PhD Studies

The PhD, a professional research degree

The PhD is a professional research degree, culminating after the viva with the student being awarded the title of Doctor. The research conducted by the student is supervised by the PhD supervisor in a research laboratory that is part of a doctoral school, a French educational structure similar in focus to a graduate school but restricted to PhD level. The PhD student, his/her supervisor, possible co-supervisors, the management of the host research laboratory and the management of the doctoral school mutually commit to the degree via the signing of the PhD charter. The PhD ends with the defence of a thesis constituting the validation of the scientific work that enabled the development and acquisition of knowledge.

This professional experience allows for acquiring the basic skills necessary for working in the industrial or academic sector. Throughout the thesis, the PhD students acquire technical knowledge and highly sought-after skills. These include managing the complexity of a project on both operational and strategic levels, developing in-depth and summary understanding of a problem, learning to take risks, managing problems and issues, developing tenacity, independence and communication skills, as well as maturity related to their ability to call themselves and their work into question.

INSA Lyon is actively involved in the life of eight doctoral schools co-accredited by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, and runs the MEGA (Mechanical Engineering, Energetics, Civil Engineering and Acoustics) and Materials schools.

INSA Lyon draws on the Research excellence of the LyonTech-la Doua campus with 22 recognised laboratories, 18 of which are associated with Public Scientific and Technical Research Establishments (EPST) such as the CNRS, INSERM, INRIA and INRA. The INSA laboratories also draw on their disciplinary and transdisciplinary excellence, and are organised to meet the five structural societal challenges:

• Digital Society and Information
• Energy for a Sustainable Development
• Environment: Natural, Industrial, and Urban Environments
• Global Health and Bioengineering
• Transport:  Structures, Infrastructures, and Mobilities

This Research strategy is based on partnerships and funding at regional, national, European and international levels.