I wish to direct a thesis

You will find on this page the information necessary to direct a doctoral thesis. You will also find information on doctoral contracts and EJD.

The team supervising a thesis is subject to obligations described in the thesis charter.

According to the doctoral decree, a teacher-researcher must hold a Accreditation to Supervise Research (HDR) to direct a doctoral thesis. The Authorization to Supervise Research (ADR) allows non-HDR staff to appear as official co-supervisors (for one thesis only).

Authorization to Supervise Research (ADR)

The Authorization to Supervise Research (ADR) allows non-HDR staff to appear as official co-supervisors (for one thesis only). The beneficiary of the ADR will not be able to ensure a full direction. They will always be in co-supervision with an HDR staff.

The interested party must send by ticket via their ENT account (Logistic and Administrative Assistance -> Research Support Office) a file including:
  • a CV of about twenty pages tracing their research activity, their main administrative and pedagogical responsibilities (if any) as well as their participation in the supervision of second and potentially third cycle students;
  • a letter supporting the application and committing to defend the HDR within 3 years of the official progress of the thesis;
  • a letter of commitment from the HDR staff to assume the direction of the thesis in close collaboration with the staff requesting the ADR;
  • a brief description of the thesis program for which the ADR is requested.
The Doctoral School Council issues an opinion on the request, which is transmitted to the institution's Research Commission restricted to HDR staff, which in turn issues the final opinion.

Procedure for doctoral contracts

Each year, the EDs open a competition for the attribution of doctoral contracts (DC).
This competition is open to students of any nationality, holding a Master's degree or equivalent. No age limit is imposed on candidates.
The thesis subjects proposed by the laboratories are published on the ED website. Candidates must contact the thesis director who proposes the subject and who is responsible for the pre-selection of candidates. The director of the laboratory sends all the files of the pre-selected candidates to the ED secretariat. The candidates are then called for an oral presentation followed by questions before the CD awarding jury.

Selection of candidates and organization of the competition

  • Step 1: Each laboratory proceeds, according to its own modalities, to a first selection of candidates (from 2 to 3) for the awarded contract.
  • Step 2: Each laboratory director sends back to the ED a file for each pre-selected candidate.

    Candidate's file:
    - Detailed CV explaining the research experience
    - Motivation letter explaining the interest of the candidate for a thesis and for the proposed subject
    - Transcript of grades of M1 and M2 or any other equivalent document
    - 1-2 Letter(s) of recommendation from pedagogical and/or internship supervisors
    - Letter of recommendation from the thesis director
  • Step 3: the competition

    The ED invites the candidates for the audition. The jury is composed of the members of the ED Board (except for the PhD students).

    In addition to these members, for each discipline or laboratory represented in the competition, one scientist from outside the institution proposed by the director of the unit concerned to the director of the ED.

    NB: A researcher or teacher-researcher cannot sit on the jury if they are involved in the direction of a thesis project. If this is the case, the scientist in question proposes a substitute HDR to the director of the ED.

    Hearing: 10 min presentation by the candidate + 10 min discussion with the jury
    A presentation with a maximum of 5 slides is recommended.
    Slide 1: CV
    Slides 2 to 4: research experience (M2 internship or other) or, failing that, a short presentation on a scientific subject of the candidate's choice that has aroused particular interest during their training
    Slide 5: coherence between the candidate's background, professional project and thesis topic
Videoconference: Candidates are allowed to give a presentation via video conference.

