There are many organisations and institutions that fund PhD projects and programmes. This list is not exhaustive, but it contains the main informations about PhD grants.



IDEX Paris-Saclay International Doctoral Action - ADI 2020

In 2020, IDEX Paris-Saclay is funding the ADI2020 program to support the implementation of doctoral projects as part of an international cotutella agreement (double doctorate degree or joint degree)

The program has two main objectives:

  • to start ambitious doctoral projects, within the framework of international cotutella agreement for doctoral thesis, to promote the internationalization of doctoral candidates,
  • to contribute to the internationalization of doctoral schools and research laboratories, the development of partnerships and the visibility and international attractiveness of  Université Paris-Saclay.

Important dates

  • Transmission of files, before June 16, 2020 at midnight, via the application portal
  • The ADI2020 selection committee will meet on June 23, 2020 from 9am to 12am,
  • NUMERICS, is a new CEA PhD fellowship mobility program cofounded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 program (MSCA COFUND 2017). The 2019 call for applications is now open until April 30, 2019 with 20 fellowships proposed (3-year PhD contracts). The selected PhD students will conduct research projects in the fields of numerical simulation, modeling and management of Big Data in selected CEA laboratories (In France). The list of PhD projects open for the 2019 call is published on the NUMERICS website . PhD fellows will also benefit from a specific professional training program at CEA-INSTN during their 3-year stay in a CEA laboratory. All information regarding the evaluation and selection procedure is available on the website - All the CEA PhD projects

    Doctoral contracts of the member institutions of Université Paris-Saclay 

    Since 2015, member and associate higher education institutions of Université Paris-Saclay coordinate their recruitment of contractual PhD students and entrust Université Paris-Saclay doctoral schools with the task of selecting nearly 250 doctoral candidates funded by the member instutution usingwho are then dispersed among the institutions and research units. Each year, thesis supervisors are invited to submit thesis subject proposals (generally between September and December) to doctoral schools, which then publish them online at the beginning of the calendar year for a period of two or three months. Applications are collected in spring and an initial jury meeting in each doctoral school is held to select candidates for interviews, which generally take place between May and June. Results are submitted to candidates in June for theses to begin on 1st October.

Doctoral contract funded by an institute or Laboratory of Excellence (LabEx) Investment in the Future Programme

The joint research strategy of Université Paris-Saclay partners has facilitated the funding of ambitious, cross-institutional and/or interdisciplinary research programmes, led by Laboratories of Excellence and institutes. In certain cases, these programmes comprise PhD projects which will be subject to a call for applications by such LabEx and institutes.


Université Paris-Saclay Doctoral Programme in Artificial Intelligence (UDOPIA)

The UDOPIA doctoral program in Artificial Intelligence will build on the extensive forces of Université Paris-Saclay in AI and related areas to create a unique cohort of PhD students trained at the forefront of core AI topics, specialized AI topics, and applictions of AI.

The students will benefit from a rich ecosystem with strong links to industry, and from the existing instruments such as the DataIa convergence insitute in AI or the SaclayIA compuing platform. Specific accompanying measures will foster interdisciplinarity, mobility, entrepreneurship, and the wide diffusion of research results to academia, industry and the general public.

The doctoral program should bring together at least 30 doctoral students hired in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
The selected PhD Students will be recruited on a fixed-term contract of 36 months starting in October 2020, with a gross monthly salary of at least 1758 €. 
The doctoral program is co-funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR), and by Université Paris-Saclay, components, associates and partners, notably CentraleSupelec, Chair IDAML from CMLA, DATAIA, ENS-Paris-Saclay, INRIA Saclay, Labex Hadamard, UEVE, Vedecom.


  • Deadline for submission of topics (for supervisors): May 12, 2020
  • Deadline for applications via ADUM (for candidates): varies depending on the Doctoral School
  • Selection Committee: June 13, 2020


CIFRE (Industrial Research Training Agreements) Contracts

The CIFRE initiative was set up to optimise the innovation processes and competitiveness of French companies and to promote interaction between public research laboratories and socio-economic arenas. The programm in managed by the French AgencyAssociation for Research and Technology (ANRT) and benefits from a support for the french governement.

Candidates must have recent Master-level degrees (within the last three years). The CIFRE initiative is open to individuals of all nationalities. This is to be the candidate’s first professional research experience.

