Add an international perspective to your PhD experience, enhance collaboration and access world-leading research through a Cotutelle Doctoral Degree


What is a Cotutelle Doctoral Degree?

A Cotutelle Doctoral Degree refers to a doctoral degree program that is undertaken jointly at Flinders University and an international higher education institution. In practice, this means that the PhD student (domestic or international) is supervised jointly by academics from both institutions and divides his/her candidature between Flinders and the partner institution, spending a minimum of 12 months at each. Upon successful completion of a PhD students will also be awarded two parchments, one from each institution. Flinders can either be the home institution (where the student spends the majority of their time) or the host institution. 


Relevant details such as admission requirements, supervisory arrangements, examination processes and timeframes will be identified in a Cotutelle Agreement between the student, supervisors and institutions.


Benefits for Students

Cotutelle doctoral degrees provide significant benefits to students including:

  • exposure to different educational environments
  • increased networks, personally and professionally
  • enhanced career opportunities
  • access to different research expertise, equipment and  perspectives, and
  • the ability to increase the global impact of their research.

To find out more about how a cotutelle doctoral degree can enhance your PhD experience, listen to Jess Young’s video.


Benefits for Supervisors and Flinders University

As identified above, Cotutelle doctoral degrees are an avenue to creating and enhancing research collaborations between Flinders University and leading international institutions. As such, Flinders University’s reputation as a research-intensive university will also be enhanced.

There are also a number of benefits for supervisors including:

  • the ability to establish new, or enhance existing, research collaborations
  • to develop research programs that extend beyond the depth or breadth achievable within Flinders University alone
  • to increase professional networks
  • experiencing new and different perspectives, and
  • extending the global impact of research.


Eligibility for a Cotutelle Doctoral Degree

To be eligible for a Cotutelle doctoral degree you will need to be:

  • admitted to a doctoral degree at your home institution
  • a full-time student
  • within the first year of your PhD
  • have the support of your home institution Principal Supervisor, and
  • have identified a potential supervisor at the host institution

For more information refer to the HDR Policy and Cotutelle Procedures.


Key Information

Cotutelle doctoral degrees incorporate a number of factors to consider before you apply.

  • students will need to satisfy each university's admission requirements, including language proficiency
  • identifying any coursework and milestone/progress requirements
  • responsibility for covering the costs of travel, insurances, health cover, accommodation involved in the Cotutelle arrangement sits with students
  • students will be liable for fees at the home institution and provided with a fee waiver by the host university for the duration of candidature
  • students generally spend two thirds of their candidature at the home institution and one third at the host institution (which must be a minimum of 12 months)
  • where approved by both institutions, the 12 months spent at the host institution may be split into a series of visits;
  • examination processes will be identified within each agreement and may follow those of one institution or a combination of both institutions, and may include an oral defence
  • all theses must be in English
  • identifying how interaction between the student and supervisors at both institutions will be maintained over the different locations;
  • both supervisors will be responsible for following the Charter of HDR Student and Supervisor Responsibilities.


The Cotutelle Travel Grant

Students whose home institution is Flinders University may be eligible for the Flinders University Cotutelle Travel Grant.  The Cotutelle Travel Grant can reimburse the cost of travel to and from the international host institution for the research period(s) identified in the Cotutelle Agreement.  Students for whom Flinders is the host institution should check with their home institution regarding potential support.



Due to the detailed nature of Cotutelle arrangements, it can take up to three months to develop an agreement and gain approval.  Where Flinders University has not previously engaged with the partner institution, it will take additional time to assess the reputation and the equivalence of doctoral procedures.  Providing all of the required information at the time of submitting a request is also important to the timely creation of an agreement.   


How to apply

Before you apply for admission to a Cotutelle doctoral degree, discuss it with your supervisor and identify potential institutions and supervisors where collaboration would be beneficial. You should also read the Cotutelle Procedure [insert link] to ensure you are aware of the requirements and responsibilities involved.

All students are required to complete the Cotutelle Proposal form, which captures information essential to organising the Cotutelle arrangement such as institutional information, supervisory arrangements, research periods etc.

Students whose host institution is Flinders University are also required to apply for admission to Flinders University via the online application process.  Students whose home university is Flinders University should have undertaken this process already. 

Please be aware that where either the on-line application or the Cotutelle Proposal form does not provide all of the required information, they cannot be progressed.

Once both the Cotutelle Proposal form and online application are complete, the proposed Cotutelle arrangement is assessed through the following process:

The Office of Graduate Research will liaise with students and supervisors at both institutions throughout the process.   

Flinders University students should also liaise with their host institution supervisor to ensure they follow the appropriate admissions and enrolment process for the host institution.

For more information, please contact

International Partners

Flinders university currently has agreements with the following universities. Information about Cotutelle Doctoral Degrees can be found at each site: