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Launch of the Averroes programme

Research Article published on 05 July 2021 , Updated on 10 June 2022

In September 2021, Université Paris-Saclay will launch a new top double-degree programme in healthcare.

Open to a dozen students each year, the Averroes programme at Université Paris-Saclay aims to develop interdisciplinary, personalised study paths that combine a doctorate in Medicine or Pharmacy with another non-health degree course from a university, Grande École or institute, and a university thesis. It strives to educate the future generation of leaders in research, biomedical innovation and healthcare policies, by combining training in research with high-level medical or pharmaceutical education.

Certain future medical and healthcare professions will require top-level interdisciplinary knowledge and skills: doctors, pharmacists and medical IT experts who are also specialised in political science, architects or engineers, physicists, jurists and economists who are also doctors or pharmacists.

The Averroes programme is aimed at curious, enterprising and inventive students who show potential for research and innovation and are motivated by a demanding interdisciplinary curriculum.

The programme will begin at the start of the 2021/2022 academic year and is built on the existing courses at Université Paris-Saclay, its constituent faculties and institutes, its Grandes Écoles (AgroParisTech, CentraleSupélec, ENS Paris-Saclay, Institut d’Optique Graduate School), its associate member institutions (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and Université d’Evry) and their partners.

Students interested in the Averroes programme who have just been admitted to the second year of a degree in Medicine or Pharmacy or who are enrolled in a non-health degree course should contact: Prof Didier Guillemot (, Prof Peter Kamenicky (peter.kamenicky@université, Prof Claire Janoir ( or Prof Gerald Peyroche (


Programme organisation

In addition to the higher education courses that students will have already begun, students will study complementary courses in other fields of study as part of the Averroes programme. For students who are not already enrolled in a health-related degree, studying Medicine or Pharmacy will be mandatory. The curriculum will be subject to pedagogical adjustments and focused on training in research and through research, as part of an interdisciplinary approach in innovation and through innovation. Following entry to the Master’s level, students will prepare a thesis viva.


Before joining the programme, medical or pharmacy students will be required to complete a two-year preparation course to ensure that they are prepared for the non-health subject(s) they will have chosen. Candidates studying non-health subjects will need to complete a one-year preparation course to prepare for preclinical and clinical disciplines. Students will be chosen based on their application and an interview.

At the end of the preparation course, students will be selected to join the Averroes programme and be entitled to an allowance and an international mobility grant.

The curriculum will be personalised for each student. A mentor and two lecturers – one of whom will be specialised in health, and the other in a non-health field, will personally monitor students.

Internationalisation will be strongly encouraged; students will have the possibility of studying in other languages and travelling abroad, in particular as part of the European University Alliance for Global Health (EUGLOH). International theses with cotutelle partnering international universities will also be possible.

Professional prospects

The Averroes programme offers students professional opportunities in sectors involving biomedical, biotechnological and biopharmaceutical research and development as well as health policy and management, within the public sector, both nationally and internationally (teaching and/or research, university hospitals or government health authorities). Opportunities will also be available for students in the private sector linked to the creation of biotechnology companies or in healthcare industries (medicines, diagnosis and insurance), and in particular in the development of biotechnology for healthcare, industrial property, and the financing and management of innovation in healthcare.

“The need for a stronger relationship between research, innovation, patient care and healthcare decisions has become a crucial issue and something that is recognised internationally as one of the key factors for future progress in medicine, pharmacy and healthcare policies. This means that we need to train and educate students with top-level interdisciplinary skills and expertise. This is exactly what the Averroes programme aims to do.”
Prof Didier Guillemot, epidemiologist and doctor in technological innovation and public health, and who is behind the Averroes programme.