Cotutelle agreement

An international doctorate based on a cotutelle agreement is a unique opportunity for doctoral students to take part in international scientific forums, work in international research groups and obtain a joint doctoral diploma, which may prove to be extremely important for their further scientific development and international career.

As part of the cotutelle agreement:

  • the Medical University of Lodz establishes cooperation with a foreign university or scientific institution,
  • the doctoral student is under joint scientific supervision (by the promoter on the part of the University and on the part of the foreign partner);
  • the doctoral dissertation is prepared in English;
  • the whole process culminates in a joint diploma.

The request to enter a “cotutelle agreement” may be submitted by:

  • a doctoral student;
  • a supervisor;
  • a university researcher;
  • a foreign scientific institution interested in cooperation.

An international doctorate based on a cotutelle agreement is neither an internship nor an international doctoral student exchange programme.


The legal basis for the education of doctoral students and the award of a joint doctoral degree as a result of cooperation between the University and a foreign partner comprises:

  1. I) provisions of Polish law and internal regulations of the University:
  2. Act of 20 July 2018 – Law on Higher Education and Science (Journal of Laws of 2022, item 574, as amended),
  3. Minister of Science and Higher Education Regulation of 21 September 2018 on diplomas, habilitation diplomas and doctoral student ID cards (Journal of Laws of 2021, item 676),
  4. Regulations of the International Doctoral School, introduced by Resolution No. 289/2019 of May 28, 2019 of the Senate of the Medical University of Lodz, as amended,
  5. The regulations concerning the procedure for conferring the degree of doctor, introduced by Resolution No. 319/2019 of September 26, 2019 of the Senate of the Medical University of Lodz on the matter, as amended,
  6. II) the regulations valid in the country of the foreign partner, and the internal regulations of the partner.


Conclusion of a cotutelle agreement


A PhD student interested in obtaining an international doctorate (a joint doctoral degree) should observe the following procedure:


  1. First obtain their supervisor’s consent for the implementation of an international doctorate.
  2. The candidate must then be admitted to the study program at both universities (Polish and foreign). The cotutelle agreement cannot be concluded before admission.
  3. Through the Doctoral Student Service Centre, the doctoral student submits a written application to the Director of the International Doctoral School to establish cooperation with a foreign partner under the cotutelle agreement (Download). This should be accompanied by confirmation of the status of a doctoral student from the foreign university
  4. After the application has been approved, the Director of the Doctoral School first assigns a doctoral supervisor employed at a foreign university or partner institution to the doctoral student.
  5. Next, the University contacts the selected foreign unit and starts negotiations regarding the content of the cotutelle agreement. The doctoral student and the supervisor are informed about the course of the talks, and are included in them at appropriate stages to determine the precise details of cooperation.
  6. The agreement, drawn up in Polish and English, is then signed by persons authorized to represent both universities. A copy of the agreement is also delivered to the doctoral student.
  7. The cotutelle agreement is concluded on the day it is signed by representatives of the University and the foreign partner and is valid until the end of the procedure for conferring a joint doctoral degree.
  8. In connection with the conclusion of the cotutelle agreement, the doctoral student is obliged to comply with the obligations set out in in the Regulations of the International Doctoral School and the regulations applicable to the partner.


The doctoral student’s stay in the foreign unit


The doctoral student is obliged to conduct research and participate in classes both at the International Doctoral School and at the partner unit. The schedule of the doctoral student’s stay in both units is determined for each individual student.

During their stay in the partner’s country, the doctoral student should take out their own personal insurance, in particular accident insurance, and also complete any necessary formalities in order to benefit from free treatment.


Defence of the doctoral dissertation and conferring a joint doctoral degree

The defence of the doctoral dissertation takes place at the university specified in the cotutelle agreement. The doctoral commission consists of representatives of both universities, and the rules for selecting the dissertation are specified in the agreement.


The joint doctoral degree is awarded by both universities in accordance with the applicable regulations. Both units must have the right to confer degrees in the chosen discipline.


The doctoral student receives a joint doctoral diploma issued by the University and the foreign partner.


Copyrights to the doctoral dissertation, the right to publish and use it, and the rights to the results of scientific activity obtained by the doctoral student in connection with the preparation of the doctoral dissertation under the cotutelle agreement are protected in accordance with the regulations applicable to the University and the foreign partner.


Administrative support in the field of cotutelle agreements:

International Doctoral School

Ada Mikulska, MA- independent clerk for doctoral studies

Tel. +48 42 272 50 80, e-mail:


Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Medicine

Ewelina Płocińska, MA

Tel. +4842 272 59 28, e-mail:


Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Health Sciences

Marzena Krzyżańska, MA

Tel. +48 42 272 50 23, e-mail:


Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Pharmacy

Aleksandra Jóźwiak, MA

Tel. +48 42 677 91 14, kom. 502 447 588, e-mail:

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