Policy Redesign Project

All policies and procedures are being reviewed as part of this project. This document is pending review, but remains in effect until the review is carried out.

Cotutelle Doctoral Degrees Policy

Establishment:Council, 5 June 2008
Last Amended: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), 3 December 2012
Nature of Amendment:
Transfer of Authority previously held by Director, Academic and Student Services
Date Last Reviewed:
November 2011
Responsible Officer:
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)

1.  Preamble

1.1  As a research intensive university engaged in a range of international activities both on campus and abroad, Flinders University acknowledges the benefits of international exchange programs for both students and the University. To this end cotutelle arrangements have been established to promote and strengthen research collaborations between Australia and other countries. The aim of the cotutelle program is to support these collaborative research teams through jointly supervised research undertaken by PhD candidates.


2.  Definition

2.1  Cotutelle is a doctoral degree program which is undertaken jointly at Flinders University and an international higher education institution and which, if successful, results in the student being awarded a doctoral degree by both institutions.


3.  Scope

3.1  This policy applies to jointly supervised PhD candidates undertaking research where there is an ongoing or developing cooperative research collaboration between a department or research group at Flinders University and a department or research group at an international higher education institution.

In all other respects, the University's Student Related Policies and Procedures will apply to PhD candidates studying under a cotutelle arrangement.


4.  Policy

4.1  A cotutelle candidature arrangement between Flinders University and an international higher education institution, in respect to an individual student, will be secondary to an MOU or other agreement between the two institutions.

4.2  A cotutelle arrangement will only be established by Flinders University with an institution that has an international reputation and that has policies and procedures for the governance of doctoral students that are equivalent to those of Flinders University.

4.3  A cotutelle arrangement will only be established with an institution that has an established or developing collaborative research program with Flinders University. Where there is no such collaborative research arrangement, PhD candidates are not eligible to participate in a cotutelle arrangement. There must also be evidence that the arrangement will provide academic benefits both to the candidate and the University and efforts made to achieve reciprocity in the number of candidates from each institution.

4.4  A cotutelle arrangement requires the approval of the joint supervisors and the Cotutelle Committee of the relevant institutions. The Committees must be satisfied that there is an appropriate level of research collaboration, infrastructure support and financial support, and that there is capacity for continuity of doctoral supervision at each university. The endorsements of the Head of School and the Executive Dean of the relevant Faculty are required before a proposal for a cotutelle candidature can be considered by the Cotutelle Committee.

4.5  The Flinders University Cotutelle Committee will be comprised of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) (Chair), the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) and the Chair of the University Research Higher Degrees Committee and will meet as required to review proposals for cotutelle candidatures.

4.6  A cotutelle proposal must be drawn up between the two participating institutions in respect of each candidate, detailing the arrangements pertaining to that particular candidate. Cotutelle arrangements normally take effect from the beginning of a candidature and must be in place by the end of the first year of equivalent full-time study.

4.7  The proposal will address criteria and include information specified in the Cotutelle Proposal form, as approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

4.8  Additional country-specific information may be included in the proposal, as required, to reflect the particular education practices that apply in that country.

4.9  The candidate will normally be liable for fees at the home institution for the duration of candidature and exempt from fees at the host institution.

4.10  The candidature must be divided between the two institutions with a minimum of 12 months (full-time equivalent) spent in each institution. The candidate will normally complete a minimum of six months of research, including the formulation of a research proposal to the satisfaction of the home institution, before being granted permission to undertake any research at the host institution. The last twelve months of candidature will normally be spent writing up at the home institution.

4.11  Two principal supervisors will be appointed, one from each institution. The authority and responsibilities vested in a principal supervisor will be jointly exercised by the two supervisors. Additional co-supervision may be appointed at each institution.

4.12  There will be a single agreed examination process that satisfies the requirements of each institution's policy and both participating institutions will respect the outcome of the examination. Both institutions must agree on the appointment of examiners. Examiners must be able to provide reports in English and, usually, in the language of the host institution. If a viva voce examination is required, the examination panel must have representation from the two institutions.

The thesis, and viva voce, if required, will be presented in the language of the home institution, with an abstract provided in the language of the host institution, except where otherwise permitted in accordance with the Research Higher Degree Policies and Procedures. The choice of language will be specified in the cotutelle proposal.

4.13  Variations to the cotutelle arrangement will be made only in exceptional circumstances and must be approved by both cotutelle committees within twelve months of approval of the proposal. The committees will advise the relevant Flinders University Faculty Higher Degrees Committee and the host institution equivalent of any variations.

4.14  A candidate who wishes to withdraw from a cotutelle arrangement and revert to a single candidature must make an application for approval to withdraw to the Cotutelle Committee at each institution.

4.15  Following success in the agreed examination, Flinders University will award the Doctor of Philosophy and the host university will award the equivalent degree. The degree certificates will acknowledge that the award was made under a cotutelle agreement by including the following statement:

The research project leading to the award of this degree was conducted under a cotutelle arrangement between Flinders University and [international higher education institution].

4.16  Resources to support the candidature and the research project, including travel and oral examination where required, must be identified prior to approval being given. Scholarship holders, depending on the conditions of their scholarship, may be eligible to study under a cotutelle arrangement.