La situation professionnelle des docteur.e.s de l’Université Paris-Saclay au 1er décembre 2019

Doctorate Article published on June 09 2021 , Updated on June 09 2021

Supporting PhD students and PhDs in their professional development is also one of the key missions of the Université Paris-Saclay. With more than 4,000 PhD students (4,084 registered for the 2020-2021 academic year), Université Paris-Saclay welcomes its PhD students in more than 400 laboratories, within 21 doctoral schools and 18 Graduate Schools and institutes1.

An integration rate close to 100% and high professional satisfaction

According to its annual survey, which includes a panel of 2382 PhDs who graduated in 2016 and 2018, the employment rate is 91.5%, with 5.4% unemployed in December 2019 (i.e. 2119 active graduates out of 2382 PhDs).
Among these active PhDs, the professional satisfaction rate is 89.5%. Many of them went on to gain international experience.

PhD students from all over the world

Université Paris-Saclay is constantly attracting new doctoral talents. PhD students from all over the world have registered at the Université Paris-Saclay, 40% of the PhD students registered in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year in 2020-2021 are foreigners, half of them arrived in France for the PhD. After the defense, most of them settle in France and some acquire French nationality. Thus, 36.3% of PhDs graduated in 2016 and 2018 were foreigners.

The attractiveness of the doctorate 

In a difficult national context, with a 20% drop in the number of first-time doctoral students enrolled in France since 2009 and a health crisis that has limited international mobility, Université Paris-Saclay has seen its number of first-year students increase by 9% over five years, including a 3% increase in the last year, probably in connection with its entry into the Shanghai rankings in 14th place worldwide. The means implemented by Université Paris-Saclay to promote research and innovation are strong arguments for young researchers from all over the world. The diversity of the involved fields and the multitude of thesis funding opportunities are among them. 

A very high funding rate for theses

Since its creation, Université Paris-Saclay has included in its doctoral charter clear principles regarding the material and financial conditions for doctoral theses. Except in special cases, examined by a dedicated commission and which today represent 5% of newly registered students, funding dedicated to the preparation of the thesis is necessary to start a doctoral project (i.e. 95% of funded theses, compared to 70% at the national level). This practice is in line with previous practices in the institutions that have joined together, already among the 2016 and 2018 graduates, 89.5% of the PhDs had received a funding. This policy is accompanied by action to facilitate the acquisition of funding, particularly through the establishment of partnerships with various institutions such as companies, research organizations or foreign countries like China.

Community mobilization

The participation rate in the surveys on the employment of PhDs is very high, underlining the strong mobilization of the PhDs and their supervisors. On average, 81.2% of PhDs who graduated in 2016 and 2018 answered the survey. This high answer rate and the large number of PhDs at Université Paris-Saclay ensure the statistical quality of the results of these surveys. In addition, the interviewed PhDs agreed to provide us their salaries, which allows us to share with PhD students useful information on the different salaries according to the disciplines.

The median annual salary

With a PhD in hand, Université Paris-Saclay graduates in France have a median gross annual salary of €38,462, all sectors combined. Salaries in companies are higher than in the academic sector in France, with a median gross annual salary of 41,538€. Salaries also vary according to the field of research, with the median gross annual salary in France ranging from €35,385 to €43,077 from one Graduate School to another. Whether they are in France or abroad, 75% of PhDs are satisfied (52%) or very satisfied (23%) with their salary.

: The Graduate Schools structure the Université Paris-Saclay by research field from the master's to the doctorate. They are therefore made up of master's programs, doctoral schools and training and research programs.

Computer Science and Law

Economics & Management and Earth, Climate, Environment and Planetery Sciences

Health and Drug Sciences and Humanities and Social Sciences

Life Sciences and Health and Mathematics

Physics and Public Health

Engineering and Systems Sciences and Sociology and Political Science

Sport, Muvement, Human Factor