Typical schedule
Mid-March: thesis subjects are put online on the ED website
Mid-May: transmission to the ED secretariat of the pre-selections of the candidates by the laboratories and the corresponding subjects (at most 4 candidates & 3 subjects per laboratory, a candidate can choose 1 or 2 subjects)
Mid-May: communication by the laboratory directors to the ED secretariat of the proposals of external or internal scientific personalities for the constitution of the jury
End of May - Beginning of June: audition of the candidates

Doctoral contracts session 2021

Calendar 2021

► Submission to the ED secretariat of the thesis subjects to be put online on the ED website: April 6, 2021

► Forwarding to the ED of the pre-selection of candidates made by the laboratories: 2 to 3 candidates for each contract; and forwarding to the ED secretariat by each laboratory director of the contact details of the proposed external reporter and, if necessary, of the internal reporter of the institution, for the constitution of the jury:
FR Agorantic contract: 5 May 2021
ED 536: 11 May 2021
ED 537: 18 May 2021

► Audition of ED 537 candidates: Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 June 2021
Audition of the candidates of the FR Agorantic: Tuesday 8 June 2021 (apm)
SFR Tersys Candidate Hearing: Tuesday, June 8, 2021 (apm)
► Audition of ED 536 candidates: Thursday, June 10, 2021

Doctoral contracts 2021 for each Doctoral School

Selected laboratories:

Doctoral School 536 Agrosciences and Sciences
- Avignon Computer Science Laboratory
- UMR EMMAH - Mediterranean Environment and Modeling of Agro-Hydrosystems
- UMR IMBE - Mediterranean Institute of Biodiversity and Marine and Continental Ecology
- UMR Qualisud

Doctoral School 537 Culture and Heritage
- Cultural Identity, Texts, Theatricality
- Norbert Elias Centre - History of Modern and Contemporary Europe

Complementary list: CIHAM - History, Archaeology, Literature of the Medieval Christian and Muslim Worlds

Doctoral contracts from the PACA Region

By decision of the Research Commission, the laboratories receiving funding from the PACA Region's Emploi Jeune Doctorant (regional grant) may choose between the following two options:
  • to use the procedure set up by the EDs for the ministerial CDs to select their candidates
  • to carry out their own selection (without resorting to the assistance of the DCs). In this case, the candidates selected by the laboratories will nevertheless be auditioned by the competent ED council for validation of their application.

FR Agorantic doctoral contract "Culture, Heritage, Digital Societies"

The doctoral contract attributed by Avignon University for the year 2020 to the FR Agorantic "Culture, Heritage, Digital Societies" is built around the concept of interdisciplinarity between Human and Social Sciences and Information and Communication Sciences and Technologies.
Criteria for the granting of a Doctoral Contract of the FR Agorantic "Culture, Heritage, Digital Societies".

Priority will be given to co-directorships involving two laboratories/units members of the FR Agorantic or in the process of association.
One of the co-directors must be a teacher-researcher from Avignon University;
The adequacy between the project, the scientific axes of the RF and the candidate;
The call for proposals is open to students of any nationality, without age limit, according to the rules of the 2 ED 536 & 537 of Avignon University;
The quality of the candidates represents a major criterion of selection of the files.

The subjects should be sent to agorantic@univ-avignon.fr

The candidates' files must reach the FR Agorantic at the latest on May 5, 2021.
The selection of the auditioned candidates will take place on May 17 or 18, 2021.

The jury will be composed of members of ED 536 & 537, the two directors of the SFR, as well as external members, will meet under the leadership of the CED to select the best application.

SFR TERSYS doctoral contract

Rules and criteria of attribution applicable to the grant of the ED 536 Sciences and Agrosciences assigned to our SFR :

Are considered as eligible only the subjects entering within the framework of the scientific project of the SFR TERSYS;
Priority is given to co-directors involving two laboratories/units partners of the SFR TERSYS;
The co-directors must be attached to the ED 536 Sciences and Agrosciences;
At least one of the two co-directors must be a teacher-researcher of the University of Avignon;
Both co-directors must have the Accrediation to supervise research but the possibility to associate co-supervisors is recognized;
The call for proposals is open to students according to the rules of ED 536 Sciences and Agrosciences. They are open to students of any nationality;
The quality of the candidates represents a major criterion of selection of the files.

