This charter was adopted by the board of directors of Université Paris-Saclay, on 21 september 2016, with the positive opinion of the academic council of Université Paris-Saclay, on 20 september 2016 and with the unanimous positive opinion of the council of the doctoral college of Université Paris-Saclay, on 6 July 2016.
Doctoral training, a definition
The doctorate is the highest national degree awarded under the French higher education system which is recognised at the European level (L.M.D system) and internationally. It is subject to a precise regulatory framework, as much with respect to its definition and requirements as to the procedures which it entails. The essence can be found in a few words, excerpted from an Article of the Law that defines it (L612-7):
"Post-graduate studies provide training formation in research, through research, and consist, where doctoral training is concerned, of conducting original individual or group scientific work.
Doctoral training programmes are organised in close conjunction with laboratories or research teams the quality of which is recognised by regular national assessment.
They form a professional experience in research, upon completion of which, provided successful defence of thesis, students are awarded the title of Doctor.
Doctoral programmes are run by doctoral schools in accordance with terms set by Government Order, issued by the Ministry of Higher Education".
The Université Paris-Saclay's Doctoral Degree
As part of the IDEX Paris-Saclay excellence initiative, the Université Paris-Saclay's member institutions undertook to build a common doctoral space, drawing upon research and training teams of the highest international calibre. This project provides a concrete response to the share aspiration to make the Doctoral Degree awarded by the University of Paris-Saclay a beacon, contributing to the University's renown and international attractiveness, which can be capitalised upon by PhD-holders and which is held in high regard by those who will call upon their skills and expertise in France and abroad.
Since 1 September 2015, Université Paris-Saclay is accredited to award a doctoral degree, with high visibility and clarity, and rooted in a desire for excellence. It defines and coordinates a policy and lines of action common to 22 member, associate or partner institutions for doctoral training, organised by 20 doctoral schools, federated under a unique College of Doctoral Studies. The doctorate degrees bear the seals of both Université Paris-Saclay and the institution at which the doctoral degree was prepared.
Together, Université Paris-Saclay's member and associate institutions:
- undertake to pool their resources, coordinate their research capacity and supervision potential in order to promote, structure and guarantee the visibility of a high-quality doctoral studies programme;
- organise monitoring for the implementation of the common doctoral training policy; see to the transparency, equity and opennes of each of the processes undertaken;
- jointly organise and recruit doctoral applicants, in a transparent, open and equitable manner, run in accordance with internationally-recognised principles, in particular those set out in the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers;
- aim for excellence and encourage originality and scientific risk-taking, openness to the broader international and inter-disciplinary context , the development of new areas;
- strive to take the measures necessary toward developing and sustaining a well-suited, stimulating research environment and work culture, in the research units over which they have responsibility so that doctoral students are taught, encouraged and supported, and receive the material and immaterial assistance needed to carry out the full intent of their research project;
- work for the recognition of the doctoral period as a professional experience on which future PhDs will capitalise; encourage and support initiatives aimed at developing, improving and consolidating the career prospects of PhDs in the private or public sector, in France or abroad, in all research and innovation professions, calling upon top-tier expertise, and more generally speaking, all activities that call upon skills developed during doctoral training.
The Doctoral Charter: One Definition, Multiple Objectives
The Charter establishes a number of values and principles that found the relationship between the doctoral student and the thesis supervisor, and more generally speaking, between all parties involved in a doctoral training project.
It emphasises that all partners are expected to ensure that they are clearly and explicitly informed of their respective objectives, at each stage of doctoral training.
It emphasises the active part which each party is to play and the shared responsibilities which the doctoral pathway entails.
The charter is intended as informative, providing clear instructions, setting a reference framework for Université Paris-Saclay, of which all parties involved must take ownership. It is not intended as a reiteration, supplement or substitute for the rules and regulations in effect regarding the doctoral degree. The Charter assumes that all parties to doctoral training at Université Paris-Saclay are familiar with and commit to abiding by all requirements issued by national legislation as well as the internal rules and regulations governing them.
