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For the UPMC:


IFD: Institute of doctoral training. It implements the University doctoral policy.

  • By the co-ordination and mutual benefit of actions of the doctoral schools attached to the UPMC (;
  • The follow-up of indicators of the continuity of doctoral projects and the professional future of the PhDs;
  • The promotion of doctoral training throughout the socio-economic sectors;
  • The development of regional, European and international co-operation.
  • It is the IFD director who signs in fine the standard registrations (1st year) and the exceptional ones (beyond the 3rd year).

DFC: The IFD assists the PhD students in the preparation of their professional future via the DFC (Department of training and careers) []

BAD: The Student Affairs Office (Bureau d'Accueil) for IFD thesis students ( It ensures the individual welcome of each PhD student for everything that concerns the administrative enrolment at the UPMC.

CCMD: The Centre for the co-ordination of doctoral projects ( This recruits PhD students to the different doctoral projects, open in the context of the doctoral contract (teaching, scientific diffusion and mediation, development and European co-operation, expertise and recommendation in business).

Information is on the UPMC IFD web site (

For l’Université Paris-Descartes:


L’Université Paris-Descartes also has an IFD.

The IFD of l’Université Paris-Descartes is organized as a Reception Office with the follow-up of PhD students for administrative enrolment (, of an office for the organization of thesis defences (, along with a service dedicated to the training of PhD students, to their professional insertion and to complementary assignments.

Information can be found on the web site of l’Université Paris-Descartes IFD


For the ENS :


The PhD students’ office of the ENS ensures the administration of the schooling of the PhD students, as well as following the international norms of co-thesis supervision, the administrative proceedings of the thesis defence and the delivery of diplomas (

You must send a CV and letter of intention directly to thesis supervisors affiliated to the ED3C. You can find the list of ED3C supervisors on the web site under “host teams” ("Equipes d'accueil"). To be able direct a thesis, it is obligatory that your supervisor holds an HDR diploma.

No! Thesis supervisors must obligatorily be PU, DR or CR-HDR, MCU-HDR. For co-directions with a foreign laboratory, the thesis supervisor’s CV will be requested.

You must determine with your thesis supervisor the funding calls that you are eligible for. Funding can be extremely varied: societies, foundations, private companies, specific allowances for students of the Ecole Normale, grants from foreign governments, European funding, DGA funding, grants obtained by the laboratory etc.

The ED3C also has available a certain number of PhD contracts from the Ministry each year, which are attributed in the framework of a competitive examination (see "Contrats doctoraux" [PhD contracts]).

The minimal revenue to be allowed to register for a PhD is 1200 euros net/month.

No! It is not possible to register for a thesis using your own funding. It is obligatory to have 3 years of institutional funding, or to be salaried.

The CIFRE package – Industrial Conventions of Training by Research – subsidises all French businesses that recruit a PhD student to work on a research collaboration with a public laboratory. The work should lead to a thesis defence in under three years. CIFRE theses are financed by the Ministry of Research and Higher Education, who has entrusted the implementation of this program to the ANRT.

Information can be found at the ANRT site ( or the UPMC IFD site (

That depends on the one hand on the host laboratory (8 laboratories require an administrative registration at l’Université Paris-Descartes) and on the other hand on the establishment that will establish your contract, supposing that you have a doctoral contract.

For the UPMC:

There is no deadline in the UPMC for enrolment in the first year of a PhD. Registration is possible until June of the current University year. Then, the registration site is closed and it only re-opens for the following University year. Irrespective of the date of your initial enrolment, you must obligatorily re-register before the 1st of October of the following year.


For l’Université Paris-Descartes:

Enrolment in the first year of the PhD at l’Université Paris-Descartes is only possible until the 30th of November of the current University year. Between mid-November and the end of November, registration is only possible by correspondence.

The exact calendar of registration at l’Université Paris-Descartes can be found on the web site


An agreement for PhD students’ funding supplements where they receive a grant from the French government or from their own country’s government of less than the 1200 euros a month that is required for enrolment has been instituted for UPMC laboratories.

This allows laboratories or host structures to pay PhD students an additional 436.05 euros per month, taken from the laboratory operating credits (and not from the wage mass). This agreement must be in phase with the University year and is thus renewable each year.

