PRESENTATION AND OBJECTIVES
Progress requires researchers to know the current state of knowledge and its boundaries to try to move them so that the knowledge gains ground with original contributions that, on many occasions, to be bold and courageous, especially if they hit, as has been frequently in history, with complacency and inertia in some areas of the Sciences, Arts, Humanities, Engineering and Architecture. Important advances in knowledge in its different branches have meant almost always a break, partial or total, with its condition at all times.
The research may be defined as an activity which tries to discover truth. The truth that is on the appearances, on the effects, on the causes, on the observed, on the imagined,… The achievement of new knowledge may have or not an application immediately to the improvement of the society. In case of not having, knowledge may be the first step for other researcher to discover other knowledge that it will be directly applicable, or not yet, for the society. And so on. The final objective of the science is discovering new knowledge. The researcher’s motivation is discovering, without having to obsess over immediate application. Sooner or later scientific discoveries eventually redound to the benefit of society, but a researcher has to mind first the beauty and pleasure of discovering and only if it happens, the satisfaction of that his/her scientific discoveries are applied either by himself/herself or by others.
The doctoral training of a student has as main goal to learn, using systematic methods, besides his/her imagination and intuition, to discover, which is the same that learning to create since a discovery is a creation, sometimes a recreation, of the discovered. A researcher is a creator. The PhD student learns to research. But to progress in the research is necessary to have previous knowledge, to enhance them, to confirm them or to eliminate them. The PhD student must acquire the knowledge related to previous and current state of his/her thesis and the work’s methods. In summery in the PhD student mergers his/her student’s conditions that acquire knowledge and his/her researcher’s condition that discovers and creates knowledge. So the PhD student is a mix between teaching and investigation. The development of the Thesis is a gradual transition from the learning of knowledge generated by other to his/her whole creation of knowledge. It is a laborious process in which the PhD student needs help and comprehension.
Perhaps for these specific characteristics of doctoral studies has been and will continue to be a lot of rules designed to regulate these studies so that the PhD student feels supported, guided and directed, but never undermine their right to improvise, to create, to risk, to ascertain and to wrong. The failure, as the success, has to be a right of any researcher. It is curious that the success tends to follow failure and a failure to a success. The failure and the success of the researcher and of the PhD student are two sides of the same coin, the same process. They are inseparable mates of the PhD student on his/her road to the discovery.
R.D. 99/2011 January 28, which currently regulates the doctoral studies, directs the Doctoral Schools doctoral training through doctoral programs and establishes the functions and powers of these Schools. This R.D. in its article 9, paragraph 4 indicates, referring to the Doctoral Schools:
The Schools plan the necessary offer of activities related to the training and development of the PhD student, realized by collaborators from the universities and promoter institutions with the help of external professionals, professors or invited researchers.