My thesis will be evaluated by a French researcher who has the academic degree of HDR, meaning he is habilitated and is therefore allowed to evaluate theses. But now I want to write his name with the correct academic title, and I have trouble finding anything about how this is usually done in France.

In Germany, a professor gets the title "Prof.", but since he also has a doctorate, the proper way to write the title is "Prof. Dr.", so a professor called Angela Scholz will be Prof. Dr. Angela Scholz.

I have never seen a similar way of writing the title of someone with an HDR. It seems to me that it is not common to refer to someone by their academic title in France. All information I could find was on the different academic degrees/ranks, but not about how they translate into academic titles.

I need to write the names of my professors on the final title page of my thesis. It currently looks like this:


  1. Prof. Dr. Angela Scholz

  2. Prof. Dr. Helmut Schröder

  3. Emmanuel Trudeau, HDR

I worry that this is the wrong way to do it, and I'd rather not have a large intercultural faux pas on my first page of the thesis. So how should I write this reviewer's name correctly?


Assuming he also has the grade of professeur, that might be something like:

M. Emmanuel Trudeau, Professeur, HDR, Université de Paris I

Otherwise, that might be:

M. Emmanuel Trudeau, Maître de conférence, HDR, Université de Paris I

M. Emmanuel Trudeau, Docteur en 'Pataphysique, HDR, Université de Paris I


As far as I know, the HDR is an additionnal degree in French universities that allows a researcher to evaluate thesis and to be candidate to become a professor. He must therefore have a PhD (or equivalent) but he does not have the grade of Professor. Therefore I would suggest :

Dr. Emmanuel Trudeau

Indeed, this would be consistent with the other members of the jury. He wouldn't be HDR if he was not Dr., but you cannot say that he is Pr. . Furthermore, he would not be in your jury if he was not HDR and HDR grade is quite specific to French universities (I'm a Belgian scientist, and we don't have this intermediate grade either), so it might not be necessary to mention it (but you could add it after the name if you are unsure).

Finally, I would suggest that you simply ask M. Trudeau about his preference (and then add his answer on french SE). There is nothing wrong with this kind of question.

  • In France, we only use “Dr Machin” for medical doctors. For a PhD doctor, we just say ”M. Machin“ or “Mme Machin”. – Gilles Sep 11 at 21:02
  • Thank you for your comment. But if I understand well it is about giving a title to someone with a PhD and HDR degree on the first page of the dissertation that is presented in Germany. If the dissertation is presented in France, it would be different. – radouxju Sep 12 at 7:44
  • @radouxju Knowing how to give a title to a Frenchman in a section written in English belonging to a dissertation that is going to be presented in Germany is challenging... – jlliagre Sep 12 at 22:01

A complementary answer based on my experience.

In fact, I have posted a relevant question

Translate academic titles (lecturer, assistant and associate professor, tenure track, instructor)

for academic titles. Based on the comment feedback I consulted academia.stackexchange.com


Actually, the replies received helped me to post an answer to my own question:-)! You can give a try there (i.e academia).

See also the webpages https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habilitation and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_ranks_in_France.

In German habilitation exists:

Priv.-Doz. and/or Dr. habil (see also Junior Professor).

In English, I guess, depending on the experience, we can interpret it as

Senior Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor.

You could also leave it as it is. At least in my field of study (mechanics of materials) the French Academic titles are more or less well known abroad (i.e. outside of France). Hence,

Jim Dupont, Maître de conférences, Habilitation à diriger des recherches, (possibly accompanied by the translation "accreditation to supervise research") Nowhere University.


Jim Papas, Chargé de recherche (CR1), HdR, CNRS.


Certains pouvant effectivement être susceptibles, la meilleure solution est sans doute de suivre le conseil de radouxju, (lui demander), mon opinion (que je crois partagée par beaucoup) est que le plus important est de faire état de sa fonction relativement à ton travail, et que cela soit précisé au tout début du document. (En général, juste après le titre)

En l'occurrence, si tu dis que cette personne va évaluer ta thèse il est, relativement à ton travail : Directeur de thèse.

J'écrirais donc :

Directeur de thèse : Thomas d'Aquin

(Voire Directeur tout court.) Sans mention d'aucun titre universitaire. Si la personne nommée est directeur de thèse, ses titres sont implicites.

Le cas peut être particulier s'il est Allemand.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.