Doctoral schools

The Decree of 7 November 2013 defines the landscape of higher education and the academic organisation of studies: the doctorate is a postgraduate degree, doctoral training programmes are supervised by teams associated in thematic doctoral schools  approved by the ARES following the advice of the Academic Thematic Chamber.

There are currently 22 doctoral schools (DSs) per field of study, on a proposal from the F.R.S.-FNRS.

Since 2005, the F.R.S.-FNRS Doctoral School Commission, based on the opinion of the DSs, has accredited around 50 thematic doctoral schools (TDSs) in order to correspond better to the organisation of research and to guarantee quality doctoral training programmes. These TDSs fall under one or more DSs. Only one of them asked for its dissolution, theTDS in Geography in which the doctoral students found sufficient training programmes in other TDSs in the field.

Over the years, the DS Commission has been able to observe, during examination of the activity reports, the progressive professionalisation, standardisation and internationalisation of the work done by the doctoral schools, as well as the fact that the TDSs were at the right scale. The Commission was delighted to note that most schools have integrated doctoral students into their scientific council.

Each year, the F.R.S.-FNRS grants a total budget of approximately €180,000 to support the activities of the DSs and TDSs; the distribution among schools is partly related to the number of doctors trained in the last 5 years.