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Doctoral student 's career


Annual registration

Registration for a doctorate is compulsory and must be renewed each academic year for the duration of the doctorate.
During his or her doctorate, a doctoral student must be registered with one of the operating institutions of the ED MATERIAUX and supervised by a thesis director who must be qualified to direct research and who is attached to this institution as well as to the ED MATERIAUX.

Registration is pronounced by the head of the institution after the opinion of the thesis director and the director of the research laboratory and on the proposal of the director of the doctoral school.
A candidate may not be proposed for registration in case of insufficient scientific level (a Master's degree or equivalent does not give access to the doctorate). On the other hand, registration is conditional on sufficient remuneration to carry out the doctoral work.

The doctorate starts after the first registration.
During the thesis, time is counted in academic years: a student who registers for a doctorate, for example, in March of year N finishes his first year of the thesis in September of year N and must re-register in October of year N to complete his year N/N+1.

Pedagogical registration with the doctoral school

The pedagogical registration is done via the SIGED application.

A login and password are sent to you by e-mail when your application is validated by the doctoral school. They will enable you to connect to your personal online space. You will need to fill in your application as precisely as possible (type of funding, origin of funding, thesis director, laboratory, etc.).

Once your application has been completed online, it must be validated by the thesis director, the laboratory and the doctoral school.

To apply for registration in the first year, please consult the page Registration in first year.

For a re-registration request, please consult the Re-registration page.

Administrative registration with your institution

You will be invited by e-mail to register at the institution you have chosen beforehand. You will receive details of the procedure to follow and the date until which you can proceed.
A doctoral registration fee is charged each year by the institution. The amount is fixed every year by ministerial decree. These fees are about 400€, plus a sum of about 5€ for preventive medicine. The school may ask for access to sports activities (optional). Please consult the website of your school.

It is also necessary to pay the Contribution de Vie Etudiante et Campus CVEC (about 90 €), to the CROUS.

The date of payment of the first year registration fee marks the beginning of your thesis. In principle, you will have three years to complete your doctorate from this date.

First year registration

Step 1: Request for proposal for the first registration to the doctoral school.

This request can only be made if a 36-month funding (full-time doctorate) at least equal to 90% of the SMIC and a diploma equivalent to the master's degree can be justified.
  • For his or her first registration, after having obtained the agreement of his or her thesis director, the candidate requests an access code to the SIGED application from the secretariat of the doctoral school by indicating a valid non-institutional email address. It is to this address that the connection information will be sent.
  • Once the access code has been obtained, the candidate connects to the SIGED application on the doctoral student "tile" using the access code received by email.

For a first-time application, the candidate must fill in the fields in the "Personal information", "Curriculum", "Thesis" and "Funding" tabs.

For the application to be complete, it is imperative to submit under the tabs :
"Cursus" tabs
  • A copy of the diploma or attestation of diploma giving the grade of master: in France, a national master diploma and an engineering diploma delivered by an engineering school accredited by the Commission du Titre Ingénieur confers the grade of master.
  • All the transcripts of the university course (licence + master).
  • The Curriculum Vitae ("Other documents" section).

In addition to the mandatory fields

    Possible co-supervisor(s) of the doctoral student

"Funding" section
  •     Proof of income (work contract, etc.)

Additional documents
  • The completed training agreement (Articles 5 to 10 to be written by you)
  • The thesis charter of the institution concerned, co-signed by the doctoral student, the thesis director and the laboratory director
  • In the case of a CIFRE contract or a thesis in partnership with another laboratory, the signed agreement
  • In the case of a co-supervised thesis, the draft co-supervision agreement
  • The recruitment form
  • The PhD information table
  • A French certificate for foreign PhD students

When the "SIGED" file is complete, the applicant submits his/her application under the heading "My actions" (on the right). As long as the "Submit my application" action remains in black, it is impossible to submit the application. By positioning the mouse on this action, some of the missing elements are displayed.

Step 2: Registration with the school of the enrolling institution.

After submission, the opinions of the thesis and laboratory directors will be sought. The file will then be studied by the ED. The ED cannot propose a file at the first registration if one of the information or documents listed above is missing (for example, CV, thesis subject, etc.). Please be rigorous in the constitution of the file, an incomplete file being the main cause of delays in its processing.
If the EDML decides to propose you for enrolment in a doctoral programme, you must follow the enrolment procedure of the institution concerned.
For the 3 institutions, the first registration procedure is completely dematerialised, except for the thesis charter which must be signed in paper format. For more details, see the website of the institution concerned.

