Policy HDR Cotutelle Agreement Procedure

HDR Cotutelle Agreement Procedure

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This procedure elaborates the Higher Degree Research (HDR) Requirements and specifies the procedure for establishing a Cotutelle Agreement.


These requirements apply to candidates for the higher degrees by research offered by JCU who wish to their degree to be granted by both JCU and another tertiary institution through a Cotutelle Agreement.


Terms mentioned in this document and not defined here are defined in the Policy Glossary in the Learning and Teaching domain of the University Policy Library, and in the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Requirements and the standard JCU Cotutelle Agreement.

Cotutelle: a formal agreement between James Cook University and another university based (usually in another country) that enables a HDR candidate to be enrolled in a higher degree by research at both institutions concurrently, where degree, once completed is granted by both institutions.

Partner Institution: the other tertiary institution with which the Agreement is made.


  1. The assumption for Cotutelle Agreements is that prior to initiating this procedure, the Cotutelle information resources have been read and understood including the Foreign Interference Notification procedure. The Procedure applies to foreign arrangements entered into by staff of the University while engaged in University business or otherwise representing the University with a foreign government or a foreign university that lacks institutional autonomy. It also assumes that there have been preliminary conversations and in principle agreement between the HDR Candidate and the Advisory Panel at JCU and at the Partner Institution, that a Cotutelle Agreement will be established.
  2. For JCU to enter into a Cotutelle Agreement with a Partner Institution for a HDR Candidate, the Candidate must be a current HDR Candidate or have submitted an application to become a HDR Candidate at JCU as per the HDR Application Procedure.If the candidate has started their candidature they should be in their first year.
  3. To initiate the process of establishing a cotutelle agreement between JCU and a Partner Institution, the Candidate and the JCU Advisory Panel should complete the relevant sections of the Schedule of the JCU Standard Cotutelle Agreement.  Where there is a current cotutelle agreement already in place with the Partner institution, the schedule part of the agreement is the only part that needs to be completed and sent to the GRS.staff@jcu.edu.au
  4. Once completed the JCU Standard Cotutelle Agreement should be sent to the Advisory Panel of the Partner Institution for the purposes of their ensuring that the agreement is acceptable to the Partner Institution.  This may involve the legal team at the Partner Institution.  It is important to note that changes cannot be made to the body of the agreement, and if the Partner Institution wishes to make amendments to any clauses in the body of the agreement, this should be noted in the Schedule of the agreement.  It should also be noted that the Partner Institution may prefer to use their own agreement rather than the JCU Standard Cotutelle Agreement but this would not be our preference and will add to the processing time at JCU’s end because we may have to involve the JCU legal team.
  5. The Partner Institution must then send the Cotutelle agreement (either JCU’s which is preferable, or their own) to grs.staff@jcu.edu.au and the Candidate and Advisory Panel at JCU.
  6. Upon receiving the agreement the GRS will have a preliminary conversation with the Advisory Panel at JCU, then ensure that the agreement in its current form is acceptable to JCU.  This may involve the JCU legal team.
  7. If the agreement is not acceptable to JCU the GRS will negotiate the terms of the agreement with the appropriate person at the Partner Institution. This can be a lengthy process depending on the nature of the terms being negotiated.
  8. Once the terms of the agreement are acceptable to both JCU and the Partner Institution, the agreement must be signed.  JCU will accept digital signatures unless the Partner Institution requires signatures on hard copies.  If hard copies are required, the two universities will decide which university will commence the signatures and that university will print two hard copies and obtain signatures from that institution.  The hard copies must then be sent to the other university for signatures, following which one copy will be sent back to the university from which the hard copies originated.
  9. Once the Cotutelle Agreement has been finalized and the HDR Candidate has been enrolled, the Graduate Research School will:
    • Notify the Candidate and JCU Advisory Panel that the agreement has been finalised.
    • Advise International Student Finance that the Candidate is under a Cotutelle Agreement so that tuition fees are not charged.
    • In the Student Management System in the “Student Comment” screen add a “CTT” comment and the name of the Partner Institution.
    • Add a Cotutelle “flag” (once available)
  10. A HDR Candidate enrolled under a Cotutelle Agreement must comply with the HDR Requirements of JCU and all subsidiary procedures including entry requirements, course milestones and thesis examination, except where variations to this are specifically made in the Cotutelle Agreement.
  11. The terms of the Cotutelle Agreement and its schedule must be adhered to.
  12. The thesis written by a Candidate enrolled under a Cotutelle Agreement must be in English except where written approval by the Dean, Graduate Research at JCU was obtained and this detail was included in the Cotutelle Agreement.
  13. Before the examination of the thesis of a Candidate who is enrolled under a Cotutelle Agreement, it is important to check the agreement for any clauses specific to thesis examination which vary from JCU’s HDR Thesis Submission and Examination Procedure, as is often the case for international thesis examinations.
  14. Once the degree has been completed the testamur (and AHEGS once amended) will make reference to the degree being completed as a consequence of a Cotutelle Agreement and the name of the Partner Institution.

Related policy instruments



NOTE: Printed copies of this procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy Domain

Research Education

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research

Approval Authority

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research

Date for next Major Review

April 2023

Revision History

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date


21-1 3/8/2021 4/8/2021 Revised 





Contact person

Dean, Graduate Research