Some informations on research and Doctoral Studies in France.
1- How is research structured in France ?
Research teams are evaluated every 4 years by an independent comittee called AERES. Then the Aviesan partners will label the teams as a mere University team or an Inserm-University or CNRS-University or INRA-University team, according to the topics treated. This competition has resulted in a high level of research and every researcher is committed to do his best to obtain these precious labels.
2- What are the relationships between doctoral schools and the research teams ?
All labelled research laboratories are affiliated to only one Doctoral School and nobody can obtain a doctorate without being accepted by a labelled research team. Conversely a Doctoral School is created only if there are enough high level research carried on in its affiliated research team. Doctoral Schools are also evaluated by AERES every 4 years.
3- How an international student can obtain his doctorate ?
To obtain a French University Doctorate it is mandatory to register with this University, and find a research team and funding. The easiest way is the program called “co-tutelle de thèse”. The foreign University and the French University set up an agreement to co-monitor the student in -at least- one of their own research laboratories. The Doctoral Student will then alternate periods of research in his home University and in the French University. The thesis will be at least partly written in English and the defense will be carried in front of a jury from both Universities in a common language. Then the candidate will be Doctor from both Universities (i.e. the foreign and the French Universities).
4- How do I find funding for myself and my research expenses ?
Personal funding and research expenses can be funded separately. The ED Bio-Santé will demand that the student has enough money for his personal expenses and insurances. Very often the home country and France have reached to agreements by which doctoral students are funded, you must contact the French Ambassy in your country and look throughout international programs. Your research expenses will be endorsed by the research team wher you will work. It can be useful to seek for some extra money to get some independence but this is not the rule. All these aspects will be set up by the agreement signed between the two Universities if there is a “co-tutelle” or discussed and evaluated by the Doctoral School only if there is no “co-tutelle”.
5- How long do I need to work in order to obtain my doctorate ?
Usually the thesis should be completed within 36 months. However for international students, especially if they are in the process of “co-tutelle” this will be defined by the Universities’ exchange protocol.