Charter for PhD Candidates

The Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics assigns an important place in its research arrangements to its PhD candidates. It is crucial to CEE’s activities, to its cohesion and its reputation, that PhD researchers should be integrated as fully as possible into the life of the Centre, both institutionally and academically.

To this end, CEE has established a PhD Charter which specifies both the institution’s undertakings on its treatment of PhD candidates, and PhD candidates’ undertakings on their involvement in the life of the institution. This Charter is specific to the Centre, and is in no way intended to replace the role of thesis supervisors or the Graduate School’s own Charter. 

1. Undertakings of the Centre for European Studies

PhD candidates, like all members, are part of the scientific life of the Centre:

- they are involved in CEE’s activities and invited to all events;

- they receive all information that is disseminated within the framework of CEE’s activities;

- they are involved in collective research projects, where relevant, with the twofold purpose of participation in the life of the Centre and preparation for professional life.

The Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics will, insofar as is possible and for 4 years, plus a further 1 to 2 years subject to approval by the oversight committee, give PhD candidates access to a workspace on its premises, and to logistical resources (photocopying, printing, business cards, headed paper, mail, etc.). It will as far as possible support their efforts relating to the completion and/or dissemination of their work.

In addition, the Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics will involve PhD candidates in its activities and offer them the possibility of acquiring all the skills they need for successful integration into work either within or outside the academic world: training, teaching and/or tutoring, participation in conferences, research publication, biographical pages on the Centre’s website, but also organisation of lectures, study days or seminars.

2. Undertakings by PhD candidates

PhD candidates undertake to make every effort to complete their thesis within the required timeframe.

In the event that their thesis is part of a particular research project (programme, contract, agreement, etc.), the PhD candidates concerned will be expected to take part in the scientific events associated with it, and in the production of the associated scientific output. As a general rule, PhD candidates will be expected to take part in and/or attend scientific events that are relevant to their work, as well as CEE’s crosscutting seminars.

In addition, they undertake to present their research relating to the activities of their laboratory.

3. PhD management

At least two permanent members of CEE’s research team are responsible for coordinating PhD management and monitoring the application of the Charter. They are the primary contacts for PhD candidates at the Centre.

The PhD managers are appointed by CEE’s Unit Council for an extendable period of two years.

4. Seminars

At least one PhD candidate will be involved in the organisation of the regular CEE seminars.

PhD candidates are also encouraged to organise seminar days with calls for contributions. They will determine the programme in consultation with the PhD managers. They will decide both the content and the format (open or closed). As far as possible, resources will be provided for such seminars, for example to provide hospitality for guests chosen collectively by the PhD candidates.

Moreover, they are encouraged to propose talks on their research (notably at in-house CEE events).

5. Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics funding for PhD candidates

CEE allocates part of its budget to funding specifically set aside for PhD candidates. This funding is additional to that provided by the Graduate School, which must be applied for before submitting a funding request to CEE. The criteria for the allocation of funding are set each year by the PhD Oversight Committee and announced before a call for funding applications is issued.

6. Representation of PhD candidates

PhD candidates hold a secret ballot to elect the individuals (primary and substitute) they wish to propose to CEE’s Director to represent them on the Council.

7. PhD Monitoring Committee

A PhD Monitoring Committee has been established at CEE. Its role is: 1. To monitor the progress of the theses in preparation at the Centre; 2. To make rulings on PhD candidates joining CEE at the beginning of the first year, and then make rulings on subsequent continuation of PhD theses; 3. To decide on funding applications by PhD candidates; 4. To support PhD candidates in their training needs.

The PhD Monitoring Committee is made up of:

- the Centre’s PhD managers;

- the Director of the Centre;

- the CEE researcher or researchers with responsibilities within the Graduate School;

- the PhD candidate representative.

On this basis, the named named individuals belonging to the PhD Monitoring Committee are set by the CEE’s Unit Council for a period of two years.

The PhD Monitoring Committee receives and examines the reports written by PhD candidates, while maintaining limits on the number and types of documents required.  It follows a timetable established each year to harmonise with the timetable of the Graduate School.

8. PhD candidate personalised support group

Every year, there is a meeting of a thesis support group. This group is an essential component of the support given to the PhD process at CEE. It is called “personalised” because its composition is linked with the specific research topics of each of the PhD candidates. Apart from the thesis supervisor, it includes at least one of the PhD managers and 1 to 3 other members (including, as far as possible, one from outside the Centre). This annual meeting begins with a presentation of the PhD candidate, followed by a discussion. Prior to this, the PhD candidate will have sent his or her support group the report submitted to the Monitoring Committee and any other document considered relevant (CV, progress report on the thesis, thesis chapter or updated thesis plan).

This support group carries out an in-depth examination of the PhD candidate’s project and progress. The group focuses not only on the progress of the PhD candidate’s work, but also on his or her integration into the academic and/or nonacademic community, and provides support on points such as: teaching, participation in conferences, publications, etc.

This group also meets in restricted session, without the thesis supervisor, as an “individual monitoring committee”, which will produce a written opinion on the progress of the thesis that will be delivered to the thesis supervisor, the Graduate School and the PhD candidate concerned.

9. Pooling of information

The list of PhD candidates is made available to the PhD candidate representative in order to encourage the flow and pooling of information. In addition, the General Secretary of the Centre and managers support the PhD candidates in their dealings with the institution’s different structures (discipline department, Graduate School…).

10. Support for the PhD candidate’s career plans

CEE makes every effort to support the academic and non academic career plans of PhD candidates.

Every year, during recruitment periods (for teaching and research posts), CEE organises interview simulations for interested PhD candidates or new PhDs. PhD candidates may also ask for committees to be set up to proofread their application forms.

As far as possible, CEE also supports PhD candidates after they have defended their thesis, for example by assisting their efforts to publish or providing them with the maximum of information. A specific page on the Centre’s website is dedicated to the presentation of doctoral theses, notably including the contact details of the new PhD holders. In addition, CEE’s new PhD holders are offered the option to apply for associate researcher status on completion of their doctorate.