A specific jury will examine the applications relating to this MESR doctoral contract focused on the SFR TERSYS.

Specific cases (EJD, Cifre, Cotutelle, INRAE, ...)

Employment of young PhD students (EJD)

The PACA Regional Council renews each year its support to future regional PhD students, renewing its funding scheme "Emploi Jeunes Doctorants (EJD)".

You are invited to read this call for EJD applications and the application form here.

Complete applications must be submitted to before Friday 26 February 2021 (noon) in electronic format (1 PDF file per project) to the following address gestion-ed@univ-avignon.fr

The ranking of the applications will be done during the Research Commission which will take place on Thursday 11 March 2021. Applications that are not complete (in particular the absence of a signature from the laboratory or the socio-economic partner) or that are sent after the deadline will not be examined by the Research Commission.

It is reminded that:

- For applications submitted by research organisations (EPST, EPIC, EPA):
the regional co-financing per project will be 50% of the subsidizable amount, up to a limit of 47.000 € over three years.

- For applications submitted by Universities and Schools:
o The regional co-financing per project will be 90% of the subsidizable amount, up to a limit of €84,000 for projects co-financed with a microenterprise, a VSE/SME1, an associative structure with less than 250 employees or the own funds of laboratories;
o The regional co-financing per project will be 80% of the subsidizable amount up to a limit of €75,000 for projects co-financed with an Intermediate Size Company (with less than 5,000 employees);
o It will be 50% of the subsidizable amount within the limit of 47 000 € for projects co-financed with a Large Company (or a VSE/SME directly held at 25% or more by a large group), a public establishment (ADEME, DGA, CNES...), or a community.

The Region will also be able to grant funding of up to 100% of the salary, up to a limit of €94,000, on the basis of a duly substantiated argument (where applicable, the remainder of the funding must be guaranteed by the establishment submitting the application). For this provision, which will concern a maximum of 20% of all selected projects, particular attention will be paid to the following thematic fields:
- Political and legal sciences
- Humanities and Social Sciences
- Economic and management sciences
- Mathematical and basic computer sciences
For these projects, a strong involvement of the socio-economic partner will be required, in particular through collaborative projects.

The Region will only finance research activities, excluding complementary activities.

Please note that the Research Support Office is in charge of transmitting the applications to the Region. You do not have to provide us with any documents other than the signed application form (e.g.: bank details of the institution, document authorising the person submitting the application to commit their institution, etc.)

The Research Support Office remains at your disposal for any further information.


For any request for a letter of commitment from the director of the ED (ANRT request), please attach to gestion-ed@univ-avignon.fr:
- the description of the selection process of the candidate in a supporting letter from the thesis director
- the title of the thesis and a description of the subject (1/2 page)
- a cv of the candidate
- a transcript of grades of master or equivalent with classification
The attestation of employment must be sent at the time of the first registration to justify the financing. Once the certificate of attribution by the ANRT is obtained, please send it to the ED.


The PhD degree can be obtained in the framework of a cotutelle partnership between AU and a foreign university. In this case, the doctorate is directed by an AU director and a co-director from the partner university.

The PhDstudent wishing to register as a co-supervisor must, in parallel with the registration authorization file, submit to the ED a request for authorization to register as a cotutelle.

The application form for authorization to register as a co-supervisor must be returned to the ED signed by the thesis director and the director of the Avignon University research unit.

After ratification of the request by all the signatories, a co-supervision agreement (specifying the schedule of stays between the 2 establishments, the terms of the defense...) will be set up by the ED.

After a single defense, the PhD student will be awarded a double degree by the two partner universities.


For any request for an opinion from the director of the ED on the specific information form, reception of PhD students at INRAE, please contact gestion-ed@univ-avignon.fr :
- the description of the selection process of the candidate in a letter of support from the thesis director
- a cv of the candidate
- a transcript of grades of master or equivalent with classification

Date of update June 25, 2021