The international cotutelle of the thesis is a procedure whereby a doctoral candidate can obtain the doctoral degree on the basis of a unique thesis defence in France and in the foreign partnering country. It is regulated by the May 25th decree (title 3) and has the following goals :
– To support the international dimension of the doctoral schools
– To support the students travels
– To develop the scientific cooperation of the foreign and French research teams

The thesis is validated by a unique defense allowing the PhD candidate to obtain :
– either a joint degree. In this case a framing convention must be established priorly between the two institutions
– either a degree delivered simultaneously by both institutions.

The preparation of the thesis must be done in alternate periods of time evenly balanced between both institutions. The time of presence in France must be of 12 months minimum over the three years. 

A three years funding from the date of first registration at Université Sorbonne Paris Nord  is required. By way of derogation in the case of a co-tutelle, funding must cover, at a minimum, the period of residence in France of the PhD student. The minimum amount of funding required is €760 per month for a minimum period of 12 months.

Enrolment in both institutions must start synchronously, i.e. in the first academic year. In some very special cases, the university accepts that these registrations may be desynchronised, but candidates must not have been enrolled for more than 14 months in the foreign partner university at the time of the application for 1st year registration at the University of Paris 13.

Coutelle agreement

Cotutelle thesis requires the signing of a cotutelle convention which sets the disposals concerning the writing of the paper, the place of the defence, the payment of the enrolment fees, the amount of time to be spent in France etc…

This procedure must be initiated by the thesis directors who propose the co-supervisor and agree on the title, subject, defence and diploma delivery conditions. Given the lengthy procedure, the agreement must be filed a few months before administrative registration. It must be finalized and signed during the first year of the thesis.

The PhD student must register each year in both partner institutions for the duration of the thesis with an exemption from registration fees in one of the two institutions (on presentation of proof of payment of university fees in the other university for the year concerned). He must pay the registration fees alternately in one of the two partner institutions.

Management of the cotutelle agreement

The cotutelle conventions (French version or English/French version) are managed by the BRED and must be requested from Mrs Barul (see contact below). Before it reaches the partnering university, the completed convention must be validated by the doctoral school and the BRED.

After having collected the signatures of the two thesis directors, the president of the partner university and the directors of the two laboratories, the cotutelle agreement must be returned to BRED. The agreement is then examined again by the doctoral school and the BRED before being signed by University Paris 13.

A cotutelle lasts three years and can only be renewed on an exceptional basis. An extension amendment must then be drawn up and signed by all partners. The amendment request must follow the same steps as the agreement. Any request for an extension must be clearly justified.

Distribution of agreement copies
  • An original to BRED
  • An original to the partner university
  • A copy to the PhD supervisor
  • A copy to the doctoral school
  • A copy to the laboratory director
  • A copy to the student

Mrs Franciane Barul
Bureau de la Recherche et des Etudes Doctorales (BRED)
Téléphone : + 33 1 49 40 30 17 // Fax : +33 1 49 40 38 44
Mail :