Skip to main content
University of Ontario Institute of Technology logo

Cotutelle Policy

Classification number ACD 1505
Framework category Academic
Approving authority Academic Council
Policy owner Dean, Graduate Studies
Approval date April 19, 2016
Review date April 2019
Last updated Editorial Amendments, February 18, 2020


The purpose of the Cotutelle Policy is to enrich the research experience of doctoral candidates and encourage increased international research collaboration, thus enhancing the University's international profile and reputation.


For the purposes of this Policy the following definitions apply: 

“Cotutelle” means a bilateral doctoral enrolment/co-enrolment and exchange agreement between two universities (Home Institution and Partnership Institution) in different countries. 

“Home Institution” means the university in which the graduate student is enrolled in.

“Partnership Institution” means the university in which the graduate student will work with, to gain international research experience.

Scope and authority

This Policy applies to doctoral students enrolled at the University, and Faculties or programs who are interested in participating.
The Dean of Graduate Studies, or successor thereof, is the Policy Owner and is responsible for overseeing the implementation, administration and interpretation of this Policy.


A Cotutelle is a French word that means “joint supervision”.  The term now refers to a bilateral doctoral enrolment/co-enrolment and exchange agreement between two universities (the home university and the partner university) in different countries.

Eligibility and Establishment

  1. Any full time student registered in a Ph.D. program at the University is eligible for a Cotutelle agreement.

  2. A Cotutelle agreement may be established at the University under the following circumstances:

    1. An existing collaboration between faculty members at both institutions as evidenced by joint publications, previous co-supervision/exchange of students, co-organization of scholarly conferences, etc.;

    2. An interest of a currently enrolled Ph.D. student to conduct research abroad at an institution with expertise in his/her research field;

    3. A doctoral student normally within the first year of the PhD program.

  3. A Cotutelle agreement should be initiated jointly by an individual Ontario Tech University student and supervising Ontario Tech University faculty member. Both must consult with the appropriate Graduate Program Director of the Faculty to be involved in the Cotutelle. A proposal must be submitted to the Ontario Tech University School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies according to the Cotutelle Procedures. 

  4. Cotutelle agreements initiated by a Partner Institution will be considered under the guidelines established by the home university. In such cases, a proposal must be submitted to Ontario Tech University School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. It is expected that Partner Institutions will have similar Cotutelle policies to Ontario Tech University’s, leading to the same Cotutelle Agreement Form. In some cases, an alternate Cotutelle Agreement Form may be employed upon approval of the Ontario Tech University School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and of the Partner Institution.

Language of Instruction

  1. Instruction shall normally be in English. The student must be able to meet both Ontario Tech University’s English-language proficiency requirements and the language proficiency requirement of the Partner Institution

Fulfilling Program Requirements

  1. Students participating in a Cotutelle must fulfill the Ph.D. program requirements at both institutions. This will occur through a transfer of credit, where appropriate, where courses taken at the Home Institution can be applied to the host institution and vice-versa in a manner where the requirements of both institutions can be met within the regular period of study.

Conferral of Degree

  1. Upon completion of all degree requirements, students will receive a diploma from each university, each parchment carrying a notation to the effect that the degree was obtained through a Cotutelle agreement. In addition, a notation will be made on the students’ transcript that indicates they have participated in a Cotutelle agreement between the two institutions. The names of both participating institutions will be indicated on each diploma and on the transcript.

Fee Structure and Funding Arrangement

  1. A goal in seeking Cotutelle agreements with universities abroad is to ensure good reciprocity in the exchange of students. To this end, doctoral students participating in a Cotutelle agreement will be required to pay all tuition fees to his/her home university.  While at the partnership university, students will pay the partnership university’s ancillary and supplementary fees. They will not be required to make tuition payments to the Partner Institution. Participating students are responsible for paying any immigration fees associated with a Cotutelle mode of study.

  2. It is anticipated that Ontario Tech University students who qualify for a Cotutelle agreement will be of superior academic quality. Travel, accommodation, health care and other living expenses will be the responsibility of the student. The Home Institution is nonetheless responsible for ensuring that students do have sufficient funds to pursue studies abroad.

  3. External funding programs that support student mobility, such as those provided by government agencies, will be taken advantage of where possible for the benefit of the student.

  4. Students for whom Ontario Tech University is the Home Institution
    1. Students will retain all scholarships and endowed awards administered by Ontario Tech University, subject to the conditions of such awards.

