Co-supervised thesis

A thesis co-supervision is carried out within the framework of an agreement of "international thesis co-supervision" concluded between Aix-Marseille University and a foreign partner university.

Candidates who wish to prepare their doctoral thesis within the framework of an international thesis co-supervision must make a request to their thesis co-supervisor at AMU. After agreement between the Director of the host laboratory and the Director of the Doctoral School and negotiation with the partner institution, the latter will fill in the scientific file for international co-supervision, which underlines the interest of cooperation between two laboratories and co-supervision of the thesis. The Thesis Director or the Doctoral School sends the scientific file for cotutelle to the Reception, Mobility and Finance Department of the International Relations Department before April 15 of the first academic year of the postgraduate registration (file to be requested from your DRI contact or your ED) with all the requested documents.

Exceptionally, a request duly justified by the thesis director at AMU, made during the second year, may be examined.

Students who wish to do a thesis in cotutelle and who do not hold a Master's degree delivered by a university signatory to the Bologna process, will have to submit a request for a Master's degree exemption to the Doctoral School, which will be submitted to the Research Commission of Aix-Marseille University at the same time (if possible) as the cotutelle request. Please contact the Doctoral School for any information concerning this exemption.


Negotiation of the content of the agreement with the partner institution

The Thesis Director must agree with the foreign partner on the principle and the terms and conditions of the co-supervision of the thesis, on the basis of the model agreement proposed by the DRI. It is possible that the partner requires copies in its own language or in English or has its own form, in which case negotiations can take place.

- During his 3 years of thesis, the doctoral student will have to be registered in both universities but will pay his registration fees in only one, alternatively. It will therefore be imperative to stipulate in the agreement, for each year, the institution where the student will pay the fees and the one where he will be exempted from paying them. Since each university will issue a diploma, the student will have to pay the fees at least once at each university.

- The periods spent at each of the two institutions must be mentioned. The recommended minimum duration at each institution is 30% of the total duration of the thesis. However, this modality is left to the discretion of the thesis directors.

- The defense jury: the number of members of the jury cannot exceed eight.

- The thesis gives rise to a single defense which allows the doctoral student (French or foreign) to obtain simultaneously the French doctoral degree and the equivalent foreign degree. The place of the defense must also be specified as well as the language of writing and defense. A substantial written and oral summary must be made in French if it is not the language of writing.
- The agreement recognizes the validity of the thesis defended in this context.


Transmission to the DRI of the application for cotutelle or the rider

- After having filled in the document entitled "Convention de cotutelle internationale de thèse", or the rider, in agreement with the partner institution, the AMU Thesis Director forwards it to the Manager of the DRI concerned by the Doctoral School in question for instruction.

- After administrative validation of the file by the DRI, the Thesis Director signs and submits the agreement in 4 original copies to the Director of the host laboratory and the Director of the Doctoral School concerned for signature.

- After receipt of the complete file, the DRI submits the application for co-supervision/joint supervision to the Research Commission for its opinion, then to the Vice-President Research (by delegation of the President) for signature if the opinion is favourable. The originals of the agreement are then sent to the partner university for signature. It is also possible to start the circuit of signatures by the foreign University. The same applies to amendments.

co-supervised thesis
co-supervision PhD
research stay
PhD students
international students