Before you start

Even if you’re sure of your motivations, it’s advisable to take the time to ask other doctoral students and intermediary staff and faculty members about the following for example:

  • thesis work and its specific characteristics ;
  • type of thesis developed in the chosen discipline (consult particularly successful recent theses);
  • style of supervision of the prospective thesis supervisor (frequency of supervision sessions, availability, etc.) ;
  • scientific interests of the prospective thesis supervisor (approaches may vary within the same research domain);
  • working conditions in the unit to which you will be attached (Will you have an office? a computer? What work will you have to do in addition to the thesis? etc.);
  • possibilities for financing the doctorate ;
  • average time required to complete a thesis in your field ;
  • conditions of acceptance for doctoral studies and requirements for obtaining the PhD title (for example : obligation to attend a doctoral school or acquire a certain number of ECTS credits) ;
  • training programmes offered to doctoral students in your field.

The nature of the thesis work varies greatly depending on disciplines: in some, you generally work alone, in others with a team (e.g. a common subject approached according to different perspectives), some offer the possibility of a so-called " article thesis", others not. 

In addition to disciplines, specific features may also arise within institutions (university, faculty, department, institute, laboratory, etc.). It’s therefore impossible to offer a complete review of all the possible questions.  An independent search for the facts concerning your particular situation will thus be necessary to enable you to make an informed choice.