Thesis Guide



All registration applications must be signed by the thesis advisor(s), and by the directors of the research unit concerned and the Doctoral School. Sufficient time must be allowed to collect the necessary signatures before submitting the completed application to the “Maison du doctorat” to obtain the authorization to register.





First year of doctoral studies


All doctoral students must register at the beginning of each academic year (article 11 of the decree of May 25th, 2016) according to the calendar annexed to the current document.


Registration in the doctoral program is subject to the prior authorization of the head of the institution, on the proposal of the director of the doctoral school, and after the approval of the thesis advisor and the director of the research unit.


In order to comply with the various schedules of international partners or the requirements of the involved financing institutions, doctoral students who are funded for their first year (CIFRE, research project funding) and/or under an international agreement may enroll anytime throughout the academic year. Nevertheless, they must proceed with their administrative registration immediately after obtaining their funding.


 From the second year of doctoral studies onwards


All doctoral students (including cotutelle doctoral students, i.e., internationally supervised students) must renew their enrollment at the beginning of each academic year (article 11 of the decree of May 25th, 2016) according to the schedule annexed to the present document.


Renewal is granted on the proposal of the doctoral school's management, after the validation by the thesis advisor and the doctoral student's individual monitoring committee (article 13 of the same decree).




In accordance with article 14 of the aforementioned decree, additional enrollments beyond three years are conditional to obtaining a special authorization, upon a motivated request from the doctoral student.


They are granted by the head of the institution based on the proposal of the doctoral school director, and after the approval of the thesis advisor and the doctoral student's individual monitoring committee (CSI).


 Gap year (as defined by the national reference texts in application)


The concerned party makes the request according to one of the reasons provided for in article 14 of the aforementioned decree.


The course of the doctorate may be suspended, upon the proposal of the director of the doctoral school and provided the head of the institution agrees, after the prior approval of the thesis advisor and the director of the research unit.


 Request for an extension following a gap


The concerned party makes the request according to the valid reasons defined (article 14 of the same decree).


The duration of the preparation of the doctorate may be extended, upon the proposal of the director of the doctoral school and provided the head of the institution agrees, after the prior approval of the thesis advisor and the director of the research unit.


 Enrollment fees (tuition)


Doctoral students are required to pay enrollment fees every year.


Save for the case of exemptions, students must pay the student and campus life financial contribution (CVEC, or “contribution vie étudiante et de campus”) to the CROUS, as stipulated in article L841-5-1 of the Education Code, using the “” web platform.


If the defense of the thesis is not scheduled before the end of December of the current administrative year, doctoral students will be required to renew their administrative registration and pay the corresponding CVEC and registration fees for the following academic year, as specified on the timeline attached to this document.


Doctoral students who were authorized to take a gap year benefit from reduced fees.


Aside from the gap year, there can be no interruption of the thesis. Without due administrative registration according to the calendar annexed to the present document, the doctoral student will be deemed to have withdrawn from their program.


Requests for a thesis co-advisor, for joint supervision, and for the confidentiality of the thesis are made during the thesis registration stage. The doctoral student must also sign the doctoral charter and the doctoral training agreement. This document specifies, in agreement with the thesis advisor(s) and research unit director, the course of the thesis and its material environment. Once registration is complete (comprised of two steps: administrative and pedagogical), the doctoral student can access their personal space of the SyGAL application via their digital workspace (ENT). The following aspects of the thesis are all managed via this application.

The thesis may, for any number of reasons, be confidential. In this case, the doctoral student must imperatively fill out a confidentiality certificate.

Duration of the thesis

The duration of the thesis is three years for doctoral students. However, it is possible to extend this period with the previous agreement of the Doctoral School and the directors of the institution. This extension can last:

- one year for doctoral students who have a doctoral contact, i.e. a total of four years of thesis;

- three years for other doctoral students, i.e. a total of six years of thesis.

