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Your status as a PhD student

The PhD student is a researcher in training. 

A doctoral training programme is a training-by-doing programme based on the doctoral research project, organised by a doctoral school, completed through a professional research experience within a recognised research group.

The doctoral thesis and original scientific work undertaken during the doctorate are defended by the doctoral candidates in an oral presentation. The PhD work takes the form of a dissertation, the thesis, of which the PhD student is the sole author and which is subject to a legal deposit.

The doctorate can be prepared as an initial educational programme, either full-time or as part of a vocational in-service programme. In any case, all scientific, material and financial conditions must be met to ensure the successful completion of the doctoral training project.

We recommend that you first read carefully the sections below, which specify generically the characteristics of doctoral education and what's expected from you. Also check carefully the web pages of the doctoral school that interrests you, to learn about the doctoral school own rules and expectations. 

  1. An outstanding research experience
  2. An educationnal programm based on training-by-doing research
  3. Professional experience
  4. Academic excellence
  5. Skills development 
  6. Documentation related to the admission process


Example of statuses

  • Contracted doctoral candidates: The doctoral candidates have the status of a contractual public service agents for a contracted period of three years. They are a full-time employee with the only or main objective of completing the doctoral training project. They may also be entrusted with further responsibilities (teaching, scientific mediation, scientific transfer or expertise). Find out more...
  • CIFRE (French Industrial Research Training Agreements) doctoral candidates: The doctoral candidates have the status of full-time company in-house employee for a three-year contract. Their only set objective is to successfully complete the doctoral training project, with alternating periods spent within the research unit of a higher education institution and within their company. Find out more...
  • European Industrial Doctorate: similar to the CIFRE but within a European programme. Find out more...
  • Doctoral candidates under a Research Training contract with an EPIC (French Industrial and Commercial Public Institution), with the CEA, the National Office for Aerospace Studies and Research (ONERA), for example. The doctoral candidates have the status of full-time employee for an EPIC for a period of three years, the sole objective of completing the doctoral training project.