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 candidates 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 candidate.

Examples: universities, research organisations and companies.

The reference legal framework for the recruitment of doctoral candidates 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 candidates under a single status, regardless of the funding sources.

Contracted doctoral candidates 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 candidates 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 candidates 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).


Discover our courses catalog


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.

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.

21 393


17 527



Doctors in medecine and research


Research centers


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