I am currently a PhD student

On this page, you will find all the information you need for your PhD studies at Avignon University.

Individual thesis monitoring committee

The individual thesis monitoring committee is set up at the beginning of the thesis by the PhD student and their thesis director.
Its role: to ensure the progress of the work and the follow-up of the training courses, to inform about possible difficulties, to consider possible reorientations of the subject, to examine the perspectives of defense, publications...

In ED536, the 1st meeting of the monitoring committee must be held before re-registration in the 2nd year, the 2nd meeting of the monitoring committee must be held before re-registration in the 3rd year. In the event of an application for 4th registration, a 3rd meeting of the monitoring committee must be organised beforehand.

In ED537, the 1st meeting of the monitoring committee is held at the end of the 1st or the beginning of the 2nd year. A second meeting takes place in the 3rd year during which the committee must give an opinion on a possible request for exemption from registration in the 4th year (obligatory opinion for full-time PhD students). A meeting of the monitoring committee is also required in the 6th year for part-time PhD students who plan to apply for a derogation for exceptional registration in the 7th year (mandatory opinion of the monitoring committee for the derogation commission).

For the 36 months of thesis, at least 3 CST must be completed at the time of the derogation. The authorizations of re-registration are conditioned to these steps.

The monitoring committee is composed of the thesis director (and possible co-directors and co-supervisors), the laboratory director or his representative and at least one scientific expert outside the ED and the thesis project. The thesis director must withdraw at the end of the meeting for an interview of the PhD student with the external member and the laboratory director.
- The laboratory representative must not be part of the thesis management
- In the case of confidential theses, a confidentiality agreement can be signed between the university and the external expert (contact: gestion-ed@univ-avignon.fr).
Before the first CST, the complete composition must be sent to the ED for validation via the dedicated form:
- Composition CST - ED 537
- Composition CST - ED 536

A standard report for each Doctoral School must be sent to:
NB: An external member of CST can sit on the defense jury as an examiner but not as a reporter.

Conflict management

In case of relational difficulties between the PhD student and their thesis director, a mediation procedure at three successive levels is set up: a) with the laboratory director, b) with the ED director.

In the case of PhD students on a doctoral contract with the institution, a 4th mediation procedure may involve an advisory committee (article 10, paragraph 2 of the decree of 23 April 2009).

Re-enrolment and exemption

Re-enrolment in 2nd and 3rd years

Explanatory flow chart for re-registration

When registering for a 2nd and 3rd year thesis, only the registration authorization form must be completed and returned. This form must be uploaded in the ENT in the tab "request for authorization to register".

Re-enrolment by derogation

Explanatory flow chart for re-registration by derogation

For full-time PhD students: from the 4th year
For part-time PhD students: from the 7th year onwards

An additional period of time may be granted as a derogation by the head of the institution on the proposal of the director of the ED after the opinion of the ED/CED office.

Procedure and documents to be provided by the PhD student:
  • a letter from the PhD student addressed to the President of Avignon University requesting a new registration and explaining the reasons that lead him/her to ask for a derogation
  • the request for registration authorization signed by the thesis director and the laboratory director
  • the form of the thesis follow-up committee of the last year of registration
  • a letter from the thesis director supporting his/her request
  • a progress report on the work
  • the training portfolio
  • supporting document in case of illness
For this authorization, the committee is particularly attentive to the progress of the work and will base its decision on the opinion issued by the 3rd year or 6th year thesis committee.

NB: this derogation can be granted to PhD students who have an elective mandate in the university and component councils, who have a salaried activity (except for financed thesis and for part-time PhD students) on production of a certificate from their employer, who have been on sick leave (with supporting documents) and to PhD students who have had a child during the thesis preparation period.

Dates of the derogation commissions for the year 2020/2021:
- Wednesday 23 September 2020
- Monday 19 October 2020
- Monday 16 November 2020
- Wednesday 9th December 2020

Gap year

A gap period of one year maximum (unbreakable) can be granted during the first three years of the thesis upon a motivated request from the PhD student (agreement by decision of the head of the institution where the PhD student is registered, after agreement of the employer, if applicable, and opinion of the thesis director and the director of the Doctoral School). During this period, which is not counted in the duration of the thesis, the PhD student temporarily suspends their training and research work, but may remain registered, if they so wishes, within their institution.

Logigram explaining the procedure

Procedures for the defense

Beforehand, the ED checks that the candidate has fulfilled their training obligations.

Condition specific to ED536 :
To be authorized to defend, the PhD student must at least validate their research work by, according to the disciplinary sectors (see policy of the corresponding CNU sections):
an article submitted (with proof of submission) as 1st author in an international journal (indexed in the ISI database or referenced by the HCERES), or a patent application. Exceptions may be granted upon justification (e.g.: theses under confidentiality clause).
Step 1: the rapporteurs (6 to 8 weeks before the defense)
Two rapporteurs qualified to direct research are designated by the director of the ED on the proposal of the thesis director. The corresponding form (Annex A on the PhD student's ENT) must be submitted to the ED between 8 and 6 weeks before the defense (recommended time: 2 months). At the same time, the PhD student sends their thesis manuscript to the referees.
The referees must be external to the ED and to the candidate's institution; they may belong to foreign higher education or research institutions. A person having participated in the undivided thesis monitoring committee or having signed one or more publications with the PhD student during their thesis, cannot be proposed as a rapporteur. They may, however, participate in the jury as an examiner, or even be the president of the jury.
The rapporteurs make their opinion known through written reports on the basis of which the director of the ED authorizes the defense. These reports are communicated to the jury and to the candidate before the defense.

Important note: At the same time as Annex A, the PhD student must complete and send to the ED secretariat the authorisation form for the dissemination of the thesis (Annex C), a CV detailing their publications as well as their manuscript in a single file in PDF format. The model of cover page must imperatively be used (only the first page is mandatory, the plan or the content can be arranged according to the disciplinary constraints or the desires of each).
The appendices are to be withdrawn on the ENT of the PhD student.

In order to publish the announcement of your thesis defense as news on the University website, the information sheet on your defense must be returned to the ED manager at least two weeks before the date of the defense.
Step 2: the complete jury (4 weeks before the defense)
The other members of the jury (examiners) are designated by the director of the ED upon proposal of the thesis director. The corresponding form (Annex B on the ENT of the PhD student) must be submitted to the ED at the latest 4 weeks before the thesis defense. The validation of the Annex B can only take place after reception of the rapporteurs' reports.
The number of jury members is between 4 and 8. It is composed of:
  • at least half of the members of the jury are external to the ED and to the candidate's institution (subject to the specific provisions concerning international co-supervision of the thesis);
  • at least half of the members of the ED must be senior staff (university professors, research directors).
    Its composition must allow a balanced representation of women and men.
NB: The persons involved in the direction of the thesis participate in the jury. They are therefore taken into account in the rules for the constitution of the jury (ratio of rank A to rank B, ratio of external to internal members, M/F balance) and take part in the discussion of the jury with the PhD student. However, they do not take part in the deliberation behind closed doors and do not sign the minutes of the deliberation (appendix D).
They sign the defense report, which must however specify that the final decision was taken by the members of the jury, except for the persons involved in the direction of the thesis.

Before the defense, the summary of the thesis is distributed within the institution.
Step 3: the defense
The health crisis requires us to modify the defense arrangements within our institution.
To date, two solutions are possible:
1. Full video-conference defenses are strongly recommended and possible.
You will find here the detailed protocol that has been set up.
2. The members of Avignon University will have the possibility, according to the capacity of the room (30% for the thesis room), to be present.

Some information:
  • the list of those present will have to be transmitted to the ED so that it can be transmitted to the crisis unit
  • the convocation of the members of the jury is valid as a travel authorization (subject to validation by the institution to which they belong)
  • the invitation must be made by the Deans for the other persons present: PhD students, other colleagues
The presence of external members (family, friends) is not possible.
The audiovisual service must be contacted to set up the videoconference.


On the day of the defense, the members of the jury designate a president (a rank A staff member). The thesis director or a member who has participated in the CST cannot be chosen as president of the jury.
The defense is public, except in the case of an exceptional dispensation granted by the head of the institution if the subject of the thesis is of a proven confidential nature.
During its deliberations, the jury will assess the quality of the candidate's work and oral presentation, as well as their ability to discuss their results and their extensions in response to questions from the jury.
Exceptionally, and with the exception of its president, the members of the jury may participate in the defense by videoconference.

