Funding a thesis

Funding is mandatory for a thesis and is the main responsibility of the host team and more specifically of the Thesis Supervisor.

Remuneration for a PhD candidate may come from various sources. For example:

  • Doctoral contracts from public higher education or research establishments (published in the official French Republic bulletin on 25 April 2009)
  • PhD candidate contracts with research bodies: CNRS, ADEME, CEA, etc.
  • PhD candidate contracts from regional authorities (Regions first and foremost)
  • CIFREs (Industrial Training through Research Agreements) that allow PhD candidates to carry out their research project within a company, actively involved in the works and their consequences
  • Work contracts based on research contracts allocated by the National Research Agency, by the European Union or by a company. Consult the host team
  • Funding from foreign Governments for their citizens, from the French Ministry of foreign affairs (French ambassadors), from the French-speaking universities agency, etc.
  • Funding from associations that support research (especially medical research)


A few remuneration amounts*

  • Doctoral contracts from public higher education or research establishments: approximately EUR 1,700 or EUR 2,000 gross per month if the PhD candidate integrates additional assignments (introduction to higher education or other assignments)
  • CEA: EUR 2,100 gross per month
  • CIFRE: EUR 2,000 gross per month, minimum.

*(gross monthly amounts over 12 months; 2014 figures)


Funding by an international thesis co-supervisory body

  • Requires an agreement to be put in place between the two partner establishments (must be established at latest during the first 18 months of the thesis)
  • Simultaneous enrolment in both higher education establishments, one French, one foreign, under the responsibility of a thesis supervisor in each of the two countries
  • Work carried out alternately in both teams, in accordance with the development of the subject, by means of long-term stays in each partner institution (financial aid for mobility may be obtained (enquire with the establishments).
  • One single defence acknowledged by both establishments

  • PhD awarded by contracting establishments, either jointly or separately: the young researcher is therefore a made doctor by each establishment.



Depending on the establishments and the content of the co-supervision agreement, the PhD candidate only pays the enrolment fee in one establishment (generally the one where he/she will defend the thesis).

There is a social cover requirement in both countries (discuss methods when setting up the co-supervision agreement: refer to the International Relations departments of the Universities concerned).

Further information is in the official text of the decree of 6 January 2005

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