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Procedure for the defence

MAIN STEPS of the defence:

  1. The procedures must be initiated at least 10 weeks before the defence and will be carried out exclusively via the ADUM platform;
  2. Check on ADUM that the mandatory training hours are validated;
  3. When received, if the reviewers reports are positive, the process of PhD defense managed by the University is launched;
  4. If the University authorises the defense, the PhD defense documents will be available in ADUM;
  5. The completed defence documents must be returned BY E-MAIL to the Graduate School (ED) secretariat ( within 2 weeks after the defence;
  6. The proposal of the student for the PhD PRIZE/AWARD must be mentioned in the defence report;
  7. Possible corrections of the manuscript according to the recommendations of the thesis jury.

At least 10 weeks before the probable date of defence (and at least 8 weeks before):

Appointment of reviewers and jury

The doctoral student fills in the information concerning his or her defence as well as the designation of the reviewers and jury on his or her personal ADUM space in the "soutenances" tab.
Once the defence request is finalised, it is automatically sent to the PhD supervisor, then to the ED secretary, then to the ED Director and finally to the University for validation.
It is therefore important that the information entered at this stage is complete and accurate (in particular the e-mail addresses of the jury members) because it will automatically be transferred to the decree signed by the President who authorizes the defense. Also, the title of the thesis must correspond word for word to that of the manuscript.

Special case: in case of writing and/or defending in a non-French language, the cover page, the thesis title, the key words must be translated into French and the main part must be summarized in French with minimum 1700 prints.

If the applicant cannot provide a first author publication, the PhD supervisor will have to justify the reason when submitting his opinion on the request for authorisation of defence via ADUM (use: "your possible observations").

Rules for the appointment of the Reviewers and the Jury:

  • the Jury is composed of between 4 and 8 members with, if possible, a composition close to parity between men and women
  • at least half of the members of the jury must be French or foreign personalities from outside the Graduate School and the doctoral student's university, chosen for their scientific or professional competence in the field of research concerned
  • and at least half of the members are of rank A (professors, research directors, professors from foreign institutions, etc.)
  • the PhD supervisor (or at least one of the supervisors in the case of co-supervision) must participate in the jury. He/she is a member of the defence jury, counts among the local members and his/her name appears on the diploma. He/she attends the debates but does not take part in the final decision. He therefore signs the defence report, but not the defence statement (“Procès-verbal de soutenance”).
  • the reviewers must be selected based on their qualifications. To avoid a conflict of interest, they may not have co-authored a publication with the PhD supervisor or the applicant, which would invalidate the jury.
  • the two reviewers must be qualified to supervise research, with the HDR (Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches) diploma, or of equivalent rank. They must also be in practice.
    The two reviewers must be outside the Graduate School and the doctoral student's university (except in very exceptional cases, if the disciplinary field or the content of the work does not allow it). They may belong to foreign higher education or research institutions or other foreign organisations.
    In the case of work involving persons from the socio-economic world who do not belong to the academic world, a third reviewer, recognised for his or her competence in the field, may be appointed.

Special case: request for a reviewer without an HDR diploma
Fill in the derogation request form and provide the requested documents. The application must be submitted to the UCA Administrative Council for authorisation.


  • A professor emeritus can be part of a thesis jury and be the president of the jury.
  • An invited member is not officially part of a jury and therefore does not appear in any official document of the defense.

The ED secretariat must be notified of changes in the jury composition. The absence of one or several jury members must be justified.
Two cases:
The Jury remains in conformity with the decree of May 25, 2016: in this case, it will be sufficient to modify the composition of the defense jury.
The jury no longer complies with the decree of May 25, 2016 (for example, the number of members from outside the Graduate School and the doctoral student's university is less than half of the total number of members,...): in this case, the defense can only take place IF AND ONLY IF the compliance of the jury is restored, and this even if the absence of a member is only known on the day of the defence. If no solution is found, the defense must be postponed, or it will be cancelled.