In particular, each party, whether individually, or as head of a structure (research team or unit, doctoral school, service structure, College of Doctoral Studies, etc.), or for instance, member of a commission, committee or selection panel, shall endeavour to prevent conflict, discrimination and harassment, drawing upon the provisions and procedures drawn up to this effect, inform each of the players involved of the existence of the said provisions and resources available for gaining access to them, and to contribute, at their own level, to addressing difficulties and settling conflicts.
Drawn up in application of this Charter, an individual training agreement is drafted and signed upon the applicant's enrolment in the doctoral programme, subject to annual revision, and specifying the commitments and conditions specific to each individual doctoral training project.
Scope of Application
The Doctoral Charter of Université Paris-Saclay applies to all parties to the doctoral studies programme of Université Paris-Saclay.
It is enforced by each research unit director and each doctoral school director. They sign the doctoral charter upon its coming into effect.
The Charter is enforced by each doctoral student and thesis supervisor. They jointly sign the doctoral charter upon first enrolment in a doctoral programme at the University of Paris-Saclay, or when the charter comes into effect, at the time of re-enrolment in the doctoral programme.
The provisions of the Doctoral Charter do not apply retroactively. Provisions previously found in the Doctoral Charter and no longer in effect likewise do not apply.
Commissions, Committees and Selection Panels
The thesis defence examination panels, thesis monitoring committees, and admission commissions and selection panels play a key part in the quality assurance approach underpinning the doctoral training programme. They contribute to making the doctoral degree an asset on which PhDs can capitalise optimally, held in high regard by those who will call upon their skills and expertise in France and abroad.
The Charter specifies the roles and responsibilities of the said commissions, committees or selection panels, mobilised at the key stages of the doctoral preparation process and that which is expected from it.
The rules and procedures by which the commissions, committees and selection panels are formed and appointed proceed from the national framework on doctoral training, procedure documents and by-laws issued by the College of Doctoral Studies and the doctoral schools. They urge for respect for male-female equality.
Thesis Defence Examination Panel
Some characteristics of doctoral training, in particular, project-based learning and the requirement for originality, mean that each doctoral thesis is unique and must thus be reviewed by an examination panel specifically put together for this purpose. The examination panel membership is listed both on the doctoral degree and on the thesis cover.
The National Doctoral Diploma is conferred by the President of Université Paris-Saclay, upon proposal to the same effect by the examination panel. The expectations placed upon the thesis defence examination panel is explicitly stated in the national legislation:
"As part of its deliberations, the examination panel evaluates the quality of the doctoral student’s research work, its innovative nature, the aptitude to situate the work within its scientific context, and presentation skills. “
The doctoral diploma is a national degree in the French higher learning system that enjoys international recognition. The examination panel must be formed in such a way that it can legitimately voice an opinion in the name of the higher education system considered in its international dimension, upon the fact that the doctoral degree can be isused to the doctoral student, in line with the international criteria associated with this level of diploma.
The thesis is a piece of original scientific research. Each member of the examination panel, considered individually, does not necessarily have to be a specialist in all the matters addressed in the thesis; however, the examination panel overall should form a group of experts, recognised as competent in the thesis' subject area and in a situation to voice an opinion on each aspect of the thesis and on the originality of the contribution made by the research presented, within the international setting.
Thesis defence is a form of examination: the thesis defence examination panel must thus offer every guarantee of neutrality and independence required for the examination to be duly run. It is for this reason that the examination panel is composed primarily of members unrelated to the doctoral project, without a proven relationship of interest, subordination or authority, between one another or with parties to the doctoral student's doctoral training programme.
The Individual Thesis Monitoring Committee
The individual thesis monitoring committee is an advisory body responsible for ensuring, through interviews with the doctoral student, that doctoral training programme is proceeding smoothly, drawing upon the Doctoral Charter and Individual Training Agreement.
The rules for determining the membership and operations of individual thesis monitoring committees are established by the internal rules and regulations of College of Doctoral Studies and doctoral schools, in close connection with the research units and teams operating within the shared setting of the doctoral schools. They guarantee that the thesis monitoring committee does not stand in for the doctorate supervision teams, but serves in a capacity complementary to them, offering a neutral and outside viewpoint on the progress of the doctoral project, of which each party will be able to make constructive use.
