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HDR defence procedure

Procedural steps and timeline:
  1. Authorization to defend the HDR Details
  2. 6 weeks prior: Send manuscript to external referees Details
  3. At least 2 weeks prior: Referee reports to be sent to the Graduate School Details
  4. 1 week prior: Announcement and defence envelope Details
  5. On the day of the defence: Defence and committee deliberation Details
  6. After the defence: The certificate of achievement and the diploma are issued Details

Authorization to defend the HDR

The applicant should contact the committee members and propose a defence date once the registration to defend the HDR is granted.

In the meantime, the HDR applicant needs to proceed with the administrative enrolment in the appropriate UFR office of the registrar, i.e., Faculty of Science or Faculty Medicine (please make an appointment in advance).
CAUTION! No diploma will be issued without this enrolment. The candidate must be enrolled BEFORE the DEFENCE.

The applicant needs to provide the office of the Graduate School with:

  • A document containing the following information:
    • first and last name of the candidate
    • date of birth
    • laboratory affiliation
    • UFR (Science or Medicine)
    • email and telephone numbers
    • date of the scientific board meeting, where the defence was endorsed
    • the PhD title and award date of the PhD and the name of the university, where the PhD was obtained
  • A CV (maximum 10 pages)
  • The designation form for referees (Word doc) (Choice of referees).
  • The designation form for committee members (Word doc) signed by the Director of Research (Committee composition).
    The discipline / CNU section should be selected based on UFR Sciences ou Medicine (one and only one discipline) :
    if UFR sciences :
    • section 64 - Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    • section 65 - Cellular Biology
    • section 66 - Physiologie
    • section 67 - Population biology and ecology
    • section 68 - Biology of Organisms
    • section 69 - Neuroscience
    if UFR medicine :
    • section 42 - Morphology and morphogenesis
    • section 43 - Biophysics and Medical Imaging
    • section 44 - Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, physiology and nutrition
    • section 45 - Microbiology, hygiene and communicable diseases
    • section 46 - Public health, environment and society
    • section 47 - Oncology, genetics, hematology, immunology
    • section 48 - Anesthesiology, intensive care, emergency medicine, pharmacology and therapeutic
    • section 49 - Nerve and muscle disease, mental illness, disability and rehabilitation
    • section 50 - Musculoskeletal pathology, dermatology and plastic surgery
    • section 51 - Cardio respiratory and vascular disease
    • section 52 - Diseases of digestive and urinary apparatus
    • section 53 - Internal medicine, geriatric medicine and general surgery
    • section 54 - Development and pathology of the child, obstetrics and gynecology, endocrinology and reproduction
    • section 55 - Pathology of the Head and Neck

    Referees should be selected based on their expertise and should not have co-authored any publication with the applicant in order to a avoid conflict of interest. Otherwise the HDR committee will not be validated.
    The exact title of each committee member (Professor, Senior Lecturer, Research Director CNRS / INSERM / INRA ... Senior Researcher CNRS / INSERM / INRA ..., etc.) must be precisely listed: specify if the Senior Researcher or Lecturer has an HDR or an equivalent qualification (for the non-French scientists). Also specify the institution to which each committee member belongs (for example: University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, )

Please note:
These documents can be sent electronically to or as hardcopy to the office of the Graduate School, but the "Designation of Committee Members" and the supplement with the full address of all the committee members should be sent by email (Word doc).

The Director of the Graduate School will sign these forms, which are then forwarded to the Presidency of the University for signature and returned to the office of the Graduate School. The applicant will be informed, when the HDR committee has been validated.

Specific case:

6 weeks prior: send manuscript to referee

  • About six weeks before the date of defence, the applicant needs to send his manuscript and the report form to the referees (Word doc ou PDF form).
  • The referees have four weeks to complete this report and send it by email to the office of the Graduate School.
The referee reports must be sent to the office of the Graduate School AT LEAST 2 WEEKS before the scheduled date of the defence.
If the referee reports have not been received by this deadline, the defence date has to be rescheduled.

The referee reports and the defence order are forwarded to the President of the University. The defence order signed by the president will be sent back to the office of the Graduate School. The applicant will then be notified by email.

1 week prior: announcement and defence envelope

One week before the defence, the applicant needs to email the cover page of the manuscript including at least the title, date, time and place of defence, as well as a summary to the office of the Graduate School.

A few days before the defence, the candidate needs to retrieve the sealed defence envelope from the office of the Graduate School. This envelope contains:

  • The defence order signed by the President of the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis (one copy per member of the committee, plus one for the applicant)
  • The referee reports (one copy per member of the committee, plus one for the candidate)
  • The minutes of the defence form
  • The defence report form

This envelope is destined for the president of the committee.

Defence and committee deliberation

After the defence, the committee members sign the Minutes and prepare and sign the defence report. The president of the committee signs both documents and sends them to the office of the Graduate School. The applicant is informed of the content of the minutes and the report.

After the defence: the certificate of achievement and the diploma are issued

A copy of the minutes of the defence and of the defence report will be kept at the office of the Graduate School and the originals will be sent by regular mail to the appropriate Faculty's (UFR) office of the registrar. Upon receipt of these documents, the office of the registrar issues a Certificate of Achievement to be collected by the candidate. The diploma is issued within 12 months following the defence.

Reference text: Decree from November 23rd, 1988.