Survey

General
  • id
  • username
  • 2009-06-15
  • France
  • Université Stendhal Grenoble
  • Elisabeth Lavault-olléon
  • Head of translation studies’master prog,
  • Yves Gambier
  • I will answer for my institution but the French system being quite centralized (at least up to now), the system is quite similar in most universities
Structure
  • I am the only professor of translation studies in my university, so the doctoral degree has to fit in with existing categories: it can be either “Etudes Anglophones”(if the topic only deals with French-English-French translation) or in “Sciences du langage – Traductologie” (for transversal or multilingual topics)
  • officially 3 years for a doctoral thesis (eq phD), but in practice, students can ask for more years – the average is around 5 years.
  • There is a possibility of “co-tutelle” but quite complicated to put into practice.
Admission
  • five years : 3 y BA + 2 y MA (master’s degree including research work)
  • The MA has to be in a field similar or close to the field covered by the thesis : so primarily for us : Master in Traduction spécialisée (but also possible : any other Master in applied languages or linguistics which includes prior research work in translation studies)
  • The topic has first to be discussed and accepted by the professor who will supervise the thesis, then the project has to be submitted to the “Ecole doctorale” of the university and accepted by the President (after being reviewed by a group from different fields – who check the student’s project and adequation between topic and supervisor’s competence).
  • we have few candidates… selection is based on academic achievement in BA and MA + ability to expose and discuss the topic to be chosen + motivation + interest of the topic…
  • Very hard to get academic funding… my doctorate students all have a professional activity (translation…) to sustain themselves. Academic funding always goes to more acknowledged fields, such as…. literature…. Our research group helps them finance a few missions.
Programme
  • Doctorate students are required to attend a number of lectures by top national or international academics and workshops on research methodology (taking place during two specific weeks in the year).as well as seminars or conferences in their research fields in order to get 20 ECTS.
  • Concerning translation studies, they are required to attend the master’s course if they haven’t attended before and encouraged to go to a few international seminars/conferences a year.
  • local conferences are organized by research groups to enable doctorate students to give papers.
  • the thesis has to be written in French and must develop a specific topic including field work / survey or corpus-based work. (it cannot only be based on articles)
  • The graduate school informs students about opportunities for mobility, there are some, depending on topics and countries.
Supervision
  • It has to be a full professor at the university which will deliver the degree. There is a “charte des thèses” which defines the role of the supervisor and other details.
  • Usually one supervisor only, but joint supervision is encouraged (if several languages or if a very specific field are involved)
  • It’s up to the supervisor to set a schedule in order to meet with the student regularly and monitor his /her work.
Assessment
  • ). When the supervisor accepts the finished work, two external reviews must be obtained in order to allow the final defense, which is publicly held in front of a jury of 5. The jury may recommend publication, as it is, with minor changes, or not. Grades are as follows (there is a vote by the jury)
    -Honorable
    -très honorable
    -très honorable avec felicitations
  • As far as I know, articles are highly welcome (not compulsory) and a copy of the thesis is held in the Fichier central des thèses
Other
  • translation studies is not well recognized as a field and is often a cover-up for purely literary theses (traductologie). Very few theses are defended in specialist translation or deal with professional translation, which is a pity (there are too few supervisors in this field: most people teaching specialist or professional translation are not professors). So funding is hard to get and this discourages students. I think it is very worrying for the future generation: we need theses on translation and technology for instance, done by linguists and translators, not computer scientists only!
    -A network setting up international doctoral seminars in translation studies would be of great help, especially for isolated people like me, providing students could afford it or get funding for it! So I greatly favour your initiative!