The Doctoral Contract

The doctoral contract is open to all doctoral candidates enrolled in the first year of their dissertation program, regardless of age or nationality.

Created by decree on April 23, 2009, the doctoral contract, which generally runs for a period of three years, offers all the social guarantees of an employment contract under French law.

The responsibilities entrusted to the doctoral candidate under contract may be exclusively limited to research, but they may also include other tasks such as teaching, scientific and technical information, research applications, consulting or assessment tasks for companies or local authorities.

Conditions for awarding PSL doctoral contracts

Awarding doctoral contracts to accredited or jointly accredited doctoral schools
The Doctoral College coordinates the awarding of doctoral contracts to doctoral schools that implement the selection procedures based on a call for applications.
Applicants are selected by a jury generally made up of PSL research professors and external members. In most cases, applicants are interviewed. In addition to confirming the quality of applicant’s education and dissertation topic, these interviews offer a sense of their interest in research and ability to present the benefits of their project.

Call for applications related to formative projects for PSL
Programmes d’Excellence, Interdisciplinary and Strategic Research Initiatives (IRIS)
This call is open to any applicant whose dissertation supervisor is a researcher or research professor at PSL, who will be conducting his or her research in a laboratory under the primary supervision of a PSL member, and who will be enrolled at PSL in one of the doctoral schools accredited or jointly accredited by PSL.
The selection criteria are the significance and innovative nature of the project, the quality of the dissertation supervisor and team, the applicant’s academic background and motivation, and the suitability of the applicant’s background to the project.

Doctoral Contracts for Persons with Disabilities

As part of its policy to support persons with disabilities, the French Ministry for National Education, Higher Education, and Research (MENESR) launchs every year a campaign of doctoral contracts for persons with disabilities. These contracts will be offered to students with disabilities conducting a dissertation project and recognized as eligible under the obligation to hire persons with disabilities.

Find more information about Doctoral Contracts for Persons with Disabilities, and application procedures by clicking here!


Industrial Agreements for Training through Research (CIFRE)

To be hired under a CIFRE, applicants must have earned a Master’s-level diploma within the past three years and be enrolled in a doctoral program; there are no nationality requirements. Requests should be sent to ANRT (the French national association for research and technology).

Under these agreements, doctoral candidates prepare their PhD at a company, where they conduct a research and development program in coordination with a research team outside the company. They sign an employment agreement (permanent or temporary) with the company.

For more information, visit the ANRT website / CIFRE program.

NEW: As part of the program “1000 PhD students for the territories”, and in order to develop the use of the CIFRE device among public or associative actors, a platform for linking the three actors necessary for a CIFRE request (the public actor or associative, the thesis director and the future PhD student) was created.

>> Access the platform


Other Sources of Funding

There are other sources of funding for doctoral candidates provided by research entities, local authorities (particularly at the regional level), foundations, and non-profits.