The supervisory potential within the 12 Doctoral Schools (DS) of Aix-Marseille Université (AMU) is significant. It represents more than 2500 qualified (HDR) researchers and professors, affiliated to one of the 12 DSs and working in one of the 137 research laboratories and teams within and outside AMU.

The doctoral thesis is prepared in a DS, within an accredited research unit or team as a host laboratory or team affiliated to the DS, under the scientific responsibility of an HDR thesis director, assisted if necessary by an HDR or possibly non-HDR co-director, affiliated to the DS, who shares this responsibility at 50%. The thesis director is responsible for supervising the doctoral candidate for the duration of the thesis.

The duration of the thesis, defined by the Ministerial Order of 25 May 2016, is generally 3 years of full-time equivalent dedicated to research. In other cases, the duration of preparation for a doctorate may not exceed 6 years.

At the time of the first thesis registration, an individual training agreement is signed by the doctoral candidate and his/her thesis director. In addition, an individual doctoral candidate follow-up committee is set up. Its role is to oversee the smooth progress of the thesis.