Call Opens: 24th January 2020 Call Closes: 20thApril 2020
 

1. Background and Overview

 
The EUTOPIA Alliance is a network of six universities that has been awarded an Erasmus+ ‘European Universities’ pilot project in 2019 and been officially launched in December 2019:

  • University of Warwick
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • CY Cergy Paris University
  • University of Ljubljana
  • Pompeu Fabra University

The core mission of the EUTOPIA Alliance is to promote a connected and inclusive academic community, addressing global and local challenges, advancing excellence and inclusion, geared towards impact and fostering European economic development and innovation through a deep engagement of the Alliance with its local and regional ecosystems. The promotion of scientific excellence, research collaboration and mobility of academics among the partner universities is a core objective of EUTOPIA.
The partner universities, therefore, launch a joint EUTOPIA PhD co-tutelle program. The 2020 PhD co- tutelle program is conceived as a pilot, aiming at testing EUTOPIA-wide cooperation for PhD co-tutelle projects with the objective of establishing this type of projects between all partner universities by 2021. This call description details the pilot program’s functioning, funding scheme and practical modalities.
The EUTOPIA PhD co-tutelle program will support high-quality PhD projects in all research areas co-supervised by academics of the EUTOPIA member universities. It offers PhD fellowships for 3 to 4 years, depending on the length of doctoral studies in the partner universities. It is expected to lead to high- quality research projects with global impact, providing exciting research opportunities for PhD or doctoral candidates. They shall take full advantage of the vibrant scientific environment of the EUTOPIA alliance (the following links give access to the research pages of the five EUTOPIA partner universities active in the pilot program 2020):

EUTOPIA universities will jointly operate the call. This document describes the application procedure and requirements, the evaluation process and gives details about the funding conditions, operational modalities and implementation of the PhD fellowships. Depending on the universities’ national systems these will be governed by bilateral agreements between the partner universities (one per PhD co-tutelle program). Successful candidates will enter into an agreement governing the joint supervision of their PhD and obtain funding for the entire duration of their PhD according to the national legal frameworks. An example of such an agreement can be provided upon request.
The present call offers funding for the following co-tutelle PhD fellowships:

Partner institutions Jointly funded PhD
fellowships
University of Warwick CY University Up to 6
Vrije Universiteit Brussel CY University Up to 4
CY University University of Ljubljana 2
CY University Pompeu Fabra University 1

The fellowships will start between October 2020 and January 2021.
The present EUTOPIA PhD co-tutelle program follows up on previous bilateral initiatives for the development of collaborative PhDs between University of Warwick / CY University, University of Warwick / Vrije Universiteit Brussel and CY University / VrijeUniversiteit Brussel. Enlarging this dynamic to the EUTOPIA network aims at accelerating the development of joint researchprojects at doctoral level as a key element of the EUTOPIA alliance.
 

2. Jointly operated application and selection process

 

1. Application

Applications are submitted by the prospective supervisors of the project.
The deadline for submission of co-tutelle PhD programs to the present call is: 20 April 2020, 13:00 (Central European Time / CET). Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.
Submissions should include:

  • Completed application form
  • Detailed description of the research project
  • Academic CVs of both co-supervisors and CV of the PhD candidate(s)
  • Letter of motivation from the PhD candidate(s)
  • Letters/emails of support from Head of School/Department/Research Center/Doctoral School, depending on each university (a support letter from the Head of Department is compulsory at University of Warwick)
  • A scanned copy of the PhD candidate’s Masters degree certificate and academic transcript (or highest degree obtained + Masters degree on the way).

Incomplete applications where the PhD candidate has not yet been identified may be considered but strong priority in the selection will be given to complete projects having already identified a PhD candidate or a short list of PhD candidates.Applicants shall explain their motivation for the choice of the proposed candidate(s) and indicate their ranking of the potentialcandidates, if more than one has being identified.
The submission will be made online from 24 January 2020 via the application platform: https://apply.theparisseineinitiative.org/prog/eutopia_phd_cotutelle_program/. Only online submitted projects are eligible. Application materials will be made available on the platform from 24 January 2020 on.
 

2.  Evaluation and selection

Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Quality of the proposed research project:
    • relevance to the discipline(s)
    • topicality and originality
    • suitable methods, and feasibility
  • Qualifications of the researchers:
    • track record of the co-supervisors
    • track record of PhD candidate
    • track record of past collaborations of the co-supervisors (if applicable)
  • Complementarity of the two research environments, additionality for the student of being co-supervised

The proposals will go through a peer-review process and be submitted to a joint panel including all participating institutions for final decisions. The evaluation of the researchers’ qualification will include an assessment against each partner university’s eligibility criteria (see parts 3 and 4).
In the case of incomplete applications where a PhD candidate has not been identified yet, funding decisions will be conditional on the validation of suitable candidate(s) later, in accordance with eligibility criteria (see parts 3 and 4).
Application results are expected to be released on 28 May 2020.
 

3. Conditions and modalities of the co-tutelle PhD programs

Each PhD co-tutelle program will be hosted by two EUTOPIA partner universities. The students will enrol in both partner universities each year during the whole duration of the PhD co-tutelle program.
For the implementation of the PhD fellowships and other practical modalities, applicants are expected to indicate a Home and a Host Institution in his / her application. These indications will be considered by the evaluation committees and, if possible, confirmed during the selection process, but can be modified if necessary.
Candidates are expected to spend a significant amount of time at both partner institutions (at least 12 months in each) and at least 50% of their time at their Home Institution. In general, it is strongly advised that candidates shall start their PhD in theirHome institution. They shall have the opportunity to realize research mobility in one of the other EUTOPIA universities during the co-tutelle PhD program if relevant to his / her project.
Enrollment in the two partner universities opens numerous opportunities to the PhD candidates in the scope of the PhD co-tutelle program. They access all services and support from both universities including doctoral training programs, professional orientation, libraries, student life services etc. They are fully integrated into the two research environments of their co-supervisors: research centres, scientific networks etc.
The implementation of the PhD co-tutelle programs will be governed by bilateral agreements (see part 1) taking into account national and local regulations of each university. The following sections gather general information relevant to the agreements.

a. Funding

Funding for the PhD fellowships offered in the present call comes from the partner universities. Financial support for the PhD or doctoral candidates, therefore, follows the national rules and standards of each university.
Financial support for the PhD or doctoral candidates covers, for all universities, a 3 to 4 years PhD fellowship/stipend. According to the universities’ practices, it may be complemented by a travel/research allowance and the payment/exemption of tuition fees by the university. All co-tutelle PhD programs in this call are jointly financed by the partner institutions, according to processes outlined in the bilateral agreements. These can stipulate the full financing of co-tutelle fellowships by one partner, on the basis of half of the fellowships jointly offered, or the 50% financing of each jointly operated co-tutelle fellowships by both partners (see part 4 for more details).
In the case of full financing by the student’s fellowship by one university, this shall be the student’s Home Institution. The student will receive funding for the duration of the PhD co-tutelle program according to the practices of their Home Institution, either by being employed by the university and receiving a salary or by receiving a stipend. In case of a 50% financing by two partner universities, the student shall have two successive work contracts, one with either institution covering 50% of the duration of the program. He/she freely define one Home and one Host Institution.

b. Eligibility criteria (supervisors / PhD students)

All co-tutelle PhD projects will be jointly supervised by a full-time researcher from the candidate’s Home and Host Institutions. They need to be based on a research project anchored in the scientific collaboration between the supervisors.
The eligibility for students and supervisors to the co-tutelle PhD programs of this call is governed by the partner universities rules and shall be defined in the bilateral co-tutelle agreements. PhD or doctoral candidates must meet the minimum entry requirements for PhD programs at each partner university involved in his / her co-tutelle PhD programs (see also part 4).

c. Project endorsement

According to each university’s rules, applications to this call shall be endorsed by the head of School / Department / Faculty / Research Center / Doctoral School etc. to which the supervisors and PhD candidates are affiliated in order to ensure activitiesalign with their priorities. Additional constraints can be integrated in the endorsement request, such as the availability of sufficient resourcing within the entities to which the co-tutelle PhD program is affiliated to, as well as health, safety and ethical requirements. Endorsement can be optional or compulsory depending on each university’s rules and shall be part of the application documents.

d. Reporting

Annual reporting will be compulsory for each PhD co-tutelle program. Students and supervisors will be subject to the standard reporting requirements of their Home and Host Institution. Modalities of the reporting shall be defined by the partner universities and it is possible that students/supervisors will have to comply with the reporting modalities of both partner universities.
Information gathered through the reports will be shared between all EUTOPIA universities.

e. Defense and diplomas

All PhD co-tutelle program of the present call will lead to a double diploma, one from each partner university.
Defense rules of both partner universities shall apply to each PhD co-tutelle defense. Rules and modalities shall be defined in the bilateral agreement.

f. Training program

PhD students participating in this co-tutelle program shall have the opportunity to follow a complementary training programduring their doctoral studies in both universities, jointly defined by the partner institutions on the basis of their standard doctoral training programs.
The contribution of each university to the PhD student’s training program shall be defined in their bilateral agreement, taking into account the duration of the student’s stay in each institution. The courses delivered by one university to the student shall, as far as possible, be recognized by the other institution. The requirements of each university with regard to the doctoral student’s training program shall, as far as possible, not be additional but complementary and take into account the duration of the PhD student’s stay in each university.
 

4. Practical details for bilateral agreements 

The following sections will detail relevant information for the co-tutelle partnerships this call opens fellowships for, according to the universities’ rules and regulations.

a. University of Warwick – CY University 

Duration/Funding
PhD co-tutelle fellowships between University of Warwick and CY University have a duration of 4 years and shall be fullfinanced by one partner (each partner fully finances an equal number of fellowships, on the basis of half of the total number of jointly operated co-tutelle programs). The financing university, either Warwick or CY University, shall be the student’s HomeInstitution for the total duration of the PhD program.

  • If University of Warwick is the Home Institution, PhD candidates will receive full payment of tuition fees (home orinternational, band 1 or 2) and a tax-free maintenance stipend in line with UKRI rates (currently £15,009 per year; see: ukri.org/skills/funding-for-research-training/). In addition, they will have access to a Research Training and Support Grant of up to £2,475 per year. This Grant provides funding to support travel, accommodation and other research costs. Students will be exempt of tuition fees at CY
  • If CY University is the Home Institution, PhD candidates will receive an allowance for accommodation and subsistence of 1750 € net per month (before income tax) and an annual research/travel allowance of 3000€. They will pay annual tuition fees at CY University of 380€ and be exempt of tuition fees at University of

Eligibility
In order to act as supervisors of co-tutelle PhD programs, academic staff from University of Warwick staff needs to respectdepartmental regulations, while CY University staff must meet national regulations defining the minimum requirements for PhD supervision and be associated to one of the Doctoral Schools of CY University. French law stipulates that academics need tohold a qualification as “able to supervise research projects” (habilitation à diriger des recherches / HDR), in order to supervise PhD projects.
PhD candidates need to meet minimum eligibility criteria of both universities. For University of Warwick, please refer to the following links for details:

For CY University, students enrolling in the first year of a thesis at one of the CY Doctoral Schools must hold a Master’s degree.The Master 2 must be obtained with an overall average of at least 12/20 (French marking between 0 and 20) or an equivalent grade if the marking follows another system. Any application from a student holding a Master’s degree for professionalpurposes, or any other equivalent degree, must be validated by the Doctoral School’s Council.
Ethics and other approvals
Research projects that involve human participants, their data or tissue, or animals will require appropriate ethical review. Research involving secondary analysis of publicly available data e.g. systematic reviews does not require ethics review, butsecondary analysis of other data that are not publicly available does. Please note, data taken from social media, does not count as publicly available.
Ethics approval does not need to be applied for until funding has been awarded but must be obtained before projects can begin. Further information about ethics and other approvals, and how to apply for these is available on (please note that it is the supervisor’s responsibility to ensure the ethics application is submitted and approved before the project begins): https://warwick.ac.uk/services/od/ras/opportunities/development_support/research_integrity
Warwick supervisors are advised to complete a Research Integrity online training module, if they haven’t already: www.warwick.ac.uk/ritraining.
Information   about   the    CY   Universities   requirements:  https://www.u-cergy.fr/fr/recherche-et- valorisation/integrite-scientifique.html

b. Vrije Universiteit Brussel – CY University

Duration/Funding
PhD co-tutelle fellowships between Vrije Universiteit Brussel and CY University have a duration of 4 years and shall be fullfinanced by one partner (each partner fully finances an equal number of fellowships, on the basis of half of the total number of jointly operated co-tutelle programs). The financing university, either Vrije Universiteit Brussel or CY University, shall be the student’s Home Institution for the total duration of the PhD program.

  • If Vrije Universiteit Brussel is the Home Institution, PhD candidates will receive an allowance for accommodation and subsistence of min. 2,000 € par month net and an annual research/travel allowance of 3000€. They will pay annualtuition fees at Vrije Universiteit Brussel of 469.80€ and be exempt of tuition fees at CY University, except one year during the program (one payment of 380€ is due to CY University).
  • If CY University is the Home Institution, PhD candidates will receive an allowance for accommodation and subsistence of 1750 € net per month (before income tax) and an annual research/travel allowance of 3000€. They will pay annual tuition fees at CY University of 380€ and be exempt of tuition fees at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, except one year during the program (one payment of 469.80€ is due to Vrije Universiteit Brussel).

Eligibility
In order to act as supervisors of co-tutelle PhD programs, academic staff from Vrije Universiteit Brussel must have a minimal ZAP appointment of 10%, while CY University staff must meet national regulations defining the minimum requirements for PhD supervision and be associated to one of the Doctoral Schools of CY University. French law stipulates that academics need to hold a qualification as “able to supervise research projects” (habilitation à diriger des recherches / HDR), in order to supervise PhD projects.
For Vrije Universiteit Brussel the following eligibility criteria apply for PhD students: the default requirement for admission as a PhD student is a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant field from a Belgian university. Derogations may be granted forthe holders of a Master’s degree in a relevant field from a non-Belgian university. Derogations for candidates without a Masters degree are unlikely to be granted unless the candidate has very strong research or professional credentials. Theultimate decision about the eligibility for PhD research resides with the Faculty in which the research will be conducted. More information: https://www.vub.be/en/phd#admission-requirements
For CY University, students enrolling in the first year of a thesis at one of the CY Doctoral Schools must hold a Master’s degree.The Master 2 must be obtained with an overall average of at least 12/20 (French marking between 0 and 20) or an equivalent grade if the marking follows another system. Any application from a student holding a Master’s degree for professionalpurposes, or any other equivalent degree, must be validated by the Doctoral School’s Council.
Ethics and other approvals
Information about Vrije Universiteit Brussel requirements:

Information   about   the    CY   Universities   requirements:  https://www.u-cergy.fr/fr/recherche-et- valorisation/integrite-scientifique.html

c. Pompeu Fabra University – CY University

Duration/Funding
PhD co-tutelle fellowships between Pompeu Fabra University and CY University have a duration of 3 years. Each university will support the cost of 50% of the duration of jointly operated co-tutelle fellowships. Pompeu Fabra funds for this shall come fromresearch projects or research group resources. The students shall thus have two subsequent contracts of a duration of 18 months each, with both universities. The first 18 months of the program shall take place at Pompeu Fabra University.
During the duration of the PhD contract with Pompeu Fabra University (18 months), the PhD candidate will be payed 1,288€ – 1,500€ net per month (before income tax) covering accommodation and subsistence. There is no additionalresearch allowance for bench fee. Travel cost can, however, be covered by the research groups funds. During the duration of the PhD contract with CY University (18 months), the PhD candidate will be payed 1750 € net per month (before income tax) covering accommodation and subsistence. He/she will, in addition, receive an annual research allowance of 3000€ (equal to 4,500€ for the total duration of the PhD contract with CY University). Tuition fee at Pompeu Fabra University shall be paid every year by the research project or research group that funds the fellowhip. Tuition fee at CY University will be paid by the PhD student at least for one year during the PhD co-tutelle program(380€; details to be fixed in the bilateral co-tutelle agreement).
Eligibility
Academics at Pompeu Fabra University must have a proven research record, in order to be eligible to PhD supervision. Each PhD program specifies how this requirement is checked.
CY University staff must meet national regulations defining the minimum requirements for PhD supervision and be associatedto one of the Doctoral Schools of CY University. French law stipulates that academics need to hold a qualification as “able tosupervise research projects” (habilitation à diriger des recherches / HDR), in order to supervise PhD projects.He/she must hold a Master’s degree or, if coming from specific disciplines, a 5-year undergraduate degree (300 ECTS credits). For international students, the Admissions Office may ask for a certificate, issued by the university from which the student graduated, stating that your qualification entitles you to take a doctoral program in your country of origin. Each PhD program sets additional admission requirements for candidates. More information is available here: https://www.upf.edu/web/doctorats/1_requisits.
For CY University, students enrolling in the first year of a thesis at one of the CY Doctoral Schools must hold a Master’s degree.The Master 2 must be obtained with an overall average of at least 12/20 (French marking between 0 and 20) or an equivalent grade if the marking follows another system. Any application from a student holding a Master’s degree for professionalpurposes, or any other equivalent degree, must be validated by the Doctoral School’s Council.
Ethics and other approvals
Ethics clearance requirements for PhD programmes at Pompeu Fabra University are handled by each individual PhD program.Clearance is done through three different internal review boards: the Drug and Clinical Research Ethics Committee (CEIm), the Animal Research Ethics Committee (CEEA), and the Institutional Committee for Ethical Review of Projects (CIREP), which coversall remaining relevant areas (social sciences, technology, etc.).
Information about the CY Universities requirements: https://www.u-cergy.fr/fr/recherche-et- valorisation/integrite-scientifique.html
For the PhD co-tutelle program with Pompeu Fabra University, transdisciplinary applications are particularly encouraged. No applications are possible for the PhD programs in Communication and in Economics, Finance, and Management.

