It is the responsibility of those entities recruiting PhD students to seek or provide for the students’ remuneration. 

Main types of funding

The institutional doctoral contract

The doctoral contract is a work contract created by the French Ministry of Research and Higher Education. This 3-year, fixed-duration contract allows PhD students to fully dedicate themselves to their research work for the preparation of their doctoral thesis. 

Regional grants 

  • The regions of Brittany and Pays de la Loire allocate doctoral research grants meant to cover the costs of employing PhD students.

Available topics can be acesssed here :

2021 doctoral positions : read more (in French)

Candidates must apply online and will be interviewed.

  • The new Graduate Schools  (GS) programmes, such as CAPS / Creative approaches to Public Space in Rennes in 2020 also advertise PhDs cofunded by the Brittany Region. These must correspond to the themes of the GS and they will need to be registered within one of the partner institutions (Rennes 2, ENSAB and EESAB) and within the ALL doctoral school. Doctoral joint supervison with the GS's international partners is encouraged.  The internal rules of the doctoral school apply to GS-CAPS doctoral students. The graduate school will provide targeted CAPS taught modules and seminars from 2022 onwards, which registered PhD candidates in the Arts, languages and literature will be able to access. CAPS website


CIFRE : Industrial Agreements for Training through Research

The CIFRE programme allows PhD students attached to a research laboratory to pursue their thesis while being paid by an entity other than the university: a private company, a public institution, an association, etc.
A CIFRE agreement brings together three partners: 1) a company, territorial authority or association, 2) a PhD student 3)  a laboratory/ research group
These agreements are destined for private or public institutions (with the exception of universities). The latter agree to entrust to a PhD student with research work in close conjunction with an outside research laboratory. The funding institution signs a work contract (either open-ended or for a fixed duration of 3 years) and pays the CIFRE beneficiary an annual salary of at least €23,484. 
For more information on CIFRE agreements, access the ANRT (National Association of Technological Research) website.  Doctoral students covered by a CIFRE agreement can register at any time during the academic year.

Funding by the European Commission

A researcher can propose to prepare a doctorate within the framework of funding obtained from the European Union.
Innovative Training Networks offer such funding (Marie-Slodowska Curie Actions)

Foreign funding

Foreign governments may provide funding for their nationals studying in France within the framework of international cooperation, university exchange programmes, etc. 

Other sources of funding

Research partnerships with companies, associations and foundations can also provide thesis funding.