    2. Students holding external awards are subject to the conditions set out by the governing agency of the award and will need to be aware of these conditions prior to engaging in a Cotutelle agreement.

    3. Since a purpose of a Cotutelle agreement is to further joint research, it is expected that Ontario Tech University faculty members will honor graduate research assistantship stipends while students are at the Partner Institution.

  5. Students for whom Ontario Tech University is not the Home Institution
    1. Since Ontario Tech University intends to maintain its level of financial support for students who travel to a Partner Institution under a Cotutelle agreement, it is anticipated that the Partner Institution will reciprocate in maintaining a similar level of financial support for its own students while they are at Ontario Tech University. Students coming to Ontario Tech University from a Partner Institution will be eligible to receive a graduate research assistantship from the Ontario Tech University supervisor if the faculty member is so disposed.

    2. Partner Institution students will not normally be offered any graduate research assistantships, teaching assistantships or external funding while they are at Ontario Tech University.   Any offers of funding support will be at the discretion of the Ontario Tech University supervisor.

    3. Partner Institution students are responsible for the following fees:University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)

      • University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)
      • Athletic Centre Levy
      • Student Organization fee
      • UPASS (bus transportation)

These costs will be updated annually and can be found on the website.

Health Insurance Coverage

  1. Students coming to Ontario Tech University will be required to enroll, within 30 days of arrival, in the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) at their own expense to ensure adequate healthcare insurance while in Canada. Information can be obtained through the UHIP web site at or by contacting the International Office. Likewise, Ontario Tech University students travelling abroad will be required to obtain adequate health insurance coverage as required by the host institution.

Thesis Evaluation

  1. Participating students will be required to write a single thesis which will lead to a single oral defence at the Home Institution. The language of the thesis will be in English. The board of examiners will be composed of examiners appointed equally by both institutions and will include at least two professors from each institution and an external examiner who is independent of both institutions. A written evaluation of the thesis must be submitted by all board members prior to the oral defence. All regulations and procedures that will govern the oral defence will be specific to the Home Institution where the defence is conducted.

  2. In the case of Ontario Tech University as the Home Institution, the Dean of Graduate Studies will appoint the defence examination board to comprise as a minimum:

    1. One member from outside either university who is a recognized scholar or authority in the subject of the thesis (external examiner);

    2. Thesis supervisor from the Home Institution;

    3. Thesis supervisor from the host institution;

    4. Faculty member from the Home Institution in the program where the research is conducted;

    5. Faculty member from the host institution in the program where the research is conducted;

    6. One member who is from a separate program at Ontario Tech University and who has been at arm’s length from the thesis research (University Examiner).

  3. In the case where Ontario Tech University is the Partner Institution, the defence examination board will consist of similar examiners as mentioned above. However, flexibility will be required to meet the needs of the Home Institution. Regardless, the committee will ensure balance from both institutions.

  4. Where possible, participation in thesis defences will occur by telephone, video-conferencing or similar media. Where this is not possible or desirable, and costs are incurred in faculty travel and accommodation, payment of such costs will be subject to negotiations conducted by the two supervisors with the resulting agreement recorded in a document drafted specifically for this purpose and signed by the responsible officers at the two universities (at Ontario Tech University, the Dean of Graduate Studies),

Academic Integrity

  1. All students participating in Cotutelle agreements must follow the rules and regulations, including those relating to research ethics, of both participating universities. Ontario Tech University is committed to ensuring that all students conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the university’s academic integrity policies. Recognizing that regulations and practices relating to academic integrity and intellectual property, as well as the culture related to their enforcement, vary substantially from place to place, all graduate students are required to review, comprehend and adhere to Ontario Tech University's policies upon commencing a Cotutelle agreement and upon submitting Ph.D. theses.

  2. In the event of contradictory regulations between the home and Partner Institution, the Home Institution’s regulations shall prevail. Should conflicts arise, the Deans of Graduate Studies (or equivalents) shall determine a collective solution.

Monitoring and review

This Policy will be reviewed as necessary and at least every three years.  The Dean of Graduate Studies, or successor thereof, is responsible to monitor and review this Policy.

Relevant legislation

This section intentionally left blank.

Related policies, procedures & documents

Cotutelle Procedure

Cotutelle Agreement Template

Intellectual Property Policy

Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship Policy