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International joint supervisor of a PhD thesis

International joint supervision of a PhD Thesis

International joint supervision allows a PhD student to complete their PhD in France and abroad. It enables them to be awarded a PhD by the University of Lyon and by the foreign University after a single defense.

The PhD student is enrolled in both Univeristy each year, and conducts his/her research alternately in two laboratories under the joint supervision of two PhD supervisors.  

The thesis is defended only one time and the two institutions award a joint degree or two separate degrees.

An agreement sets out the timetable, the joint training of the PhD student, the payment of institution fees, social protection , and the rights and duties of each institution.
The PhD student must contact the Department in charge of PhD programs of both institutions when he/she registers for the first time to set up this agreement.

An international joint PhD thesis involves expenses due to mobility costs. Some institutions also require payment of insitution fees and/or co-supervision fees.
It is therefore important to plan a budget, look for funding and apply for scholarship programmes as early as possible.

Specific funding programs for joint PhD thesis are available for certain countries. 
For more information 
Campus France
The directory of Campus France scholarship program
►The ANDès funding guide  :

Foreign candidate for a cotutelle with France

Il you are a foreign candidate for a cotutelle with France, you may be able to receive funding form your government and, sometimes, from the French embassy (in Canada for example).

Foreign candidates

You will find below helpful information.

How to apply ?

If you were not awarded a Master degree including research training, you must be able to prove that you have an equivalent diploma or degree that has enabled you to be trained in research (6-month internship in an academic research laboratory).
The foreign diplomas are subject to the validation of the EDISS council or executive commitee and of the Univeristy Lyon 1.

Help for foreign candidates

Help with admission and registration processes

Foreign students can contact the following persons to have help for their application and registration.

♦ EDISS : 
Secretariat of l'EDISS
Tél : 04 72 44 83 62
Email :

UNIVERSITY LYON 1 :                  
Welcoming foreign students enrolled at the University Lyon 1
The Boréal centre is dedicated to foreign students enrolled at Lyon 1 and offers advice and help with administrative procedures in English, German and Spanish.
Web site: Bureau d'accueil des étudiants internationaux déjà inscrits à Lyon 1 - Portail étudiant (
Joint PhDs - Gisèle BARBIER
Tél : 04 72 43 16 45
Email :

♦ INSA Lyon 
Prof. Damien FABREGUE
International Relations Department
Tél : 04 72 43 83 91
Email :

♦ University of Lyon : Espace ULYS
Espace Ulys
University of Lyon
92 rue Pasteur
69361 Lyon Cedex 07
Tel : +33 (0)
Email :
Web site :  Espace Ulys

♦ Funding for foreign PhD students

Directory of Campus France scholarchip programs

Financements pour doctorants étrangers
Annuaire des programmes de bourses de Campus France

French language

French language courses 

They are offered free of charge to foreign PhD students by the Univeristy of Lyon and other institutions. The participation in these courses can be validated as part of the training program required by EDISS.

Foreign PhD students are strongly encouraged to follow these courses in the first year of these PhD. They will ease their integration in the laboratory and their daily life. Moreover, they will allow PhD students to follow other training courses in French at a later stage. 

Writing the dissertation 

If you are not fluent in French, it is possible in some institutions to write your PhD Thesis in English. However, in this case, a summary in French must be included in your manuscript. During the oral defense, the presentation must also include a summary in French