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Financial support for PhD studies

The regis­tra­tion of a PhD student at UTC is only pos­sible if the ED is assu­red of its finan­cing, wha­te­ver its nature, for the dura­tion of the the­sis. Seve­ral aid sys­tems sup­port the pre­pa­ra­tion of a PhD (a grant from the Minis­try of Higher Edu­ca­tion and Research, or from the Region, a CIFRE the­sis (see below), research pro­ject on public or pri­vate fun­ding, asso­cia­tion or foun­da­tion, Govern­ment grants…) in various contexts: at the uni­ver­si­ty, in a com­pa­ny, with a research orga­ni­za­tion or abroad.

The PhD contract


The doc­to­ral PhD contract is a fixed-term contract (CDD) under public law, las­ting 3 years, crea­ted by the Minis­try of Higher Edu­ca­tion and Research in 2009. This contract is only pos­sible for public higher edu­ca­tion or research esta­blish­ments, for example: a uni­ver­si­ty (UTC), a public research orga­ni­za­tion (the CNRS). The employee is ter­med a “contrac­tual doc­to­ral student”.

The doc­to­ral contract pro­vides all the social gua­ran­tees com­pliant with law and its sets a mini­mum remu­ne­ra­tion.


The doc­to­ral contract may be exten­ded by one year if excep­tio­nal cir­cum­stances arise in the course of the doc­to­ral student's research acti­vi­ty. In addi­tion, the contract will be exten­ded by right in case of mater­ni­ty, pater­ni­ty, or adop­tion leave, or long-term sick leave.

The doc­to­ral student's acti­vi­ties are to be exclu­si­ve­ly devo­ted to research or to other mis­sions (tea­ching, scien­ti­fic and tech­ni­cal infor­ma­tion, research pro­mo­tion, consul­tan­cy or exper­tise mis­sions for com­pa­nies or public authorities).


This doc­to­ral contract sets a mini­mum remu­ne­ra­tion, indexed to the evo­lu­tion of civil ser­vice sala­ries. Since July 1, 2010, it amounts to

  • 1 684 € 93 gross per month for a research acti­vi­ty alone ;
  • 2 024 € 70 gross per month for addi­tio­nal activities.

The sum paid may be increa­sed above the mini­mum amount. As a public law contract, the doc­to­ral contract is sub­ject to the same prin­ciples as all public ser­vice contracts, name­ly the pos­si­bi­li­ty of a two-month, non-rene­wable trial per­iod.

Other sources of funding

Other ins­ti­tu­tions, asso­cia­tions and foun­da­tions finance trai­ning through research.

Contact the Natio­nal Asso­cia­tion of Doc­tors of Science (ANDES), which lists and updates infor­ma­tion on all fun­ding schemes.

Regional Grant

Regio­nal Grant

The  Region Hauts-de-France stron­gly sup­ports research pro­jects deve­lo­ped joint­ly with the UTC teams as well as with the engi­nee­ring schools (IPLB for­mer­ly ISAB, ESIEE), the CHU, the INRA and INERIS research centres and the trans­fer centres (CVG, CTCPA).

Impor­tant col­la­bo­ra­tions are also car­ried out with teams from neigh­bou­ring uni­ver­si­ties (URCA Reims, UTT, Rouen, Lille, Artois, Lit­to­ral, Valen­ciennes), with the recog­ni­tion for Picar­dy Depart­ment, in 2005, of two world-class com­pe­ti­ti­ve­ness clus­ters: "Indus­tries and agro-resources" (in com­mon with Cham­pagne-Ardenne Region) and "i‑Trans" (in com­mon with Nord-Pas-de-Calais Department)

The themes stu­died in priority

  • Agro-resources: this axis aims to irri­gate ups­tream the scien­ti­fic themes defi­ned for the "Indus­tries and agro-resources" com­pe­ti­ti­ve­ness cluster.
  • Inter­mo­da­li­ty, ener­gy, trans­por­ta­tion: this axis aims to sup­port pro­jects that tar­get inte­gra­ted sys­tems for appli­ca­tions and large-scale pro­jects that can be inclu­ded in the "i‑trans" com­pe­ti­ti­ve­ness cluster.
  • Mecha­nics, mate­rials, clean and safe pro­cesses.
  • Health, life-rela­ted topics.
  • Public actions, eco­no­mic and social sys­tems.
  • Edu­ca­tion, lear­ning, tech­no­lo­gies.

Each axis includes trai­ning courses, ups­tream and downs­tream research acti­vi­ties and eco­no­mic deve­lop­ment. This research sup­port sys­tem is sup­ple­men­ted by so-cal­led “white” pro­jects for teams not invol­ved in these areas.

The ove­rall num­ber of research grants finan­ced by the regio­nal coun­cil should increase signi­fi­cant­ly in the coming years.

