A cotutelle is an individual contract for joint academic supervision at PhD level that regulates the partners’ responsibilities, also with regard to evaluation and defence of doctoral theses.
"A cotutelle agreement is individual. A personal agreement for each PhD candidate will always be required. Additional institutional agreements, national agreements or framework agreements on cotutelle can still be formulated, referring to general procedures and systems. Quality assurance, admission, assessment and diplomas are aspects such agreements could naturally cover" (from a report from the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR), June 2007).
If there is a wish for a professional collaboration related to the supervision of a specific candidate, entering into a cotutelle agreement is an option. In the following we specify implications for candidates who want to be connected to PhD programs of the owner institutions of GRS (which currently counts the PhD program of the University of Bergen).
The process starts with discussion between the academic environment in the institution where the candidate is enrolled and the academic milieu at UiB (Grieg Academy/GRS). If there is a shared interest in collaboration, negotiations start on a specific cotutelle agreement of the candidate in question. Issues to clarify are: roles, responsibilities, ownership rights/use of project results, and economy.
Either the main supervisor or a co-supervisor should be employed at UiB. Supervisors could also be connected to other owner institutions (as specified here).The main supervisor should be employed at the institution that has the highest academic competencies in relation to the specific project.
The candidate will formally be enrolled in UiB, and the collaboration will lead to a joint degree. The defence of doctoral thesis can be in either of the institutions, depending on academic and practical aspects in each case.
There has to be at least 1 year left of the candidate’s doctoral process for a cotutelle agreement to be considered.