At the end of the third semester of the program, students will take their candidacy exam which will cover research methodologies and a specific study topic. The methodology part of the exam will be on mathematical modeling and empirical analysis; and the portion of the exam on a study topic will be on the fundamentals of human behavior or on institutional and social dynamics.
During the fourth semester of the program, students will focus on reading the latest and most groundbreaking studies published on the main research area that is associated to the doctoral program. During this semester, students will develop a research project, which if approved, will be the basis to their doctoral thesis during the following four semesters.
Students may enroll in research units that precede their thesis topic proposal, as soon as they begin the doctoral program. Thus, incentivizing and facilitating their involvement in the research area they know they will conduct their thesis projects on.
After becoming familiar with the work of the network of researchers involved in the program during the third semester, the student divides his time between the preparation of the qualification exams and the preparation of the research unit. In this last one, the student develops in a supervised way a research project with the aim of becoming internalized with the independent investigative work (fourth semester).
The research component involves:
- (a) the integration of the students to the Faculty of Government through their participation in research units associated with the current projects in the center;
- (b) orientation and accompaniment by tutors and co-tutors in their training process as a self-employed researcher,
- (c) the preparation of a research project and
- (d) the development of a thesis project itself.
This process ends in the presentation and defense of his doctoral thesis. For this reason, an adequate understanding of the complexity of social systems requires a multidisciplinary development that integrates the learning of different theoretical and methodological frameworks. To that end, the research of the program is divided into two complementary research lines in basic social sciences, whose results can inform social behavior in a broad sphere of social contexts: 1) Fundamentals of Behavior and Social Cognition (Foundations of Social Cognition and Social Behavior) and 2) Computational Social Sciences
It is expected that the research work of the students will be developed in projects that lead to the production of indexed articles (WOS / SCOPUS) that are part of the program’s lines of research.
In general terms, it is valued that a doctoral project possesses the attributes that give the stamp to the research production network on which the program is based. That is, the interdisciplinary approach to social phenomena of high relevance for the functioning of life in modern society, such as cooperation or communication in a network, understanding its basic principles and then applying them to specific contexts such as the care of a common resource or the diffusion of a new idea. Although it is not a requirement of the program, participation in transfer projects.