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The framework and the individual cotutelle agreements

"In order to develop the international dimension of doctoral schools and scientific cooperation between French and foreign research teams, and to encourage the mobility of doctoral students, Université Paris-Saclay, which is accredited to award doctorates, may enter into an agreement with one or more foreign higher education institutions, which enjoy the same prerogatives in their country, to establish an international cotutelle of doctorate.

The co-contracting institutions are bound by the principle of reciprocity."

The cotutelle agreement is an agreement between two higher education establishments (one French and one foreign) enabling a doctoral student to complete a thesis under joint supervision.

The two institutions can also sign a framework agreement for cotutelle in order to develop or strengthen international cooperation in doctoral studies.

During the doctorate, the doctoral student spends a minimum of 12 months in each of the two institutions. At the end of the thesis, the defence is held in one of the two partner countries, with the participation of a joint jury. If they pass, they will be awarded two doctoral degrees (one French, one foreign).

International cotutelle agreements are managed by Maison du doctorat.

Applicable regulations

The eligibility criteria

Before starting any administrative procedure, you must ensure that you :

  1. Have a Master 2 or equivalent, or be at most enrolled in the first year of a doctorate
  2. Have an international cotutelle project
  3. Have a thesis supervisor holding an HDR (authorization to supervise research) or an ADT (authorization to supervise a thesis) in France and a thesis supervisor within the partner institution who undertakes to supervise your research work
  4. Have funding for the entire duration of your doctorate
  5. Have been accepted by one of the Université Paris-Saclay doctoral schools
  6. Verify that the partner institution is accredited to award a double doctoral degree
  • During your cotutelle PhD, you must spend at least 12 months at Université Paris-Saclay, and a minimum of 12 months at the partner institution.

Setting up the agreement

The thesis supervisor initiates the application through the online interface and completes all the sections of the doctoral cotutelle agreement request.

This request must be submitted online, even when the foreign institution is responsible for drafting the agreement text.

Online cotutelle application interface

Once the application is submitted through the designated platform, the candidate's file is reviewed by the international PhD Axis of Maison du doctorat. This review involves multiple steps:

  1. Preparation of the international doctoral cotutelle agreement if the submitted application meets the eligibility criteria mentioned above
  2. The agreement will be sent to the doctoral school and the thesis supervisor for the completion of any additional information (if applicable)
  1. The international PhD Axis of Maison du doctorat sends the agreement to the administrative contact of the foreign institution indicated to initiate the negotiation.
  2. During the negotiation period, the partner institutions must come to an agreement on the text. All parties involved must approve the content and the terms of execution of the agreement.
  3. The international PhD Axis of Maison du doctorat and its foreign counterpart validate the agreement.

The signing process of the agreement can follow one of two paths:

  1. Initiated through our digital platform. This platform enables the issuance of certified electronic signatures for all parties involved in the agreement (Université Paris-Saclay and the partner institution).

  2. Follow a traditional physical procedure, requiring all parties to physically sign the paper document with their original signatures.

  • Each institution must retain at least one electronic or original copy of the signed agreement.

If the signed agreement needs to be amended or extended, it is necessary and mandatory to submit an addendum request.

Regardless of the reason for this request (change in thesis supervision, change in thesis topic, medical leave, etc.), the International Phd Axis of Maison du doctorat and the affiliated doctoral school must be informed.

Addendum request

The documentation

The contacts