Doctoral studies in France co-tutelle principles and processes

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1 Doctoral studies in France co-tutelle principles and processes Marie-Christine Rousset Prof. in Computer Science In charge of International relations for the Doctoral College of the University of Grenoble

2 Doctoral Education in France/Europe The third cycle of higher education (Bologna process, since 2003) following the bachelor and master levels also forms the first phase of younger researchers careers Bologna process Harmonization of higher education in Europe Credits (ECTS, European Credit Transfer and accumulation System) European standards and guidelines Facilitates mutual recognition of diplomas and thus student mobility In practice : LMD structuration Licence/Bachelor (180 or 240 credits) Master (120 or 60 credits) Doctorate (3 years)

3 Comparison between French and Canadian Higher Education Systems Doctorate Doctorate Master 2 Master 2 R P Master 1 Licence 3 Licence 2 Licence 1 IUP IUP CPGE Master Bachelor

4 Connection between master and doctorate Most of the master programmes offer a research track in the last (second) year M2R (Research master) versus M2 Pro (Professional master) degree Research master Semester 1 of second year: a 12 week academic program assessed by comprehensive exams choice of a an individual research project + supervisor Semester 2 of the second year: dedicated full-time to the individual research project conducted at a local public or corporate research laboratory under the supervision of an academic supervisor assessed on the basis of a written thesis report and an oral defence

5 Connection between master and doctorate Doctoral studies requires a research master or the recognition of research qualifications i.e., the demonstration of aptitude for scientific research by completion of a scientific research project A highly selective year half of the graduated research master students only are allowed to continue as doctoral candidates Each Doctoral School has a certain number of affiliated research masters while being open to external applications coming from other masters in France or from abroad

6 Doctoral programmes Conducted by Doctoral Schools coordinated by the Doctoral College of a University A critical mass of doctoral candidates For instance, the Doctoral College of Grenoble University counts around PhD students of which 41% are foreign students, grouped in 12 Doctoral Schools Conducting their own supervised research in a research group within one of the many laboratories of a given University Being offered a variety of training courses and seminars during their doctoral studies scientific courses, business training, language courses, training-forrecruitment seminars... common courses organized by the Doctoral College

7 Doctoral programmes Common but flexible rules A minimal number of credits must be obtained during the doctorate for the defense to be authorized Application, evaluation and re-registration procedures are controlled by the council of each Doctoral School: it ensures that the duration of the doctoral studies is not too long. Each doctoral thesis is evaluated by two external reviewers and publicly defended if the two reports are positive A doctorate charter established at the national level is a guide of good practices It is discussed, checked and signed every year by each doctoral candidate, his/her supervisor, the head of the home laboratory and the director of the Doctoral School

8 Doctoral Schools / Doctoral Colleges / PRES Result of the structuration of higher education and research in France Initiated from the French Law of 18 April 2006 Consortiums of research and higher education (PRES) Universities, Grandes Ecoles and Research organizations of a same geographical location Education: Coordination of academic programs Research : Enhanced cooperation, innovation and transfer Better international visibility PRES means: Pôle de Recherche et d Enseignement Supérieur

9 17 PRES in France (march 2010) Organized in 17 new public organizations (EPCS) including: 51 universities 51 institutions: French Grandes Ecoles : IEP, Management and commerce schools, Engineer schools, National polytechnic schools, Large hospital centers.

10 Quality assurance Evaluation done every 4 years by the French Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education (AERES) of Institutions of Research Units of Programmes and Degrees Evaluation reports and scores can be accessed on line on AERES site

11 International joint PhD: «cotutelle» Reinforcement of the 9th Salzburg Principle (SalzburgII recommendation, 2009) Internationalisation strategies should be a tool in increasing the quality in doctoral education and in developing institutional research capacity collaborative doctoral programmes such as co-tutelle are one model of international strategies Main features of a cotutelle Joint supervision Alternation of stays in both countries One defence Double/joint PhD degree: a joint recognition of the work accomplished by the doctoral candidate The language for the report thesis and the defence can be English

12 Double degree / Joint degree: definitions Double degree: a specific degree conferred by each of the partner establishments in which the participation of the other establishment is mentioned Joint degree: a single degree conferred jointly by the partner establishments ( double-badged degree)

13 A cotutelle Is NOT Is only a joint supervision two diplomas for a single work a joint recognition of a PhD by two partner universities a possibility for doctoral candidates to discover different ways of doing research in another country and to gain international experience access to sophisticated research equipment and world class faculty create connections, at early stage of their career, to pursue scientific research opportunities between the two countries obtain a double-badged doctoral degree, recognised in Canada and in Europe be exposed to different cultural and scientific environments and become global citizens

14 A cotutelle : a «win-win» collaboration a device for strengthening international collaboration between two universities of two different countries in research and higher education a way of increasing universities attractiveness by proposing international PhD programs and raise their visibility internationally

15 How can it start? Previous research cooperation between two research groups or two academics (one in France and one in Canada) Pro-active students initiate contact between two academics (a French and a Canadian) to create a new cotutelle. This process may raise some concerns will the two advisors be able to work together? but can also have positive effects on the research links between French and Canadian universities New contacts and projects may come from a cotutelle thesis

16 Universities involved All French universities, under national regulations. All universities in Quebec Increasing interest in the rest of Canada approval on cotutelle already signed by UBC, SFU, U of Ottawa, York, Moncton, UWO in progress at U of Alberta, Calgary, Victoria, Dalhousie, Waterloo, Carleton, Mc Master University

17 Cotutelle agreement Each cotutelle PhD is made official by a Cotutelle Convention signed by the partner institutions Therefore, each convention is different as it is adapted to individual students.

18 General Framework Duration PhD in Cotutelle is a normal PhD with time shared between the 2 countries atleast one year is spent in each country (in one or several periods of residence). The cotutelle agreement is usually signed within the first year of the PhD. Academic Requirements The requirements of each institution (other than the writing of the thesis) such as mandatory courses, seminars, comprehensive exams, must be specified in the cotutelle Convention and adapted for each student.

19 Tuition fees A student can t be required to pay tuition fees in two institutions simultaneously. He/she pays fees either at the institution where he/she is physically present or at his/her home institution. Defence The PhD thesis should be defended only once. The jury should be composed of individuals from both institutions and one external examiner. Can be written and defended in English Requirements from both universities concerning the defence are generally added, with adapted rules about the use of languages. Other clauses Clauses about intellectual property, health insurance, housing, etc. are generally added to the Convention.

20 A French team The cotutelle scheme A joint research project A Canadian team Joint supervision Involved in A PhD student Joint supervision Spends time in both countries/teams -> gets international experience -> becomes a lasting link between teams/univ/countries Enrolled in A French University Specific agreement for this cotutelle: - the two teams, PhD student & project - joint examination process -> provide a double degree if successful Enrolled in A Canadian University Individual cotutelle agreements may be a first step to build joint Doctoral programs (on Erasmus mundus model)

21 French Institutions: Great Flexibility Article 4 of the decree of January 6, 2005 authorizes universities to bypass French mechanisms if these are contradictory to the requirements made by the foreign partner institution.

22 Funding: various opportunities Principal funding: Ministerial research grants, grants from government funding agencies, partnerships with the private sector, grants from local government, etc No difference between French or Foreign applicants Can be shared between the two universities Must be specified in the cotutelle agreement Mobility funding: French Embassy Scholarships for Canadian doctoral candidates Invitations To France for Canadian researchers/ Study trips to Canada for French researchers Can be used to finalize the cotutelle convention Local French governments Scholarships for French doctoral candidates French Research Institutions INRIA (Computer Science), CNES (Space Studies), ADEME (environment and energy), IFREMER (oceanography) Institut d Etudes Politiques (Political Science) Companies and Foundations More details in Philippe Carlevan s talk or at

23 *** THANK YOU ***

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