Special cases:

  • Confidential thesis - Embargo / Defence behind closed doors:
    In the case of a confidential thesis, indicate on ADUM "yes" in "Confidential thesis requested" and fill out the justification request.
    The confidentiality declared by the President of the University to respect the rights of the industrial property is distinct from the embargo on diffusion on the Internet which is the choise of the sole author.
    Difference between CONFIDENTIALITY and EMBARGO
    According to the decree from May 25, 2016, the president of the University can in exceptional cases decide against a public thesis defense and allow a defense behind closed doors if the thesis project is proven of a confidential nature.
    Alternatively, a standard agreement of confidentiality (Confidentiality agreement by a jury member or participant of a thesis defense) can be used to guarantee the confidential nature of the results with respect to jury members (or reviewers) (to be returned to the ED secretariat: at the latest after the defence together with the completed defence documents). In addition to this agreement, measures need to be taken to ensure the confidentiality at the start of any collaboration with any third party, public or private, who will become aware of the project and results during the PhD.

  • Defense with videoconference:
    Decree from October 2020
    Exceptional procedure for thesis or HDR defence - November 3, 2020
    The members of the videoconference jury must be indicated on ADUM in the box provided for this purpose (videoconference request: indicate "yes").
    They must fill in the: Jury proxy form for delegation of signature to the President (to be returned to the ED secretariat: at the latest after the defence together with the completed defence documents).

At least 8 weeks (minimum on ADUM) before the probable date of defence:

Deposit of the manuscript on ADUM

The doctoral student deposits the manuscript of his/her thesis on ADUM which will automatically be sent to the designated reviewers as well as to the University Library which checks the conformity of the electronic deposit.
The reviewers then have 5 weeks to establish their report and deposit it on ADUM, at the latest 14 days before the date of the defense, under penalty of cancellation of the defence.

Few days before defence:

If the reviewer reports are positive and the electronic deposit is in conformity, the ED Director and the Presidency of the University decide on the authorization of defence.

The doctoral student will find in his (her) workspace on ADUM:

  • the order of defense signed by the Presidency of the University
  • the reports of the reviewers (a copy of each report is sent by e-mail to all the members of the jury)
  • the "Procès-Verbal" of the defence
  • the Defense Report
  • the form « Avis du jury sur l'archivage et la diffusion de la thèse » (Opinion of the jury on the archiving and distribution of the thesis)

One week before the thesis defence, the applicant must email the announcement of the defence of thesis to the ED secretariat.
The ED secretariat also needs to email to the applicant a form concerning his/her future after the PhD.

Defence and deliberation:

The President of the jury (rank A or equivalent) is elected by the members of the jury before the defense.

After the deliberation:

  • the members of the jury sign the "Procès-Verbal" of the defence, except for the PhD supervisor(s).
  • the members of the jury write in French and sign the Defence Report as well as the PhD supervisor(s).
    It will be mentioned in the Defense Report if the thesis is proposed for the PhD PRIZE/AWARD, which rewards each year the best thesis of the Life and Health Sciences ED of the Université Côte d'Azur. In the positive case, the student is informed and must send by e-mail to the ED secretariat his thesis for its future evaluation by the members of the Doctoral School Council. Likewise, the reviewers must complete and return to the ED secretariat: the thesis proposal form
  • the President of the jury completes, signs and notes his name on the Avis du jury sur l'archivage et la diffusion de la thèse, see Avis du jury instructions.

Within two weeks after the defense, the President of the jury sends to the ED secretariat by e-mail to

  • the "Procès-Verbal" of the defence (and possibly the proxies of the members in videoconference, confidentiality agreements ...)
  • the Defense Report
  • the form « Avis du jury sur l’archivage et la diffusion de la thèse »

The statement of the jury regarding the archiving and the distribution of the thesis mentioned:

  • the thesis manuscript can be archived and distributed without modifications or after minor corrections suggested by the jury, within three months after the defence date (after this period, the legal version is the registered version before the defense)
  • the thesis manuscript can be archived and distributed after major corrections, within three months after the defence date


  • After reception of the defense documents completed by the President of the jury, the ED secretariat can edit an Attestation de Réussite (certificate of success), transmitted to the newly awarded PhD by e-mail.
  • The ED secretariat also requests the edition of the PhD diploma, which the newly awarded PhD will be able to obtain from the Scolarité des Sciences, within three months after the defense. Contact:

Textes de Référence: Arrêté du 25 mai 2016