The different types of funding
While the funding necessary to carry out the research project is most often provided by the laboratory, the funding of doctoral students during their doctoral training may have different origins and may take different forms.
The funder, or "financer", is the entity that provides the funding necessary to pay salaries. Examples: the French government supplies funding through universities, local authorities, French research funding agencies, European agencies as well as associations or foundations, companies.
The employer is the institution that receives this funding and signs an employment contract with the doctoral student.
Examples: universities, research organisations and companies.
The reference legal framework for the recruitment of doctoral students in public institutions is the doctoral contract. It guarantees a 3-year fixed-term employment contract and a minimum salary fixed at national level. It allows higher education institutions and public research organisations to recruit doctoral students under a single status, regardless of the funding sources.
Contracted doctoral students benefit from most of the provisions relating to non-tenured civil servants, in particular as regards leave, coverage for work-related accidents, ongoing education, rules on dismissal and resignation. The doctoral contract comes with a 2-month probationary period.
The doctoral contract provides for the possibility of devoting 1/6 of the working time to a complementary mission (teaching, expertise in a company or local authority, dissemination of research or scientific information). The doctoral contract is governed by the decree of 29 August 2016.
Some funders, especially foreign ones, do not agree to pay their funding to an employer in higher education and research institutions and therefore fund doctoral students directly, mostly in the form of scholarships. When the amount of these scholarships is lower than the minimum required by the doctoral school, the research unit can supplement the funding from its credits by a Specific Aid for Doctoral Student Scholarship (ASDB).
Apply for funding
Sorbonne University offers different funding opportunities to start a doctoral course in one of its doctoral schools.
Each doctoral school organises an annual recruitment campaign during which it awards doctoral contracts to candidates to carry out their doctoral research project. Information on the award procedures is described in the internal rules and regulations and on the website of each doctoral school.
The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation's "disability doctorate" campaign offers doctoral contracts to candidates presenting a thesis project and benefiting from the recognition of the status of disable worker (RQTH). The aim of this policy is to encourage these candidates to continue their studies at doctoral level. Fourth-year funding is also possible.
Those who are eligible for this type of funding, should see the text of the 2020 Campaign.
Each year, the Sorbonne University doctoral college launches calls for applications for doctoral contracts in the framework of interdisciplinary programmes and the Science, Humanities and Management programme.
Interdisciplinary doctoral programs
- Interfaces for Living beings (IPV)
- Artificial Intelligence SCAI
- Initiative and Institutes
Science, Humanities and Management Programme
Sorbonne University has set up doctoral level collaborations with various institutions around the world. Some of them include funding.
Some of the doctoral research projects for which applicants can apply benefit from funding (national, European, contract with a company...) obtained by the research unit which allows the conclusion of a doctoral contract.
Consult the websites of our research units.
Companies can recruit doctoral students within the framework of a collaborative project with a research unit at the Sorbonne University, in particular thanks to a state-subsidised scheme: the CIFRE (industrial agreement for training through research).