Competition Presentation

The recruitment by competition is done in order to obtain a doctoral contract. The organization of this competition follows a precise schedule and defined by steps:

Step 1: Collection of thesis projects from HDRs and their publications

In February/March, a call for projects is issued to the HDR of the ED BioSPC. They can then submit their project in French or in English on a platform managed by the ED coordinators. In addition to the thesis project, the HDRs submitting a project must sign an attestation concerning the supervision rules effective at the ED BioSPC.

Although only HDRs are authorized to submit a subject and supervise a thesis, exemptions are possible for new holders of ATIP-Avenir, G5 Pasteur, ERC, ANR young researchers teams. They can submit a thesis project but must commit to obtaining the HDR within the next two years. The application for ADT (Autorisation à Diriger une Thèse) is not required for the directors of these teams.

Please note that only one project can be submitted per HDR in this competition. Also, a project submitted to the competition can be submitted to other calls for proposals (Ile-de-France Region, Associations, Foundations, etc.), but it is forbidden to submit it to other doctoral schools.

At the end of April, the coordinators check that the HDRs who have applied belong to the ED, as well as their supervision status (1 doctoral student in progress, or 2 if the 2nd doctoral student is defending during the current calendar year). The projects are then published online at the end of April.


Step 2: Call for applications

Applications are possible as soon as the projects are published online and until the end of May/beginning of June. At this stage, the student candidate will have to contact the team proposing the project he/she is interested in, and assemble an application form to be submitted on the ED website (see section Student? Apply to the competition). 

Step 3: Pre-selection of candidates

When the number of candidates is higher than the number of candidates who can be auditioned in one day for a department, a pre-selection day is organized. This allows us to select the candidates who will be auditioned during the oral sessions of the competition.

The department directors, the heads of the masters programs, the representatives of the doctoral students, as well as the coordinators of the ED participate in this pre-selection day.

During this day, an academic score is attributed to each candidate by studying his/her academic record. The scores are calculated from an evaluation grid available on the doctoral school website (see section Student ? Apply to the competition). This grid is validated by the Board of Directors of the department and validated by the ED Council. As this step is carried out before the end of the academic year, the grade of the second semester of M2 is not taken into account.

Step 4: Audition days for candidates

The audition days take place according to the competition calendar at the end of June/beginning of July. There is one audition day per department. Audition juries and academic juries are invited to these days.

The academic jury

The academic juries are composed of 2 or 3 researchers of the ED. The role of this jury is to recalculate the academic grade of each student candidate, by integrating the grade of the second semester of M2. The other grades (other than M2) must not be modified (except for serious errors).

This final academic grade counts for 40% of the candidate’s final grade.

Auditions juries

The auditions take place without the jury members knowing the candidates’ academic grades. The audition lasts 20 minutes: 10 minutes for the candidate to present his/her project, and 10 minutes for discussion with the jury.

Juries are not permanent, they change every year. The rule is that no one presenting a candidate to the competition may sit on the audition juries. The same applies when a member of his or her team presents a candidate.

If a member is on a jury where someone from his or her research institute is being auditioned, he or she must not speak or give an opinion. The student representatives are responsible for the proper conduct of the auditions and for ensuring that all candidates are treated equally.

The ranking obtained during the deliberations will be used to calculate 60% of the candidate’s grade.

The deliberations

At the end of the day, the audition juries deliberate on the rankings. Following this, the final grade is calculated from a table specially configured for the competition. The scores cannot be changed after this deliberation.

If there is a tie between two candidates, the academic grade will be used to break the tie.

Step 5: Awarding of doctoral contracts

At the end of the audition day, a competition report for the department indicates the candidates on the main list (in alphabetical order), those on the complementary list (in order of ranking), and the unranked candidates if applicable.

The department’s competition report is sent by e-mail to all the candidates auditioned by the department. The contracts refused by candidates on the main list are offered to candidates on the complementary list, in the order of their ranking.

NB : If a candidate has passed the competition and has been ranked (main list with refusal of the doctoral contract or complementary list) and wishes to register with another funding, he/she does not have to audition again.