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Supervisor FAQs

1. What is the difference between a Cotutelle and Joint PhD?


This is a simultaneous enrolment in a PhD at Macquarie and one of its partner universities that will enable candidates to submit one thesis for examination at both universities. If satisfactory the candidate will be awarded two testamurs - one from each institution. About half of the candidate's time will be spent at each university under the supervision of researchers.

Cotutelle partner universities are assessed according to their research credentials and collaborative relationship with Macquarie University. They are assigned priorities (see Q2).

Joint PhD Degree

This PhD is a joint research degree program with selected international research-intensive universities. Candidates admitted to this program will undertake research in both universities. Subject to satisfactory completion of all agreed award requirements and examination at just one institution, the two universities will jointly award a degree of Doctor of Philosophy to the candidate, who will receive a single testamur bearing the crests of both universities.

Joint PhD degree programs are done only in conjunction with universities approved by the Academic Senate. For a list of these universities please go to our Joint PhD Partner webpage.

2. What does Priority 1, 2 & 3 mean?

Cotutelle partner universities are assessed according to their research credentials and collaborative relationship with Macquarie University. They are assigned to one of the three 'priorities'. Please go to our Cotutelle Partner webpage for a full list.

3. What is the typical duration of a Cotutelle/Joint PhD?

Between 2 - 3 years with at least 1 year spent at each university. The duration will depend on the individual candidate's situation and previous collaboration with the supervisors.

4. How do I start the process of hosting a Cotutelle/Joint PhD candidate?

Please complete the Cotutelle/Joint PhD Proposal Form. You will probably need to liaise with the supervisor at the Partner University and the candidate to answer some of these questions. Once completed please discuss the proposal with your Associate Dean (HDR) and Faculty HDR Manager. The ADHDR will need to endorse the proposal and it then needs to be sent to the HDRO for consideration by the Director.

We would also encourage you to come in and talk to us if this is your first time hosting a Cotutelle/Joint PhD candidate – or even if you'd just like to touch base with us. It is often easier for us to answer any questions you may have on the spot. Please email if you'd like to arrange a time to talk.

5. How long does the process take?

Each candidate has a Cotutelle/Joint PhD agreement set up for them. As this agreement must address each individual candidate research needs, the process can take anywhere between 3-7 months from start to finish.

6. Why does the process take this amount of time?

Agreements need to be drafted and then checked and modified by process managers and legal professionals at both universities. This is to ensure that the terms are acceptable to both Universities policies and both countries legal requirements. This attention to detail at the agreement drafting stage is in the best interests to all involved, in particular for the candidates to mitigate risks of enrolment, scholarship, examination, research integrity and IP issues during their research.

7. If a candidate is already enrolled in a PhD program, can they still apply for a Cotutelle with Macquarie?

This is usually possible in the first year of enrolment, however you and your candidate should allow time to complete negotiation processes for a signed agreement within that year. After the first year the candidate has probably gone too far down their research path to be able to involve a new supervisor fully in their research plan.

8. What funding does MQ have available to candidates? Is it guaranteed?

When candidates apply to MQU for a Cotutelle/Joint PhD they are considered for a Cotutelle/Joint PhD scholarship. This scholarship generally covers their tuition fees at MQ for the duration of the joint enrolment (up to 3 years), a return economy airfare from MQ to the home/host institution and a stipend while on MQ campus.

Please note that the scholarship is not guaranteed. Candidates must meet the scholarship criteria and are assessed by both the appropriate faculty and HDRO.

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