What is co-supervision?

Co-supervision is understood as the completion of a doctoral thesis prepared by the doctoral student in any field of knowledge, between two universities in different countries, and directed by at least one researcher from each of the two participating universities and/or institutions. The doctoral thesis will finally be submitted for defence in one of the two universities and/or higher institutions, obtaining the title of doctor in both universities, for which the doctoral student must have generated a file in each of the universities.

Art. 15.2 of R.D. 99/2011 establishes that the title of Doctor will include on the front the statement “Thesis in co-supervision with the University…“, provided that the following circumstances are met:

  1. The doctoral thesis must be supervised by two or more doctors from two universities, one Spanish and one foreign, who must formalise a co-supervision agreement.
  2. During the period of training required to obtain the PhD degree, the PhD student must have spent a minimum of six months at the institution with which the agreement is established, carrying out research work, in a single period or in several periods. Stays and activities will be reflected in the co-supervision agreement.
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  • The agreements shall be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations for the processing and approval of Agreements by the University of León.
  • During the term of the agreement, the doctoral student must be enrolled in a doctoral programme at both universities and will have a supervisor at each. The minimum stay in each institution carrying out research work related to the thesis will be six months, which may be carried out in several periods. This stay may be used to fulfil the requirement to obtain the title of «International Doctor».


The thesis defence ceremony may be a single event and may be held at either of the two universities that have signed the co-supervision agreement or at both if so specified in the agreement.

  • The PhD student, together with the PDF of the thesis, must provide a certificate justifying the stay.
  • The thesis examining board that will judge the defence of the thesis must also have the approval of the body of the foreign university indicated in the agreement.
  • An original record of the proceedings of the thesis committee shall be sent to the body specified in the agreement.
  • The doctoral student will send a certified photocopy of his/her doctoral degree from the University of León to the other university.
  • The examining board in charge of evaluating the thesis must have the approval of the Doctoral School of the University of León.
  • An original record of the proceedings of the thesis examining board will be sent to the Steering Committee of the Doctoral School.
  • In order for the thesis to be eligible for the cum laude mention, the co-supervision agreements must specify how compliance with the requirements will be guaranteed.
  • It will be guaranteed that the University of León will be informed of the branch of knowledge in which the PhD student may apply for the Extraordinary Award.
  • The PhD student will submit to the Doctoral School a certified photocopy of the PhD degree issued by the other University.
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