For all information, you should contact Mme Gaël Thieullent who is in charge of the file at the IFD.

Information can also be found on the web site (, under the heading of « funding supplements » ("Compléments de rémunération").

A foreign PhD student tuition office within the UPMC BAD helps foreign nationals to find solutions to their material needs, tells them how to set about opening a bank account in France, finding lodgings, signing on with the Social Security, obtaining a resident’s permit etc.

Contact details:

Mme Gaël Thieullent

Institut de Formation Doctorale

Bureau d'accueil des doctorants étrangers

Les Cordeliers

15 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine

75270 Paris cedex 06

Tél : 33-1 44 27 28 03

Fax : 33-1 44 27 23 95

Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 9hr30 to 16hr


Further information is on the IFD site (

Upon enrolment, the UPMC requires a civil responsibility certificate covering all University activities for the current University year. This is an insurance covering any damages caused to a third party.

More information can be found on the IFD/UPMC web sites


If you are salaried and have a work contract that covers the whole of the academic year (1st of October to 30th of September), you will automatically be affiliated to the general Social Security system.

If your work contract does not cover the whole academic year, or if you do not have a contract (grant), you must affiliate yourself to the students’ social security system.

Information can be obtained from the doctoral enrolment department of your administrative establishment that is responsible for your registration.

Co-supervision of a thesis is supervision divided between two French Universities, or one French University and one foreign one. You are advised by two directors belonging to two different Universities. Your diploma will come from the University where you paid your registration dues.

A co-administrative guardianship is one shared between a French and a foreign University. The registration fees are paid to only one of these Universities (indicated in the agreement). Two diplomas are awarded at the end of your course (the thesis is validated by the two Universities). You should contact the Direction of International Relations to establish an agreement.

For the UPMC you should indicate to us your desire to establish a co-administrative guardianship, at the time you submit your pre-enrolment file, a form requesting co-administrative guardianship will then be sent to you.

Detailed information concerning the procedures to follow can be found on the UPMC IFD web site, at

For l’Université Paris-Descartes, the manner to proceed can be found on the IFD web site



The doctoral contract is defined by decree n°2009-464 of April 23rd 2009 [décret n°2009-464 du 23 avril 2009]. Contractual PhD students are concerned, and it guarantees a fixed-term 3 year contract of public rights.

The doctoral contract can be used by establishments of higher learning and of research (Universities) as well as by public scientific and technological establishments (CNRS etc.). In contrast, PhD students recruited by companies, for example according to the CIFRE or EPIC systems (e.g. by the CEA), retain private rights work contracts.

The doctoral contract establishes a unique legal framework for the recruitment of PhD students to public establishments of higher learning and research, which is independent of the funding source (State, Region, charitable organizations, research contracts, foreign institutions etc.).

Exceptionally, the doctoral contract can be extended by an amendment for a maximum of one year for scientific reasons.

Further information can be found on the UPMC site


Or on the Paris-Descartes site


Once you have obtained funding for your thesis that will be handled by the UPMC, the UPMC becomes your employer. Thus, it is the UPMC that will establish your work contract.

Two departments within the UPMC are in charge of establishing work contracts:

- The Human Resources Department, in the case of UPMC doctoral contracts that result from the different Ministry and higher learning establishment competitive grant awards. See the RH site


- The general direction of research and the transfer of technology, in the case of fixed-term contracts as well as doctoral contracts from the Ile-de-France region, from associations and foundations, from the Paris School of Neurosciences (ENP) and laboratories. More details are given on the DGRTT site


This is a contractual document, which modifies or completes a pre-existing contract. A supplementary clause is added to your doctoral contract for example if you are assigned to a complementary assignment. A supplementary clause is also established for financing of the 4th year of a PhD, if funding is obtained that is paid to the UPMC. Irrespective of the nature of the new funding acquired, the procedure to establish the supplementary clause of the doctoral contract is handled by the UPMC DGRTT (General Direction for Research and Transfer of Technology).

A document known as a "command letter" must be filled in and signed by the Director of your Laboratory, then transferred to the ED for signing, with a substantiating document concerning the funding.

Details of the procedures can be found on the UPMC web site


The command letter is a form that you have to fill in and have signed by your Head of Laboratory then by the ED Director in the case of recruitment of a PhD student implying contractual funding: research convention of the laboratory, or financing obtained by a call for projects (regions, charitable organizations etc.).

See the DGRTT site


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Doctoral assignments have existed since the start of the 2009 year, following the installment of the doctoral contract. They replace the instructor’s training system. Recruitment to a doctoral assignment is based on the selection of candidates. It is reserved for PhD students that have a doctoral contract and gives supplementary funding.

There are 4 types of assignment: teaching, development, doctoral-counsel and scientific diffusion and mediation.

Teaching assignment managers in the UFR guarantee 64hr of tutorials or practical courses a year. They can also be responsible for teaching Master’s courses of scientific information in libraries, or for transversal teaching of methodology in the first year of undergraduate studies (L1).

Other than teaching assignments, the Direction of Industrial Relations and Technological Transfer proposes development assignments, both of intellectual property and technological transfer and concerning European partnerships.

The doctoral-counselallows short-term tasks of advice or expertise, for a maximum of 32 days per year, for a company, a territorial community, an administration or a society. This assignment can have very varied forms, depending on the needs: technical, scientific or organizational advice, observational or feasibility study, bibliography, training.

The scientific diffusion and mediation assignment consists of designing and installing an action or an event that falls within the University’s cultural program. The PhD students work to construct a project of scientific culture, and are assisted by professionals of scientific mediation.

For PhD students responsible for mediation, development or counsel assignments, the annual duration of the work is 224hr, including any training necessary to carry out the assignment.

Further information can be found on the UPMC site


And UPMC application forms are on the CCMD site (

Also, information can be found on l’Université Paris-Descartes site


As can application forms


For UPMC contractual PhD students:

- For a complementary activity carried out for the UPMC: contact the CCMD

A supplementary clause will be added to the doctoral contract.


- For a complementary activity carried out for an establishment other than the UPMC: contact the CCMD

A donation convention must be established between the establishment where you carry out the activity and the UPMC, along with a supplementary clause added to the doctoral contract. The wages for the activity will be paid to the UPMC, then transferred to you via your salary.


- For a request by a contractual PhD student who is a teaching assignment manager, to accumulate functions to include supervision of detentions in a grammar school:

The current legislation forbids contractual PhD students any teaching accumulation outside of a teaching assignment.


For UPMC-salaried PhD students:

- A request for authorisation of the accumulation of functions should be signed by the thesis supervisor, the ED Director and the IFD Director.


For PhD students salaried outside UPMC:

- A request for authorisation of the accumulation of functions should be signed by the employer.

There is no such training agreement at the PhD level. To carry out work experience in another University, as a salaried PhD student, you must:

- Have a mission order established by your laboratory if the operation is for less than three months.

- Sign a convention of availability between the PhD student’s employer and the administration of the temporary host laboratory if the operation is for more than three months, or if the nature of the project is such that it requires a specific framework (e.g. intellectual property issues, use of specific equipment or products).


For UPMC PhD students, the model agreement should be requested at the IFD:


If the PhD student has a grant, an agreement must be established between the 2 establishments.

It is the Individual Training Plan.

This plan only concerns training schemes proposed by the Department of Training and Careers (DFC) within the UPMC Institute of Doctoral Training (IFD). The PIF aims to adapt the offer to the demand and it is necessary to sign up for these training sessions.

PIFs are available to all ED3C PhD students, irrespective of their administrative affiliation (UPMC, l’Université Paris-Descartes, ENS, EHESS).

The catalogue of training courses proposed by the DFC is structured around 8 themes:

- In depth science and methodology

- Scientific awareness

- Professional project and career management

- Understanding of organisms and their environment

- Communication and Management

- Innovation and Development

- Language and numerical environments

- Supervision of PhD projects (for the thesis supervisors)

To sign up for training schemes proposed by the DFC, you should fill in a PIF form, indicating which subjects you wish to participate in during the current University year (a PIF must be renewed every year) and send it to the ED for validation.

The validated PIF form will be returned to you by mail, with a copy to the DFC ( You can then sign up for each training course that has been validated, according to the manner of each one.

