Internal rules

Doctoral School: Engineering sciences and Microtechnology (ED SPIM n°37)

The rules of procedure are in addition to:

  • The Decree of 23 April, 2009 relating to doctoral contracts.
  • The Decree of 25 May 2016 establishing the national training framework and the procedures leading to the award of the national doctoral diploma.
  • The Decree of 26 August 2022 modifying the decree of May 2016
  • The code of Education
  • The Thesis Charter in force at the UBFC.

    The objective of these Rules of Procedure is to clarify the role, the attributions, and the mode of operation of the SPIM Doctoral School (DS).

A. SPIM Doctoral School

1- Disciplinary fields

The SPIM DS covers all the disciplinary fields listed in Annex1.

2- Governance

The SPIM DS is led by a director who is a researcher or full professor (as defined in Article 10 of the Decree of 25 May 2016) in one of the research units (RU) affiliated with the SPIM DS and reporting to a co-accredited institution.

The Director of the DS is preferably from the institution with the largest executive staff. He/she is proposed by the Board of the DS restricted to the representatives of the research units, the Interim Director and Deputy Director. He/she is nominated by the Director of UBFC after consultation with the UBFC Academic Board and the Board of the DS. He is assisted by a Deputy Director nominated by the Director of UBFC after consultation with the UBFC Academic Council and the DS Board. The director is nominated for the duration of the accreditation of the doctoral school. His/her nomination may be renewed once.

The Director may be assisted by a steering committee of the doctoral school. This committee, which is composed of the Director, the Deputy Director, the Secretary of the DS, representatives of the different geographical sites and institutions and some members from the main fields of specialization of the DS, assists the director on issues such as the approval of doctoral student recruitments, monitoring of PhD students, and DS policy.

To ensure the quality of training, the Director sets up a training committee that he/she leads or delegates to the Deputy Director. Its composition is as follows:

  • The Director and Deputy Director of the Doctoral School
  • 11 representatives of the research units (1 representative for FEMTO-ST department, 1 representative for each team (EA), one ICB North Franche-Comté representative). The research units are given in Annex2..
  • 3 PhD students representing UFC, UB and UTBM. If more PhD students wish to participate in this commission, this number may be increased.

The role of the training commission is :

  • To make proposals to improve the range of the SPIM DS training offer.
  • Provide recommandations on the continuation, the establishment or the cessation of current courses
  • Contribute to the setting up the training calendar and the organization of courses.

Regular decisions (e.g. authorizing student enrollment, approval of a thesis jury, authorisation to defend a thesis, etc) are taken by the Director. They can be delegated to the Deputy Director.

The organization of the elections of the DS Board is the responsibility of the Director of the DS.

The Director is responsible for signing the documents of the board. The Deputy Director has delegated signature authority for day-to-day decisions relating to the University of Burgundy and in the Director’s absence.

3- SPIM Doctoral school Board

3-1 Composition of the Board

The board of SPIM DS consists of 25 full members with voting rights :

  • 13 representatives (executive staff) of the laboratories designated by the Director of the Research Units (RU) and 2 representatives of the BIATSS staff designated by the Director of the RU. The number of representatives is in proportion to the number of executive staff in the laboratories. The FEMTO-ST Institute has 1 representative per department (thus 7 on 02/05/20218) and 1 BIATSS staff. The 4 laboratories (Research Units) DRIVE, LIB, CIAD and ImViA each have a representative. The ICB has a representative located in the north of Franche-Comté (SPIM DS area) SYNERGIE has a representative (SPIM DS area). The DRIVE, ImVIA, LIB, CIAD and ICB laboratories (from the SPIM DS area) appoint a BIATSS staff member.
  • 5 PhD students elected from among the SPIM PhD students (3 UFC, 1 UB and 1 UTBM)
  • Each representative has a clearly identified alternate, this one can attend the board meetings and vote where applicable if the full member is absent.
  • 5 personalities from outside the UBFC proposed by members of the board in the scientific field concerned by the DS. 2 will be chosen from the socio-economic sector and 2 from an international laboratory.

