Here you can find answers to frequently asked questions concerning the co-tutelage doctorate at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. For general questions relating to the doctoral programmes at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Cologne, please see the FAQ of the Central Doctoral Office.
What is a co-tutelage doctorate (Cotutela-Promotion / cotutelle de these / cotutela di tesi)?
A co-tutelage doctorate is a doctoral dissertation project 1. that is conducted under the joint supervision of two professors at two universities in different countries, 2. that is conducted at both of these universities, and 3. that results in a doctorate awarded jointly. All the conditions important for the doctoral procedure are laid down in a co-tutelage agreement that is prepared individually for each doctoral student and that is signed by the doctoral student, the two supervisors, the two deans, and the two rectors.
What are the advantages of a co-tutelage doctorate?
Co-tutelage doctorates are intended for doctoral students whose research projects require the involvement of two universities or who would like to become equally familiar with the research cultures of two countries. The individual co-tutelage agreement guarantees supervision of the doctoral research project by a supervisor at a university outside Germany and simplifies the organisation of research stays abroad. In addition, complex procedures for recognition of the doctoral degree can be avoided since it can be used in two forms.
What is the difference between the home university and the host university?
In the co-tutelage procedure between two universities, one of them always plays the leading role as the home university, and the host university is the partner. The oral doctoral examination takes place at the home university, concluding the doctoral procedure. The doctoral procedure is usually oriented towards the requirements of the home university, for example in relation to course credits and examinations to be completed, documentation, submission deadlines, and reproduction of the dissertation. However, some universities participate in the co-tutelage procedure as a host university only if additional conditions are met. Such conditions are always laid down in the co-tutelage agreement, so coordination between the two universities plays an important role during preparation of co-tutelage agreements.
Which universities outside Germany can be considered as partner universities?
All universities that are recognised internationally as such and are interested in conducting a co-tutelage procedure jointly can be recognised as a partner university.
Is there a 'co-tutelage programme'? Can I apply for funding for my co-tutelage doctorate?
The co-tutelage agreement is a supplement to a regular doctoral procedure; it is not a doctoral programme of its own, nor is it connected to a particular funding programme. No special funding is available for co-tutelage doctorates at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Cologne. However, the Central Doctoral Office of the University of Cologne has longstanding experience in supervising co-tutelage doctorates and provides intensive support to doctoral students in handling all bureaucratic matters.
Do I have to pay tuition fees at both universities involved?
No. All co-tutelage agreements rule out double tuition fees. However, double administrative costs may be unavoidable.
Is a co-tutelage doctorate at the University of Cologne connected to a particular model of doctoral studies?
No, co-tutelage doctorates are possible for doctoral students of both models of doctoral studies.
The University of Cologne is my host university. Can I enrol at the University of Cologne, given my co-tutelage agreement?
Co-tutelage doctoral students for whom the University of Cologne is the host university are welcome to enrol as auditors, initially for two semesters. The contact form provides further information. If both supervisors agree, doctoral students can apply to enrol for up to half of the total regular duration of the doctorate.
What is a 'jointly awarded doctoral degree'?
A 'jointly awarded doctoral degree' may be used in the forms of the two countries involved. In other words, candidates are not awarded two doctoral degrees – even though people sometimes speak of a 'double doctorate'. The universities involved handle awarding the certificates in different ways. If the University of Cologne is the home university, then a regular doctoral certificate is prepared in German. In addition, the University of Cologne can prepare a certificate indicating that the doctorate was supervised jointly. It is noted on this certificate that the recipient has the right to use the doctoral degree either in its German form or in the form of the second country involved. The certificate is signed by the two supervisors, the two deans, and the two rectors – as is the case for the co-tutelage agreement itself. If the University of Cologne is the host university, then it is only involved in issuing this certificate.
What exactly is laid down in a co-tutelage agreement?
A co-tutelage agreement is a bilateral agreement signed by the doctoral student, the two supervisors, the two deans, and the two rectors. It is based on a model agreement and is adapted with a view to the needs of the doctoral student. Among other things, the agreement mentions its legal basis – as a rule the doctoral regulations of the two faculties/universities, in the case of the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School the doctoral regulations of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. In general, the procedure is oriented towards the doctoral regulations of the home university, to the extent possible. The following points in particular are regulated in the agreement:
1. Admission to doctoral studies
2. Enrolment at the two universities
3. Determination of the two supervisors (by signing the agreement, they agree to fulfil their roles as supervisors unconditionally)
4. Minimum duration of the stay at the host university (and the achievements to be performed there, as appropriate)
5. Format and modalities of the oral examination and assessment (incl. languages)
6. Language of the dissertation
7. Intellectual property rights, as appropriate
8. Preparation of certificates
Doctoral students must be admitted to just one of the two institutions.
It is possible to enrol at both universities. Doctoral students for whom the University of Cologne is the host university can enrol as auditors. The contact form provides further information.
The minimum duration of the stay at the host university is usually one semester. Some universities participate in the co-tutelage procedure as a partner university only if the stay is at least one year. Doctoral students should spend the larger part of their doctorates at their home universities.
The modalities of the oral examination include, among other things, the language of the examination and the numerical composition of the examination committee. In accordance with the Doctoral Regulations of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, it is desired that both supervisors are also members of the examination committee.
In accordance with the current doctoral regulations of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Cologne (of 11 June 2015), dissertations may be prepared in German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, or Latin. Other foreign languages are permissible upon application if appropriate assessment by the faculty members of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Cologne entitled to supervise dissertations can be assured. In the case of co-tutelage doctorates, it is customary to prepare a summary in the language of the host university. However, the summary can also be prepared in a different language, depending on the agreement.
If the University of Cologne is the home university, then publication of the dissertation must be demonstrated before the doctoral degree is awarded. This is to occur within two years of the oral examination. The rules concerning the obligation to publish are laid down in the doctoral regulations.
What is the deadline for the Faculty to negotiate on a cotutela agreement?
The cotutela agreement has to be compiled in the first two years after the candidate's admission to the doctoral studies at one of the two universities.
Where can I find more information on the co-tutelage procedure?
Further general information is available on the website of the Conference of University Rectors.