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)

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Application Period: from April 15 to May 31

12 places available at Comillas

12 places available at Deusto

8 places available at IQS

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Training Activities

Training Activities

Full-time enrollment: 3 years

Part-time enrollment: 5 years

Training Activities


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Face to face

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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 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.

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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 to the Degree
The Academic Committee of the Program, at the time of admission, will assign a Supervisor to the candidate and will establish whether or not candidates should take supplementary training courses on research methods. Completion of these supplementary training courses will not count toward the time limit established for the submission of the Doctoral Thesis (please see Regulations).

You may consult the flow chart with the different time frames stipulated for the diverse deadlines and stages of the Doctoral studies leading to the awarding of the Doctoral degree, in both formats, International Mention and Industrial Doctorate, on the following link.


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 Financial Aid, 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: € 3355.00 per academic year, in two installments of € 1677.50
- Part-time students: € 2791.00 per academic year, in two installments of € 1395.50
- For supplementary training courses (for those students who require them): € 141.85 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.


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 Jose Barbachano Herrero / +34 915422800 ext. 2284


To Apply for Admission


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

Application fo admission

Training Activities Flecha DownCreated with Sketch.

The following guide shows the detailed steps that students must follow to register the activities that they carry out during their Doctoral studies: Guide to Managing Doctoral Activities for the Student.

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.- Phyton for researchers ICO/DESCARGA
2.9.- Introducction to Machine Learning 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

Training Activities Flecha DownCreated with Sketch.

En la siguiente guía se muestran los pasos detallados que deben seguir los alumnos para registrar las actividades que realicen durante sus estudios de Doctorado: Guía de Gestión de Actividades del Doctorado para el alumno

El Tutor asignado orientará individualmente al doctorando sobre su matrícula indicándole qué Actividades Formativas deberá realizar en función de su dedicación.

Las actividades formativas que se ofrecen en el programa se dirigen a garantizar la adquisición de competencias investigadoras por parte del doctorando. En el caso de que el doctorando tenga experiencia previa en actividades de investigación, se puede considerar el reconocimiento de dicha experiencia y ajustar las actividades formativas a su perfil, con la autorización de la Comisión Académica. La actividades formativas son de dos tipos: transversales (para todos los doctorandos de la Escuela de Doctorado) y específicas (propias de cada Programa).

A continuación se detallan las actividades formativas del Programa de doctorado.

  1. Ética e investigación
  2. Cursos temáticos sobre competencias en investigación
    • Doctorado e investigación científica en Comillas
    • Taller de Gestión Bibliográfica
    • Taller de redacción científica
    • Publicación y difusión científica
  3. Seminarios metodológicos:
    • Metodología avanzada de la investigación cuantitativa
    • Metodología avanzada de la investigación cualitativa
    • Bioética de la investigación en salud
  4. Seminarios de investigación
  5. Seminarios interdisciplinares
  6. Estancias en centros internacionales de investigación
  7. Jornadas de doctorandos y congresos científicos

Complementos de formación

Realizarán seminarios de metodología de la investigación con carácter previo quienes no reúnan la capacidad investigadora requerida según el perfil de ingreso recomendado que reconoce y detalla el programa.

Seminarios metodológicos

Duración: 40 horas (4 ECTS).


  • Seminarios Metodológicos de Investigación en Ciencias de la Salud y Bioética
  • Seminario de Bioética

Planificación temporal:

  • Tiempo completo: 1er semestre.
  • Tiempo parcial: 1er y 2º año.

No los cursarán, en todo o en parte, quienes habiendo cursado créditos de Posgrado de contenido metodológicos, acrediten suficiente formación y experiencia investigadora previa.




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