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Joint thesis supervision

An international joint thesis supervision takes place within the framework of an agreement between two institutions, a French one and a foreign one.

General principles for the joint supervision

The thesis director must agree with the foreign partner on the principle and framework of the joint thesis supervision, on the basis of the agreement template established by the Research Department (DIREP) including the following ground rules:

  • During the three years of thesis, the doctoral student must be enrolled each year in both universities, but will only pay registration fees in one, according to the rules defined in the joint supervision agreement. It will therefore be necessary to plan, for each year, the university in which the student will pay the fees and the one in which the fees will be waived.
    The rules pertaining to the payment of the fees shall be defined according to a principle of yearly alternation of the payment of fees between the universities.
  • The estimated periods spent in each university must be mentioned.
  • The defense panel is composed equally of scientific representatives from both countries, including the two thesis directors and external representatives. The panel is made up of five to eight members.
  • The thesis leads to a single defense which allows the doctoral student (French or foreign) to simultaneously obtain the French title of doctor (PhD) and the equivalent foreign level. The location of the defense must also be specified in the agreement, along with the writing language of the thesis as well as that of the defense. A substantial written and oral summary must be provided in French if it is not the writing language.
  • The agreement recognizes the validity of the thesis defended in this framework.


The request for the implementation of an international joint thesis supervision agreement is presented by the thesis director of the University of Toulon (UTLN) to the relevant Doctoral School (ED 509, ED 548) before the end of the first academic year of registration for a doctoral thesis.

The implementation of the international joint thesis supervision is dependant on the prior registration of the doctoral student to the ED (Doctoral School) to which the host laboratory at UTLN is attached. If the student is not yet enrolled in one of the university’s ED, the authorization request to register in doctorate must be submitted together with the joint supervision request.

Required documents:

Implementation and validation of the agreement

Once the documents have been submitted, the DIREP verifies the provided elements, the existence of a framework agreement if applicable, and sets up the drafting of the international joint thesis supervision agreement.
Once the agreement is approved by the partner and the UTLN, it is signed in six copies by:

  • the presidents of both universities
  • doctoral schools’ directors, if applicable
  • laboratory directors, if applicable
  • the thesis supervisors
  • the doctoral student


If the situation changes during the implementation of the joint thesis supervision agreement, it must be amended (the request for modification can pertain to the subject, the duration, the change of a thesis supervisor, etc.). This request will be the subject of an addendum that must be signed by the parties.


  • The thesis supervisor sends a written request (paper or electronic version) for the desired modification.
  • In the case of an extension of the doctorate registration, it must be justified and subjected to an assessment from the board of the relevant doctoral school and an approval from the president of the UTLN. Once the request is accepted, an addendum is drawn up by the DIREP and sent to the foreign partner.