How to finance a Doctorate in France

Funding must often be found before enrolling in a Doctorate. Depending on your situation, your host establishment, your country of origin, a company or the European Union may finance your research project.

The tools indispensable for finding funding

Before looking for doctoral funding, check to see if the doctoral school that you're interested in requires minimum funding before you can enrol. This is especially the case when you are in the natural and technological sciences. The amount is indicated on the school's page in the directory of doctoral schools.

Check the list of possible funding for your Doctorate in the Campus Bourses catalogue. Depending on the case, your Doctorate may be financed by your host establishment, a company or your country or university of origin.

Finally, each year the Association nationale des docteurs (ANDès - the National Association of Doctors) publishes a guide to funding for Doctorates in which you will find additional information concerning funding for your Doctorate.

Doctorates financed by your host establishment

On their Internet sites, doctoral schools, laboratories and research institutes regularly publish proposals for financed thesis subjects. This doctoral funding constitutes the first way for you to find funding for your Doctorate. There are three types:
 

  • Funding from a doctoral fellowship: your doctoral school provides you with 1,400 euros net funding for your Doctorate per month for three years. This is done either through its research budget or as a complement to your own funding. The doctoral fellowship is a work contract specifically for doctoral students, with no age or nationality conditions. It can be renewed twice for one year each time, for a total of 5 years.
     
  • Funding from a contract with a research institute: your research institute (CNES, CNRS, CEA, etc.)  provides you with 1,500 euros net funding for your Doctorate per month.
     
  • Funding from a contract connected to a project financed by the Agence Nationale de Recherche (ANR National Research Agency), at 1400-1500 euros net per month.

Doctorates financed by your country of origin

Some countries have implemented Doctorate funding programmes, such as the Conacyt grants in Mexico, the ProFas B+ programme in Algeria and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) programme in Pakistan. To find out which one is suitable for you, check the list of Doctorate funding programmes or the Campus France office in your country of origin, and also contact your government.

The amount of the grants varies according to the country. It is usually from 900 to 1,500 euros per month. In all cases, check with your doctoral school to make sure that the proposed funding is sufficient. Otherwise, the host laboratory will have to find additional funding for your position.

Further, some French establishments provide 50% of the funding required for a Doctorate, and look for partners willing to pay the remaining 50%.

 financement pour un doctorat, et cherchent des partenaires disposés à payer les 50% restants.

Doctorates financed by a company

In partnership with the Association Nationale de la Recherche et de la Technologie (ANRT - National Research and Technology Association), the CIFRE (Conventions Industrielles de Formation par la Recherche - Industrial Agreements for Training through Research) enables young researchers to be hired by a company or public authority to conduct their research, in conjunction with a university team.

The company or authority then finances your Doctorate via a work contract under private sector law. It provides you with a minimum salary of approximately 1,800 euros net per month for three years. It is a good opportunity to acquire experience in research in a company.

Doctorates financed by the European Union

Established as part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions, the European Joint Doctorate provides funding for 36 months. It is aimed at foreign students who are enrolled in a Doctorate in a European institute of higher education that belongs to a consortium of at least three establishments in three different countries. The funding request must be sent to the coordinating establishment.

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