How do I access to PhD?

Are you interested in doing a PhD?

If you are curious about/interested in doing a PhD, you need to

  • identify a scientific field in which you would like to do research
  • identify a laboratory and a potential thesis supervisor.

Do not hesitate to talk quickly to a teacher-researcher in your area (e.g. the person in charge of your course or internship), who will be able to provide you with information and guidance, as well as pointing you in the right direction.


Most doctoral students are paid for their research, and their employment contract is known as a “doctoral contract”. There are many sources of funding for this. Here are just a few examples.

Ministerial funding is obtained through a competition, under the responsibility of a doctoral school.

  • Each year, the Ministry allocates funding to each university, specifically for doctoral studies.
  • The laboratories propose subjects, which are generally published between March and June on the dedicated section of the doctoral school websites.
  • Finally, the doctoral schools validate the recruitment of the chosen doctoral students.
  • Contact the doctoral school for your scientific discipline to find out the precise recruitment procedures.
  • Recruitment is often based on
    • Master’s degree/engineering school curriculum
    • Mastery of the M2 research project / engineering school final year project
  •  Current monthly salary: €2044 gross (rising to €2100 gross in 2024, then €2200 gross in 2025, and finally €2300 gross in 2026).

Other organisations provide funding for researchers (Regions, CEA, CNRS, associations, etc.).

  • Researchers are responsible for recruiting PhD students (with approval from the Doctoral School):
  • Recruitment is often based on :
    • Master’s degree/engineering school curriculum
    • Mastery of M2 research project / engineering school final year project
  • The current monthly remuneration is similar to that of a ministerial doctoral contract.

The CIFRE Contract (Convention Industrielle de Formation par la Recherche – Industrial Agreement for Research Training)

The aim of a CIFRE is to encourage the development of public-private research partnerships and to place PhD students in non-academic employment conditions. It is based on the following principle:

  • A company governed by French law recruits a graduate with a 5-year postgraduate qualification on a permanent or fixed-term contract to carry out a research assignment. The work will form the subject of the doctoral thesis.
  • The PhD student will also be supervised by an academic research laboratory and enrolled in the doctoral school to which the laboratory belongs.

The starting salary is at least €24,529.44 gross per year. Successive increases in this gross annual amount are planned as follows: in 2024: €25,200; in 2025: €26,400; in 2026: €27,600.

Please note: it is often possible to change the subject of your master’s or engineering internship in a company to the subject of your Cifre PhD research project. If you are interested in a PhD, make sure you tell your colleagues in industry!

Find out more on the page of this website dedicated to the Cifre.

Some resource sites for finding thesis offers: