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Rules for PhD students supervising

No PhD thesis can be performed without the framework of a Research Unit accredited by university of Strasbourg and Doctoral School except for those carried out in an industrial laboratory (co-supervisor required, see below).

A PhD thesis can no longer be undertaken without funding. Several funding supporting the preparation of a doctorate are listed in section ‘PhD funding’ on this website.



The supervisor of a PhD student must be a permanent member of the EAD holding a HDR degree (diplôme d'habilitation à diriger les recherches).

If the PhD thesis is carried out in an industrial laboratory, a co-supervisor member of academic EAD accredited by doctoral school is required.

A permanent member of EAD non HDR- may be "co-encadrant" of a PhD thesis supervised by a HDR.
A permanent member of EAD non HDR may be co-supervisor if he is registered in the HDR diploma for a defense within the first year of the PhD thesis supervised.

A change of supervisor cannot occur after the second enrollment of the PhD student.


  • Team of at least one HDR supervisor in a Research Unit entirely associated with the Health and Life Sciences Doctoral School after validation of the five year contract (2013-2017) between the University and the MRES (ministery of Higher Education and Research) as member of the Doctoral School.
  • Team or combination of teams with HDR supervisors in Research Units partially accredited by the Health and Life Sciences Doctoral School.
  • Associations require the approuval of the Doctoral School Council.


No more than 4 doctoral students per HDR supervisor are allowed. Exceptions for large teams are possible approuval of the Doctoral School Council required.

No more than 1 PhD per year and per HDR supervisor delivered by the Doctoral School, including any funding requiring an evaluation by the Doctoral School (Region Alsace, CNRS, INSERM contracts for example).

On accepting to take on a PhD student, the supervisor commnits to his role of supervisor by providing help and advice. The University Doctoral Charter revised in 2009 underlines the rules of a PhD thesis and the concrete measures concerning initial registration, subsequent yearly enrolments, the examination of the PhD summary and board of examination prior to the defense and the post-defense periods.


Cotutelles between laboratories of Strasbourg University and laboratories of other Universities require Conventions signed by the Universities partners.


A PhD must not exceed 3 years. An extension requires the authorization of the Vice-President of ''Research and doctoral training'' on the advice of the Director of the Doctoral School. (see enrolments).

PhD thesis defense may be allowed of ''scientific'' and ''socio-professionnal'' training and a presentation in an international conference have been validated (108 hours total) (see section training modules).

The PhD project lead to an international scientific publication. At least one manuscript submitted for publication (with proof of submission) is required when requesting defense authorization. Otherwise, the supervisor must include a document explaining the lack of publication.

If no article is publihed nor accepted for publication, the ''raporteurs'' of the jury will have to assess the publication potential of the work, based on their analysis of the PhD report submitted by the candidate. This assessment should appear in their report.

For procedures and information about PhD defense please click here.