- 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
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.