Student-body representatives

Doctoral students are entitled to a representation in the various councils of the institutions to defend their rights and to convey ideas. The doctoral students' associations provide another space which is a building block of the doctorate in Normandy as well as a meeting place for doctoral students from different scientific fields. The contact details are:

 - The representatives of the doctoral students are distinct within each Doctoral School. Their names and contact information are indicated on the web page of the Doctoral School in the section "the doctoral schools of Normandy university". These representatives are by right invited to the Doctoral School Council.

- The representatives of the doctoral students to the Academic Council of Normandy University are:

      - Yohan MARC,

      - Aimie LE SAUX,

Doctoral student's association : "normandie doc"

If you would like to join the the  association of doctoral students in Normandy, see their website mormandie doc.

Doctoral missions

Doctoral students with a doctoral contract may obtain an amendment to this contract in case of additional activities, these are evaluated and granted on a yearly basis.

These complementary activities may be:

- a teaching position

- a mission to disseminate scientific and technical culture: writing articles, scientific journalism, setting up and running educational workshops and public events ...

- a mission of valorization of research results: promotion of technology, prospecting, studying the deposit of a patent, technological watch activities, research of applications for a technology...

- a doctoral expertise mission: legal analysis, market or feasibility studies, consulting, bibliographical research, experimentation, surveys, project support...

The first three missions can be offered to doctoral students after a call for applications by the institution where they are enrolled according to procedures specific to each university or school.

Concerning the doctoral mission of expertise, the doctoral student or the Research Unit can initiate contact. The request can also originate from a company, association, or another partner who then informs the doctoral administration of their wish to use the skills of a doctoral student. The doctoral administration then contacts doctoral students who could potentially meet the specific requirements for that mission. For more information, you can consult the doctoral expertise mission.

Sessional positions

The aforementioned missions may be granted on a yearly basis to all doctoral students, including doctoral students without a doctoral contract (if they are less than 28 years old on September 1st of the academic year) as well as to doctoral students with an external professional activity.

These assignments may be offered by an institution, a disciplinary division, or a teaching department. The doctoral student will have to sign a contract as a temporary agent indicating the mission entrusted to you and the number of hours to be covered.

Doctoral training

The thesis project stands at the heart of the doctoral studies, it is carried out within a certified laboratory and under the responsibility of an authorized thesis advisor. The PhD student will thus acquire and develop skills through the activities carried out throughout the research project. The objective of the doctoral training is to complete this training "to research and through research" and to prepare the candidate for the continuation of their professional career. It is, therefore, necessary that the doctoral training activities that you will choose to undertake are consistent with the individual’s professional project.

The training activities offered are directed at the future of the professional environment and is intended for all doctoral students, regardless of their scientific field. It is composed of :

- Mutualized modules and courses set up and managed by the CED: these are transversal to all the research fields of the different EDs and open to all doctoral students. The 2020-2021 list can be consulted at training activity 2021-2022

- Disciplinary modules set up and managed by each ED: these target the specific needs of its doctoral students and are presented in their Internal Regulations (see the internal regulations accessible on the ED’s web page in the section "écoles doctorales de Normandie université"). It is noteworthy to mention that a part of this training may be subject to obligations (in terms of training, module, number of hours, etc.) which have been fixed by each ED and are stated in their Internal Regulations.

Monitoring Committee (for PhD students enrolled since 2016)

Each doctoral student must have a monitoring committee for his thesis. Established in the first year, this committee is there to accompany the progress of the thesis and to ensure that everything is running smoothly. The members of the committee cannot be reporting members of the thesis jury at the moment of the defense. The requirements for the composition of these committees and the modalities specific to each discipline are stated in the internal regulations of each Doctoral School (accessible via the home page "Doctoral Schools"). These internal regulations can be accessed on the "Doctoral Schools" page, then by clicking on the link of each Doctoral School.

Annual and final reports

A report is requested every year from doctoral students. Re-enrollment for the following year of doctoral training depends on this annual report. This report should be downloaded on the SyGAL application before june 30th.

