Doctoral contract – a method of financing a thesis

The doctoral contract is a method of financing a thesis that is obtained through a competition for the distribution of doctoral contracts organized every year by the doctoral school.

To participate in this competition, a few eligibility conditions must be met:

  • Diplomas: to have obtained the master 2 (or an exemption notably for foreign students) and not to have already registered for a PhD.
  • A candidate for a doctoral contract cannot compete more than once at the Bio Sorbonne Paris Cité doctoral school (students who were candidates in last year’s competition are excluded).
  • Note: There are no more age requirements
1 : Contact the thesis director and the head of the doctoral student's host team

Before contacting the doctoral school or applying to the competition, it is imperative to contact the thesis director and the head of the host team.

The thesis subjects proposed for the competition are published on the doctoral school’s website.

2 :Registering for doctoral contract competitions

Avec l’accord du directeur de thèse, du responsable de l’équipe d’accueil et du directeur de l’Unité de Recherche – le candidat au concours dépose un dossier électronique qui comprendra (très important!!) la FICHE CURSUS UNIVERSITAIRE (dite aussi GRILLE ACADEMIQUE). Voir aussi Présentation du concours de l’ED pour les grandes étapes du recrutement sur Concours.

With the agreement of the thesis director, the head of the host team and the director of the Research Unit – the candidate for the competition submits an electronic file that will include (importantly!!) the FICHE CURSUS UNIVERSITAIRE (also designated as the GRILLE ACADEMIQUE). See also Présentation du concours de l’ED pour les grandes étapes du recrutement sur Concours.

If the application is accepted, the candidate will receive an invitation to the competition by e-mail with acknowledgement of receipt.

The deadline for the application: see the competition calendar.

Submission of applications: only electronic submissions are accepted.


3 : Conduct of the competition

Each department will organize its competition following the same procedures. There will be 4 competitions for the Bio Sorbonne Paris Cité doctoral school.

Please check the date of the competition that concerns you on the competition calendar.

NB: : Composition of the Jury of the doctoral school competition

The Jury, which is made up of at least 6 members, gathers experts from all the disciplines of the department concerned, some of them being external members, the others being members of the Doctoral Host Teams. All the members of the Doctoral Host Teams who have a candidate for a doctoral contract do not participate in the jury. The representatives of the doctoral students on the School’s board will be present as observers.  If the number of candidates is too large for the jury to be held on a single day, the jury is divided into two sub-juries of at least six members each.

In order to ensure fairness of evaluation among the four departments, the jury will use the common audition evaluation grid.

Pre-selection of candidates

A pre-selection will be made if the number of candidates exceeds twice the number of contracts awarded to the departments.  The pre-selection will be made by a jury made up of members of the doctoral school’s office, Master’s program managers and representatives of the doctoral students, based on the applications received by the candidates.

Doctoral contracts are awarded following a competition organized at the end of June – beginning of July by each department of the Sorbonne Paris Cité Bio Doctoral School.

After hearing the candidates on their curriculum and their research project, the candidates are ranked by the competition jury. The ranking of candidates in the competition will be determined as followed :

  • Academical grade will count for 40% of the final grade and take into account results and rankings in the previous curriculum (L3, M1 and M2) ( grille note académique)
  • udition grade will count for 60 % of the final grade and will be given by the doctoral school jury after the oral presentation made by each candidate in front of the jury ( grille d’évaluation d’audition)
4 : The Oral exam on the day of the competition

You will be invited to present your thesis proposal. The use of a presentation support is highly recommended.

The oral presentation (on-site) consists of :

  • A 10-minute presentation of your thesis project,
  • A 10-minute discussion with the jury.

You can present in either French or English.


The Department Manager will inform you, approximately one week in advance of the competition day, of your scheduled time and place for the oral presentation.


A laptop and a video projector will be available on site. Applicants are invited to arrive 20 minutes before their audition time with the following items

  • an ID card
  • a USB key in order to copy the oral presentation on the desktop of the computer installed on site.

The 4 departments competition will take place in 2023 at the Université Paris Cité, Bâtiment Lamarck B, 35 rue Hélène Brion 75013 PARIS (Métro ligne 14 – arrêt : Bibliothèque – François Mitterrand).

Applicants should send a copy of their grades and final ranking of the second semester of the Master 2 to their department manager:

In case of withdrawal, please notify your department manager as soon as possible. 

5 : Results of the competition

Competition results: