Some 40 students, in various disciplines, are studying for their PhDs at LEST, supervised by career researchers or university lecturer/researchers. Students can study for PhDs in sociology, management and economics. Most PhDs involve at least two of these disciplines. Some ten foreign students are studying for their PhDs at LEST, either staying for the whole of the programme or spending some time at LEST as part of a joint supervision arrangement with their universities. The topic of each PhD is discussed and then drawn up with the member of staff who will supervise it. It must fall within the scope of the Institute’s academic agenda. Each PhD should be completed within 3 years, 4 at most. The language is generally French, but theses can also be written and submitted in English (or in another language if the PhD is being jointly supervised and submitted in a foreign student’s own university). An overview of existing partnership arrangements and details of some of the PhDs currently in progress or recently completed can be viewed in the ‘International Partnerships’ section.
LEST attaches great importance to its doctoral students and allocates considerable resources to them. Apart from the Institute’s facilities (offices, library and documentation, IT support and access to data bases, assistance to attend conferences), the doctoral programme makes use of two tools to monitor and support students.
The supervisory committees : in a PhD student’s first year, his or her supervisor, in agreement with the student, sets up a supervisory committee consisting of two experts in the relevant area, who may be members of LEST but may also come from outside the Institute and the two doctoral schools concerned. This committee meets at least once a year. It discusses the progress of the PhD and offers advice on completing the research, finishing the thesis ‘on time’ and post-PhD career plans.
The doctoral seminar series : these seminars are conceived as a tool for providing training in research by encouraging exchanges between PhD students and established researchers. Once a month, a researcher from outside LEST is invited to present a paper that has not yet, or only recently, been published. At the same time, the doctoral students (two per session in theory) distribute a paper presenting a stage in their PhDs. Before an audience of LEST researchers, the guest speaker presents his or her work, which is commented on by the two doctoral students. They then present their papers, which are discussed by the guest speakers and another doctoral student.
To prepare an application : get in touch by e-mail with the member of the Institute’s staff who seems to you best suited to supervising your planned thesis (discipline, topic), attaching a detailed CV and a draft outline of the topic you are considering for your PhD.