 d. University of Ljubljana – CY University

Duration/Funding
PhD co-tutelle fellowships between University of Ljubljana and CY University have a duration of 4 years and shall be fullfinanced by one partner (each partner fully finances an equal number of fellowships, on the basis of half of the total number of jointly operated co-tutelle programs). The financing university, either University of Ljubljana or CY University, shall be the student’s Home Institution for the total duration of the PhD program.

  • If University of Ljubljana is the Home Institution, PhD candidates will be financed in accordance with the Rules for Financing of Young Researchers by the Slovenian Research Agency. This includes tuition fees and an approximate salaryof the PhD candidate of 1485€ per month In the case of University of Ljubljana being the PhD student’s Home Institution, the call is open only for PhD candidates who are currently financed by the Slovenian Research Agency as“young researchers” at the University of Ljubljana and are in the academic year 2019/2020 enrolled in the 1st year of a doctoral study program at the University of Ljubljana. They will be exempt of tuition fees at CY University for the duration of the PhD co-tutelle program.
  • If CY University is the Home Institution, PhD candidates will receive an allowance for accommodation and subsistence of 1750 € net per month (before income tax) and an annual research/travel allowance of 3000€. They will pay annual tuition fees at CY University of 380€ and be exempt of tuition fees at University of Ljubljana for the duration of the PhD co-tutelle program.

Eligibility
Supervisors and co-supervisors in doctoral studies at the University of Ljubljana shall be university teachers with the title of assistant professor, associate professor or full professor, or academic worker with the title of scientific associate, senior scientific associate or academic counsellor, and shall demonstrate their research work, with the requisite bibliography, from thebroader field covered by the doctoral dissertation. The minimum condition for the demonstration of research work shall be set out in a resolution adoptedby the Senate of the UL, which shall be published on the website of the UL Doctoral School. Supervisors and co-supervisors mayalso be persons with the appropriate habilitation of another institute (domestic or foreign) and who have references from the broader field covered by the topic of a doctoral dissertation, and who work in a study program or are employed by an institute with whom the UL or a member faculty of the UL has concluded an agreement or entered into a cooperation agreement.
CY University staff must meet national regulations defining the minimum requirements for PhD supervision and be associatedto one of the Doctoral Schools of CY University. French law stipulates that academics need to hold a qualification as “able tosupervise research projects” (habilitation à diriger des recherches / HDR), in order to supervise PhD projects.
For student eligibility criteria at University of Ljubljana, please refer to the Call for Enrolment into Doctoral Degree Programs which will be published in the beginning of February 2020: https://www.uni-lj.si/study/doctoral/call
For CY University, students enrolling in the first year of a thesis at one of the CY Doctoral Schools must hold a Master’s degree.The Master 2 must be obtained with an overall average of at least 12/20 (French marking between 0 and 20) or an equivalent grade if the marking follows another system. Any application from a student holding a Master’s degree for professionalpurposes, or any other equivalent degree, must be validated by the Doctoral School’s Council.
Ethics and other approvals
Information        about        University       of        Ljubljana        requirements:       https://www.uni-lj.si/research_and_development/ethics_in_research/
Information   about   the    CY   Universities   requirements:  https://www.u-cergy.fr/fr/recherche-et- valorisation/integrite-scientifique.html
 

5. Further Information & Contacts

 

  • University of Warwick: Mike Haymes, International Partnerships Manager, International Strategy and Relations,haymes@warwick.ac.uk tel: +44 (0)2476 150034
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel: Mieke Gijsemans, Director Research & Data Management,secretariaat@vub.be tel: +32 2 629 2108
  • CY Cergy Paris University: Perrine Elshawish, Responsable du service des études doctorales, elshawish@u-cergy.fr, Tel : 33 (0)1 34 25 72 26 / Nicola Ebenburger, Director for International Scientific Development, nicola.ebenburger@u-cergy.fr , +33 (0)7 88 97 19 98
  • University of Ljubljana: Jelena Tomažin, Office for Doctoral Study, Tomazin@uni-lj.si,

+386 1 2418 656

  • Pompeu Fabra University: Enric Vallduví, VR Research, recerca@upf.edu, Tel +34 935422023