Why and how to pursue in Ph.D.?

Why a Ph.D.?

Considered for a long time to be the diploma of access to research and academic teaching activities at the university, the Ph.D. has since evolved strongly to be recognized in any professional sector. Such recognition is reflected in particular by the registration of the doctoral student in the National Directory of Professional Skills (RNCP), including the following blocks of specific skills (taken from France Skills):

  • Design and development of approaches in terms of research and development, studies and foresight
  • Implementation of approaches in terms of research and development, studies and foresight
  • Valorization and transfer of results from approaches in terms of R&D, studies and prospective
  • International science and technology intelligence
  • Training and dissemination of scientific and technical culture and training
  • Management of teams dedicated to research and development, studies and prospective activities


Actors of the Ph.D.

The Ph.D., which constitutes both a professional experience but also education, is regulated by the Decree of 25 May 2016 setting the national framework for training and the modalities leading to the award of the national doctorate diploma. This decree establishes the role of doctoral students, thesis supervision teams, the Institution and the Doctoral Schools, as well as the conditions for completion of the thesis (duration, objectives, training, etc.).

Thus the Ph.D. is included in an ecosystem including:

  • The doctoral student, preparing his/her thesis on a research topic defined with the Supervision Team, while following training actions proposed by the Doctoral School.
  • The Supervision Team, consisting of a thesis director and possibly a co-director and co-supervisors, therefore the objective is to define the research objectives and to support the doctoral student in his/her work and the preparation of his/her professional project.
  • The Laboratory, which provides the necessary environment for the research work prepared as part of the thesis
  • The Doctoral School, which monitors the pedagogical modalities of the thesis (for example through trainings) and issues an opinion on the main stages of the doctoral student's preparation (registration and re-registration, defense, etc.). The Doctoral School also accompanies the doctoral student throughout his/her course and is in charge of the annual monitoring committee.
  • The Institute/University, which is the warrant of the thesis through the final award of the diploma. The Institution also carries out administrative registration and, with the Doctoral School, accompanies doctoral students throughout their thesis on different aspects of their career (excluding research work). At INSA Lyon, the Institution is represented by the FEDORA department concerning the Ph.D.. Also, the Marie Curie Library manages the repository, reporting, dissemination and archiving at the national level of INSA Lyon theses, and the Administration Student Affair Division is in charge of schooling.


Find a thesis

In order to register for a Ph.D. at INSA Lyon, a thesis topic has to be identified first. To do this, the first step is to contact the research laboratories that correspond to the scientific thematic and see with them if thesis topics are proposed. Students can also interact directly with their teachers (most are also researchers). Finally, INSA Lyon's Career Space also includes thesis offers.

Once the Director and the thesis topic have been identified, and funding secured, it is then possible to proceed with registration in the Doctoral School to which the Thesis Director is affiliated and finally register in the Institution.