PhD or HDR thesis latex template files

This page provides a Latex template, and its style and bibligoraphy files, for use in writing you PhD or research direction habilitation (HDR diploma in France) manuscripts. I orginially used this template for my PhD and recently updated it for writing my HDR. Before that, I had been looking for such templates but finally decided to make mine, using as an inspiration many web sites that proposed parts of what I wanted.

I have two versions of the template, each corresponding to a specific language. Here are those two versions (last updated on July 22, 2019):

The second file contains a few specificities for French (modifying styles and some packages including algorithmic thanks to Céline Fouard). Among other things, the template features the following characteristics:

  • Made for A4 paper
  • Chapters and different sections always start on the page on the right
  • Acknowledgment section included in main file
  • Acronyms are handled by the acronyms package and are to be defined in an Acronyms.tex file
  • A title page that fits the used-to-be-in-2007 style required for University of Nice (but that gives an example)
  • Links in the pdf file and bookmarks (hyperref package)
  • Backward links in the bibliography section going to where the references were cited
  • Some environments and commands that were useful for me (vertically centered page, partial derivatives, argmin, bullet list, etc.)
  • Summary of the thesis at the end of the thesis (usually required in France)
  • Use of minitoc (table of contents for each chapter)
  • A bibtex style file modified a little from alpha style (references appear as [Commowick, 2007] which is much easier than numbers for the reader). References with more than two authors appear as [Commowick et al, 2007] and as [AuhtorA & AuthorB, 2007] when there are two authors. An old style file (ThesisStyle.bst) displays only the first last name with many authors).
  • And other things I forgot that you may discover in the formatAndDefs.tex file if you want to have a look.

Each zip file includes several tex files that constitute an example of a PhD, showing what you can expect from the template. If you want to have a look at what a real thesis can look like with this template, see my PhD thesis or my HDR thesis. Other files are (English version, but the French ones are pretty obvious translations of those):

  • Manuscript.tex: Main file, including the chapters, abbreviation list and the acknowledgment section.
  • Acronyms.tex: Example of an acronyms defintion file
  • Chapter1.tex: Example of a chapter
  • Appendix1.tex: Example of an appendix chapter
  • Thesis.bib: references file
  • ThesisStyle.cls: Main style file, largely inspired from book style file
  • formatAndDefs.tex: Most important: Definition of commands, fancy headers, pdf options and various environments
  • ThesisStyle.bst or ThesisStyleWithEtAl.bst: Bibtex style files producing references either as [Commowick, 2007] or as [Commowick et al, 2007], uses names (much more readable and still relatively short), customized either for french or english.
  • TitlePage.tex: Title page, fits the used-to-be-in-2007 style required for University of Nice. This will be a good start for others.

A reminder: I do not guarantee that it will work on every computer with every configuration (it has been used successfully on linux and Mac OS X). It works well with Sublime Text with LatexTools installed for compilation, with an existing installation of Latex of course. Feel free to use, modify or distribute these templates for whatever you want. If you want to acknowledge, do not hesitate to put the link to this website somewhere in your thesis or on your website. If you do not want to acknowledge, no problem do whatever you want.

Frequently asked questions

I have had quite a lot of feedback on this template, and actually it is now generating half of the traffic to this website. I'm really amazed. So because of this high number of visits, I have had some questions and requests for improvements. Therefore, here is now the answers to questions section:

How do I remove the back-references to citation pages in the bibliography?
Simply remove in the file formatAndDefs.tex any reference to pagebackref and recompile.

How do I change the way back-references look like in the bibliography ?
Simply modify in the file formatAndDefs.tex the lines after "nicer backref links" comment (thanks Francois and Vincent for the trick) and recompile.

How to change the page margins?
I used the package geometry to set the document margins for A4 paper. Feel free to change the margins by changing line 5 in formatAndDefs.tex.

How to change the page format?
This might be tricky but the main things to do are to change the margins if needed (see above) and change line 1 of Thesis.tex or These.tex to replace a4paper by a supported paper type in latex (letterpaper and a5paper mainly, see the file StyleThese.cls or ThesisStyle.cls for a full list).

If you did not find your answer in this, or encounter any problem (file missing, compilation not working, idea of something to add), feel free to ask me by email (see my contact page).