All the PhD projects in IDS-FunMat are co-supervised by two partners from different countries.
The PhD candidates are enrolled simultaneously in two universities, and they will receive two PhD diplomas from these universities (but there is only one thesis in English language and one joint thesis defense). This is also known as ’co-tutelle PhDs’.
The candidates will work in (a least) two different laboratories with two supervisors. Typically the labs involved will have different, complementary research know-how and facilities; which are used in the PhD project. For example, a PhD researcher might synthesise new materials in one laboratory, and then characterise them in another.
The minimum requirement is to spend at least 6 months in each lab, but in most cases the partition will be closer to 50 : 50.
From the above it follows that a PhD completed in ’co-tutelle’ brings a number of important advantages to the candidate for his/her future career:
- international work experience, exposure to different working cultures
- opportunity to exploit and learn from a larger pool of competences and facilities
- professional contacts in several countries and laboratories
- double diploma
Furthermore, all the PhD projects in IDS-FunMat also include an industry partner. The role of industry can be to:
- consult the academic partners in view of possible industry applications
- receive the PhD candidate for laboratory work or training
- help with professional insertion after the project (if desired)
The implication of industry in the program is a key issue regardless of the career plans of the PhD candidates (academic or industrial perspective): we believe that it is essential for a PhD candidate to have both academic and industrial experience.