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Writing and defending your thesis

Preparing the administrative thesis-defence dossier requires the same rigour as preparing the thesis defence itself. This dossier cannot be completed in a hurry. The conditions for authorisation of the defence are presented in the Doctoral School's regulations.

The doctoral school shall grant authorisation to defend their thesis to those applicants who fulfil the following criteria :

  • 1) Refer to the provisions specific to the enrolling institution (cf. box) to start the application.
  • 2) The doctoral student must contact the Doctoral School at the following address with :
    • the composition of the defence jury and referees signed by the thesis supervisors
    • The training report which can be downloaded from SIGED (tab « Training ») and exemption request form if applicable
      Note : requirement of minimum of 80 hours of additional training including training « intégrité scientifique » & « Ethique de la recherche »
    • The summary of the publications from the thesis work :
      One of the following two conditions must be satisfied :
      • Option 1 : at least one accepted publication as first author or under review publication as first author in an international journal. The manuscript of which is available in open access. The publication(s) must deal with the thesis topic.
      • Option 2 : one publication not yet published but available in preprint and an accepted publication in the format of a Registered Report or Data Paper. These documents must deal with the thesis topic.

The language used for the thesis paper and its defence

The thesis should be written in french. Depending on the rules laid down by each university, permission may be granted for the thesis paper to be written in english.
In the case of jointly supervised theses or theses with the "European Doctorate" label, all corresponding rules, regulations and agreements must be followed.

Choosing the date and venue for the thesis defence

It is up to the thesis director to propose a thesis defence date, at least 2 months prior to the proposed date.
Keep in mind that if you are a PhD student registered for the Y-1/Y academic year, your defence must be held no later than 31 December of year Y. A thesis defence scheduled for 1st January or later of year Y+1 necessitates your re-registration for the Y/Y+1 academic year.
Should you need to register for a 4th year, you will need to obtain special permission to do this, in line with current rules and regulations.
The thesis defence is normally held at the PhD student's institution of registration, though exceptions may be made with the approval of the head of the institution. For jointly supervised theses, the defence location is specified by common accord in the "co-supervision agreement".

Composition of the jury

The thesis director will submit his or her propositions for a jury to hear your thesis to the president or head of the student’s institution of registration, usually at the same time as the student proposes a list of referees.
The composition of a jury to hear a thesis defence must obey strict rules laid down by the university.
Each institution may also have specific requirements regarding the composition of the jury defence committee; contact your institution for more information.
Once all necessary checks have been made and all reports received, the head of the PhD student's institution will sign the authorization to proceed with the thesis defence. Official notification of the thesis defence will then be issued and the jury members convened.