The election procedure for doctoral students is defined by the UBFC.

The permanent invited members are:

  • The Research Vice-Presidents of each institution
  • The heads of research units
  • The UBFC Vice-President UBFC delegated to the coordination of training and professional integration
  • The Director of the UBFC Academic Board
  • The head of the UBFC Doctoral College
  • The administrative staff of the SPIM DS

Other members with particular expertise may be invited by the Director of the DS depending on the agenda, and items to be dealt with in the meeting.

3-2 Functioning and skills of the SPIM DS board

The SPIM DS board meets at least 3 times a year and is convened by its Director. It may also meet at the request of at least half of its members with a precise agenda addressed to the Director of the DS. The invitation together with the agenda must be sent at least 8 days before the meeting of the Board. The Board can only validly take a decision if at least half of the 25 members are present or represented. In the case of the simultaneous absence of a full member and his alternate, they may be represented by another colleague reporting to the same body/laboratory with deliberative voice only by sending an e-mail to the Head of the Doctoral School and to the secretariat at least 8 days before the board meeting.If the quorum is not reached at a board meeting, the board shall be reconvened with the same agenda within a maximum of 8 days. It shall then meet whatever the number of members present or represented. In the event of a vote, votes are passed by an absolute majority of those present and represented. Any member of the Board may request a secret ballot. This procedure is obligatory for any question relating to personal situations.

Board meetings are not public. The secretariat for the meetings of the DS board is provided by administrative staff. The opinions, wishes and proposals of the Board shall be the subject of a report published under the responsibility of the Director of the DS.

The SPIM DS board approves the scientific policy, the budget allocation policy, the rules for the registration of PhD students, the allocation of doctoral contracts to the supervising teams, the training program and the internal regulations. It examines the results of the doctoral school’s activities.

3-3 Allocation of doctoral school contracts

The DS board determines the number of doctoral contracts per research unit on the basis of criteria such as the number of active and available executive staff members (active HDR = HDR having supervised a doctoral student over the last 6-year period, available HDR = HDR respecting the criteria of the SPIM DS) in the research unit, average duration of the thesis, number of theses abandoned, quality of supervision, number of doctoral contracts assigned to the research units under the SPIM DS. The board decides on the number of doctoral contracts in each research unit. The DS board then receives a ranking of thesis/supervision subjects established by each RUs under the SPIM DS. The board examines these rankings on the basis of the supervision criteria. These criteria are related to thesis supervision rates (supervision of a maximum of 6 PhD students simultaneously, regardless of the supervision rate), the quality of supervision and the duration of the supervised theses.

3-3 Awarding doctoral contracts to students

SPIM DS informs potential candidates of an available doctoral contract as widely as possible by disseminating offers (subject, recruitment calendar, documents to be provided) via its website and network. The subject must be disseminated at least by the sites of the RUs and by the national and international networks of fellow researchers and professors working in the DS. The procedure for awarding doctoral contracts set up at SPIM DS falls within the framework set by the Decree of 7 August 2006 relating to doctoral training. It applies to all candidates meeting the eligibility conditions in terms of academic qualifications on the date of application. Candidates prepare an application dossier that they send to the thesis supervisor according to the recruitment calendar. Candidates are selected by the thesis supervising team. The supervising team selects from the files the candidates to be interviewed. These candidates are interviewed preferably in person or by telephone or videoconference to ensure their motivation, their scientific level, the appropriateness of their educational background and the thesis work and their language level. The supervising team proposes a ranking of the applicants based on the study of the application dossier and the interviews. This ranking as well as the application dossiers are provided to the secretariat of the doctoral school with a report justifying the choice of the ranking made.

The Doctoral School’s steering committee examines all of the selected applications and sends back to the supervising teams the applications that are approved by the DS. The DS administrative staff then contacts the job applicants one by one to announce their ranking and ask them to position themselves for the following procedure. Failure to reply within 4 working days corresponds to the decline of the application for the position. As soon as a candidate accepts the doctoral contract, the selection competition stops.

3-4 Budgetary management

The Director of the SPIM DS manages the DS’s funds. The operating budget of the DS is allocated according to the budgetary policy approved by the DS board. The funds are mainly intended for doctoral students to promote their training, their participation in summer schools, their travel on mission for international congresses, their involvement in scientific days, their participation in scientific events organized by scientific societies (IEEE, SPIE, etc.). The procedure for the reimbursement of missions by the SPIM DS is given in Annex3.

B. Thesis registration

1- PhD student

Registration for a thesis is for a period of 3 years and cannot be extended beyond 6 years. The funding required by the ED for the student to be registered in a thesis at the SPIM DS a minimum of 1400 euros (net) per month over the 36-month period. A certificate will be requested from the PhD student’s employer if necessary. Regarding Phd students having a co-supervision or cotutelle agreement, the doctoral school ensures that the doctoral student receives a total amount equivalent to 1400 euros (net) per months during his/her stay in France.  The PhD student must also have sufficient working time (to be determined on a case-by-case basis) during the three years of the thesis if he or she holds a salaried position. Academic and administrative enrolment is compulsory every year. The deadline for re-enrolment is announced each year by the UBFC doctoral college.

The PhD student must completely and rigorously complete the online academic registration file (ADUM software). In this file, the article 12 of the decree of 25 May 2016 requires that an individual doctoral training agreement must be established. The doctoral project is formalized in this individual training agreement, made under the doctoral charter, during the first registration request. The individual training agreement must be updated during each PhD registration. This agreement indicates the following points : (1) PhD student’s host institution, (2) Doctoral school, (3) Research unit or team, (4) name or names of supervisor(s), (5), name of the research unit/team director, (6) Phd student’s name, (7) PhD topic, (8) Diploma speciality, (9) funding conditions for the PhD student. It indicates rights and duties of parties. The following points are also precised right from the 1st year registration :

  • The total preparation time of the doctoral degree, considering ratio of time spent by the PhD student. This time cannot be more than 6 years.
  • Roles, contributions and responsabilities of each member of the scientific supervision
  • Schedule, deadlines of research project
  • Stays abroad or in other research units
  • Material conditions for the research project implementation and, where appropriate, specific security conditions
  • Monitoring arrangements of the doctoral training and research progress of the PhD student
  • Envisaged professional project and individual training to reach this professional project

This individual training agreement is a form to include during the pedagogic registration on ADUM and must be updated during each registration.

The file must be validated by the supervisor, the director of the RU, the director of the DS and then the president of the UBFC. Once the pedagogical registration has been validated, the administrative registration can be carried out. The tuition fees must be paid by the PhD student to validate the administrative registration (except in exceptional cases).

Any PhD student registering in the 1st year of a thesis must hold a Master’s degree or a diploma conferring the degree of Master. If the Master is not European, the PhD student must ask for a Master exemption upon proposal of the supervisor, or the Director of the RU, the Director of the DS. The exemption may be accorded by the academic council of the UBFC.

For students who do not hold a Master’s degree or a diploma conferring the degree of Master, at the end of the academic education establishing their aptitude for research, the thesis candidate may, by derogation and on the proposal of the thesis director, the director of the RU and the director of the ED, ask the president of the UBFC to register for a thesis.

2- Supervision of the thesis

In accordance with the decree of 25 May 2016, the supervisor must be a executive staff member. He must be attached to the SPIM DS. At the time of registration, the supervisor must not be involved in the supervision of more than 5 PhD students (see A. 3-3), which leads after this registration to the supervision of 6 PhD students maximum.