The thesis monitoring committee tracks the doctoral student's progress in terms of capacity to present the research work conducted, demonstrate its quality and innovative nature, and situate them in their international scientific context. In particular, the thesis monitoring committee creates opportunities for the doctoral to clearly set out and defend their chosen scientific approach and directions. The thesis monitoring committee also creates opportunities for doctoral to demonstrate that their thesis is progressing and will be completed in accordance with the planned timeline ;
The thesis monitoring committee contributes to creating opportunities for the doctoral student to track progress in their doctoral studies overall, development of their scientific culture and openness to the international environment, as well as their readiness for the professional environment, extent of development and skills expertise. The thesis monitoring committee ensures that doctoral student receives group training and is sensitive to the principles of ethics in research and scientific integrity, and that they are familiar with and apply instructions regarding scientific publications;
Where dysfunctioning is detected, the thesis monitoring committee can recommend that the doctoral school's director offer mediation or convene a conciliation commission meeting (see Section V).
The Doctoral Studies Admission Panel
Admission to the doctoral programme is based on explicit and public criteria and is run in accordance with transparent, open and fair procedures, defined by Université Paris-Saclay in application of internationally-recognised principles, in particular those stated in the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.
Doctoral schools appoint doctoral programme admission committees or selection panels to implement the common admission policy, in accordance with procedures set out in their internal rules and regulations. They may also delegate, in the internal rules and regulations, the implementation process to doctoral programme admission commissions or selection panels appointed by other entities, provided that they fulfil all the required conditions.
The doctoral programme admission committee or selection panel assesses each applicant's research aptitudes as well as understanding of the innovative nature of their selected area of research, ability to establish it within the international scientific context and presentation skills. The doctoral programme admission committee or selection panel advises as to the applicant's ability to carry out the full intent of the proposed doctoral project under the conditions provided, in particular within the host research unit or team and with the stated doctoral supervision.
The doctoral programme admission committee or selection panel also verifies whether the applicant's language skills and aptitudes are adequate for integration into the research unit and due completion of the research planned. Where the applicant does not hold a degree conferring the title of Master, the committee or selection panel indicates whether the skills and degrees already earned by the applicant warrant a waiver of the degree pre-requisite for enrolment in the doctoral programme.
Parties Involved in the Doctoral Training Programme
The Doctoral Student
The doctoral student is a researcher in training. Enrolment in the doctoral programme confers rights and places responsibilities and requirements on doctoral students, with respect to: the doctoral school organising their doctoral studies, and institutions ("accredited", "doctoral preparatory" or as part of an "international joint supervision" plan) authorising enrolment and awarding the degree; the institution hosting, managing and serving as authority to the research unit, with respect to a fund provider and/or employer; their thesis supervisor, who provides scientific guidance for the doctoral project; and with respect to any co-authors permanently connecting their names with those of the doctoral students.
Doctoral students enjoy:
- inside their own electoral college, the same rights to vote and seek representative mandate for general assemblies, unit councils and doctoral school councils, as do other members of the said councils and assemblies;
- the same access rights as research staff within their research units to the premises and services of the research unit's supervising establishments, subject to duly-substantiated special restrictions;
- a work space within the research unit, an individual office where they may set up a permanent desk and work, and the resources needed to run their doctoral project, and publicise their work and findings;
- access to group coursework, as part of a doctoral training programme, intended to consolidate students' scientific culture, open them up to the international environment and pave the way for their professional future;
- the opportunity to take part in course sequences and seminars at the research unit, in the same capacity as the unit's permanent research staff;
- international reach (if so desired, research work may be circulated internationally and the work of other researchers viewed in an international context, students may engage in exchange with international experts in their field, benefit from seminars run by international experts, international mobility opportunities, etc.);
- recognition, further to the diploma supplement principle, for all activities that fall within the scope of what is usually taken into consideration during researcher assessment (scientific output, teaching activities, publicity, mediation or auditing, collective responsibilities, representation or elected office, international experience, etc.); ;
- access to information regarding academic and non-academic career opportunities following the doctorate. In order to take advantage of this, the doctoral candidates must be able to become familiar with the professional activities of their research unit and doctoral school (data shall be made available about the future of doctors having completed the programme, alumni network relations will be fostered, etc.);
- access to a mediation or conflict resolution system;
- the right to be consulted on the course offerings and procedures of the doctoral studies programme at Université Paris-Saclay; access to yearly reports produced further to surveys and consultations of all PhD holders, doctoral students and other parties to the doctoral studies programme at the University of Paris-Saclay.