Co-tutored thesis

In the case of a co-supervision thesis, this document specifies the elements that must be included in the co-supervision agreement.


Re-enrolment in the doctorate is not automatic.
Re-enrolment in the second or third year of the doctorate may be refused in the event of an unfavourable evaluation of the previous year.
  • Before any request for re-registration, the Individual Thesis Monitoring Committee must be convened (except if the first registration is less than 9 months old, 18 months for part-time theses (50%)), (see the Individual Monitoring Committee section) and the commitments specified in the ISC documents must be validated by the ISC (writing of an element of the thesis manuscript, scientific training courses carried out, etc.).
  • All applications for re-registration in the second and third years must be accompanied by the minutes of the individual monitoring committee (IMC) meeting and the doctoral student's report for the IMC. These documents must be filled in and signed by the doctoral student and his/her thesis director (see page "useful documents") and filed in the doctoral student's SIGED file ("Additional documents" tab).
  • The duration of the doctorate is limited to 36 months (except in certain cases of a co-supervised doctorate, a thesis financed by foreign governments (CSC, etc.) or a part-time thesis):
               - Re-registration in the fourth year for theses that last > 36 months is an exception that must be requested to the director of the ED, with solid reasons and arguments. The PhD student must have completed all his/her training at the time of the request. In the documents that are the subject of this request, the doctoral student will indicate, in particular, the reasons for the delay, his/her schedule until the defence, the oral communications and publications that have been and will be produced as well as the funding granted until the date of the defence. The document is jointly signed by the doctoral student and the thesis director.
                 - In the case where the authorisation to defend has been previously requested before the end of the third year or at the request of re-registration in the fourth year and where the latter is necessary for the defence to take place at the beginning of the fourth year, the argumentation can be limited to recalling that the conditions for the defence have been fulfilled and specifying the date of the defence. It is not necessary to convene a new ISC.
  • Re-enrolment in the fifth year is forbidden except in very exceptional cases (health, maternity leave, etc.).

Any application for re-registration is made in two stages described below

Step 1: Request for proposal for re-registration to the doctoral school

This request must be made via the SIGED (Doctoral Schools Information and Management System) application, which is accessible on the Internet via a Web browser. For a re-enrolment request, the doctoral student must complete the "Funding" tab for the academic year of re-enrolment and must submit under the tab :

"Funding" tab
  • Proof of income for the year of re-registration, if necessary (work contract, etc.)

"Additional documents"
  • For a 2A or 3A re-enrolment application, the ISC minutes and the doctoral student's report for the ISC must be submitted on SIGED with all the required signatures
  • All the information to be submitted on SIGED must be updated (training documents, etc.)
  • For a request for re-registration in 4A: the exemption request form
When the "SIGED" file is complete, the doctoral student submits his/her request under the heading "My actions" (on the right). As long as the "Submit my request" action remains in black, it is impossible to submit the request. By positioning the mouse on this action, a part of the missing elements is displayed.
The ED cannot propose a file for re-registration if any of the information or documents listed above are missing.

Step 2: registration with the schooling service of the registration establishment.

If the EDML decides to propose you for registration as a doctoral student, you must follow the registration procedure of the institution concerned.

Comité de Suivi Individuel de thèse (CSI)

According to the terms of the decree of 25 May 2016 on doctoral studies, the doctoral student's individual monitoring committee ensures that the course of study runs smoothly, based on the doctoral charter and the training agreement. In an interview with the doctoral student, it assesses the conditions of his/her training and the progress of his/her research. He/she makes recommendations and sends a report on the interview to the director of the doctoral school, the doctoral student and the thesis director. In particular, it takes care to prevent any form of conflict, discrimination or harassment. (see monitoring committee guide)
The ISC meets at least with the doctoral student at the end of the first 12 (+/- 2) and 24 (+/- 2) months of the thesis, but whenever necessary (to give its opinion on registration in the 4th year, in case of conflict, etc.). The internal regulation of the ED defines all the elements related to the ISC (composition of the ISC, procedure of the ISC, ...)
The organisation of the ISC is left to the discretion of the laboratories. They can be organised on an ad hoc basis by the management teams and/or over a specific period set by the laboratory.
The composition of the committee is proposed by the laboratory director:
  • 1 member from outside the laboratory with a PhD and preferably HDR
  • 1 member from outside the laboratory who is not a supervisor
  • 1 member mandated by the ED, either a member of the board or a member of the laboratory and external to the supervision team.

The following 2 documents are to be downloaded and submitted in PDF format by the PhD students in the "additional documents" section of their SIGED account. They are necessary and condition the registration in the year N+1.

