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Université Paris-Saclay International Joint PhD Program ("cotutelle") 2021

In 2021, IDEX Paris-Saclay will finance the Université Paris-Saclay Joint PhD Programme to support the establishment of PhD projects in international co-supervision.

The program has two main objectives:

  1. to start ambitious doctoral projects, within the framework of international joint PhD agreement for doctoral thesis, to promote the internationalization of doctoral candidates,
  2. to contribute to the internationalization of doctoral schools and research laboratories, the development of partnerships and the visibility and international attractiveness of  Université Paris-Saclay.

International cooperation, research partnerships, double degrees


Program content

All of our 21 Doctoral Schools are concerned. 

  • Agriculture, alimentation, biologie, environnement, santé (ABIES)
  • Droit Economie Management (DEM)
  • Ecole Doctorale Physique en Ile-de-France
  • Interfaces
  • Sciences Chimiques : Molécules, Matériaux, Instrumentalisation et Biosystèmes (2MIB)
  • Plant Sciences: from Genes to Ecosystems (SEVE)
  • Sciences Sociales et Humanités (SSH)
  • Astronomie et Astrophysique d'Ile-de-France
  • Doctoral School of Mathematics Hadamrd (EDMH)
  • Electrical, Optical, Bio : PHYSICS_AND_ENGINEERING (EOBE)
  • Particles, Hadrons, Energy, Nuclei, Instrumentation, Imaging, Cosmos a,d Simulation (PHENIICS)
  • Sciences de l'environnement d'Ile-de-France
  • Sciences et technologie de l'information et de la communication (STIC)
  • Signalisations et réseaux intégratifs en biologie (BIOSIGNE)
  • Oncology, Biology, Medicine, Health
  • Ecole Doctorale Ondes et Matière
  • Innovation thérapeutique du fondamental à l'appliqué
  • Santé Publique
  • Sciences du sport, de la motricité et du mouvement humain (SSMMH)
  • Sciences mécaniques et énergétiques, matériaux et géosciences - SMEMAG
  • Structure et dynamique des systèmes vivants

Learn more about all the doctoral schools 

All laboratories of Université Paris-Saclay of the large perimeter can be concerned.

Complet list of laboratories

PhD students admitted to the doctoral program and who receive funding from IDEX Paris-Saclay will be recruited on a fixed-term research contract for a period corresponding to the number of months funded by the University of Paris-Saclay. The level of gross monthly remuneration is aligned with that of the public law doctoral contract.

More information 

Possible employers* for contract PhD students in the program are:

  • Université Paris-Saclay (Faculties of Science of Orsay, Medicine, Pharmacy, Sports Science and Law-Economy-Management)
  • University of Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
  • University of Evry Val d'Essonne
  • Centrale Supélec
  • ENS Paris-Saclay
  • Agro Paris Tech

* This list remains to be completed or specified

Accompanying measures for doctoral students will be provided jointly by the two partner universities.
The provisions (duration of the thesis, follow-up committees, doctoral training, seminars, preparation of the professional future, etc.) are the subject of arrangements discussed between the two universities and integrated into the joint PhD agreement signed between the two universities. In general, the support provided in an international co-supervision is a mitigation of the usual support offered by each university according to the time spent in each.

Additional support can be provided to facilitate the mobility of doctoral candidates in joint PhD between the two universities, of their supervisors or of the members of the defense panel. Financial support may be provided, up to a maximum of 5000€.

The professional future of PhDs, and in particular of those who prepared their thesis under international joint PhD, is closely monitored at the Université Paris-Saclay. Detailed statistics are available here:

The international joint PhD is a real asset for career development. 32% declare themselves very satisfied with their professional situation and 54% satisfied.  75% are satisfied or very satisfied with their salary. 82%, 3 years after their thesis, are engaged in research activities, either in the academic field or outside it.

How to be admitted in Université Paris-Saclay Joint PhD Programme ?


A Master's degree or a degree equivalent to a Master's degree is required for enrolment in a doctoral programme. 


Eligibility Criteria

Criterion 1 - Excellence of the application and doctoral project 

The selection committee of the programme will take into account :

  1. a letter of the relevant doctoral school of the University of Paris-Saclay, written opinion after the hearing of the candidate, supporting the application. Letters of support from the laboratory and/or from well-known personalities in the field are welcome.
  2. the quality of the two host and supervisory teams, the originality of the subject and the scientific risk-taking, the international and interdisciplinary openness of the doctoral project. 

Criterion 2 - Conditions favourable to the successful completion of the international co-supervision of the thesis 

  1. The motivation of the candidate to prepare his/her doctorate under international co-supervision
  2. The experience of collaboration between the partners (supervisors, research teams)
  3. The scientific cooperation envisaged, the way in which international coordination is envisaged to carry out this doctoral project

Criterion 3 - The institutional interest of this international partnership 

  1. Involvement or contribution of the foreign partner university, the support provided to the project.
  2. Is the agreement part of an already structured institutional partnership or will it be a first step towards establishing one?

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask them on the following e-mail address :

Application file

  • The application summary form (max 2 pages)
  • The doctoral project and the opinion of the doctoral school on this project
  • A letter of support from the thesis director at the Université Paris-Saclay
  • A letter of motivation from the candidate
  • One or more letters of support and commitment from the foreign partner institution
  • At least one letter of support and commitment from a co-financier

The application procedures and the format of the summary sheet are detailed in the document below: 

Strong partnerships exist with several international universities, the most notable being the European university EUGLOH in which the University of Paris-Saclay is involved. Applicants are invited to highlight their participation in cooperative master's programmes between UPSaclay and a foreign partner university.

Apply for an international joint PhD 

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, a French institution of higher education accredited to award a doctorate may enter into an agreement with one or more foreign institutions of higher education, which have the same prerogatives in their own country, to organize an international co-supervision of a thesis.

See existing international partnerships


In the case where two international co-tutored thesis projects are submitted in the framework of this call for proposals, in a coordinated manner, with an arrangement whereby one of the co-tutored doctoral students is financed 100% by IDEX Paris-Saclay and the other 100% by the foreign partner institution, then two separate applications must be submitted in the framework of this call for proposals, specifying very explicitly, in both applications, the planned arrangement of the cofunding and the links between the two applications in the two files. This type of arrangement is encouraged.

Apply for a joint PhD

Details to set up an international joint PhD

2021 Schedule

  • Application to the doctoral schools, according to their own schedule.
  • Submission of applications by the doctoral schools to the programme selection committee, before midnight on Monday of the third week of June (in 2021, June 14 before 11:59 pm).
  • The programme selection committee will meet on Friday of the fourth week of June morning (in 2021, June 25, 2020 from 9am to 12pm)
  • The results will be communicated to the project leaders and the doctoral schools concerned at the end of the committee meeting.

Useful information