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The supervisory institutions of the Lyon Materials Doctoral School (ECL, INSA de Lyon and UCBL) are developing numerous actions to promote international partnerships. Bilateral agreements with foreign universities, funding of specific international programmes (Chinese doctoral students funded by the China Scholarship Council, ECLAUSion programme with Australia, etc.), strong involvement in International Research Projects (IRP) (LN2 Sherbrooke-Canada, ElyTMaX Tohoku-Japan, etc.) or International Research Laboratories (IRL) (ElyT Global Tohoku-Japan, etc.), etc.
Each year, these institutions award a certain number of doctoral contracts for international projects, and many calls for proposals (see the "News and Events" section) provide opportunities for international thesis funding. Thus, nearly 10% of the EDML's theses are co-supervised. The many international partnerships developed by the ED's UMRs also offer doctoral students the possibility of a research stay abroad, which can be valued in the form of the "doctorate in international mobility" diploma supplement.

International services of the institutions

Foreign doctoral students can obtain information on visa and residence permit applications by contacting the international relations departments of the institutions. These same services are also a resource for French students wishing to find out about possible international mobility as part of their research work.


International mobility

There are several possibilities of mobility for a PhD student:

    co-supervision of a thesis, which allows you to do a PhD jointly with another university abroad
    co-supervision, which allows you to do a PhD jointly with another university
    the "doctorate in international mobility" diploma supplement
    research visits
    participation in international conferences and congresses.


The principles of cotutelle

The international co-supervision of a thesis aims to reinforce the international dimension of the Doctoral School, to encourage the mobility of doctoral students in different scientific and cultural areas, and to develop scientific cooperation between French and foreign research teams.

A co-supervision agreement must be established between the two universities to which the doctoral student will be attached. It specifies in particular the conditions of supervision of the doctoral student, the periods alternating within each of the research teams and the procedures for setting up the defence jury. At the end of the defence, the institutions award either a joint doctoral diploma or the doctoral diploma of each of them.

Regardless of where the doctoral student pays his/her registration fees, he/she is subject to the rules of the Materials ED. In particular, he/she must follow a training course (volume, level) in accordance with the regulations in force in the Materials Doctoral School, taking into account the proportion of presence in each of the countries as regards the PACT modules (see the "Training" section).

The application for cotutelle

All cotutelle applications must be sent to the Materials Doctoral School management as soon as possible.

In order to improve the system for setting up international doctoral thesis co-supervision agreements and to avoid a growing number of difficulties in the follow-up and completion of certain co-supervision agreements, the research departments of the institutions, assisted by their international relations and legal departments, are mobilised upstream of the process, in order to help thesis directors and laboratories in the preparation of these applications.
If prospects for co-supervision emerge, thesis directors and laboratories are invited to inform the Materials ED management as a priority and before any official approach with the partner university. The Materials ED and the competent services of the institutions can then meet with the project leaders in order to help them put the project into practice.

Diploma Supplement "PhD in international mobility"

The diploma supplement "doctorate in international mobility" concerns all doctoral students, regardless of their nationality. However, this supplement cannot be superimposed on an international co-supervision, as the co-supervision is already recognised by a double degree.
The supplement is awarded in addition to the doctorate, under four conditions:
  •     The doctorate was prepared in part during a stay of at least one term in a foreign laboratory,
  •     The authorisation to defend is granted by at least two researchers belonging to institutions in two different countries, other than the one in which the doctorate is being defended,
  •     At least one member of the jury must belong to an institution in a State other than that in which the doctorate is being defended,
  •     Part of the defence must be conducted in a language other than the national language(s) of the country in which the doctoral student is defending his/her thesis.

After verification of the admissibility of the request by the competent services, the supplement may be issued by the Chair of the jury during the defence. If it does not appear on the final diploma, it can constitute a strong element of international promotion.

Foreign doctoral students

Students who have graduated from foreign institutions: you wish to undertake a PhD in France and you are not a graduate of a French institution?
You will find below the necessary information to help you carry out your project.
Who can apply?

Anyone can apply for a doctorate, whether or not they are of French nationality. However, if you do not hold a Master's degree obtained in the European Higher Education Area, you must be able to prove that you have a diploma or an equivalent degree that has enabled you to acquire an aptitude for research, as well as a certificate of English at least equal to B2.
Please note: obtaining funding does not guarantee acceptance into the EDML if the degree and research aptitude requirements are not met!
Who can help you?

The international relations department of the institution in which you are enrolled in your thesis can help you with the procedures for coming to France and for settling in Lyon. You will also find information in the "International Student Welcome Guide".

French language courses

In order to facilitate the integration of non-French speaking doctoral students into French research units and society, French language courses are offered free of charge by certain higher education institutions and by the University of Lyon during the doctoral program. Participation in these courses can lead to the validation of transverse training hours as part of the doctoral school's training programme. A basic level of French (certification at least equal to A2) will be required of the doctoral student at the end of the second year of the thesis, in validation of these courses or of his/her personal knowledge.