Co-supervision of a thesis
In general, the international relations office of UNIL recommends a co-supervision of a thesis which is less restrictive than a joint supervision. A doctoral student who is co-supervised receives supervision from a UNIL thesis supervisor, in collaboration with a supervisor from another university (both supervisors will be part of the jury). However, only the University of origin will be able to award the doctoral degree. The co-supervision of a thesis does not require the signing of an agreement, nor the enrolment in both institutions.
Interested doctoral students should get in touch directly with the contact persons in the faculties listed below.
Joint supervision of a thesis («cotutelle»)
The joint supervision programme aims to develop scientific cooperation between two institutions encouraging thus the mobility of doctoral students. The particularity of a joint supervision is that a doctoral student carries out the research work under the joint responsibility of two thesis supervisors (one at UNIL and one at an institution abroad, authorized to award doctoral degrees). The thesis is only defended once but gives rise to two diplomas, one from UNIL and one from the partner institution (with the joint supervision mentioned on each diploma). Thus the doctoral student must be enroled at both institutions.
The establishment of a joint supervision arrangement requires the conclusion of an agreement between the two institutions. A joint supervision agreement may be signed with institutions with which UNIL has signed a cooperation agreement. For other universities, applications will be examined on a case by case basis by the concerned faculties. At UNIL, a joint supervision agreement may be signed during the first two years of enrolment as a doctoral student.
Information concerning the procedures to be followed and conditions for concluding a joint supervision agreement are indicated in the document below.
Recommendations and procedure
Before starting a doctoral thesis, it's important to have sufficient and sustainable financial resources for the entire duration of the thesis, and this of course also applies if you are under joint supervision.
It is therefore essential to discuss this aspect with your thesis supervisor before agreeing to supervise you. For further information, visit the Graduate Campus website.
Funding opportunities for PhD students (non-exhaustive list).
Funding sources for a joint supervision
A call for subsidies is launched every autumn by swissuniversities. The deadline to submit an application for the current call is March 31, 2024. Visit the swissuniversities website for more information (eligibility, explanatory notes, application form etc.).
For information concerning the requirements for establishing a joint supervision agreement and concerning all aspects related to internal regulations of the faculties (expenses, thesis deposit, colloquium, defense of the thesis, composition of the jury, title of the diploma, requirements in terms of exams, signatures, co-supervision, etc.)