The doctoral student furthermore has the following responsibilities and duties:
- to abide by the requirements set out in national regulations, internal rules and regulations and all procedure documents issued by Université Paris-Saclay as regards the doctoral track; to follow all hygiene and safety instructions and by-laws internal to the host research unit, institution hosting the research unit, and employer;
- to actively form their thinking in line with the principles of ethics in research and scientific integrity; to abide by the codes and practices of professional ethics in their discipline and with the ethical standards elaborated upon by the national codes of ethics in effect; to formally commit to refrain from plagiarism; the abide by copyright rules, rules and guidelines on the signing of publications, circulation of research findings (open archiving, confidentiality) and intellectual property;
- to make every effort to ensure that their work is original scientific work and does not reproduce research previously conducted elsewhere; to be able to position the said work within the international scientific context;
- to keep the thesis supervisor regularly informed of progress on the doctoral project and validate with the said supervisory the scientific quality of the approach adopted and results achieved; to ensure that the project is proceeding in accordance with the set time-line; to commit to a work calendar and to discussions about progress in the research conducted, with the thesis supervisor;
- with a view toward the thesis' defence and as soon as preparations on the thesis begin, to learn to present research work, show its quality and innovative nature, situate it in its scientific context; to effectively take advantage of all opportunities offered to develop the said skills (from admission to the doctoral programme, activities organised by the research unit, doctoral school, at colloquiums and conferences, at interviews with the thesis monitoring committees);
- to share and circulate their research, using the means made available to them (seminars, colloquiums, congresses, publications, etc.), provided the explicit agreement of the thesis director;
- engage in scientific exchanges with other doctoral students , more generally speaking, with the scientific community as a whole; seeking critical feedback from their thesis supervisor, personal network and scientific community;
- undertake all procedures needed to ensure due storage and security of data and research findings; the data collection and analysis methods, results and, where applicable, data details, must be available for viewing, whenever necessary, upon the request of the relevant authorities;
- using the support of the monitoring committee, drawing up a progress report of their course of doctoral studies pertaining specifically to the development of their own skills, scientific culture and openness to the international environment, and as regards their degree of readiness for the professional environment;
- keep the Doctoral School informed, via its Director and for a period of 5 years further to defence of thesis, of their professional development and publications resulting from their doctoral work. The information provided in this respect is essential so that new doctoral candidates at the same doctoral school can be fully informed of the opportunities and careers open to them.
- contribute, at their own level, to the quality of the doctoral studies programme; help promote and contribute to the recognition enjoyed, by the doctoral studies programme at the University of Paris-Saclay;
Doctoral researchers are placed under the supervision and responsibility of their thesis supervisor. For each academic year, this responsibility is held by one and only one thesis supervisor. The thesis supervisor is the sole signatory, as thesis supervisor, to the administrative documents connected with the doctoral studies programme at Université Paris-Saclay.
The thesis supervisor is responsible for providing scientific guidance to the doctoral student throughout the latter's doctoral project. That responsibility may be shared between the thesis supervisor and a thesis co-supervisor. Co-coordinators may also provide scientific guidance to the doctoral student. In that case, the contributions, roles and responsibilities of each party must, from the start of the doctoral degree preparation, be clearly defined and stated between the supervision team members and explained to the doctoral student.
