Grants: how can you finance your PhD thesis?

There are different possibilities for financing your PhD thesis:

– The Single PhD Contract from the Ministry of Higher Education and Research

The Ministry has just modified and eased the previous PhD funding procedures, such as the research and monitor’s allocation. It is a three year employment contract, renewable for one year, without limitation of age, or the need to have defended a Master’s dissertation within the year.

The novelty of the Single PhD Contract is that it provides a legal framework structured independently of the source of the funds used to remunerate the employee. Up to now, funding schemes were intrinsically linked to the funding body, whether the State, local authorities, administrations, associations, companies, etc.

Two types of contract are offered: full-time research; 5/6 research -1/6 teaching.

Every year the Doctoral School EPIC organises a competitive audition at the end of June for each of the contracts it offers.

For more information:

– The Single PhD Contract –Rhône-Alpes Region

This is a regional version of the single PhD Contract. However, there are two differences: it is the region that funds the contract and the doctoral school which recruits, via a research director, on the basis of predefined subjects that respond to specific needs.

For more information: realisation-de-la-these

– The CIFRE Contract, Industrial Convention of Education through Research

– This scheme provides for a three party contract between the PhD student, the Ministry of Research and Higher Education and a company for a period of three years.

The CIFRE places the PhD student at the heart of the structure (all companies subject to French law, including associations) in the framework of research in collaboration with a public laboratory. The aim for the company is to benefit from the PhD student’s expertise in a specific domain, while it provides the student with their first significant professional experience (contract for a fixed term of three years). The works performed by the student in the field and with the laboratory will result in the completion and defence of a thesis during the three year period. There is no age limit, applicants must be Master’s graduates.

This scheme is implemented under the control of the ANRT (Association Nationale Recherche-Technologie). For more information:

– The ATER contract

The ATER contract (ATER is the French acronym for Temporary Education and Research Agent), can be obtained starting from the third year of the PhD program. It permits the student to teach while preparing for a thesis or for recruitment for higher education through a competitive exam, once the PhD has been obtained. The PhD student must provide the equivalent of 192 hours of teaching-tutorials a year.

For more information:

– The French language university agency

It offers grants to foreign students from French speaking countries who wish to pursue a PhD program in a French university. This association covers 94 countries and about 800 higher education establishments.

For more information: