Binational Doctoral Training – Cotutelle de thèse
A “cotutelle de thèse” is a binational doctoral program that is carried out in cooperation with an international partner university. The program is binational in that the doctoral candidate has a supervisor both at the home and the international partner university, the candidate spends an agreed upon amount of time at the partner university, external supervisors are involved both in the evaluation of the dissertation and its defense and a common doctoral diploma is issued by both universities (or in some cases two separate diplomas are issued which refer to one another). Each individual cotutelle program is accompanied by a written agreement, signed by both universities, which lays down the details of the doctoral training.
The German Rector’s Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz HRK), the voluntary association of state and state-accredited universities and institutions of higher education, has issued recommendations and guidelines regarding cotutelle programs, which are available on their web site.
The Graduate Academy provides information about the HRK guidelines regarding cotutelle and about the individual preparatory steps and has sample agreements available to doctoral candidates and supervisors. We also review cotutelle agreements as to whether they are consistent with the HRK guidelines and the general University regulations with regard to matriculation, fees, insurance, granting of titles etc. Issues having to do with the academic work, the supervision of the doctoral candidate or the details of the doctoral training (e.g. time and length of the visit to the partner university, language in which the dissertation is written or in which the defense is carried out, evaluation of the dissertation, location of the defense, members of the examining committee etc.) are, of course, decided upon and regulated by the appropriate academic faculty.