It is mandatory to have funding for three years “in the bag” before starting work on your thesis. All PhD students working in a laboratory must have an employment contract or an equivalent source of funding (allocations by foreign countries), health insurance, social cover for accidents at work and civil liability insurance. Employees who have been working professionally for a certain number of years can also enrol for a thesis and they may be granted specific conditions depending on their constraints.
Different types of funding exist:
- doctoral fellowships under State contractual status
The doctoral fellowship is a specific employment contract for PhD students. There are no conditions of age or nationality. The duration is three years, renewable for one year. It sets out the purpose and duration of the assignment entrusted to the PhD student, the type of activities to be assumed and gives a right to leave and seniority of contractual State personnel. They can be allocated by the Ministry of Research and Higher Education and by research bodies.
- funding through research fellowships or from associations and foundations
You can be hired to carry out your PhD under a private law employment contract (fixed-term contract), mainly for funding by the National Research Agency, a region or the European Commission.
- Industrial Agreements for Training through Research (CIFRE)
CIFRE offers young researchers an opportunity to study for their PhD in a company or public authority, by carrying out a research and development programme in conjunction with a research team outside the company. The student is hired by the company under a private law employment contract (fixed-term or permanent contract).
- thesis grants for foreign PhD students
Many foreign governments offer grants to their nationals looking to study for a PhD abroad. The amount of the grants varies depending on the financial bodies. You should check under all circumstances with the doctoral school that sufficient funding has been received.