A practical guide exists concerning participation in DFC training schemes


The PIF to download and the catalogue of training courses can be found on the DFC site


For certain training courses, the number of places is limited. Places are attributed on a “first come first served” basis. Therefore, PIF forms should be filled in at the beginning of the University year.

The Doctoriales® are a seminar that allows the preparation of the PhD student for after the thesis; for his insertion into professional life. It works by making him aware of the advantages of research training and of all the openings that are available to him.

Information can be found on the DFC web site of the UPMC IFD

( sur le site web du DFC de l'IFD de l'UPMC

For l’Université Paris-Descartes, information can be found on the PRES web site of Sorbonne Paris-Cité


For the UPMC:

Re-inscription is obligatory from the 1st of October. Therefore, if you defend up to the 30th of September there is no re-inscription. In contrast, for all thesis vivas from the 1st of October onwards, re-inscription is obligatory.

If your defence takes place between the 1st of October and the 31st of December, you can ask for the reimbursement of the University fees (not the student Social Security payment).

Full information can be found on the IFD site (

The application file for a refund must be submitted by the 31st of March at the latest. The reimbursement of University dues depends on the agreement of the University President.

Written proofs to be provided are:

  • Form requesting reimbursement of University dues


  • Photocopy of your diploma certificate 
  • Full certificate of enrolment 
  • Student’s card (« monécarte »)
  • Bank account details (Relevé d’Identité Bancaire)

For l’Université Paris-Descartes:

The deadline for a doctoral thesis defence, without administrative re-enrolment for the current year, is set at 30th of November. Any thesis defence organized beyond that date requires an administrative re-registration.

At least 2 months before the thesis defence, you must propose a list of Jury members to the ED3C for validation by the ED Director. Once the proposed Jury is accepted, you will receive a mail explaining the thesis defence procedures that are specific to your administrative establishment. Approximately 8 weeks before the thesis defence, the thesis manuscript should be sent by post to the rapporteurs. They must submit their reports to the UPMC ED or the Paris-Descartes IFD obligatorily 4 weeks before the thesis defence. Beware! For a thesis defence in September, these dates and time-frames are modified (consult the ED3C).

There must be at least as many external members as internal members.

An external member is defined as someone who does not belong to the ED3C, neither to your establishment of administrative enrolment, nor to your laboratory. The 2 rapporteurs must be external. Your thesis supervisor counts in the calculation as an internal member.




(outside of P5, ED3C, or the laboratory)

Internals                                                                             (belonging to Paris 5, the ED3C, or your laboratory)


2 rapporteurs



The thesis supervisor






 Possibly 1, if 2 an external examiner will need to be added



The number of externals must be > or = the number of internals





(outside of UPMC, ED3C, or the laboratory)

Internals                                                                             (belonging to UPMC, the ED3C, or your laboratory)


2 rapporteurs (HDR)



The thesis supervisor




A UPMC representative


1 (outside the laboratory)



Examiners can be added. However, the maximum size of the Jury is 8 members.



The number of externals must be > or = the number of internals


For information: there is no list of the possible UPMC representatives. The UPMC representative is not necessarily a specialist of the subject. He can be a PU, DR ou CR-HDR.

To defend your PhD thesis, you must obligatorily have one 1st author publication accepted in a refereed Journal. If you do not meet this requirement and you need to submit, you should discuss your situation with the ED3C.

To defend your thesis, you have to have submitted it to the administrative establishment. As of the 1st of January 2014, the UPMC set up an electronic submission system using the STAR application.

A training course concerning the electronic thesis exists in the Department of training and careers.

More information can be found on the IFD DFC web site (

For your thesis defence, rooms on the 1st floor of building B can be reserved.

Information is on the UFR 927 web site


Yes. You simply need to fill in the « authorization of a thesis defence outside the premises » form, and transmit it to BAD. You can find this document to download in the list of documents to bring to BAD three weeks before your thesis defence (see the IFD web site

If you are salaried, you must declare the accident to your employer. If you are attached to the student system, you must fill in a declaration of a schooling works accident, as directed by the tuition office of your administrative enrolment establishment.

For all maternity leave and time off work, send the documents to your laboratory, to the ED3C and to your employer.

You should talk to him about it. If this does not have the desired effect you can contact the group leader and the Laboratory Head. You can also ask the advice of your tutor and/or the PhD student representatives. It is also important to ask for a meeting with the ED director to inform him of any problems during the course of your thesis.

