When you apply for the doctorate, the director of the doctoral school checks that the scientific, material and financial conditions are met to guarantee the proper progress of your doctoral research and coursework (Art 11 of the decree of May 26, 2016 setting the national framework for education and the procedures leading to the award of the national doctoral diploma).

Funding sources shared by all doctoral schools :

Grants from the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation

Doctoral contract:

  • Is one of the main forms of support available to doctoral students.
  • Is available to all first-year doctoral students, regardless of age.
  • Entitles the student to a salary paid by the institution under a three-year doctoral contract.

Applications for a doctoral contract are usually processed in April/May. After being interviewed, the candidates are ranked by the doctoral school’s board. The minimum monthly remuneration for doctoral students under contract is set by the decree of August 29, 2016.

Industrial Agreement for Training through Research (CIFRE)

CIFRE agreements are designed to strengthen collaboration between public research laboratories and private and public industry, to encourage companies to hire doctoral students and spur innovation among French companies.
CIFRE agreements associate three partners in a research project leading to a doctoral thesis:

  • A company.
  • A doctoral student.
  • A laboratory.

Under the CIFRE system, companies benefit from financial assistance to hire a young doctoral student whose research is supervised by a public research laboratory and will lead to a defended thesis.

IdEx research grants

IdEx actively promotes interdisciplinarity, which implies collaboration between disciplines, and transdisciplinarity, which transcends the specific scope of each discipline.
As part of the IdEx program, five academies of excellence were created. These are light, pro-active structures designed to encourage interaction between researchers from different disciplines in the following five areas:

  • Academy 1: Networks, information and digital society
  • Academy 2: Complex systems.
  • Academy 3: Space, environment, risk and resilience
  • Academy 4: Complexity and diversity of living systems
  • Academy 5: Human societies, ideas and environments

Academies can fund or co-finance doctoral degrees with the graduate schools (EURs).
The IdEx program has also contributed to set up the following 9 transdisciplinary core programs to develop transdisciplinary research:

  • Arts and science
  • Environment, health, citizens
  • Social interactions and complex dynamics
  • Matter, light, interactions
  • Modeling, physics and mathematics of life
  • Risks in the northern Mediterranean zone
  • Data science
  • Digital Science, society and the individual
  • Cognitive system, normality and pathology of the human brain, computational neuroscience

These programs, combined with those of the Academies of Excellence, offer researchers new opportunities for collaboration, and consequently new avenues of research for doctoral students. They provide opportunities for intellectual exchanges and support for innovative projects.
IdEx/EUR grants are awarded to projects that correspond to specific themes and meet criteria of excellence. Research topics are proposed by Université Côte d'Azur researchers.

Young doctoral contracts with the South Region

The South Region organizes an annual call for grant applications called Emplois jeunes doctorants. Doctoral students can obtain funding from the Region for their thesis project through this program. Each project must involve a student, a research laboratory and a business partner. This scheme provides co-funding for the doctoral student's salary (including social security contributions and employer contributions) for a 36-month period.

Specific funding sources
  • Theme-specific funding
    Depending on your field of research (exact sciences, humanities, etc.), the requirements for obtaining funding are different. Contact your future doctoral school or research unit directly.
  • Doctoral scholarships for CNRS engineers
    As part of its mission to provide training in and through research, the CNRS hires doctoral students who wish to prepare a thesis after completing their doctoral coursework. Recruitment conditions:
    - Assignment to a CNRS research laboratory.
    - 3-year employment contract.
    - Fixed gross monthly salary.


Please refer to the Online guide to funding provided by ANDès (Association nationale des docteurs).