- Give an evaluation —on a regular basis and independent from the supervisor’s views— of the conditions of the student’s training and progress.
- Make general recommendations to the student.
- Give an opinion to the appropriate authorities, in case of extension of the PhD studies’ duration.
- Solve any problems between a student and her supervisor.
The Follow-up Committee gives you the opportunity to know where you stand, concerning your work done, your work ahead, and your projects. It also has an administrative function : if you require a Phd duration extension after your 3rd year, the opinion of the Committee (and of the supervisor) is necessary.
The PhD student and their supervisor choose together the members of the Follow-up Committee, complying with the following rules :
- The Committee’s composition is not supposed to change during the studies. If, for exceptional reasons, it had to be modified, then the ED540 secretariat must be informed thereof, by means of a letter signed by the supervisor and the student, and explaining this change. Only the Graduate School’s Academic Committee can (in)validate this change.
- The Committee is composed of two to three persons.
- At least one of them either has passed and Habilitation to conduct researches (HDR) or is the same rank as Universities’ professor. One of these HDR-or-equivalent members is designated as the CSI’s president.
- At least one of them doesn’t belong to the same research unit as the supervisor.
- Following the Order of May, 25th, 2016, art. 13, « The members of the Comittee do not take part in supervising the student’s work : the supervisor is not a member of the Committee. Same for co-supervisors or co-conductors.
- But the CSI members may be chosen as assessors or reviewers for the PhD defense jury. Indeed, the sentence “the assessors do not take part in the student’s work” (Order of May, 25th, 2016, art. 17) must be interpreted as concerning co-signed publications.
Once the members are chosen, for the first application of the student to the ED40, a letter (signed by the supervisor and the student) is sent to the Secretariat, telling about the Committee’s composition. If this composition doesn’t go by the aforementioned rules, or is in any way problematic, the Academic Committee may not validate it.
Meetings timeline and the CSI’s role for re-registration
Registration 1st year : send a letter to the ED540 secretariat, giving your Committee’s composition. It is then transferred to the Academic Committee, for validation (or not).
1st year : The CSI members may (not necessarily) all meet together with the student, during the 3rd semester of 1st year. I.e. no CSI’s opinion is required to re-registrate at the beginning of 2nd year.
Re-registration for 3rd year (and after) : the CSI’s opinion and meeting report is required, as well as the supervisor’s opinion. If both opinions are in favour of a re-registration, then the ED540’s director, with help of the Academic Committee, asks for a re-registration to the institution’s director. If both opinions are mixed, then the ED540′ director does not ask for a re-registration. If one is in favour, and one is mixed, then the ED540′ director, with help of the Academic Committee, chooses what they propose to the institution’s director.
Moreover, the CSI may be required to meet by any of the concerned parties (the student, the supervisor, the ED540’s director), especially on questions relative the student’s training or progress.
The meetings are organised by the CSI president. The ED540 does not take part in the organisation, and does not financially support any fees relative to these meetings.
The student provides the CSI members with a report (3-10 pages), explaining the results, projects, difficulties. This report is followed by a list of trainings followed, presentations made, scientific publications. It is also followed by an opinion of the supervisor, in favor of, or not sure about, the student’s re-registration.
Meeting in person is better, but videoconferencing is also allowed. If it proves absolutely impossible to organise a videoconference as well (e.g. long-term field stay), the CSI members meet without the student, after having read his/her written report.
REMINDER : the supervisor does not take part to the CSI’s meeting.
Recommended timeline :
February of the running year : the supervisor reminds the CSI members that they have to meet
The CSI president sets a date and place for the meeting : it must take place between april 1st and june 1st.
Two weeks before the set date, the student sends the report and supervisor’s opinion.
During the meeting, the student may also orally expose their work’s progress, but most of the meeting time is dedicated to discussing together. At the request of the student, part of the interview might take place without the CSI’s members that belong to her Research Unit.
After the meeting, the CSI president writes a letter, based on this model, signed by all, reporting the meeting ; they familiarize the student with its content. The letter should contain general recommendations, and expose a justified opinion about the student’s re-registration, by explicitly giving a favourable or mixed opinion. The CSI president sends this letter, followed by the student’s report, to the ED540 secretariat.