Industrial contracts for training via research (CIFRE)

The Indus­trial contracts for trai­ning via research (CIFRE) allow com­pa­nies tore­cruit young people with 5 years of higher edu­ca­tion whose research and deve­lop­ment work will lead to a PhD award.

Since their crea­tion in 1981, the CIFREs have been mana­ged and run by the Natio­nal Asso­cia­tion for Research and Tech­no­lo­gy (ANRT) ) on behalf of the Minis­try of Natio­nal Edu­ca­tion, Higher Edu­ca­tion and Research. To date, more than 10 000 doc­to­ral stu­dents have bene­fi­ted from CIFRE doc­to­ral contracts.

The CIFRE agree­ments bring toge­ther 4 part­ners around a research pro­ject that will lead to the defence of a doc­to­ral the­sis: a pri­vate sec­tor busi­ness com­pa­ny, a young gra­duate, a labo­ra­to­ry and the ANRT.

The company

The com­pa­ny recruits a Master's level gra­duate on a per­ma­nent contract or a 3‑year fixed-term (or non-fixed term) contract to whom it entrusts a stra­te­gic research mis­sion for its socio-eco­no­mic deve­lop­ment. The hiring sala­ry can­not be less than €23 484 gross per year. The work will be the sub­ject of the PhD the­sis of the doc­to­ral student-cum-employee.

The doctoral student

He/she devotes 100% of his/her time (which can be sha­red bet­ween the com­pa­ny and the aca­de­mic labo­ra­to­ry) to his/her research work. He/she the­re­by bene­fits from a double aca­de­mic and pro­fes­sio­nal trai­ning.

The academic research laboratory

It super­vises the work of the employee-doc­to­ral student, and as such the lat­ter is regis­te­red with UTC’s Doc­to­ral School to which the said labo­ra­to­ry is attached.


It signs an indus­trial agree­ment with the com­pa­ny for trai­ning through research (CIFRE) on the basis of which a grant is paid to the com­pa­ny. In 2012, the annual grant is increa­sed to €14 000. The research tax cre­dit (CIR)) is added to this grant.

With UTC's doctoral school

The can­di­date must be audi­tio­ned either by a jury orga­ni­zed by the aca­de­mic the­sis super­vi­sor (UTC), or via a job inter­view, if pos­sible in the pre­sence of the UTC the­sis supervisor.

The can­di­date sub­mits his appli­ca­tion file duly signed and com­ple­ted to the ED of the UTC. The fol­lo­wing docu­ments are attached:

  • a let­ter of com­mit­ment from the com­pa­ny to host and employ the PhD student for the nomi­nal, dura­tion of his/her thesis;
  • a CIFRE fol­low-up form (to be down­loa­ded from the online application).

After agree­ment from the research super­vi­sor, the direc­tor of UTC-ED signs (or not) the admis­sion let­ter sub­ject to the agree­ment given by ANRT and the vali­da­tion of the part­ner­ship research pro­ject. This let­ter must be atta­ched to the file sub­mit­ted to the ANRT by the company.


A col­la­bo­ra­tion contract concer­ning the super­vi­sion of the CIFRE doc­to­ral student's work must be signed bet­ween the com­pa­ny, UTC and UTEAM, which spe­ci­fies the work that will be car­ried out within the fra­me­work of the the­sis, the par­ti­ci­pa­tion of the dif­ferent actors, the dis­tri­bu­tion of intel­lec­tual pro­per­ty rights, confi­den­tia­li­ty and the pos­sible finan­cial com­pen­sa­tion paid by the com­pa­ny to UTC. The the­sis direc­tor contacts UTEAM as soon as the ANRT file is sub­mit­ted in order to begin dis­cus­sions to this effect.

After acceptance by the ANRT

Once the ANRT has accep­ted the appli­ca­tion (after usual­ly 2 months), sti­pu­la­ting a start date for the hiring of the doc­to­ral student (eli­gi­bi­li­ty start date), the can­di­date must regis­ter with the ED (i.e., must pro­vide a copy of the work contract).

Within six months of hiring the doc­to­ral student, the UTC and the com­pa­ny must send the ANRT a copy of the col­la­bo­ra­tion contract.

The CIFRE contracts are for­war­ded throu­ghout the year to the ANRT and UTC-ED regis­ters these PhD stu­dents throu­ghout the year for their first registration.

Contact and documentation

Direc­trice de l'école doc­to­rale
Chris­tine Prelle
 +33 (0)3 44 23 52 86
Res­pon­sable admi­nis­tra­tive
Marion Kacz­kows­ki
 +33 (0)3 44 23 44 10

Pla­quette de l'ED

Cata­logue de l'offre de la for­ma­tion doctorale

Guide de l'étudiant

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