Financing your PhD and Find a Thesis Subject

Doctorat - Sujets et financements
There are multiple sources of funding for a PhD. Here are some of the most important. Some funding is associated with thesis subjects. Do not hesitate to ask your Doctoral School for more information.

Find a Thesis Subject (non-exhaustive list)

The Doctoral Contract

Since the Decree of April 23, 2009, the doctoral contract is the legal framework of reference for the recruitment of doctoral students. Concluded for a period of three years, the doctoral contract provides all the social guarantees of a real employment contract in accordance with public law. It sets a minimum monthly salary that allows doctoral students to devote themselves to their research work: 1,684.93 euros gross if the contractual doctoral student does only research; 2,024.70 euros gross if he or she does additional activities, such as teaching.
The doctoral contract is offered to PhD students, whether they are recruited by public institutions of higher education or research organizations. Each year, research organizations (CEACNRSInriaInserm,  Inrae  etc.) finance PhD students.

CIFRE Thesis

Set up by the "Association Nationale de la Recherche Technologique (ANRT)", the "Convention Industrielle de Formation par la Recherche" (CIFRE) is a mechanism that allows a PhD student, attached to a research laboratory, to carry out his/her thesis while being paid by a private company. The company recruits the doctoral student on a permanent contract or a three-year fixed-term contract. It entrusts him/her with a research project, the subject of his/her thesis, and pays him/her a minimum gross annual salary of 23,484 euros (1,957 euros/month). The company receives an annual grant of €14,000 from the ANRT for 3 years.

Research contracts

Laboratories can finance theses from their own resources obtained within the framework of research contracts with one (or more) private partners. The partner then entrusts the university concerned with the realization of a well-defined research service due to the recognized competences of the laboratory. The partner finances the project, including the personnel costs, i.e. the possible recruitment of a PhD student.
This type of financing is generally specified in the thesis proposal.

French Government Scholarships

Each year, the French government grants scholarships to students wishing to pursue all or part of their higher education studies in France in institutions of higher education authorized to award national diplomas. For doctoral studies, preference is given to co-directed or co-supervised theses.

Other Funding

Many foundations, associations, private or public institutions, finance the research work of PhD students in issues that concern them.
Published on  January 21, 2021
Updated on April 17, 2023