Doctoral studies


The doctorate is generally prepared over three years after obtaining a masters or equivalent qualification. This training awards, after defending a thesis, a doctorate, and is offered by graduate schools.

The doctorate, courses given at graduate schools

Graduate schools are attached to higher education institutions. They bring together a set of research teams that support the education and future of doctoral students.


They provide the future doctor with high-level scientific support and preparation for joining the workplace.

Links with research and the scientific quality of laboratories, the recruitment procedure for doctoral students and the financing policy of theses, managerial potential and educational policy, partnerships with the socio-economic world and encouraging mobility and European and international openness are all important criteria for the accreditation of graduate schools.

 International co-supervision of theses.

The system of international co-supervision of theses is defined by the decree of January 6, 2005.

 An agreement must be made between the two establishments concerned; this could consist of:

o a specific agreement for a thesis;

o a framework agreement specifying the general conditions each thesis being subject to an implementing agreement.


In both cases, this Agreement must be addressed to the relevant Doctoral program that will handle the file.

The student must be duly registered in both universities. As for the Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, the general rules for registering for a thesis apply:

If the student is not registered, he or she must submit a request for authorisation to apply alongside the draft agreement.

  • Students already signed up with the UNS for a thesis may suggest a co-supervision agreement in the first year of their doctorate or, at the latest, at the start of their second year.


 The principle of the agreement is reciprocity: the thesis is the subject of a single defence in one of the two institutions, following which the title of doctor is conferred in France, and the same must apply in the other country. This title can be conferred either by issuing a joint degree or by issuing the doctoral degree in both countries (procedure to be specified in the agreement).

The conditions of the defence, regardless of the establishment in which it occurs, should respect the rules defined by the decree of 7 August 2006 on doctoral studies. However, "when the rules applicable to doctoral studies in the countries concerned have conflicting aspects between them, French institutions are allowed to derogate from the provisions of the decree provided for in Article L. 612-7 of the Education Code concerning those specific aspects, in accordance with the provisions of this Order and under the conditions defined by the Agreement" (decree of January 6 2005, Art. 4 amended by Decree of August 7, 2006).

The co-supervision model convention established by the Université Nice-Sophia Antipolis should preferably be used.

 In the particular case of Quebec, use the special form appended to the Franco-Quebec Framework Agreement of October 1996.

For co-supervision in the context of the annual invitation to tender of the Université Franco-Italienne (UFI), use the model required by this establishment.

In all other cases (e.g. an agreement proposed by the partner University), ensure that the text complies with all provisions of the Decree of January 6 2005.

NB: The co-supervision agreement contains no provision on the financing of travel, but it is possible to apply for grants through specific tenders.


 Vocational training

Since the Decree of August 7, 2006, training "to help join the workplace" has been included in doctorate studies to ensure better employability.

The presentation of the vocational programs offered by the Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis is available at the following link: training of doctoral students.

For questions on professional training courses, please contact the Training Department.


Tel.: +33 4 92 07 66 46


Researchers of Honour in 2014 (hyperlink only)