Generous funding is available to highly qualified students who want to complete part or all of their PhD research in France.

Funding for PhD studies in France

Obtaining funding for doctoral training is often a precondition for admission.

Many doctoral students in France finance their education by means of doctoral contracts with their universities, which are essentially equivalent to individual employment agreements. Doctoral candidates may devote themselves solely to research, or may take on other responsibilities such as teaching or consulting work that provide a higher monthly salary.

Students in scientific and technical disciplines may be funded under a CIFRE agreement (Conventions Industrielles de Formation par la Recherche). These young researchers work in a corporate setting, doing research and development in collaboration with an external research team.

The national research bodies, such as INSERM and CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique), award grants to support the research of doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, often in partnership with France’s regional councils. Such programs usually require co-financing from a research body or corporate entity.

Our helpful PDF about doctoral studies in France provides additional information about funding opportunities to support doctoral study.

 

Short-term funding for research projects

Chateaubriand Scholarships, funded by the Embassy of France in the U.S., provide support to American doctoral students who wish to conduct a research in France for up to 10 months. There are separate scholarships available for students in science, technology and health disciplines, and for those in the humanities and social sciences. Chateaubriand recipients receive a monthly stipend, a round trip ticket to France, and health insurance. The level of French required depends on the criteria of the host institution.

 

CampusBourses – the essential grant search engine

CampusBourses gives you information on financial aid and allows you to search for funding that fits with your needs and academic plans. It contains data on grant and scholarship programs offered by national and local governments, corporations, foundations and higher education institutions. Funding at the doctoral level ranges from short-term grants to scholarships that fund all three years of a full PhD program.