Accreditation to supervise research (HDR)

Definition

The Accreditation to Supervise Research (HDR) is the recognition of the candidate's high scientific level, original scientific approach, mastery of research strategy in a sufficiently broad scientific or technological field and the capacity to supervise young researchers (decree of 23 November 1988, modified).

The HDR, by its very conception, is not and must not in any case be considered as a second doctorate, of higher level, as was previously the State doctorate in relation to the postgraduate doctorate.

The HDR allows candidates to be admitted to the body of university professors.

Candidates must hold a doctoral degree or have a diploma, work or experience of an equivalent level.

Defending your HDR at Avignon University

Applications are evaluated on the basis of the criteria and practices put forward by the CNU sections to which the candidates belong, as well as on the basis of the following elements:

  • originality of the approach in the scientific field concerned,
  • mastery of an autonomous scientific research strategy,
  • publication activity reaching the national standard of the discipline for the defense of HDR and
  • activity as a master's supervisor or doctoral co-supervisor (depending on the discipline), guaranteeing the human qualities required for doctoral supervision.
A HDR defense, as provided for in the regulations of Avignon University, is the result of a process including two stages: the application for registration and the request for defense.

This is a relatively long process that can last several months, which calls for three types of rapporteurs: firstly, an "external" rapporteur who will write a report that is crucial to the granting of the registration authorisation, then an "internal" rapporteur for the Scientific Council sitting in a formation restricted to persons qualified to direct research, who will report to the Council on the status of the dossier and, finally, "scientific" rapporteurs (at least three) who will write a report on the basis of which the authorisation to defend will be issued.

Application for registration

The application for registration can only be submitted during the same academic year to a single institution. Candidates who have already been registered for this diploma at another institution must indicate this.

The application for registration is examined by the President of Avignon University, who decides on the proposal of the Scientific Council sitting in a formation restricted to personalities qualified to direct research.

As provided for in the modified decree of 23 November 1988, the candidate may choose a "research supervisor", although this provision is not mandatory. This research supervisor can be chosen among the personnel authorized to direct research in public higher education establishments or establishments of a scientific and technological nature, working within or outside Avignon University.

In order to initiate the registration process, the HDR candidate must create a ticket via his/her ENT account (Logistic and Administrative Assistance -> Research Support Office) in order to learn about the internal process specific to the establishment leading from the registration request to the final stage of the defense and to be clearly informed of the administrative formalities to be completed and deadlines to be respected.

It is the responsibility of the HDR candidate to choose, in conjunction with his/her "research supervisor", if he/she so chooses, an "external" rapporteur to the laboratory and to Avignon University. The latter is in charge of submitting a report based on a synthesis of his/her scientific activity, which will detail his/her achievements in terms of research activities, publications, research animation, teaching and administrative involvement. For candidates from a non-academic background, these last two items are replaced by a description of the professional experience acquired. The "research supervisor", if there is one, also draws up a report justifying the application for registration. Both the "external" rapporteur and the "research supervisor" must be qualified to conduct research.

At the initial stage of the application process, the candidate sends the Research Support Office a summary of his/her scientific activity (in electronic form) as well as the application form (downloaded online). It is then up to the applicant to transmit the summary of his/her scientific activity to the "external" rapporteur and, if necessary, to the "research supervisor", to obtain from the latter reasoned report(s) giving an opinion on the authorization of registration and to communicate them to the Research Support Office.

The complete application file (CV, appendix A and reports) is then examined by the Scientific Council sitting in a formation restricted to persons qualified to direct research. The various elements of this file must be sent to the Research Support Office by the candidate at least fifteen days before the Scientific Council meeting. The Vice-President of the Scientific Council appoints an "internal" rapporteur who summarizes the file before the Scientific Council (sitting in restricted formation), which gives an opinion on the request for authorization to register to the President of Avignon University. In no case can the "research supervisor" be the "internal" rapporteur of the Scientific Council sitting in restricted formation.

Once the authorization to register has been obtained, the candidate must apply to the Studies and Schooling Service the necessary steps to register for the degree.

Application to defend a thesis

The application file includes either one or several published or typed works, or a file of works, accompanied by a summary of the candidate's scientific activity, which shows his or her experience in conducting research.

The authorisation to appear before the jury is granted by the President of Avignon University on the proposal of the Scientific Council sitting in a formation restricted to personalities qualified to direct research. To do so, the President entrusts the candidate's work to three "scientific" rapporteurs chosen for their competence, of which at least two of whom must be qualified to direct research. Two of these rapporteurs must not belong to the teaching staff of the institution in which the applicant has submitted his or her application. The "external" rapporteur initially appointed to report on the application for registration may also be a "scientific" rapporteur.

The Scientific Council, sitting in a formation restricted to persons qualified to direct research, appoints these three "scientific" rapporteurs from a list of five proposals drawn up by the candidate, in conjunction with his/her research supervisor if there is one (HDR appendix B). This proposal for rapporteurs may be presented to the Scientific Council, sitting in a formation restricted to persons qualified to direct research, during the registration application stage, particularly when the application file is very well developed.

The process leading to the authorization of the defense can only begin when the Research Support Office is in possession of appendices A and B, duly completed and signed by the President of Avignon University, a copy of the school certificate as well as the final application file (transmitted in electronic form). Once these conditions are met, the Research Support Office will be in charge of soliciting the 3 rapporteurs and sending them the application file. Within three weeks of receiving the application, the latter will give their opinion on whether or not to authorize the defense in a written and motivated report.

The Scientific Council, sitting in a formation restricted to persons qualified to direct research, will decide on the application for the defence of the thesis on the basis of the scientific reports and the summary report that the internal rapporteur will make to the Scientific Council. In all cases, an incompressible period of 2 months will be respected between the examination by the Scientific Council of the application for registration and the request for defense. These reports will be communicated to the candidate by the Research Support Office and may be consulted by any person qualified to direct research.

After a favourable opinion from the President of Avignon University, the candidate's work is presented orally before a jury composed of at least five members chosen from among the teaching staff qualified to direct research in public higher education establishments and among the directors and research officers of scientific and technological establishments. At least half of the jury must be composed of professors or persons of equivalent status; the jury may include foreign personalities.

The jury is appointed by the President of Avignon University, on the proposal of the Scientific Council, sitting in a formation restricted to persons qualified to direct research. To do this, a list of members established by the candidate, in conjunction with his/her "research director" if he/she has chosen one (HDR appendix C), is proposed to the Scientific Council. This proposal may be presented to the Scientific Council during the examination stage of the "scientific" rapporteurs or later.

The notice of presentation of the work is posted in the establishment before oral presentation to the jury. As far as possible, this oral presentation is held in the premises of Avignon University. The Research Support Office is in charge of the material organization of the oral defense (reservation of the room, audiovisual equipment,...). An incompressible delay of 31 days will be respected between the favourable opinion of the President of Avignon University and the oral defense in front of the jury.

At the end of the oral defense of the work, the president of the jury must submit the final report (appendix D) to the Research Support Office.

The candidate must take the necessary steps to obtain the diploma from the Studies and Schooling Service of Avignon University.

Date of update June 9, 2021