Doctoral student report

Report of the thesis committee


Doctoral student report + Report of the thesis committee

The doctoral student's report must be completed and co-signed by the doctoral student and the thesis director and sent to the committee members at least two weeks before the interview, together with the additional documents specified in the report template. Without the report, the committee cannot take place.
The Thesis Committee Report must be completed by the committee members at the end of the interview. This report makes a recommendation as to whether or not the student should be registered for the next year to continue the thesis. It may also include suggestions for reorientation of the subject, reconfiguration of the supervisory team, implementation of new actions, and any other recommendation favourable to the best possible completion of the thesis.
Nature of the interviews (40 min) of the 1st and 2nd year (the durations are indicative) :

  • Oral scientific presentation (15 min max) in the presence of the thesis supervisor.
  • Discussions on the presentation itself.
  • Closed session with the doctoral student and then closed session with the supervisor (10 min).
  • Oral feedback to the doctoral student (5 min).
  • Report written by the committee members.


Doctoral training modules

Doctoral students must complete a minimum number of training hours during their doctorate, validated by the EDML director :

- 40 hours of scientific training, preferably outside the strict field of competence of the thesis subject, in order to broaden their scientific culture, give them specific complementary knowledge and prepare them for their professional insertion. Participation in scientific conferences, seminars, or training sessions on tools (equipment, software, etc.) related to the thesis subject is not part of this training, but is an integral part of the research activity of the researcher-doctoral student. On the other hand, a very wide range of courses are available to doctoral students in the master's modules or those of the engineering courses of the operating institutions, the training courses implemented by the ED, the MOOC, etc. The doctoral student is invited to carry out this training during the first two years of the thesis and to report on it during the thesis monitoring committee at the end of D2

- 40 hours of professional training, ideally, the content of these courses must be in line with the PhD student's personal and professional project, and must include training in research ethics and scientific integrity (see the document). As for scientific training, the training courses provided by the operating institutions can constitute a resource, but within the UdL doctoral college a large number of training courses identified as "cross-disciplinary training for professional purposes" are organised for doctoral students (see catalogue). Within the framework of these compulsory hours, it is possible to count hours allocated to activities giving rise to the acquisition of skills related to the work of a researcher or teacher-researcher (teaching in a higher education establishment, organisation of scientific events, elected members of research administration structures, dissemination/publicity of scientific knowledge, etc.). The total of these hours taken into account in the calculation of the professional training will not exceed 15 hours (a scale is established). The doctoral student must also complete a specific training course on research ethics or scientific integrity during the first two years of the thesis, and must indicate this during the thesis monitoring committee at the end of D2 (see in particular the UdL training modules:

For non-French speaking PhD students, French as a foreign language (FLE) courses are available in the operating institutions:

    Contact ECL :=> Florence MILON
    Contact INSA de Lyon : =>
    Contact UCBL : =>

or within the UDL's cross-disciplinary courses:
Whatever the number of hours of FLE followed, a maximum of 25 hours will be counted in the professional training. Non-French-speaking doctoral students are required to validate a basic level of French with a certification at least equal to A2 at the latest at the end of the second year of the thesis. This certification will be validated at the time of the CSI.
For part-time doctoral students, partial exemptions from training may be granted; this point may be discussed at the ISC.
In addition to these training courses, depending on the events organised by the laboratories affiliated to the EDML or by the EDML and the decisions of the unit directors or the EDML director, participation in some of these events is compulsory for the doctoral student (see list).
Proof of attendance

Proof of attendance (attendance certificate with the number of hours for each course) must be uploaded in the doctoral student's Siged file under the heading "courses".
They will be validated by the Director of the Doctoral School.

Dissertation and defence

The preparation of the administrative file for the thesis defense requires the same rigor as the preparation of the thesis itself. This cannot be done in a hurry.
Although it is the doctoral school that grants the authorisation for the defence, the modalities of this are governed by the Order of 25 May 2016 and by certain specifications specific to each institution. This is why we invite you to refer to the website of your enrolment institution for more information on the calendar and the steps of the constitution of your file:

INSA de Lyon
UCBL - Lyon 1 University

Below, you will find more information on these different stages

The dissertation

The structure, content, form and language of the thesis manuscript is primarily the result of a dialogue between the doctoral student and the supervisor.
Nevertheless, there are a certain number of constraints: the cover page where it will be indicated "Ecole Doctorale Matériaux de Lyon, Ecole Doctorale n°34, Spécialité de doctorat : Matériaux, (there is no other discipline than Matériaux). Through the UCBL link above, one can find the link to download the "Guide for the writing and presentation of theses". Although dating from 2007, this document still gives some official recommendations, notably regarding the form of the manuscript.
The language of the thesis is normally French (see Arrêté du 25/05/2016 and the internal regulations of the ED). However, writing in English may be authorised. In this case, certain documents must be included in the manuscript in French, as well as a substantial summary (5-10 pages) of the different parts of the thesis.
Generally, the structure of the manuscript is left to the discretion of the doctoral student. It can be a classical manuscript or it can be presented in the form of a publication submitted to or accepted by an international peer-reviewed journal in its field. In these conditions, the doctoral student will be the main editor of the article and its first author. The presentation of the article (in French or in English) must respect the contractual reproduction conditions with the journal and be coherently integrated into the manuscript. An abstract of half a page to one page will precede its presentation. However, the thesis manuscript cannot be a simple compilation of articles and must keep its overall coherence, so the presentation of work in the form of publications must not exceed a maximum threshold of between 50 and 70% of the whole manuscript.
Conduct of the defence

In general, the defence consists of an oral presentation of about 45 minutes, accompanied by visual documents. The candidate must highlight his/her objectives, the methodology adopted and the main conclusions of his/her research. In addition, the candidate must situate his/her work in the more general framework of his/her field of study and conclude his/her presentation by emphasising the questions that remain unanswered or that lead to new avenues of research. After the presentation, the members of the jury question the doctoral student on his/her work, manuscript and oral presentation.
At the end of the question-and-answer session, the jury deliberates, gives its verdict and expresses it on the doctoral thesis defense report.
The language of the defence is by default and in a privileged way French but, depending on the members of the jury and the doctoral student's mastery of French, the presentation may be either all in French or all in English, and the question and answer session in French and/or English at the discretion of the jury members.

Specific conditions of the defense

The defence is public, except in exceptional cases where the subject of the thesis is of a confidential nature.
Exceptionally, and with the exception of the president, the members of the jury may take part in the defence by means of video-conferencing or electronic communication that allow them to be identified and to participate effectively in a collegial deliberation and that meet the technical characteristics that guarantee the continuous and simultaneous transmission of the debates.
These requests must be made to the doctoral student's registration institution using specific forms when submitting the application for authorisation to defend.

The choice of the date and place of the defence

It is up to the thesis director to propose a provisional date for the defence, at least two months before the deadline.

The place of the defence is the institution of registration, unless a particular arrangement is validated by the head of the institution. In the case of a co-supervised thesis, the place is agreed in the co-supervision agreement.

The jury

Composition of the jury

A jury proposal must be submitted to the president or director of the enrolling institution. This proposal comes from the thesis director.

The composition of a thesis jury follows precise rules:
  • The jury must have between 4 and 8 members with, if possible, a composition approaching parity between men and women.
  • At least half of the jury must be made up of professors or equivalent.
  • At least half of the jury must be made up of people from outside the institutions and the doctoral school.

Emeritus researchers or teacher-researchers, whose emeritus status is in progress and who are supervising at least one doctoral student, may perform all the functions of a thesis jury (president, rapporteur, etc.).
The president of the jury is designated by all the members of the thesis jury, generally the same day just before the defence. The president must be a professor or equivalent or a teacher of equivalent rank

The choice of rapporteurs

Rapporteurs must hold an HDR. They must also be external to the doctoral student's institution and the doctoral school. If the person is not a University Professor or Research Director, a CV must be attached to the request for the appointment of rapporteurs. This is particularly the case for foreign professors. (document equivalence foreign professors)
The rapporteurs' reports must reach the doctoral school at least one month before the planned defence date.

Your institution may also have specific requirements regarding the composition of the jury. Contact them for more information.

Conditions for the defence of the thesis

The Graduate School will grant permission to defend to candidates who meet the following criteria:
  • Have met the scientific and professional training requirements,
  • A choice of jury members in accordance with the requirements,
  • A list of publications and/or the effective participation of the doctoral student in an international conference,
  • The favourable opinion of the various rapporteurs on the authorisation of the doctoral student's defence

Once these verifications have been made and the ED director has given a favourable opinion, the director of the institution can sign the defence authorisation, which then allows the publication of the defence notice and the convocation of the jury members.

Thesis in cotutelle or with European label :

The various points set out above can be used as a reference, but in the case of a co-supervised thesis or a thesis with the European label, please refer to the texts and conventions in force, which generally specify the specifications of the deliverables (manuscript, defence).