The thesis supervisor is responsible for the following:
- develop the doctoral candidates' research project in coordination with them; ensure upstream that the research project is original and does not reproduce other research previously conducted elsewhere; ensure that the project is feasible over the planned duration and within the setting of planned research unit and partnerships; ensure, working in coordination with the director of the research unit, that the doctoral project is well-incorporated into the Unit's stated scientific mission and that the needs stemming from national research and innovation policy are taken into account;
- ensure that the scientific, material and financial conditions are met so that doctoral candidates may proceed smoothly with research; inform doctoral candidates about the financial assistance options available to those enrolled in doctoral studies as well as about the related application procedures; check with the director of the relevant research unit to ensure that there is adequate capacity to host the doctoral student; ensure that the doctoral candidates have access to all equipment and data needed to duly further their research work;
- in order to ensure adequate availability, the number of doctoral students placed under the guidance and responsibility of any given thesis supervisor shall not exceed five, except where the doctoral school chooses to lower that limit or barring waivers; inform doctoral candidates of the number of doctoral candidates placed under their responsibility;
- Where scientific guidance for doctoral projects is shared, or in the event of international joint supervision of thesis or exceptional circumstances, the council of the doctoral school may grant individual exemptions following prior review of each individual situation by the council of the doctoral school, in line with the procedures set out in each doctoral school's rules and regulations;
- raise doctoral students' awareness of the principles of ethics in research and scientific integrity; ensure that they form their thinking in keeping with these principles from the very start of their doctoral work and abide by them; also raise doctoral students' awareness of rules and guidelines on the signing of publications, circulation of research findings (open archiving, confidentiality) and intellectual property, as well as to the importance of abiding by national regulations, rules and procedures internal to the University of Paris-Saclay and health and safety rules; raise their awareness about issues in preventing conflict, harassment and discrimination;
- ensure that the doctoral student is well-integrated into the scientific community and, in particular, the research unit; contribute to monitoring progress on doctoral students in their doctoral schools and to action taken by the research unit in order to integrate the doctoral candidates into the research unit; ensure, at their own level, that the doctoral student engages in scientific exchange with other doctoral students and, more generally speaking, with the scientific community as a whole;
- ensure that they are regularly informed of the project's progress by the doctoral candidate; regularly monitor the project; dedicate attention and adequate time to the project, gradually guide doctoral students to sufficiency; build a constructive and positive relationship with doctoral students so as to enable effective knowledge transfer and skills; help doctoral students identify their strengths and weaknesses and encourage them to develop their skills;
- ensure that doctoral students take into due consideration time constraints and plans research work efficiently over the duration of the doctoral project; alert doctoral students to external difficulties or constraints which they may not have identified themselves;
- looking ahead to thesis defence, encourage and help doctoral students, from the very first stages of thesis preparation, to call attention to the quality and innovative nature of their research, be capable of placing it within its scientific context and enhance their presentation skills; ensure also that the doctoral students take full advantage of the opportunities offered to them to develop their skills (upon admission to the doctoral studies programme, during activities organised by the research unit or by the doctoral school, durirng colloquiums and conferences, during interviews with the thesis monitoring committee);
- help doctoral candidates identify supplementary training that could be beneficial to their research or professional future; take part in collective training for doctoral candidates organised by the doctoral school to which they belong or offered at the level of the College of Doctoral Studies (doctoral seminars, round tables, doctoral days, etc.);
- help doctoral students prepare their professional future; keep informed of the professional development of the PhDs they have trained;
- take part in thesis defence examination panels, take part in individual thesis monitoring committees at the doctoral school, doctoral school admission commissions or selection panels; more generally speaking, contribute to the quality assurance approach of the doctoral training school; assist in promoting and helping to secure recognition, at their level, for the doctoral studies programme at Université Paris-Saclay;
The Research Unit Director
Research unit directors ensure that the doctoral project is consistent with the research unit's scientific policy. They ensure that the work is original in nature, and feasible over the project's planned duration and within the setting of the research unit and its partnerships. They ensure that the project takes into account the needs stemming from national research and innovation policy.
They contribute, at their own level, to securing recognition and promotion for the doctoral degree awarded by the University of Paris-Saclay;
They ensure that all scientific, material and financial conditions required for the smooth conduct of the student's doctoral project have been met.
