Thesis defense

This section only concerns standard thesis defences (excluding joint supervision). In the case of joint supervision, please refer to the joint supervision agreement.

First read the tabs "Rules for the jury" and "Rules for the rapporteurs".

In computer science, the defence is authorised provided there is a high-quality international publication.

Arrangements for the defence must begin at least 10 weeks before the planned date of the defence. This is a strict minimum. It is recommended that you start 3 months before the date of the defence. 

There are several stages in the process of validating the jury and rapporteurs, depending on whether or not your registration institution has activated the defense module on ADUM.

If the ADUM defense module has not been activated by your establishment.

First of all, you must obtain a defence dossier from the Doctoral Studies Department of your institution (Lyon1, Lyon2, Lyon3, Insa de Lyon, ENS, ECL) and not from the Doctoral School. You must complete this application form and send it to the Doctoral Studies department of your institution. They will check the jury (according to their rules) and ask you to obtain the doctoral school's agreement.

You must then obtain the doctoral school's pedagogical opinion. It is essential to allow at least 2 months between sending the application to the doctoral school and the examination itself. No application will be accepted after this deadline. It is therefore very important to take this constraint into account when you try to fix a date for the defense with the potential members of your jury. In addition, most institutions require the rapporteurs' reports to be available at least 3 weeks to a month before the examination. You should also be aware of summer holiday periods.

The application form for the doctoral school must be submitted via the application. Its composition is shown below.

If your establishment has activated the defense module on ADUM.

If you have not yet registered for the academic year in which you will defend your thesis, you must first start the re-registration procedure on ADUM by clicking on the "I wish to re-enroll" button. Next you'll need to take the necessary steps to submit your thesis on ADUM, refer to the instructions available on ADUM, and fill in the various supporting documents requested by the institutions. The doctoral school does not require any supporting documents on ADUM. However, you must submit a separate defense application on Its composition is indicated below. This separate dossier is necessary for the doctoral school to validate your application on ADUM. You must submit this separate application to only after the "Gestionnaire d'établissement" stage has been validated on ADUM.
Please note: in order to be able to submit your defense application on ADUM, you must upload a blank pdf file as an ED supporting document on ADUM, for both your defense application and your re-registration application.

Composition of the presentation file on the application:
  • The form obtained from your registration establishment, with the jury and rapporteurs. If you are doing the defense procedure on ADUM, replace the institution's form with a summary of the jury and rapporteurs downloaded from ADUM (screenshot of the summary table of rapporteurs and jury members displayed on your ADUM interface before submission of the defense on ADUM).
  • A letter of support from the thesis director. In computer science, this letter must also support the quality of the doctoral student's publication.
  • Letter from the thesis director explaining the choice of jury and rapporteurs.
  • The opinion of the director of the laboratory.
  • A summary of the thesis. 
  • Provide a link so that your thesis manuscript can be consulted by the Thesis Committee. You can use a file server (e.g. or a web page.
  • A CV of the candidate including a list of publications with the full names of the authors and specifying the type: journals, conferences, workshops, etc.
  • For foreign referees, please attach their detailed CVs.
  • From September 2024, you will also need to attach a summary of your doctoral courses downloaded from ADUM.

Once the Thesis Committee has given a favourable opinion, the ED Director will sign the application or validate on ADUM. Once it has been signed, the secretariat will send you an email to let you know. You must then send your defence file, validated by the ED, to the Doctoral Studies department of your institution.

Further information:

  • The thesis speciality is either Computer Science or Mathematics.
  • If you defend your thesis before 30 September of the current year, you do not have to re-register for the following year.
  • If you defend your thesis after 30 September, you must re-register for the following year.
  • If you support before the Christmas holidays, you re-register without paying tuition fees.


Recognition of International Mobility

The diploma supplement for the recognition of international mobility during the thesis makes it possible to value a research stay in a higher education and/or research establishment abroad. Co-supervision, which is recognised by the double degree system, cannot be recognised in this way.

The doctoral student must apply to the doctoral school department of the institution where he or she is registered when submitting his or her thesis application. Here is the form.

Conditions :

  • You must spend at least one term outside France. Split stays may be counted if several stays of at least 30 consecutive days have been spent in the country/countries (attach proof of stay).
  • Part of the examination must be conducted in a language other than French.
  • At least one member of the jury must belong to a higher education establishment in a country other than France (attach the composition of the jury).
  • Authorisation to defend is granted on the basis of reports written by at least two researchers or teacher-researchers attached to higher education establishments in two different countries outside France (not under joint supervision).
  • The language in which the thesis manuscript is written must comply with the rules laid down by the institution in which the thesis is registered and/or the doctoral school.

The composition of the thesis jury must comply with the following rules, which are imposed by the Doctoral School, by the institutions, and by the legislation in force in the decree of 25 May 2016 setting the national framework for training and the procedures leading to the award of the national doctoral diploma.