Three partners:

  • PhD Enrolment Institution: Université Paris-Saclay is accredited to deliver PhDs, and is the institution in which the thesis is prepared, with which a research programme agreement is signed between the company and the institution
  • The host and supervisory laboratory: the laboratory, external to the company, ensures the scientific supervision of the young graduate in view of preparing their PhD thesis. This laboratory belongs to a higher education institution, public research organisation or technical centre.
  • The company: is incorporated in France. It entrusts the newly-recruited doctoral student with a research and development project in liaison with a public research laboratory.

Doctoral contracts for the Ile-de-France region

The Ile-de-France Regional Council awards subsidies each year to fund doctoral contracts (ArDoc)

Applications should be presented by the Ile-de-France Doctoral School Directors, with a maximum of three applications per Doctoral School and per theme. To enable doctoral schools select, if any, amongst the applications submitted by the candidates, all applications will have been returned to the doctoral school before March 5, 2016

Research project-based doctoral contracts sponsored by the ANR

The French National Agency for Research (ANR) is an agency that funds research projects. The ANR works with both public research organisations and private companies. Campaigns for calls for projects are launched at various periods throughout the year, depending on the research theme.

PhD students sponsored for an ANR project and registered as PhD students with the Université Paris-Saclay are eligible to sign a doctoral contract with the Université Paris-Saclay member or associated institution in which they are preparing their doctorate. It is advisable to ANR project leaders to provide in their funding plan, a sufficient budget to fund a doctoral contract with complementary mission. Such complimentary missions may indeed be decisive to open career opportunities to our doctors. Including them into the funding plan fall into the category of actions for the career development or the rersearchers recruited during the project.

Doctoral contract funded for a European research project

The Horizon 2020 programme combines European Union funding for research and innovation and outlines three main priorities: scientific excellence, industrial primacy and social challenges. It came into force on 1st January 2014.

PhD students who are funded through a Horizon 2020 project and registered for a doctorate with Université Paris-Saclay can sign a doctoral contract with the Université Paris-Saclay member or associate institution within which they are preparing their doctorate. It is advisable to H2020 project leaders to provide in their funding plan, a sufficient budget to fund a doctoral contract with complementary mission. Such complimentary missions may indeed be decisive to open career opportunities to our doctors. Including them into the funding plan fall into the category of actions for the career development or the rersearchers recruited during the project.

Doctoral contract funded by CEA

CEA recruits each year PhD students in several financing and co-financing programs. The awarding of a doctoral CEA contract comes after favorable opinion of the Selection Committee chaired by the High Commissioner for Atomic Energy. Monitoring the activity of the student is carried out by the scientific direction of the pole, the INSTN and potential industrial and regional partners for co-financed theses.

INRIA doctoral contracts

INRIA (French National Institute for Research in Computer Sciences) is organised around five fields of research for which 50-100 PhD students are contracted annually.


Who can apply?

  • Candidates must hold a Master’s degree in IT, Automation, Mathematics, Scientific Computing or an equivalent degree.
  • Candidates must apply to a different geographic site to where they obtained their Master’s degree (mobility clause).
  • Priority will be given to subjects relating to the Institute’s core research fields.
  • No nationality conditions apply.
  • An application should be filed per subject proposed by the host research centre.

Click for information on the application campaign and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

"International Relations and Strategy” doctoral contracts with the Ministry of Defence

The Ministry of Defence implemented a new funding initiative to sponsor “International Relations and Strategy” doctoral contracts in 2015. This initiative aims to contribute to the renewal of university research networks in the fields of defence and security. The application filing period has recently opened and will end on 30th September 2015. For more information on the procedure, read the web page dedicated to this initiative.

CNRS doctoral contracts

As part of its educational and research programme, the CNRS funds doctoral contracts. The CNRS does not, however, organise national PhD student recruitment campaigns. Candidates must therefore directly contact a host laboratory and obtain relevant information from the CNRS institute, which corresponds to the theme of their proposed field of research, to find out if they may be eligible for PhD funding, depending on the feasibility of their project.

Other international fundings managed by Campus France

Campus France is in charge of a significant number of international funding programmes that sponsor PhD students either for the duration of their doctoral studies or, in the case of international thesis co-supervision, during their stay in France.

Scholarships for foreign students

Research Programmes