Doctoral Dissertation Defense

The dissertation supervisor participates on the jury and attends the deliberations but does not take part in the decision. Personalities can participate as guest members (maximum two).

In accordance with the decree of May 25, 2016 establishing a national framework in France for the education and conditions leading to a French Ph D diploma, and in order to guarantee the independence of the juries required for the evaluation of a thesis, the PSL Doctoral College has, at its meeting of March 7, 2018, decided on the following modalities.

Authorization for a dissertation defense is granted by the head of the institution, who is advised by the director of the doctoral school based on a recommendation from the dissertation supervisor.

Generic templates are available in the Resources space, to be filled out under the authority of the dissertation service at the institution where the dissertation is prepared.

Vigilance is recommended if a confidentiality clause applies to the doctoral dissertation: the confidentiality notice and the end date must appear on the cover of the dissertation.

One thing’s for sure; I’ve got respect for the process. Your supervisor has found your thesis worthy to be defended. There will be a few really tough questions, and it can therefore be good to know of a few “life savers”.

I hope the thoughts will be somewhat helpful or comforting for all those shivering Ph D candidates yet to come. No one in the world has recently spent so much time as you on this specific topic. How can you possibly deliver a speech that will reach them all? Tell a story: what was the problem, what did you do, and what did you find that contributes to research and practice (repeat if several papers). In general, talk more if you’re confident, be brief when you’re on thin ice (this is much more tricky than it sounds like! Finally, the Ph D defense is not meant to be a walk in the park.

After deliberating, the jury decides whether to pass the candidate or adjourn.

In special cases, with the exception of the chairman, members of the jury may participate in the defense via videoconferencing or electronic communications that allow them to be identified and to participate effectively in collective deliberations.

Authorization for a defense is granted based on the reports, which are communicated to the jury and the candidate before the defense.

The writing language of the thesis must comply with Article L121-3 of the Education Code, relating to the use of the French language.


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