Joint PhD / Binationale Promotion / Cotutelle de thèse

A Joint PhD leads to the attainment of a doctoral degree which is jointly conferred by two universities. The basis is an independent research thesis in the framework of a doctorate undertaken at two universities. The doctorate is supervised by two supervisors with equal rights (one from each of the higher education institutions). According to the recommendations of the German Rectors' Conference, the duration of the stay should be balanced between the two countries (e.g. at least one year at each institution). Apart from an interesting research topic, a Joint PhD offers an opportunity to acquire excellent language skills and broad inter-cultural competencies. At the same time, it allows researchers to get to grips with other research structures and become familiar with the employment market in the specific country.

Steps to a Joint PhD:

  • Whether a Joint PhD examination procedure is possible is always decided individually. Please enquire about the conditions for a Joint PhD at the Deans office of your faculty.
  • For each project, an individual Contract of Joint Supervision must be concluded between the two universities concerned. The contract governs, amongst others, exact details of the duration of the stay at each institution, working language, where and what type of examinations take place, etc. A sample contract can be found here.
  • At HHU, the Contract of Joint Supervision must be signed by the doctoral researcher, the supervisor responsible, the Dean’s office of the relevant faculty and the President.
  • At HHU, the Contract of Joint Supervision must be signed by the doctoral researcher, the supervisor responsible, the Dean’s office of the relevant faculty and the University President.

Please feel free to contact us at any time for help with formulating a Contract of Joint Supervision for a Joint PhD doctorate. Further general information on bi-national doctorates is available on the website of the German Rectors’ Conference.

Funding for bi-nationally supervised doctoral dissertations

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) awards annual scholarships for dissertations jointly supervised by a German and a foreign professor. In such cases, the scholarship must be used - in accordance with the conditions of the respective supervision agreement - to finance shorter stays in up to three consecutive years, if applied for as such from the outset. A flat-rate travel allowance is paid for each journey made by the supervising German and foreign professors and the doctoral researcher and which is documented through receipts. The total budget for such travel expenses for supervision agreements within Europe is a maximum of € 1.500 and for agreements outside Europe a maximum of € 2.500. In addition to the application documents required in the doctoral programme, a written agreement between the two higher education institutions or departments concerning the joint supervision of the doctoral examination procedure must be submitted for this special type of funding. Further information can be found on the DAAD’s website.

You can also search in scholarship databases for other programmes to finance your stay abroad according to your own criteria.

HHU Language Centre

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