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Jointly Supervised PhD

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  • Jointly Supervised PhD - allows a PhD student to obtain a PhD Degree from two universities simultaneously, with or without coursework, and recognised by both institutions as a similar degree.
  • Home institution - institution where the PhD student applied and was admitted.
  • Host institution - where the student will do a part of the research and where the thesis co-supervisor teaches.

The University of Coimbra takes part in the Joint Supervision PhD program pursuant to the Regulation on Jointly Supervised PhDs, which establishes the framework for its implementation at the University of Coimbra, and the rules for its accomplishment. 

Please check the Academic Regulation of the University of Coimbra >> HERE

Scope and Terms

The Jointly Supervised PhDs are aimed at PhD students  who wish to obtain one PhD degree from two universities simultaneously, pursuant to the terms of the aforementioned regulation and the following conditions:

  1. Existence of PhD programs considered by both institutions as similar.
  2. Confirmation of registration at the home institution by the PhD student.
  3. The PhD student is required to have two co-supervisors, one from each university. Both universities have to sign a formal agreement per student, which establishes the exact terms of the joint supervision.
  4. The student must accomplish a period of work in each of the institutions where the PhD Course is undertaken.

An academic year must be the minimum period of work to be accomplished at each institution (with at least 9 months of continuous presence). It can correspond to two nonconsecutive semesters and it must begin after the joint supervision agreement is signed (it cannot be obtained by means of equivalency credits).


  1. The PhD student expresses his/her intention of accomplishing a jointly supervised PhD course to his/her supervisor, or the supervisor invites the student to do so.
  2. Both the supervisor and PhD student elaborate the research work programme to be undertaken at the partner university, including its calendarisation, and make the necessary contacts to implement the agreement.
  3. Once the co-supervisor from the partner university agrees, the PhD programme is considered to meet all the requirements provided for in the Regulation for Jointly Supervised PHDs mentioned above.

Joint supervision agreement

The joint supervision program is only implemented by means of a previous agreement made between the partner institutions and the PhD student, as per the protocol annexed to the regulation.

  • This agreement is written in Portuguese and English whenever applicable.
  • The PhD student is required to register annually at both the home and host universities.

Defence of Thesis

The PhD student will apply to the public defence of the thesis, only once, at the university agreed upon by all the  parties.

The rules for these defences, including the appointment of the examination board, are established by the joint supervision agreement and according to the legislation and rules in force at the university where the defence takes place.

  • The examination board should include at least two professors or researchers, appointed by the two universities concerned.


The PhD degree is awarded by both institutions regarding the PhD programme of the student after the successful public defence of the thesis.

Each institution issues a separate diploma attesting the degree awarded, according to its own regulations. 
Each institution should include a mention of the other institution as a partner in the jointly supervised PhD.