Cotutelle agreements

Joint doctoral assessment process under
co-tutelage (co-tutelle) agreements

A joint doctoral assessment process enables a PhD student (candidate) to prepare one doctoral dissertation under dual supervision (supervisor at the Warsaw University of Technology and co-supervisor at the foreign partner institution) and leads to the conferment of a degree of “doktor” at the WUT and an equal degree at the foreign partner institution after a defence of the thesis conducted by a joint doctoral commission in one of the institutions.

A joint doctoral assessment process can be established through an agreement on the system of joint supervision – co-tutelage (co-tutelle) in a PhD programme of a PhD student (candidate) between the Warsaw University of Technology and a given partner institution.

The initiative may come from either of the universities that are interested in such a form of cooperation, from a doctoral student or his/her supervisor. However the agreement may also be signed within a broader agreement concerning cooperation between WUT and another institution or within an international research project between institutions participating in the project.

The agreement can be signed after a PhD candidate is admitted to PhD programmes at both institutions (independently). Signing a co-tutelle agreement is not equivalent to being admitted to the doctoral school “automatically”. At WUT it can also be signed in an “external course” in which PhD candidates pursue a doctoral degree outside of doctoral studies / doctoral school. They need however to fulfil all the formal obligations necessary to obtain a doctoral degree.

A joint doctoral assessment process under a co-tutelage agreement provides international cooperation that exists in joint acceptance of a doctoral thesis and its admission to an open defence that takes place before a Joint Doctoral Commission appointed by both institutions.

If the agreement pertains to a person admitted to doctoral studies / schools at both institutions, the fulfilment of the doctoral programme is divided between two institutions participating in the agreement. The schedule and the general doctoral programme should be included in the agreement.

The Warsaw University of Technology does not provide any scholarships connected with a joint doctoral assessment process, however such cooperation can be funded under a research project provided that the agreement is concluded within the framework of such a project.

Warsaw University of Technology has created drafts of co-tutelage agreements in English language. There is a general (framework) agreement that can be signed in case of a long-term cooperation with a given partner institution that includes more than one doctoral student. The individualized draft of the agreement pertaining to a particular doctoral student can be signed together with the general agreement. Recently WUT has created a standalone individualized agreement that does not require the general (framework) agreement which speeds up the process. The particulars are subject to negotiations between the WUT and a partner institution. A PhD student (candidate) also participates in the process of establishing a co-tutelage agreement at both institutions.

  1. At WUT co-tutelle agreements are coordinated by Mr. Michał Morski from the Doctoral School’s Office (Biuro Szkoły Doktorskiej) with cooperation with the team led by Professor Teresa Zielińska.
  2. Before signing, the agreements need to be verified by the Legal Office of WUT.
  3. At WUT the agreement is signed by the Rector (or an authorized representative), but first it needs to be signed by the Head of the Doctoral School, by the Head of Academic Council of a proper discipline and by the thesis supervisor.

At WUT the PhD student (candidate) can be admitted to the defence of the doctoral thesis that takes place before a joint doctoral commission after:

  1. Completing doctoral programmes at both institutions (provided that such a person is a doctoral student at both universities and does not pursue a doctoral degree outside of doctoral studies / school);
  2. Meeting all the formal requirements of both institutions to be admitted to the defence of the thesis and to receive a doctoral degree, which include (at WUT):
    1. holding a master’s degree
    2. submitting an application regarding the formal appointment of supervisors (in the external course, it starts the whole process)
    3. launching the proceedings regarding awarding a degree of doctor (by submitting a proper application with an attached doctoral thesis approved by the supervisors)
    4. possessing the learning outcomes at the 8th level of the Polish Qualification Framework and a certificate (or a diploma of studies) confirming the knowledge of a modern foreign language at a B2 level at minimum
    5. possessing at least one scientific article or a publication in accordance with national and internal regulations

A possible route of a co-tutelle agreement:

The person who initiates the signing of the agreement

(a PhD student / thesis supervisor / an academic teacher of WUT or the partner institution / research project)

Doctoral School (DS WUT)

Partner institution


DS WUT → Legal Office of WUT

DS WUT → partner institution

(if additional modifications are introduced)

The signing of the agreement