3 min

Do your PhD at INRAE

Each year, nearly 500 PhD students join INRAE. Welcomed within its various research units and closely associated with the scientific production of the institute, doctoral students are one of the driving forces.

Updated on 04 January 2020

illustration Do your PhD at INRAE



    • Have a master's degree (Master 2 in the French system) or the equivalent
    • Be a student at an establishment for higher education in France (i.e., a university or Grand École) that has an accredited doctoral programme. See the list of doctoral programmes that have an established relationship with INRAE.
    • Have a work contract associated with sufficient funding. Certain doctoral programmes require proof of sufficient funding before students can register.

    Identify an INRAE host research unit and a thesis topic

    Contact the director of the research unit. Each INRAE research unit is affiliated with a doctoral programme that supervises student training and ensures that students are registered at a university or Grand École.

    • See the list of research units (organised by research centre) : see the map of research unit/center. Certain INRAE centres are affiliated with campuses that have student facilities for living and studying see the site's maps.
    • See the list of research units (organised by research theme): see the directory.
    • See INRAE’s list of available PhD fellowships and potential thesis topics (with and without sources of funding): https://jobs.inrae.fr/en

    Find funding

    Several different types of PhD funding exist. In most cases, the first step is to talk to the director of the research unit that interests you, who can clarify which of the following types of fellowship funding might be available:

    • INRAE funding (100% or in tandem with funding from regional, ANR, and/or European research projects).
    • CIFRE funding (French industrial convention for research-based training), which is provided through a partnership with a private company, which serves as the official employer.
    • Doctoral programme funding. There may be differences among doctoral programmes: selection may be candidate based or candidate/project based (in these cases, students must first contact and establish an agreement with the research unit). PhD fellowships are awarded based on the results of open competitions; applications are submitted in February/March. See the list of doctoral programmes.
    • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action funding or Erasmus funding.
    • Foreign students may also receive PhD fellowships from their countries of origin for use in France.

    Other useful links

    Learn more

    A good work-life balance

    To favour a positive work-life balance (private, professional and community activities, etc.), INRAE can offer arrangements and services to facilitate the organisation of your work, support your family events and provide access to holidays and leisure and sports activities.

    02 January 2020

    A quality workplace

    When you join INRAE, you will benefit from excellent working conditions thanks to the Institute’s outstanding premises and facilities and its cutting-edge technological equipment.

    02 January 2020

    HR Excellence in research

    As one of the leading agricultural research organisations in Europe, INRAE counts the construction of the European Research Area and improving its attractiveness to young researchers among its top priorities. INRAE was the first French research organisation to receive the “HR Excellence in Research” label awarded by the European Commission.

    02 January 2020