Joint doctoral degree between universities of different countries and the Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Binational Joint Doctorate (Cotutelle)

Information about how to start a Cotutelle de Thèse
Joint doctoral degree between universities of different countries and the Friedrich Schiller University Jena
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In a cotutelle, the doctoral project is jointly supervised by two professors at two universities in different countries. The research takes place at both universities alternately. The partner institutions carry out a joint doctoral procedure and award a joint doctorate.

All requirements which are important for the course of the doctorate are specified in an individual cooperation agreement. It is signed by the doctoral candidate, the supervisors, the two deans and the presidents of the two universities.

In principle, a cotutelle doctorate should be possible with all countries. However, due to different legal requirements, special issues may arise, e.g. with regard to the maximum duration of the doctorate, the assessment, the grading system and the appearance of the doctoral certificate.

  • Basic principles
    • A cooperation agreement is concluded between the two universities
    • You are accepted for doctorate at both universities / in both countries and have doctorate status at both institutions
    • Your doctorate will be jointly supervised by supervisors from both universities
    • During your doctorate, you will alternately spend time at both universities / in both countries. The duration of the stays should be balanced, but at least 1 year at each university
    • The doctoral procedure is carried out jointly (joint doctoral committee). An oral examination takes place which is recognised by both universities
    • A joint doctorate is awarded, either in the form of a joint certificate or two certificates linked together
  • When should you consider a cotutelle?
    • You already have academic contacts in both countries or are seeking to do so
    • Your research topic is strongly linked to the partner university
    • You plan or are prepared to spend a significant proportion of your doctorate working time (at least one year) at the FSU or a university abroad
    • Your doctoral topic is in the research interests of both universities
  • How a Cotutelle procedure works
    1. Supervision agreement or confirmation of supervision by professors from both universities (partner university and FSU) and the doctoral candidate:
      The essential core of a doctorate in cotutelle is the co-supervision. As a first step, you will therefore need a confirmation of supervision at the respective other university. We recommend concluding a joint supervision agreement between you and the supervisors at both universities.
    2. Establishing contact with the partner university
    3. If necessary, check the admission requirements:
      Before a cooperation agreement is drawn up, it must be checked whether you meet the admission requirements at both universities.
    4. Preparation and conclusion of the individual cooperation agreement:
      The Graduate Academy contacts the partner university and prepares the cooperation agreement in several steps. You and your supervisors as well as your faculty will be involved in this process. At least six months should be planned for the drafting of the agreement.
    5. Application for admission:
      At the latest after signing the cotutelle agreement, you should apply for admission as a doctoral candidate to the partner university.

    After submitting the dissertation:

    1. Implementation of the joint doctoral procedure
    2. Joint conferment of the doctoral degree by the two partner universities

Longer research stays abroad or co-supervision by university professors abroad are also possible without a cotutelle. The Graduate Academy will be happy to advise you in order to find the right path for you.

Dr. Alexander Schwarzkopf