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Funding for theses

It is not always easy to find funding for theses in disciplines associated with the humanities. Some information and leads are provided below to help you in your search. It is up to you to seek and choose calls that match your circumstances.

Ministry of Higher Education and Research Doctoral Contracts
Doctoral Contracts are open to all (to those who have not yet enrolled, and to those who have enrolled within the last year), irrespective of age. However, each year the number of applicants exceeds the number of contracts awarded. Students are initially selected following a review of their application forms, then successful applicants are interviewed by the Doctoral School Board.

The Doctoral Contract recruitment campaign opens every year in May:
These contracts are funded by the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research under (3-year) fixed-term employment contracts, to allow graduate students to devote their time to their theses. A limited number of these contracts (3 or 4, depending on the year, for the whole of the Doctoral School) are allocated directly to the Doctoral Schools, which organise the selection and ranking of candidates.

Calendar for the Doctoral School’s centre in Grenoble:

  • Defences of Masters theses must have taken place by mid-June at the latest
  • Mid-June: deadline for submitting applications to Valérie Perret at the secretariat of  the Grenoble branch of the École doctorale 487 (IPhiG - UGA - Bâtiment ARSH)
  • early July: interviews for successful candidates at the Doctoral School’s headquarters in Lyon

Application forms are available at (valerie[dot]perret[at]univ-grenoble-alpes[dot]fr) from 15 May.

Ministry of Higher Education and Research Doctoral Disability Contracts

These 36-month employment contracts for the completion of doctoral theses are available to students with disabilities.
Online information and documents:
Application forms and an information notice for new entrants are available on the  Ministry’s website, as well as extension request forms and the corresponding information notice.


  • Valérie Perret, the manager of your Doctoral School
  • Marie-Paule Balicco, in charge of Disability within Grenoble-Alpes University (contact: (marie-paule[dot]balicco[at]univ-grenoble-alpes[dot]fr))

The réseau des Ecoles Françaises à l'Etranger (EFE) (French Schools Abroad) Signed Doctoral Contracts

As part of the support provided to international cooperation initiatives, the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI) offers a system of international signed doctoral contracts (ACI).
For further information:

Convention Industrielle de Formation par la Recherche (CIFRE) (Industrial Convention for Training through Research) grants

For nearly 30 years, the CIFRE system - Conventions Industrielles de Formation par la Recherche – has been subsidising all French companies that employ doctoral students so as to place them at the centre of research collaboration with a public laboratory. The work will result in the defence of a thesis within three years. CIFREs are entirely funded by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, which has entrusted their implementation to the ANRT (National Association for Research and Technology).

ANDES: Association Nationale des Docteurs et des Sciences (National Association of Doctors and Sciences)

The ANDES offers a Guide to Funding. This is a directory of funding for theses and post-docs, and research grants.

Bourse d'excellence Eiffel (Eiffel Excellence Scholarships) - Campus France

The  Eiffel scholarships programme is a tool developed by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, to enable French Higher Education institutions to attract the best foreign students to masters and doctorate-level courses.

Submitted on February 7, 2024

Updated on February 7, 2024