CT: What is a Franco-German cotutelle de thèse?

In addition to very good foreign language skills, a bi-national PhD procedure (cotutelle de thèse) enables doctoral students to acquire cross-cultural competence, which is in frequent demand on the labour market. Postgraduate studies abroad also offer doctoral students the opportunity to get to know the different institutional systems and university cultures. Graduates of cotutelle programmes have better prospects on the labour market and in the field of scientific research because they hold recognised qualifications in two countries and are familiar with two different research environments.


FGU backing is intended to support PhD candidates preparing to write their dissertation under the supervision of at least one professor in France and one in Germany. Upon successful completion of the joint procedure, they are awarded a bi-national PhD by the participating universities. The FGU also funds PhDs between a French, German and another university, i.e. a tri-national supervision of theses. In such instances, the FGU’s funding conditions are the same as for a cotutelle de thèse.


The Franco-German PhD is intended to reflect the high scientific quality of the research project and guarantee joint supervision of doctoral students by a French and a German university lecturer.
Financial support for joint supervisions is available to all disciplines. The FGU provides a grant totalling a maximum of €4,000 for three years to fund student mobility as well as reimbursement of €1,000 maximum for travel and accommodation expenses incurred for the joint dissertation defence. FGU backing can be cumulated with basic funding.


The application can be submitted as soon as a cotutelle de thèse agreement has been signed by the participating universities. The last signature on the agreement must not be older than one year. On request, the FGU can provide a sample agreement. It is also possible to apply only for reimbursement of defence expenses (max. €1,000). In this case, the application must be submitted at least six weeks before the defence.


The application may be made in English.


For the application documents (in French and German) and for further queries, please contact: promotion-doctorat@dfh-ufa.org