A final report has also to be downloaded on SyGAL one month before your PhD defense.

Request for thesis defense

The oral defense request must be submitted and validated on SyGAL at least two months before the defense date. The following steps until the defense are then fully conducted via this application. To know the procedure for the defense and thesis submission via SyGAL, please consult the thesis defense and thesis deposit guide. The link was not working

The defense is authorized by the director of the institution after receiving the two reports favorable to an oral defense of the doctoral dissertation. This defense is public unless a request for confidentiality has been previously filed by the Research Unit.

Submission of the thesis file

One month at the latest prior to the thesis defense and after validation of the defense request by the head of the institution, the doctoral student must deposit his thesis manuscript in digital form in the SyGAL platform. The student also must carry out administrative formalities pertaining to the manuscript submission process and with the help of the university’s library services. To learn more about the thesis deposit procedure via SyGAL, please consult the PhD defense guide.

Thesis reports

Reporting jury members receive a statement of impartiality by email followed by the thesis report request. By signing this statement of impartiality, the reporter certifies that they have no ties of interest, whether of a professional, familial, personal, or patrimonial nature, with the doctoral student or the thesis advisor. They also certify that they were not involed in the work of the thesis and that they have not participated in the thesis monitoring committee of the doctoral student.

The reporting member must submit their written reports on SyGAL, via the link indicated, dated, and signed two weeks before the date of the oral defense. The director of the institution authorizes or not the defense on the basis of these written reports. Once the defense has been authorized, the reports and invitations are sent to all the members of the jury. The thesis advisor receives the defense documents meant to be filled out by the president of the jury. The procedure for submitting thesis reports via SyGAL is detailed in the PhD defense guide

Thesis defense

The members of the jury appoint a president among them, who must be a professor or of equivalent rank, but excluding the thesis director. A reporting member may be selected as president of the jury.

Exceptionally, and aside from the president, other jury members may participate in the defense via videoconference. 

Following the defense, the president of the jury writes a report that is sent to the institution of enrollment. The certificate of success is issued after a verification that any corrections requested by the jury have been taken into account and after the final submission of the thesis at the university library. The diploma is then issued to the candidate after being signed by the president of Normandie Université and the rector of the Academy.

Change of thesis direction during the course of the thesis

Any doctoral student wishing to change their thesis advisor or co-advisor must imperatively fill out a thesis direction change form.

Abandonment of thesis

Any doctoral student wishing to abandon their thesis permanently must imperatively fill out a thesis abandonment declaration form.

Thesis suspension

A thesis suspension may be granted by right to any doctoral student who has benefited from a maternity, paternity, childcare or adoption leave, parental leave. This is also applicable if the candidate was on a sick leave of more than four consecutive months or a leave of at least two months as a result of a work-related accident. The duration of the doctoral training period is extended if the candidate applies for an extension of the thesis.

Gap period

In accordance with the decree of May 18, 2018, a doctoral student may be granted a continuous gap of 6 to 12 months if they can attest to one of the following situations:

- an enrollment in a training program in a field different from that of their doctoral training;

- an opportunity to pursue an experience in a professional setting in France or abroad;  

- a commitment to civic service in France or abroad, which may take the form of becoming an international solidarity volunteer, an international administrative or business volunteer, or participating in a European voluntary service;  

- a project to create a project or business as a student-entrepreneur.

As authorized by the decree of May 25, 2016, the doctoral student may or may not maintain their registration in their institution. However, if this period is inferior to a year, the doctoral student will have to re-enroll for the full year when they resume their doctoral activity. During this period, the doctoral student temporarily suspends their doctoral training and research work but may remain registered at their institution if they wish to. This period is not counted in the duration of the thesis. The institution guarantees that the doctoral student who suspends their studies that they will be able to enroll back in their doctoral program at the end of the gap period.

Any doctoral student wishing to benefit from a gap period must imperatively fill out a gap period application form.