Rules imposed by legislation and/or institutions:

  • The number of jury members must be between four and eight.
  • Half of the members of the jury must be French or foreign personalities from outside the Doctoral School and the doctoral student's enrolment institution, chosen for their scientific or professional competence in the field of research concerned. This rule is reinforced by the Doctoral School, see below.
  • At least half of the members of the jury must be Professors or assimilated staff within the meaning of article 6 of decree n◦ 92-70 relating to the Conseil national des universités or teachers of equivalent rank who do not come under the Ministry responsible for higher education. Accordingly, the defence file must specify the academic rank and affiliation of each member of the jury. For juries with an odd number of members, round up.
  • The chair of the jury must be a professor or equivalent or a teacher of equivalent rank. This person is designated by the members of the jury on the day of the examination. An emeritus professor may chair the thesis jury, provided that he or she is not the doctoral student.
  • The thesis director(s) takes part in the jury, signs the minutes and the defence report, but does not take part in the deliberations or the decision. He/she may neither be rapporteur nor president of the jury (the same applies to the co-director).
  • Exceptionally, and with the exception of the chairman, the members of the jury may take part in the oral defense by videoconference or electronic communication means that enable them to be identified and to participate effectively in a collegial deliberation and that meet the technical characteristics guaranteeing continuous and simultaneous transmission of the debates.
  • The jury must respect the rules of parity (see below).
  • For Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University:
    • At least 4 members of the jury, including one external person and one person who can act as jury chairman, must be physically present on the day of the examination. If this condition is not met, the defence will be invalidated.
    • The thesis director cannot be the rapporteur for the defence, nor the chairman of the jury (the same applies to the co-director / co-supervisor). Not all co-directors are necessarily members of the jury.
    •  The jury must include at least one UCBL teacher-researcher, holder of the HDR - Professor or Maı̂tre de Conférences with HDR - who is external to the supervision and authorised to take part in the deliberation, whose presence is required on the day of the defence.
  • For INSA:
    •  The jury must also include at least one teacher-researcher from the institution holding the HDR (Professor or Maı̂tre de Conférences with HDR) whose presence is required on the day of the defence.


Rules imposed by the doctoral school :

For the sake of independence, the InfoMaths Doctoral School wishes to go beyond the rules above and additionally requires the following points:

  • The number of external members (outside the Lyon Saint Étienne site and outside the company for CIFRE contracts) on the jury plus the external member of the ISC if he or she is part of the jury must represent a strict majority. 
  • The jury must include at least one rapporteur.
  • It is important to ensure that the jury is independent of the candidate's work. Therefore, the application must include a complete list of scientific works (publications, pre-publications, conferences) with all bibliographic references and specifying all co-authors.

Parity rules :

The composition of the jury must allow for a balanced representation of women and men, which is determined independently by the various institutions.

Université Lyon 1                                                 
Number of members of the jury Possible configuration
4 members 2 men–2 women
5 members 2 men–3 women or conversely
6 members 3 men–3 women or 2 men–4 women or conversely
7 members 3 men–4 women or conversely
8 members 4 men–4 women or 3 men–5 women or conversely
INSA de Lyon                                                
Number of members of the jury Possible configuration
from 4 to 6 members at least1 femme
from 7 to 8 members at least2 women
École Centrale de Lyon                                         
Number of members of the jury Possible configuration
from 4 to 8 members at least 2 women
ENS de Lyon                                                
Number of members of the jury Possible configuration
up to 5 members at least une woman and one man
from 6 to 8 members at least two women and two men
Université Lyon 2                                          
Number of members of the jury Possible configuration
from 4 to 8 members at least 40% women and at least 40% men

Lyon 3 should follow Lyon 1's constraints.

Role of guests: The notion of guests on a jury (often used to exceed the limit on the number of members) has no legal basis. These guests must under no circumstances take part in the deliberations, which must be strictly limited to the members of the jury, otherwise the deliberations will be invalid.



Rapporteurs must have the HDR or have a scientific level equivalent to that attested by the HDR if they are foreigners. They must belong to higher education or research establishments and to one of the following categories:

  • Professors or equivalent within the meaning of the provisions relating to the appointment of members of the Conseil National des Universités or teachers of equivalent rank who do not come under the Ministry of Education.
  • Staff of higher education establishments, public research bodies and research foundations who have the HDR.
  • Persons holding a state doctorate (Ph.D.) chosen for their scientific competence by the head of the institution, on the recommendation of the director of the Doctoral School and after consulting the institution's scientific council.

Rapporteurs are appointed by the head of the institution, on the recommendation of the director of the Doctoral School, after consulting the thesis director.

The referees must not be from the Lyon-Saint-Etienne site. They must be external to the institution to which the thesis is attached, to any Research Units attached to the Doctoral School, to any Research Units for which the institution to which the thesis is attached is the supervisor, and to the company (in the case of CIFRE contracts) in which the work is carried out.

Rapporteurs must not have co-authored any articles with the doctoral student.

An emeritus professor may act as rapporteur.