When these conditions have been met, the research unit director commits to fully integrating their research unit, in line with the provisions set out by the institutions under which the research unit operates. In all events, they inform the institution within which the research unit has been established and is legally responsible for hosting a doctoral student. They ensure that doctoral candidates are welcomed into the unit and that general measures conducive to good integration and preventing situations of exclusion are instituted, as well as ensure that doctoral students enjoy good working conditions in their research unit.
Each doctoral school is home to a given number of research units, dedicated to organising training for doctoral students. Within this setting, research unit directors maintain close ties with the doctoral school to which their unit belongs and ensures that the action run by its unit in the field of doctoral training are consistent with those run by the doctoral school or the college of doctoral studies.
In particular, they ensure that their research unit, in conjunction with the doctoral school, offers or takes part in organising scientific exchange and activities likely to consolidate doctoral students' scientific culture and open them up further to the international environment.
They contribute, at their own level, to the quality assurance approach adopted by the doctoral studies programme, the smooth operation of all procedures and processes, waivers granted, and mediation and conflict resolution mechanisms.
Research unit directors also ensure that the information for which the research unit is responsible is duly provided to doctoral candidates as soon as they arrive, in particular:
- regarding the overall organisation of the research unit, the internal rules and regulations or internal procedures, the rules and procedures specific to the institutions under which the research unit operates or the University of Paris-Saclay that apply in the research unit, the professional ethics rules and health and safety regulations in effect within the research unit; guidelines on the signing of publications; existing training programmes on research in ethics and scientific integrity, copyright and intellectual property, and circulation of research findings (open archiving, confidentiality) and intellectual property; and prevention of conflict, harassment and discrimination;
- regarding the scientific aims of the research unit and, where applicable, the research team into which the doctoral candidate is integrated, on the consistency between the unit's stated scientific mission and the needs of national research and innovation policy;
- on the general conditions under which theses are prepared and defended within the research unit; on the premises or work areas made available to them;
- on scientific activities open to members of the research unit, and in particular, the seminar series and scientific events; on scientific exchange programmes between doctoral students, or more generally speaking, with the scientific community as a whole, instituted by the research unit, by the doctoral school or by networks to which the research belongs; on the training opportunities open to members of the research unit;
- on the integration programmes and networks of doctoral candidates in existence in the research unit or to which the research unit belongs;
- on the research unit's opportunities for European and international experience, and on the professional future of the doctoral students from the research unit.
The Doctoral School Unit Director
The doctoral school, working in close conjunction with the research units or teams operating within their walls, organise training for doctoral students and prepares them to become professionals, further to the remit entrusted to doctoral schools upon accreditation, and in compliance with the doctoral policy at the University of Paris-Saclay and the coordination thereof, at the level of the College of Doctoral Studies.
They contribute, at their own level, to securing recognition and promotion for the doctoral degree awarded by the University of Paris-Saclay;
As such, prior to first-time enrolment in the doctoral programme, the director of the doctoral school:
- informs applicants seeking enrolment in the doctoral studies programme about the conditions for admission, skills required, funding for which they may be eligible, the potential supervision available from the doctoral school, the nature, quality and degrees of professional employment available upon earning the doctorate;
- implements a doctoral candidate selection policy based on open, equitable, explicit and publicly-disclosed criteria, applied in line with internationally-recognised principles, in
- particular those stated in the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, which encourages originality and scientific risk-taking, the international and inter-disciplinary reach of the doctoral projects underway.
