How to finance your Doctorat (PhD)
If you wish to start Doctorat studies in France, several financing options are possible. Your Doctoral School may have defined a minimum financing amount required to allow you to register. You will find the amount on the description sheet of your Doctoral School in the directory.
Below is a list of subsidies for Doctoral courses on our dedicated engine on Campus Bourses.
The Doctoral Contract: a contractual status with the government
The Doctoral contract is a working contract dedicated to Doctoral students. No particular age or nationality is required. It lasts for 3 years and can be renewed for one additional year. The contract sets the object and duration of the mission given to the Doctoral student and the nature of activities to carry out, and it gives right to holidays and leaves, and to seniority of the employees under contract with the French government.
The wage of Doctoral students exclusively committed (1,360€/month free of charge) is inferior to the wage of those who have other tasks, such as teaching, science popularization or expertise mission (1,640€/month free of charge).
Those are minimum wages, and institutions may pay more depending on their recruitment objectives and the profile of Doctoral students recruited.
Contracts linked to a research project
You may be employed to carry out your Doctorate under a private law working contract (CDD), for Contrat à Durée Déterminée, or Contract with Limited Duration), particularly under the financing of the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (French National Agency for Research), of a region or the UE Commission.
Industrial Conventions of Training through Research (CIFRE)
The CIFRE (for Conventions Industrielles de Formation par la Recherche) allow young researchers to work under the Doctorate in a company or a local authority leading a research and development programme, in collaboration with an external university research team. If you are employed by a company under a private law working contract (CDD or CDI), the minimum wage is about 1,600€/month free of charge.
Thesis scholarships for foreign Doctoral students
Many foreign governments offer scholarships to their citizens who wish to continue a Doctoral degree abroad. The amount of the scholarships is defined by the subsiding authorities. In any case, check out with your Doctoral School if the amount received is enough.
International joint supervision of thesis
International joint supervision of thesis is monitored by a convention between two higher education institutions: one in France and the other abroad. It allows the Doctoral student to prepare his/her thesis in his/her home country and in France under specific conditions:
- Doctoral students carry out their work under the supervision of a thesis director in each country;
- The preparation of the thesis is carried out in successive periods between each institution;
- The language of the thesis is defined by the convention;
- The thesis leads to one thesis defence, but the Doctoral students will be granted with two degrees or one joint degree.
Even though the joint supervision of thesis is not a way to finance a Doctoral degree per se, it can be joined with an additional subsidy.