In accordance with the Decree of 25 May 2016, the thesis supervision may be jointly carried out by a supervisor and a thesis co-supervisor. The fraction of co-supervision must be specified at the time of the first doctoral registration. The modalities concerning the co-supervision fraction are the same as those of the supervisor.

Co-supervision without HDR: in order to obtain recognition for participation in a thesis co-supervision, it is possible that an associate professor/researcher who is not HDR or assimilated may be co-supervisor. The conditions are as follows:

  • The PhD student must have an HDR supervisor.
  • The non-HDR thesis co-supervisor must not have more than 3 thesis co-directions simultaneously.
  • No non-HDR researcher/associate professor can have more than 6 co-directions over the whole of his / her non-HDR career. He / she must then defend his / her HDR in order to be able to supervise new theses.

    In order to obtain the right to co-supervise a thesis, a non-HDR researcher/associate professor must apply for a non-HDR co-direction on the proposal of the supervisor, the director of the RU and then the director of the DS. The decision of co-supervision is validated by the President of the UBFC after advice from the academic council.

    Co-management in the team: an HDR or non-HDR colleague can be member of the thesis management of a PhD student. In this case, he or she is not responsible for the direction or co-direction of the thesis. Nevertheless, his or her co-management work must be recognized and is included in the individual training agreement of the doctoral student.

    For the SPIM DS, the number of supervision/co-supervision/co-management member must not exceed 6, whatever the percentage of supervision.

3- International Joint Supervision

According to the Decree of 25 May 2016, Joint Supervision Agreements (cotutelles) have been established to strengthen the international dimension of doctoral schools, promote the mobility of doctoral students and develop scientific cooperation between French and international research teams. A cotutelle agreement is established between two institutions from different countries. A formal Convention must be prepared and signed to define the principles that will govern this joint supervision. The PhD student enrolls in both establishments. He or she carries out his or her work under the responsibility, in each country, of a supervisor who undertakes to fully exercise his or her supervisory functions in collaboration with the other supervisor. The thesis gives rise to a single defense under the conditions defined in the agreement and the joint supervision allows the student to obtain a double diploma. The signature of the Cotutelle agreement must take place within 12 months of enrolment in the first year of the PhD.

4- Co-supervision

In the case of collaborative doctoral work between two institutions in the same country or between two institutions in a foreign country without a co-supervision agreement, it is desirable to establish a co-supervision agreement that clearly defines the responsibilities of each supervisor and makes it possible to formalize the work carried out in collaboration between the two institutions through the work of the PhD student. The signature of the co-supervision agreement must take place within 12 months following enrolment in the first year.

C. Follow-up of PhD students

1- Re-enrollment

The re-enrollment in the PhD is not automatic and requires the approval by the supervisor and the Director of the DS.

The re-enrollment must be finalized according to the registration calendar defined by the UBFC Doctoral College.

2- Thesis follow-up committee

SPIM Doctoral School has set up a follow-up committee in respect of the new decree of August 26, 2022. It stipulates that :

“The follow up committee must meet before the 2nd year enrollment and then before each enrollment until the end of the PhD thesis. Meetings are organized in 3 disctinct steps : presentation of the objective, context, work progress and look on the PhD thesis end, followed by discussions, meeting with the PhD student, without the thesis supervisors, meeting with the thesis supervisors, without the PhD student. The committee evaluates the PhD student’s training conditions and his/her work progress. During the meeting, the follow-up committe is particularly vigilant in identifying any form of conflict, discrimination, moral or sexual harassment, or sexist acts.

The follow-up committee of the PhD student includes a specialist member (HDR or with experience of thesis supervision) in connection with the PhD thesis field studied by the PhD student. As far as possible, it also includes A non specialist member (HDR or with an experience of PhD thesis supervision), out of the PhD thesis research field.”


In the SPIM doctoral School, the follow-up committe inscludes 2 persons :

– A specialist member (HDR or with experience of thesis supervision) in connection with the PhD thesis field studied by the PhD student, proposed by the PhD student supervisors and validated by the Head of the Doctoral School

– A non specialist member (HDR or with an experience of PhD thesis supervision), out of the PhD thesis research field. He/she is mandated by the Doctoral School.


Before the meeting, scheduled between May and September, the Phd student fills and send the « PhD student form» (Doctoral School template), a summary of the thesis progress and the scientific context (15/20 minutes), his/her expertise portfolio with his/her individual training plan updated one week at least before each meeting with the follow up committe. This summary template is defined by the doctoral school. The PhD student’s supervisors transmit the « Supervisor form » to the follow up committe (Doctoral School template). The part devoted to the thesis scientific process must be accessible to non specialist scientific as the internal Doctoral School member. The Doctoral School recommends that the internal member is onsite for the first meeting at least, if not, in visioconference.The meeting lasts one hour. The follow up committee makes recommendations and transmits a report (using the doctoral school template) to the Doctoral School direction. The follow up committee gives an opinion on the re-enrollment of the PhD student. The report must be returned before the re-enrollment of the PhD student. The report is validated by the doctoral school and sent to the supervisors and PhD student. If there is any problem, the internal member must notify the doctoral school direction.

Derogatory registration : From the 4th year registration, the Phd student must request an authorization for the extension of his thesis. If it is validated, it is valid tof one year. The extension request is mandatory and must be done before the administrative registration. A UBFC procedure specifies the modalities of this request. To obtain this derogation, the Phd student must give a detailed summary of his/her thesis progress, explain the reasons justifying this request and a schedule for the end of the PhD thesis. The follow-up committee report gives a reasoned opinion about the re-enrollment of the Phd student after the 3rd year ; It is attached to the request for the registration. The doctoral school reserves the right to put a negative opinion or to put the request on hold until the Phd student transmits his/her finalized manuscript, a date of defence and a jury proposal. The decision to re-enroll is made by the President of UBFC on the advice of the Doctoral School director.


3- Interruption of Studies

In accordance with the Decree of 25 May 2016, PhD students have the possibility of requesting a maximum of one year’s non-divisible interruption of their studies. This request must be justified by the PhD student and the supervisor (UBFC cut-off procedure). An administrative procedure of the UBFC specifies the modalities of the request for an interruption. The authorization of the UBFC President is given after consultation with the director of the DS and the employer’s agreement if necessary.

D. Training

During the thesis years, the PhD student and his/her supervisor undertake to ensure that the PhD student follows an Individual Training Plan (Plan Individuel de Formation – PIF). At the beginning of each thesis year, the PhD student, in consultation with his/her supervisor, fills in the proposed form of his/her individual training plan. The content can therefore be revised each year according to the progress of the thesis and the PhD student’s career plan.

All PhD students enrolled in the SPIM DS must complete 100 hours of training over the three years of their thesis. This volume may be reduced in special cases such as CIFRE contracts and international joint Cotutelle supervision but this must be justified, validated by the Director of the DS and clearly indicated in the individual training project. However, we encourage PhD students who are far from the UBFC training facilities to study the training courses offered by their company (CIFRE) or international university. Theses whose funding includes a particular training scheme (doctoral itinerary entrepreneur, docteur itinéraire entrepreneur) will provide a PIF in accordance with the requirements of this scheme.

The PhD student must choose a set of training modules according to his/her professional career plan and in accordance with the distribution specified by the DS. The training to be followed is divided into 3 parts:

  • “general” training (languages, help for professional integration, scientific integrity and ethics of research, scientific culture…) which is proposed by the UBFC Doctoral College,
  • “scientific and technical tools” training (theoretical and technological training, software …)
  • “science” training (training in the state of the art in the fields covered by the SPIM DS) which is specific to the SPIM ED and is given in English. Science training is proposed by the SPIM DS but off-catalogue training is encouraged (summer school, seminars, congress tutorials…).

