Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programs

Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programs aim to develop and support research areas that go beyond the disciplinary scope of a single doctoral school (DS). In particular, they make it possible to provide an appropriate response to societal issues, which are essentially interdisciplinary in nature, and they support the development of the Sorbonne University's multidisciplinary thematic Institutes. These Programs contribute to the development of a community of young researchers trained in the frontiers of knowledge and disciplines. The doctoral candidates recruited to these programs are under the aegis of, and monitored by, the doctoral school that their thesis director is affiliated to. They have access to specific courses offered by the doctoral program and, once they graduate, can join any socio-economic sector.
The selection procedure has two stages:

  • Pre-selection of doctoral research projects by the program’s scientific committee. Only projects validated by the doctoral schools are examined by the program. 
  • Posting pre-selected projects online. Students’ applications to these projects are heard by a jury of experts before final doctoral contracts are awarded.
Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programs

Artificial intelligence (AI) has entered a new era, driven by the rise of machine learning, the appearance of new algorithms, the exponential increase in computing power and the growing accessibility of varied data sources. AI is no longer just a research program confined to laboratories or to a specific application: it is becoming one of the keys to the world of the future, determining our ability to organise knowledge, give it meaning and increase our decision-making capabilities.

This doctoral program supports research projects in the field of AI in the broadest sense, particularly in the fields of mathematics, computer science, robotics, medicine/health, climate, environment, the universe and digital humanities. Special attention is given to collaborative projects involving a thesis supervisor and a co-supervisor of complementary AI disciplines (fundamental aspects and applications).


The ambition of the doctoral program Interfaces for Life (IPV) is to generate innovative research at the interfaces with life sciences. The whole of Sorbonne University is involved in this program, which will rely on the different disciplines as well as on its major institutes. 

This program is aimed at studies at the interface with the life sciences, ranging from fundamental biology to more applied aspects connected to health, but upstream from clinical research. In order to promote synergy between disciplines, a co-direction of the thesis is required. For the 2022 call for proposals, the program office has decided to renew a broad call for proposals without a priority theme.

The scientific committee of the program is composed of researchers and academic researchers from different disciplines: A. Lambert (mathematics, LPSM, SU), I. Callebaut (bioinformatics, IMPMC, SU), D. Higuet (genetics, evolution, ISYEB, MNHN), R. Moumné (chemistry, LBM, SU), C. Venyen-Bryan (biology, IMPMC, SU), P. Grellier (biology, ecology, MCAM, MNHN), J.- F Allemand (physics, LPENS-ENS, SU), G. Debregeas (physics, LJP, SU), C. Ménager (PHENIX, SU).

The person in charge of the IPV doctoral program is Christine Ménager.
The jury for the auditions is constituted each year in agreement with the directors of the doctoral schools (ED). All the ED presenting one or more candidates to the program are represented in this jury.

The process engineering doctoral program supports multidisciplinary research projects that include a component in the field of process engineering, ranging from fundamental research to its applications, including technological applications. Process engineering covers in particular the exploitation of elementary processes and their coupling in order to control the properties of use of a given final product, the methods of dimensioning, design and management of production tools and transformation of matter and energy.

Process engineering includes many disciplines present at Sorbonne University: chemistry, biochemistry, physics and engineering, which are all concerned. In terms of applications of process engineering, this covers the fields of energy (energy control and conversion, renewable energies), sustainable development (life cycle analysis, risk control), bioprocesses and health, water and effluent treatment, agri-food, deposits and surface treatments, catalysis.

  • Contact
  • Selected projects
  • Results (after doctoral candidate auditions - May 21)

The challenges of research in the field of cancer are polymorphous and focus not only on understanding of the processes of carcinogenesis and resistance to specific treatments, epidemiological and even societal issues.

The objective of the doctoral program in oncology, with the support of the Sorbonne University Institute of Oncology (IUC), is to create synergy between the actors of Sorbonne University involved in research, teaching and the care of cancer patients and to promote the emergence of a dedicated research community within Sorbonne University.

The doctoral program in oncology offers two doctoral contracts in order to support any innovative research project that will improve prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, care and/or personalized follow-up of patients.

Conditions of eligibility

In order to promote synergy between research teams and also between disciplines (sciences and engineering, humanities and social sciences, medicine), a co-direction of the thesis will be required. In addition, the thesis director must be affiliated with a laboratory under the supervision of Sorbonne University. Co-directions with a foreign partner are possible in the framework of a cotutelle. The projects must be validated by the Sorbonne University doctoral school to which the principal applicant belongs.

  • Contact
  • Selected projects (from May 12)
  • Results (expected on June 1st - after the audition of the candidates - May 28th)

The digitization of society and its cultural heritage raises new research questions in the humanities and social sciences and offers opportunities for interdisciplinary approaches. These opportunities require openness to new ways of doing things, integration with known approaches, and an institutional context that provides the means and technical skills to carry out the work properly.

This doctoral program supports research projects in the humanities and social sciences that wish to use computer tools to study digital fields; to collect, explore, analyze, annotate or publish digital and digitized corpora. Such projects can be technically and methodologically supported by the CERES service unit (Centre d'expérimentation en méthodes numériques pour les recherches en Sciences Humaines et Sociales) of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Sorbonne University.

Particular attention will be paid to projects that raise complex or novel methodological issues, and posing questions that unify several disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

Conditions of eligibility (for doctoral thesis directors)

  • The thesis director must be affiliated with a laboratory that is a member of the Sorbonne University Alliance. The co-direction of a thesis with a foreign partner is possible within the framework of a co-supervision.
  • Projects must be validated by the doctoral school (ED) to which the thesis director belongs.
  • The doctoral program is open to all laboratories attached to one of the EDs co-accredited by one of the members of the Sorbonne University Alliance. The doctoral students recruited by the program are attached to the ED of their thesis director, who manages them like any other doctoral student (registration, individual training plan, defense, etc.).

Selection of projects and candidate auditions

Only Doctoral Research Projects (DRP) validated by the EDs can be examined by the program, which will then carry out a pre-selection of the DRP.

The attribution of doctoral contracts will then be based on an audition of the candidates. The adequacy of the project-candidate will be evaluated by a jury, which will include as members of the directors of the program and at least one representative of each ED concerned.