Admission or adjournment is then pronounced.
Corrections to the manuscript (to be made within three months of the defense) may be requested from the candidate before the authorization of reproduction and the delivery of the diploma.

The president establishes a report of the defense countersigned by each member of the jury. There is no longer any mention. The defense report is communicated to the candidate in the month following the defense.

Exceptionally, a thesis defense may be held in camera if the thesis is of a confidential nature. In this case, the thesis must be subject to confidentiality commitments by the rapporteurs and members of the Jury and, if necessary, confidentiality commitments by the public invited to attend the defense. An embargo on the diffusion of the thesis, of a duration greater than or equal to the duration of confidentiality, must also be provided. The request for an in camera defense must be made to the head of the institution, the services in charge of the legal deposit of theses and their diffusion must be informed of the decision:

Writing a thesis in a foreign language

The thesis can be written in a foreign language. An authorization must be requested by the PhD student and addressed to the Director of their ED. Each request will be examined on a case by case basis.
If the request is accepted, the PhD student must accompany their foreign language manuscript with a minimum 30-line summary in French.

European label

The PhD student can prepare a PhD with a European label. To obtain a certificate, the PhD student must attest to a stay of at least 3 months in a public or private research structure in another European country (EU) and accompany the thesis manuscript with a 30-page summary in a language other than that of the thesis.

Mobility aids

Perdiguier Program

The current conditions do not allow to maintain the program for the year 2020/21
Support for the international mobility of PhD students registered at Avignon University (Vademecum).

Support for the international mobility of PhD students registered at Avignon University. This concerns PhD students (not under joint supervision) registered at Avignon University who wish to carry out a research stay of at least 2 months in a host structure abroad. Please note that foreign PhD students going on a mobility trip to their country of origin are not eligible.

Three application review sessions will be organized in 2020-2021:
- Session 1: applications must be submitted by November 27, 2020 at the latest to be examined by the selection committee on Wednesday, December 11, 2020.
- Session 2: applications must be submitted by March 11, 2021 at the latest to be examined by the selection committee on March 23, 2021.
- Session 3: applications must be submitted by June 3, 2021 at the latest to be examined by the selection committee on June 19, 2021.

The application files
must be submitted to the College of doctoral studies of Avignon University at the following address: bourse-perdiguier@univ-avignon.fr.

Co-tutorship Assistance Program

The Aide Aux Cotutelles program program supports the international mobility of PhD students registered at Avignon University as part of a cotutelle. Its objective is to encourage the setting up of thesis cotutelles, by guaranteeing a minimum income to PhD students during the periods of mobility planned within the framework of the cotutelle, and by contributing to travel expenses.

This Aid depends on the situation of the PhD student:
◦ For PhD students whose thesis is mainly done at Avignon University: this Aid aims to support outgoing mobility to the cotutelle institution;
◦ For PhD students whose thesis is mainly done abroad: this Aid aims to support incoming mobility to Avignon University.
This aid covers a mobility which duration must be between 2 months (minimum) and 12 months (maximum).

The file to be submitted to the Doctoral School must include:
- the application form duly completed and signed by the PhD student, the thesis director and the director of the laboratory concerned at the AU;
- proof of grants or other financial aid already received during the mobility period;

All applications must be submitted at least 2 months before the first mobility.
The Cotutelle support programme follows the same schedule as the Perdiguier grants.

ED mobility support program

Applications (to be submitted to the ED/CED manager) must concern stays of 15 days to 2 months abroad (to be started before the end of the current calendar year) and include a letter of motivation from the PhD student, a provisional budget and a letter of support from the thesis director. Subject to a favourable opinion from the ED/CED office, the PhD student may receive 700 euros to implement their project.

Other financial aid

Support for participation in a conference

Any PhD student presenting an oral communication at a conference may request a contribution from the ED/CED to their mission expenses. This flat-rate aid is granted only once during the thesis.

The amount of aid granted is modulated according to the country of destination, as follows:
  • France or countries bordering France: 200 euros
  • Europe and Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia): 350 euros
  • Other destinations: 500 euros
File to be made up:
  • a letter from the PhD student specifying the conference (title, place, dates), the title of the communication and a provisional budget
  • the acceptance of the oral communication by the scientific committee of the conference
  • a letter of support from the thesis director
These requests are examined on an ongoing basis by the ED/CED office and cannot be submitted after the event.

Support for participation in a training course outside ED

Any PhD student wishing to participate in a training course outside the ED in the framework of their thesis project may request financial support from the ED.

File to be filled in:
  • A letter from the PhD student specifying the training (title, place, dates) and a provisional budget,
  • the request form for training outside the ED validated by the thesis director

These requests are examined on an ongoing basis by the ED/CED office and cannot be submitted after the training.

End of thesis contracts

The objective is to allow PhD students registered at Avignon University to finish their thesis in good conditions while helping them to prepare their future. The contract is therefore aimed at PhD students who are about to finalize and defend their thesis and then valorize the results of the thesis. The proposed contract integrates a limited teaching load, so as to consolidate the PhD student's teaching record while keeping an important part to his research work.

Eligibility criteria:
  • proof of three years of enrolment in a PhD program at Avignon University
  • produce a certificate from the thesis director committing to defend the thesis within 12 months
  • not to have benefited from an end of thesis contract at Avignon University

    Procedure: request for recruitment authorization to be sent to the DRH with the necessary documents for the establishment of a contract (more information on Recrutement-E-doc: RH - Dossier DAPR contrat de fin de thèse).
This assistance is mainly financed by the host laboratory, so it is necessary to get information from the thesis director beforehand.

Reimbursement of printing costs of the thesis

The printing costs of the thesis manuscripts for the members of the jury can be taken in charge by the ED up to 300€, on presentation to the ED secretariat of an original invoice in the name of the PhD student.

Practical life & student life


Avignon University is the local contact point for EURAXESS and a member of the Euraxess France association. The network EURAXESS Researchers in Motion is an initiative of the European Commission inaugurated in 2004 and intended to facilitate the mobility of researchers in Europe.

>>> Discover the EURAXESS portal

Scientific and Technical Culture

ACACIA association

The ACACIA association aims at creating a network between young researchers of INRAE and Avignon University and proposes to its members scientific and cultural activities to facilitate their integration. Through its members and their knowledge, the association ACACIA also aims to organize activities to share science in these research centers but also with the general public. Indeed, ACACIA participates in the science festival, the Pint of Science festival; organizes English forums but also outdoor activities, escape games, lasergames and afterwork (partnership with the 2J, the explosion, the beer district).

If you want more information about this association and to consult the events already realized I invite you to consult its website: https://assoacacia.wordpress.com/

or contact the association directly at the following address: acacia.asso@gmail.com
or ask to join the Facebook group: ACACIA - Association des jeunes chercheurs d'Avignon

To subscribe to the mailing list and receive all the information on the activities and the animations proposed by ACACIA it is here: https://framalistes.org/sympa/subscribe/acacia

Election of PhD students' representatives to the EDS boards

The PhD student representatives are elected by and among the PhD students belonging to the doctoral school, for a two-year term of office. The mandate ends in case of resignation, loss of PhD student status (at the end of the academic year of the thesis defense).
The election is carried out through a one-round list vote with proportional representation and the distribution of the seats to be filled according to the rule of the strongest remainder, without any mixture.
All PhD students regularly registered at the university and belonging to the ED are eligible to vote. No one can take part in the vote if he/she is not on the list of voters. The quality of voter is assessed on the date of the vote.
Any voter registered on the electoral list is eligible.

Every two years, PhD students are asked to mobilize not only to come and vote but also to run for this election.

For each ED, it is a list election with 4 holders and 4 substitutes. The candidates for this election must therefore make a proposal for a list of 8 members (specifying for each one who is a titular and who is a substitute). This list should be as representative as possible of the disciplines and laboratories, men and women.

The last elections were held April 21, 2021.

This is an important moment in the life of our EDs. It is the opportunity for the elected PhD students to give their points of view and to bring forward the claims of the PhD students. They participate in the Commissions of derogations, in the ED Councils (which meet 2 or 3 times per academic year). The Councils are notably the places where the annual report on the activity of the EDs is discussed and where the possibilities for the evolution of the training offer and the international mobility support systems are debated.

The elected PhD students can be reached at: representantdoct-elus@univ-avignon.fr

Date of update June 25, 2021