PhD Lifecycle

The PhD student is a researcher in training.
A doctoral training programme is a training-by-doing programme based on the doctoral research project, organised by a doctoral school, completed through a professional research experience within a recognised research group.


The doctoral thesis and original scientific work undertaken during the doctorate are defended by the doctoral candidates in an oral presentation. The PhD work takes the form of a dissertation, the thesis, of which the PhD student is the sole author and which is subject to a legal deposit.

Doctoral programmes

According to the article that defines the doctorate (L617-7), doctoral programmes comprise a customised scientific supervision of the highest quality as well as a joint programme comprising teaching, seminars or internships aiming to:

  • develop PhD students’ scientific culture;
  • prepare their future career prospects in both public and private sectors; and,
  • encourage their international prospects.

International cotutella agreement

Joint international supervision of doctoral theses under an international cotutella agreement : a framework to encourage the mobility of doctoral researchers, develop international scientific cooperation and strengthen the international dimension of doctoral schools.

La cotutelle internationale de thèse va au-delà d'une coopération internationale entre chercheurs, c'est un partenariat institutionnel, entre deux établissements accrédités pour délivrer le doctorat, l'un en France et l'autre à l'étranger, dans le but de co-délivrer le diplome de doctorat.

“European Doctorate” label

Recognition of the European dimension of a doctorate

The “European Doctorate”, or “Doctor Europaeus” is a label awarded by Université Paris-Saclay and applies to the national doctorate diploma, already internationally recognised under the European Undergraduate-Graduate-Post-Graduate framework, and which enables recognition of the European dimension of the PhD project.