- They ensure that all scientific, material and financial conditions required for the smooth conduct of the student's doctoral project have been met; they take part in identifying sources of funding and propose the attribution thereof in such a way as to help doctoral students prepare and continue their thesis work under the best possible conditions;
- proposes applicants to the President of the University of Paris-Saclay for first-time enrolment in a doctoral studies programme, having sought the opinion of the thesis supervisor and research unit director;
- has the thesis topics to which doctoral students have committed and, where applicable, the related outcomes, recorded in existing national registries, so that all interested parties can ascertain the originality and innovative nature of the new topics proposed (STEP);
As doctoral students prepare their theses, the director of the doctoral school:
- organises, in close connection with the research units, scientific exchange between doctoral students and, more broadly, with the scientific community at large;
- offers doctoral students group activities and coursework that foster inter-disciplinarity, a broadened scientific culture including familiarity with the international research framework, such that they can develop transferable skills, benefiting both their research project and their professional project; ensure that each doctoral student receives training about ethics in research and scientific integrity;
- contributes to building openness to the European and international environments, through cooperation initiatives run with foreign institutions of higher learning or research centres;
- ensures due enforcement of the Doctoral Charter and compliance with the internal rules and procedures as well as with national legislation; ensure that action is taken to prevent conflict, harassment and discrimination; implements and sees to the smooth operation of mediation and conflict resolution mechanisms;
- runs a quality assurance approach within the doctoral studies programme, in particular setting up individual thesis monitoring committees and offering tailored support to the doctoral supervisory teams; ensures transparency and monitoring of smooth progress in all procedures and processes and in waivers granted;
- contributes to post-degree support programmes for students having completed earned their doctorate and endeavouring to continue in the same field, in the public or private sector, organising in conjunction with the relevant institutions monitoring of professional development in University of Paris-Saclay PhD-holders.
Once the doctoral students have completed their theses, the director of the doctoral school:
- proposes reviewers to examine the thesis, having sought the opinion of the thesis supervisor, reviews the examination panel's proposals, ensures that it is duly formed and compliant with regulations, and issues an opinion on authorisation to defend thesis;
- ensures that information regarding thesis defence and the professional development of PhDs is regularly gathered and circulated; also publicises information about the thesis' preparation time and about drop-outs;
Mediation and Conflict Resolution
In the event of difficulty or conflict, the parties involved strive to reach an amicable solution. The conflict resolution mechanism is established at the level of the doctoral school, which offers its services to help solve conflicts emerging during the preparation of doctoral work. This channel offered by the doctoral school is the only one available: it comes in addition to other conflict resolution channels that may exist within the research unit, employing institution, via unions, etc. The following principles guide the solution-seeking process:
- disagreements and conflicts are by no means exceptional, and calling upon a doctoral school to settle a conflict should not be experienced as stigmatising or seen as a final and last resort, but instead, as an amicable approach that should be embarked upon as early as possible, before the difficulties become to difficult to settle;
- it is important to strike the right balance between the reflection period needed by all involved so that the conflict settlement process can proceed under the best conditions, with perspective on the issues and without precipitation, to prepare for the discussions and derive the greatest possible benefit from them, and the conflict-settlement time, which needs to be short enough so that each party can then turn the page.
- the best solutions are those which the parties in conflict find themselves, if possible, through mediation. The mediator's responsibility is to hear the conflicting parties, convene them jointly so that they can compare their viewpoints, and help them find the settlement that best suits them. Mediators are vested with no other authority than that resulting from the trust which the parties place in them. The use of a mediator is highly recommended, and the doctoral school provides assistance to conflicting parties in finding a mediator.
Should the mediation process fail to result in a settlement, or if the conflicting parties do not wish to find a solution jointly with the assistance of a mediator, the doctoral school may decide to convene a conciliation commission, in accordance with the provisions of the procedural document defined and applied across the University of Paris-Saclay. The aim of the Conciliation Commission will be to develop solutions and make recommendations.
The individual thesis monitoring committee may, should the situation so require, alert the doctoral school's director to the need for mediation or a conciliation commission.
The Conciliation Commission is formed in such a way as to be equally attentive to the viewpoints of each party involved. Where the Conciliation Commission has been convened further to a thesis monitoring committee recommendation, the doctoral school may call upon the latter to contribute to forming the said Commission.
The solutions proposed or recommendations made must be preceded by discussion between the Commission and each of the parties separately, and by exchange between the two, run by the Commission.
The doctoral schools, at the level of the College of Doctoral Studies, working in a setting that guarantees anonymity, share their analysis of the situations calling for conflict resolution action on their part, in order to jointly derive lessons from them and make constructive use of the latter to prevent conflict and raise awareness in all players involved in the doctoral studies programme.