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Université Sorbonne Paris Cité (USPC) INSPIRE Research Fellowship for International PhD Students 2017

Université Sorbonne Paris Cité (USPC) will offer highly competitive PhD contracts, to international candidates from all over the world, in 2017 via the INSPIRE (INterdiSciPlinarity and excellence for doctoral training of International REsearchers in Paris) programme.

Application Deadline:  9th January 2017

Eligible Countries: International

To be taken at (University): Eligible Doctoral Schools affiliated with USPC, France.

Candidates may apply for an INSPIRE PhD contract in any discipline with the support of a research group affiliated with one of the eight following higher-education institutions of USPC: Sorbonne Nouvelle 3 -Paris , Paris Descartes University , University Paris Diderot , Paris 13 University , EHESP , INALCO , IPGP and Sciences Po. Research groups in CNRS, INED, INRIA, INSERM and IRD laboratories affiliated with one of the eight institutions listed above are also eligible to support a candidate for an INSPIRE fellowship.

Eligible Field of Study: 

  • Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
  • Life Sciences

View broad list in link below

About the Award: Comprising over 10,000 professors and researchers from its eight higher education institutions* and five research institutes**, USPC offers a research-intensive university environment. Each year, approximately 1100, out of more than 6000, doctoral candidates defend their PhD theses, corresponding to about 10% of the annual doctoral cohort in France. Under the auspices of INSPIRE, USPC aims to recruit doctoral candidates of the highest caliber to join its research groups and enhance the standing and visibility of its Graduate Schools, and of the University, at an international level.

The three-year PhD fellowships will be awarded through a strictly merit-based selection process.

Attention will be paid to equal opportunity issues concerning all aspects of INSPIRE.

The highly competitive call in 2016 resulted in the recruitment of 29 INSPIRE doctoral fellows across all disciplines. Altogether, these 60 PhD fellowships, comprising doctoral fellows recruited in 2016 and 2017, are co-financed by the European Union through the Horizon 2020 (H2020) Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action, COFUND and by USPC via the French Government’s Investissements d’avenir programme.

Type: PhD Research Fellowship


Academic criterion

  • As per definition by the European Commission, as an Early Stage Researcher, you need to have obtained the degree which would formally entitle you to embark on a doctorate in France, no more than four years before the start date of the INSPIRE PhD contract.

The PhD contract will commence on the 1st of September 2017. Therefore your Masters degree, or other equivalent diploma, should have been granted on, or after, the 2nd of September 2013, or should be granted by the 31st of August 2017.

  • You must not be enrolled in a PhD programme nor have *ever* been enrolled in one.
  • You must not already be in possession of a PhD degree.

You will be asked to sign a declaration of honour attesting to the above.

2.    International criterion

  • ESRs will need to comply with the conditions of the EU-mobility rule (incoming mobility): applicants must not have had their main residence, or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.), in France for more than 12 months during the three years immediately prior to the deadline for the call (12H on Monday the 9th of January 2017); compulsory national service in the home country, and/or short stays of less than a month, such as holidays in France, are not taken into account.

Namely, you shouldn’t have spent more than 365 days in France between the 10th of January 2014 and the 9th of January 2017.

  • Stays in the country of past and present residence are also limited by the EU-mobility rule: candidates whose project require significant time spent abroad are advised to contact the INSPIRE helpdesk [email protected] as soon as possible.

You will be asked to sign a declaration of honour attesting to the above.

3.    Submission criterion

  • All required data and documents need to be submitted via the web-based portal by 17h on the 9th of January 2017.
  • Applications in SDVS and SET will need to be submitted in English. Applications in HALL and SS may be submitted in French or English.
  • Missing documents will render the application null and void.
  • Applicants can apply to more than one research group at USPC – they have to inform the concerned thesis supervisors in this case.
  • Thesis supervisors may present more than one candidate provided they include co-supervisors (“co-encadrant.e” or “co-tutelle”) in the application.

4.    Research-topic criterion

  • The proposed research project should be supported by the host research group at USPC and should not be excluded from EU funding due to ethical issues.


Number of Awardees: Not specified

Value of Fellowship: These PhD fellowships are remunerated above that of a standard French PhD contract with a gross monthly salary, including employer costs, of ~2600 €. This salary includes unemployment insurance, work-site insurance, and health insurance as well as a pension plan. After standard deductions, this will amount to a net salary of ~ 1500 € (a typical gross salary after deduction of employer costs is around 1900 €).

Duration of Fellowship: 3 years

How to Apply: The online application platform is now open and candidates may submit their application material here: http://self.parisdescartes.fr/cgi-bin/WebObjects/Inspire.woa

All required information, and documents, will need to be filled in or uploaded via the application portal in English (HALL, SDVS, SET and SS) or in French (HALL and SS).

  • HALL: Humanités, Arts, Lettres et Langues / Humanities, Arts, Literature and Languages
  • SDVS: Sciences du Vivant et de la Santé /Life and Health Sciences
  • SET: Sciences Exactes et Technologie/ Exact Sciences and Technology
  • SS: Sciences Sociales / Social Sciences

Visit Fellowship Webpage for details

Award Provider:  European Union

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