Cotutelle (Joint PhD) : FAQ

International, Education, Research

Who can I contact for information about cotutelle?

contact person for cotutelle agreement: Camille GUILLUY
contact person for cotutelle amendment: Sandrine FERRARI

Preparing a cotutelle agreement (Joint PhD)

What is a cotutelle agreement?

The thesis cotutelle agreement is the document specifying the academic requirements of the PhD student's study programme as well as the conditions guaranteeing the good implementation of the co-supervision between the two partner universities.
It is therefore a nominative/individual document that will make the thesis cotutelle official.
The UGA has a template of its own, but can accept the one of the partner university

I want to register for a thesis at UGA and I already have a co-supervision plan? How do I proceed?

During your first registration at UGA, you must alert your doctoral school about your cotutelle project. They will examine it and after their approval, you will be put in contact with the cotutelle service to establish the agreement.
Please notice that the cotutelle agreement has to be finalised before your re-enrolment at UGA in second year.

I am a PhD student at UGA, I would like to start a cotutelle with a foreign partner university, and I already have a PhD supervisor ready to supervise me there. How do I proceed?

First of all, you should be in first year or at the beginning of your second year. Beyond that cotutelle request will not be accepted.
You have to alert your thesis director and your doctoral school of your cotutelle project. After approbation of the doctoral schools, you will be put in contact with the cotutelle service to establish the agreement.
Please notice that the cotutelle agreement has to be finalised before your re-enrolment at UGA in second year.

I am a PhD student at a University in another country, I have found a supervisor who is interested in supervising me at the UGA, and I would like to formalize the cotutelle with the UGA. How do I proceed?

You have to apply to the doctoral school in your discipline, which will assess your application. After approval by the doctoral school, you will have to contact the cotutelle service to establish and negotiate the cotutelle agreement.

How long does it take to prepare and negotiate the cotutelle agreement?

According to the University with which you wish to settle the cotutelle, the negotiation and signature of the document can take between 3 and 12 months.
It is therefore recommended to start as soon as possible, once the project is defined.

Is it possible to prepare a cotutelle with a partner institution that does not award a doctoral degree?

No, it is not possible. For a cotutelle thesis, both the partner institutions must be entitled to award a doctoral degree.
Each institution will edit its own degree. The PhD Student will therefore have at the end two different degree, but in no case, a joint degree.

My cotutelle day by day

Do I have to be registered at my Home University as well as my partner University?

Yes, you must register every year at both institutions. After the defence, I will obtain the PhD degree at UGA and the degree at the Partner University.

Do I have to pay the registration fees at both the Universities?

No, I have to pay the registration fees only at one of the Universities, as will be indicated in my cotutelle agreement.
But I will have to pay the fees at UGA at least one year (~380€/year)

By who my thesis research will be supervised?

I will carry out my thesis research under the joint supervision of my two thesis directors and my two involved universities. The supervisors have to be entitled to direct the thesis research of the PhD students, or have an equivalent title/derogation corresponding to the French HDR (Habilitation à Diriger des recherches)

Do I have to spend some mobility time at my partner University?

Yes, I should do my research in both institutions, according to a schedule developed jointly with the thesis supervisors. Over the entire duration of the thesis, the period in one or the other country should not be less than 30% of your whole PhD.

How could I get a grant in order to finance the mobility periods at my partner university?

At UGA these kind of grants (specifically dedicated to finance the mobility period at partner University) does not exist.
It is up to you to do your own research and find a financial support, regularly monitoring the online catalogue of Campus France (Campus bourses) and the on-line website of bi-national Universities (for example UFA and UFI), national Institutions such as Foundations, Companies, local administrations, etc.
In addition, if you go to an Erasmus+ partner university of UGA, you could benefit of some aid for international mobility (for further information:

When it is due my request of thesis defence?

The defence request must be submitted to your Doctoral School no later than two months before the foreseen thesis defence date. Please, contact your Doctoral School as soon as possible to start this process

Do I have to defend my thesis twice? At both the Universities?

No, you do not have to defend your thesis twice. There will be only one thesis defence, with a unique thesis jury

Will be possible to extend my cotutelle thesis? If yes, how to proceed?

To extend the duration of your cotutelle, you will first need to obtain the approval of your doctoral school and thesis directors to re-register. You will then have to contact the cotutelle service to establish the amendment agreement. The registration fees location will be specified in the amendment.
You should also make sure that you have the right to re-register at your partner institution, otherwise the amendment to the cotutelle agreement cannot be concluded.
The amendment must be signed by the same people who signed the cotutelle agreement.

In which cases do I need to make an amendment to my cotutelle agreement?

You must make an amendment if there is:
  • Change of the place of defence
  • Change of thesis director
  • Extension of your thesis
  • Significant change of your mobility periods (which would no longer respect the 1/3 of minimum presence in each institution)
Updated on  January 26, 2023