The monitoring committee, a strategic body for doctoral students



Created in 2016, the Individual Monitoring Committee (CSI) is both a forum for discussion and scientific advice for doctoral students and a tool for preventing conflicts and harassment. He“ensures the smooth running of the course (…). He evaluates (…) the conditions of his training and the progress of his research. It makes recommendationsstipulates on the one hand the decree of May 25, 2016. It also ensures “to prevent any form of conflict, discrimination or harassment”.

The modalities of its composition are entrusted to the doctoral schools. The thesis director cannot be part of it but, in fact, one sometimes finds his friends or close colleagues there, thus reducing the independence of the CSI. “This clearly poses a problem of conflict of interest, because the CSI has a strong advisory role and can give an opinion, favorable or not to the continuation of the thesis”, underlines Adèle B. Combes, author of the book How the university grinds young researchers (Ed. Otherwise). Moreover, if the members of the CSI are scientifically competent, they are not trained in conflict management and management. However, the correction of this defect does not seem to be on the agenda. On the contrary, a draft decree drawn up by the General Directorate for Higher Education and Professional Integration (DGESIP) of the Ministry of Higher Education, to which The cross has had access, reinforces the role of evaluation and sanction of the CSI. This decree could thus entrust it with the tasks of evaluating doctoral students before they enroll in the second year and of issuing an opinion on their ability to continue their thesis or not. Previously, this notice was only given from the third year of registration.

“There is a risk of moving from a CSI aimed at helping doctoral students to a body whose goal will be first of all to assess and sanction. And this, from the second year of the thesis, which will not help to start his first year of research serenely, when it takes time to appropriate a subject and build an object of study., regrets Karim (1), postdoctoral fellow in the humanities and social sciences, who also points to the desire to reduce the duration of theses to align with what is practiced abroad. Furthermore, worries Karim, “one can wonder if the CSIs will be able to play their official role of preventing discrimination: if they are responsible for issuing an opinion on the continuation of the thesis, one can fear that the doctoral students will not really want to go explain their possible problems. » When contacted, the DGESIP did not respond to questions from The cross. His draft decree, still confidential, is under discussion with certain university organisations. It is part of the research programming law (LPR) of 2020, which offers the possibility of carrying out your thesis entirely in a company, thanks to a “doctoral contract of private law”, without connection with a university or a public research organization.

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