Thesis in co-supervision (double degree)

The thesis in co-supervision concerns the opportunity for each individual enrolled in PhD courses in any Italian university to prepare the doctorate thesis in ‘co-supervision’ with a foreign university. The co-supervision thesis has had a significant increase in recent years; CRUI (the Italian University Rectors' Conference) has signed agreements with France, Spain, Germany and Switzerland. Besides the above agreements a thesis co–supervision can be implemented with institutions of other foreign countries.

For co-supervision to be validly established, it is necessary that the universities involved sign an agreement registered for each doctorate student; the doctorate student spends a period of study at the partner university and prepares the PhD thesis under the supervision of two thesis supervisors, one for the ‘G. D'Annunzio’ University and the other for the partner University. At the end of the studies, the thesis will be defended before a Committee composed by the two thesis supervisors, and, after a sole final exam is passed, the doctorate student will achieve a qualification recognised by both institutions (double degree).

Each co-supervision programme is supported by an agreement that specifies the terms of the Agreement in accordance with the following provisions:

  • enrolment at the University to which they belong, which involves regular enrolment also at the partner university, without additional contributions beyond those required by law;
  • The partner University makes available to the doctorate student the educational and research facilities necessary and, however, it guarantees the services provided to its doctorate students;
  • each University provides to its doctorate student the insurance coverage against accidents;
  • the appointment of two thesis supervisors, one for the Italian side, the other for the partner University, who follow the research activities of the doctorate student, and evaluate, each with their own written report, the doctoral thesis; the positive resolution of both thesis supervisors is a necessary condition for final examinations;
  • the doctorate student conducts the study and research activities at the facilities of the two universities for periods between six and eighteen months during the three years;
  • the final exam will take place at one of the two venues, according to the agreement held in joint convention, and will consist in the defence of the thesis before the Examination Committee;
  • for the final exam, the student must deliver to the University....... copies of the thesis (in ............. (language)) containing a summary both in Italian and in English;
  • the Examination Committee for the final exam will be appointed by the Rectors of the two universities and will be composed of university professors or researchers of the two countries, not less than ......., including the two thesis supervisors (with/without the assessment right); the President of the Committee must keep the minutes of the exam in both languages, which will be countersigned by all members;
  • each of the two institutions is committed to confer the PhD degree, or an equivalent degree, for the same thesis, following a favourable report of the Examination Committee; the PhD degree, issued by the Rector of the Italian University, is completed with the wording "tesi in co-tutela con l'Università di .............. “ (‘thesis in co-supervision with the University of .............. ‘).
  • the protection of the subject of the thesis, as well as the publication, use and protection of research results achieved by the doctorate student at both institutions will be subject to local regulations and guaranteed in accordance with the procedures specific to each country involved in the co-supervision;
  • the financial charges related to the mobility of the doctorate student shall be borne by the seat where the doctorate student belongs;
  • the co-supervision of doctorate thesis is normally implemented for the benefit of doctorate students enrolled in the first year of the course; the Board of Teachers may authorise the activation of a co-supervision of thesis for doctorate students enrolled in the second year of the course, where there are particular specific interests; in this case, the Board of Teachers may approve a one-year extension for the defence of the thesis, if the doctorate student must enrol in the first year of study at the member University.
  • By 31st December of each year, the Board of Teachers will evaluate the activity carried out also by doctorate students in the co-supervision programme enrolled in the partner University for admission to the following year.