get to know everything that the university has to offer.


With this virtual visit of the university, you will feel that you are already there.


All of our students have an e-learning tool. When you are a student here, you will discover what it is!