No. You cannot suspend a thesis. If you are not signed up for the current year, you will be struck off the list of PhD students.

You should speak to your thesis supervisor about this and to the ED director. If your mind is made up, first you need to write a signed letter to this effect, which is counter-signed by your thesis supervisor, explaining the reasons why you wish to abandon your thesis. This letter should be sent to the ED for signature by the Director. The ED3C is then responsible for sending the document to the IFD.

This letter will also be sent to the Human Resources department if you have a fixed term contract or a University Doctoral contract. You must read your work contract carefully.

An example of the letter:

In the case of a problem or a conflict involving a PhD student, the following steps exist to solve it:

  1. Solving the conflict at the level of the laboratory
  2. Problem solving at the level of the doctoral school. The ED Director listens to all sides and proposes a solution, with the help of his council
  3. In the case of failure, of a conflict involving the Director of the doctoral school, or if the Director of the ED judges it to be preferable, an attempt to solve the conflict can be made at the level of the Doctoral Training Institute. If he cannot solve the conflict easily and quickly, the IFD Director calls into being the conciliation commission. He also calls upon this body if he believes its arbitration would be the preferable course of action

Modalities of seizure of the IFD Commission:

The conciliation Commission can be seized for any doctoral player, notably PhD students, thesis supervisors and directors of the doctoral school.

Before calling into being the IFD Commission, normally the other means of intercession should have been attempted and no satisfactory solution found.

To seize the IFD Commission:

Information is at the UPMC IFD site (

For the UPMC:

Information can be found on the IFD site (

For l’Université Paris-Descartes:

Information can be found on the IFD site (


It takes several months for the diploma to be issued, but in the meantime you can ask the student affairs department (service de scolarité) for a certificate attesting to your success.


The thesis defence reports are also available from your administrative enrolment establishment’s student affairs department.

Information can be found on the UPMC IFD site


Enquire at the BAD

There is also a ceremony for diploma presentation at l’Université Paris-Descartes; make enquiries at the IFD.


No! It is obligatory that you are financed up to the date of your thesis defence.

Researchers/host teams that have recently joined a Unit attached to the ED3C or who wish to be linked to our ED to supervise PhD students should fill in the form “change in team composition” ("Fiche Changement Composition Equipe"), have it signed by the team head and Director of the Research Unit, and send it to the ED3C.

To supervise a thesis at the ED3C, you need to have your HDR and be affiliated to the ED3C. Each supervisor can direct a maximum of 3 PhD students per academic year (co-supervision counts for 1/2).

The DFC of the UPMC IFD proposes a training scheme for the supervision of a doctoral project.

Information can be found on the DFC site



The VAE is the validation of acquired experience. You have possibly enough experience to obtain your PhD by VAE. The PhD candidate must prove that his levels of professional and personal attainments are compatible with the content of the diploma that he is aiming for.

In the UPMC, the REVA group (Resumption of Studies and Validation of Acquired Knowledge) of contined training is responsible for support of the applicant and organization of the procedure. For further information, send your CV and a list of publications to

To print your thesis:

Service commun de reprographie de l'UFR 927 : Jussieu Site, Building B, 1st floor, door 105

tel : 01 44 27 37 14/34.86

Site web du service de la reprographie


To print a poster:

The Center for Treatment and Production of Images (CTPI)

See the CTPI web site (

Yes, you can change your thesis supervisor during your thesis. It is often a case of officialising supervision of an ED3C member by a scientist who has just obtained his HDR. You need to write a free-style letter, indicating the names of both your current and future supervisors. This should be signed by all three people involved.

This letter will then be submitted to the Director of the doctoral school and to the University President for their agreement.

An example of the type of letter:

The Doc'Up association gathers together the PhD students of the Sorbonne Universities. Further information can be found on the Doc’Up web site (

The association of UPMC post-PhD students was designed for UPMC PhDs. More information can be found on their web site (

The aim of these associations is to highlight the value of the PhD as both a professional and a high level training experience. They work to create, maintain and develop contacts between ex-PhD students, the University and the professional world. They thus contribute to the growth of University career networks and to links between the different professional spheres in which the ex-students evolve.