The SPIM DS requires a minimum of 20 hours in general courses, 20 hours in scientific and technical tools and 40 hours in sciences courses.

“Off-list” training courses (i.e. in addition to those proposed by the DS) must first be validated by the DS in order to be included in the training programm by filling in the “off-list validation” form. This training will be taken into account in the PIF once the doctoral student has given the DS a certificate of attendance, the number of hours and the content of the training.

Registration for training courses shared between the 6 DSs or for specific SPIM training is done via the ADUM website. The validation of these training courses by the DS is done after returning the list of PhD students present at the session and answering the evaluation questionnaire of the training module.

E. Mediation

In the event of a major conflict between the doctoral student and the thesis director or the RU director, and in accordance with the terms of the UBFC thesis charter, mediation will be organized via the DS management.

F. Writing of the thesis manuscript

The thesis manuscript must be written in Frenc hlanguage, except if the Phd student obtains a derogation, which must be requested and justified to the doctoral school. This derogatory request must be transmitted to the doctoral school during the follow-up committee taking place before the thesis defense, and before the writing of the mauscript. The doctoral school does not allows the writing of a manuscript in the form of articles.

G. Defense of thesis

The thesis defense must take place in accordance with the Decree of 25 May 2016. The request for approval of the thesis jury must be made on ADUM at least 2 months before the date of the planned defense. During the summer holiday period, for the defenses scheduled in August and the first half of September, the requests for jury approval must be received by the mid of June at the latest (for an authorization to defend before the closing of the establishments). For oral defenses scheduled for the second half of September, requests for jury approval must be sent to the DS by the end of June at the latest (to allow the designation of the reviewers before the summer closure of the establishments. The composition of the jury must be in agreement with the Decree of 25 May 2016. Arrangements for the thesis defense for a  student under international joint Cotutelle supervision will be described in the Cotutelle agreement.

In order to approve and validate the composition of the jury, the ED requests additional information to be entered into ADUM :

  • A motivated recommandation from the thesis director
  • A summary of the thesis with a list of publications and list of training courses attended

    In order to provide a favorable recommandation for the defense, the SPIM DS attaches particular importance to the following points:

All defenses must be preceded by the presentation of the PhD student’s work in an international conference with a paper and/or the acceptance of an article in an international peer-reviewed journal and/or a patent (with the exception of confidential theses or special cases to be justified).

    The PhD student must have completed a minimum of 100 hours of training according to the criteria given in section D. The summary of the training completed must be entered into ADUM for the approval of the defense.

    The defense in English is authorized for non-French speakers. The French speakers must defend in French but the presentation support material (e.g. slides) can be in English.

    To write the thesis manuscript in English, a request must be made jointly by the PhD student and the supervisor. A title and a long summary in French (3 pages minimum) are required in this case.

The DS encourages the PhD students to fill in the competence and portfolio section on ADUM before the defense.

    The SPIM DS does not attribute a Mention (level of distinction).

    The conditions of submission, reporting, dissemination and archiving, particularly by electronic means, of defended theses must be in accordance with the decree of 25 May 2016. After defense, the PhD student must provide a copy of the final version of the thesis manuscript in paper and electronic version within 3 months of the defense. The cover pages must be in agreement with the models given by the doctoral college.

H. Professional Integration of Graduates

The graduated PhD and his/her Director(s) undertake to keep the DS informed of the graduate’s professional situation for 5 years after the defense.  This information will be transmitted during the surveys of the DS, the doctoral college and the Observatory of Student Life.

I. Commitment of the PhD students

The doctoral student undertakes to respect the internal regulations of the establishment, the ED and the host laboratory, the health and safety regulations, ethics rules as well as the Thesis Charter. The doctoral student’s supervisor undertakes to respect the working conditions defined in the PhD student’s contract. The PhD student may not begin his/her research activity in the laboratory before being enrolled in the establishment.