Être doctorant

Life as a doctoral candidate

A doctoral candidate is a researcher in training. This training is a full-fledged professional experience within a research unit. Doctoral candidates are integrated into this professional environment and participate in the life of their research unit. They have the same rights of access to resources as the research staff of their unit. 

Life as a doctoral candidate

Doctoral candidates carry out a research project under the scientific direction of their thesis director, within a time frame defined when first registering (3 years when full-time). As their work progresses, they gain autonomy and show initiative and creativity. They must regularly inform their thesis director of the progress of their work and any difficulties they encounter. They also learn to position their work in the international scientific context. They participate in discussions with the scientific community and contribute to the life of his doctoral school. 

Doctoral candidates must draw up an individual course plan, aimed at developing their skills, broadening their scientific culture and international outlook and preparing their career development. Throughout their doctoral training, they build up a portfolio of skills. 

Like all researchers, doctoral candidates must understand and respect the operating rules of their research unit, in particular health and safety rules which are set out in the bylaws of the research unit. Doctoral candidates must also follow the principles of ethics and scientific integrity which apply to all facets of the research activity (the development of knowledge, its dissemination, teaching students, expertise and evaluation).

Depending on the scientific field, specific regulations must also be understood and respected (for example, animal experimentation, use of biological material, clinical research, and copyrights).

When employed to carry out research activities, doctoral candidates must be aware of the rights and duties linked to their employment contract, whether under public or private law. Most doctoral candidates employed by universities and public research organisations have signed a doctoral contract. In this case, doctoral candidates then have the status of a non-tenured civil servant. As such, they are bound by the obligation of neutrality and perform their duties in accordance with the principle of secularism by refraining from expressing their religious opinions in the performance of their duties.

  • The fundamental rights and obligations of civil servants
  • Rules and procedures for health and life at work 
  • General principles of private law contracts

Doctoral candidates are represented in several representative bodies, such as laboratory councils, doctoral school councils, faculty councils, the research commission of the academic council, and the commissions of the doctoral college (caesura, commission for the prevention and resolution of conflicts). Their elected representatives are thus able to make the voice of doctoral candidates heard and participate in the institution’s strategic decisions.

How to get prepared for the new academic year 2023-2024

Discover our step-by-step guide to get ready for the start of the new academic year. Learn everything there is to know from the application process to the beginning of the first term.

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Artisans Abroad

Par Fabrice Bensimon

British Migrant Workers in Industrialising Europe, 1815-1870


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The Faculty of Medicine teaches the 3 cycles of medical studies: from PASS (integrated into the faculty) to the 3rd cycle including DES, DESC, DU and DIU. The lessons are given mainly on two sites: Pitié-Salpêtrière and Saint-Antoine. The faculty also provides paramedical education: speech therapy, psychomotricity and orthoptics. The Saint-Antoine site includes a midwifery school.

Study | at the faculty of medicine

One of our riches is the diversity of students and their backgrounds. Sorbonne University is committed to the success of each of its students and offers them a wide range of training as well as support adapted to their profile and their project.

Associative life

One of our riches is the diversity of students and their backgrounds. Sorbonne University is committed to the success of each of its students.

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Welcome to Sorbonne University's Faculty of Science & Engineering

A unique combination of courses and expertise

Our international study programmes are organised according to the major disciplinary areas of the faculty. They represent the graduate study programmes that are not strictly conducted in French or that could be suitable (in part) for non French-speaking students. They also reflect part of the diversity of the disciplines involved and the bi- and inter-disciplinary aspects of many of the courses we offer.


Research & Innovation

We rely on disciplinary skills and on interdisciplinary approaches to renew concepts, methods and research subjects and to focus on some of the crucial issues faced by our societies: transformations affecting the very construction of knowledge (data, AI), the treatment of complex objects (the environment, marine and ocean sciences, cultural heritage) or our contributions to addressing societal challenges (climate change, healthcare).

Study at | The Faculty of Science & Engineering

Our campuses offer different and unique experiences to our students, visitors and staff. Resources and support services are also available to ensure an equal chance at success to all.

Campus Life

In addition to the cultural activities and events organised throughout the year by our clubs and societies, the Parismus society organises numerous events, evenings and cultural visits that will help you discover France and its parisian life.







Sorbonne University's Faculty of Science & Engineering, Oriented towards excellence