How-to: French qualification to supervise research (HDR) | EM Strasbourg Business School (2023)

The HDR is a national higher education diploma that can be obtained after a doctorate. This qualification allows associate professors to apply for a position as full professor1, to be a PhD adviser, or to be an external dissertation committee member.

The candidate must be supervised by an HDR-qualified adviser and must submit his or her file to the university where the adviser works. The file is then sent by the doctoral college to the doctoral school concerned.

The doctoral school then appoints two external examiners/experts, with no direct link to the candidate, to evaluate the file. The proposals are then examined by the members of the select research commission who give the authorization to register or not. Once authorization has been granted, the adviser proposes an examination board and defense date at least two months before the presumed date of the defense.

The examination board appointed by the president is composed of at least five members chosen from among the HDR-qualified faculty of public higher education institutions, the research directors of public scientific and technological institutions, and at least half of the members must be French or foreign personalities from outside the institution who are recognized for their scientific competence. At least half of the examination board must be composed of full professors or the equivalent. Among the members authorized to supervise research, three are external examiners.

The defense is organized within 18 months of the date the select research commission added the candidate to the qualifying list. Find the complete procedure on the University of Strasbourg’s website.

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1To apply for a position as full professor, researchers who are not associate professors must have obtained the PU qualification from the CNU.

Christophe Godlewski, Associate Director of the Augustin Cournot Doctoral School and Full Professor at the LaRGE research center, gives some advice on the University of Strasbourg's evaluation criteria for obtaining authorization to register:

  • Scientific maturity of the candidate (production, influence, ...): It is important to have a sustained and regular scientific production with several classified publications (at least 5 HCERES publications) including at least one A rank, as well as recent publications (at least one in the last 3 years).
  • Ability to master a research strategy in a sufficiently broad scientific or technological field (project management experience, etc.): The management of scientific projects (at least as a co-leader) should be highlighted.
  • Degree of autonomy (obtaining funding in one's own right, depending on the discipline, rankof signature on publications, ...): Being able to demonstrate the ability to obtain funding for research projects following calls for tenders (at least as a co-sponsor) is highly appreciated.
  • Ability to supervise research project (experience in project management, number and types of people supervised, duration of supervision, ...): It is useful to highlight all supervisory experience, especially those related to research theses.

Here is some feedback from Laurent Weill, director of the LaRGE research center, on the role of HDR-qualified adviser:

“For me, supervising an HDR consists of assisting a colleague to put together his or her publication file to produce a summary note, and then to form the HDR jury. For the guarantor, the main contribution is to help a colleague who deserves to obtain his or her HDR and then aspire to a promotion.”

We also heard from Laurence Viale, a professor in the HuManiS research center, who recently defended her HDR:

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"The biases: There are a lot of preconceived ideas about the HDR. What are the expectations, the codes? Which universities are involved? When and why do it? After reading too much, I preferred to trust my instincts while following certain codes and national standards that I thought were expected and necessary. Thus, the will to get my HDR came with the desire to accompany PhD students, to get more involved in the direction of larger projects and also with the fact that I felt autonomous enough in my research strategy.

Moreover, I felt legitimate in three aspects:

  • publications of a required level according to the SFM and the main major universities (min. 7 publications including 2 A ranks, most of them in Anglo-Saxon journals) and also a minimum of articles written independently or as first author on a subject coherent with my background;
  • indicators of scientific influence (e.g. recent integration in the AIRL-SCM Board of Directors, co-editing of special issues and involvement in a Horizon European project...);
  • and finally, my involvement in institutional responsibilities: the administrative and academic management of the two Masters degrees I was responsible for had been a priority for many years.

Thus, these different items indicated me that I wanted to work on this project and develop a reflective document.

The construction of the dissertation: My HDR-qualified adviser had warned me to justify my research orientations, to clearly show the major praxeological stakes and the ambitious theorization efforts. I let myself be guided by his suggestions and sometimes we debated in case of disagreement. The main message was that I had to show who I was, what was the essence of my research, my trajectory and what was my brand!

As I moved through the writing process, I could see more and more of the common thread, as well as in the areas I hadn't yet had time to explore. This clarity became a great source of motivation for me, pushing me to go further. For more than a year, writing my HDR was an almost daily part of my life.

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The administrative part: I was surprised by its heaviness, by the number of steps, by the obligation to follow and validate training courses (a few round trips far from Strasbourg), a part which is not the case in all universities, but which was in the one I had chosen linked to my adviser. I appreciated the exchanges with colleagues from other sciences (life sciences, agronomy ...) and where the questions during the training courses were similar, which was unifying.

The defense: After having selected a jury (independent of my work), I was "surprised" by the completeness, the length of the reports and the questions, by all the necessary requirements much more important - according to me - than for my PhD thesis, and finally, the capacity to show that I could direct the researchers in the making.

It was a tough month of intense preparation to be able to answer as well as possible, to make an attractive presentation and to be prepared to open the field of possibilities. All this in 20 minutes and also by preparing for an exchange of more than 2h30 with the jury. All the members ask questions (not all of them are known in advance) that lead to a debate. Thanks to the discussions with the members of the jury, then to the feedback of my adviser Pr. Damien Talbot and the president, I had the feeling to be in the right place at the right time.

Conclusion: Overall, the HDR is a very rewarding experience, even if it requires a lot of sacrifices. It is a unique and reflective work on one's career, on one's current projects, and especially on those to come in coherence with one's academic identity (which must be recognized in a field and by peers). A motivation booster and a real added value for the future!

As research functions mainly thanks to the altruism of its members, I am at the disposal of all EMSBS colleagues to share and bring my help on this subject. It would be my pleasure!

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Is PhD paid in France? ›

Funding from a doctoral fellowship: your doctoral school provides you with 1,400 euros net funding for your Doctorate per month for three years. This is done either through its research budget or as a complement to your own funding.

Can you do a PhD in English in France? ›

The great news for international students here is you can study PhD in France in English as well. The language of instruction is also available in French and covers other languages as well based on the universities offerings. Lastly, pursuing PhD in France for Indian students takes place with QS-ranked universities.

How long is a PhD program in France? ›

In France, it takes three to six years to complete a Doctorate, depending on the field, although there is no legal time limit. In the natural and technological sciences (mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, etc.), it usually takes three years and can be extended for a fourth year.

How to apply for a PhD in Paris? ›

In France, there are no "doctoral programmes" that enable you to enrol for a Doctorate in a particular field, leaving you the first year to choose and refine your thesis subject. You must therefore be able to find a thesis topic and a thesis supervisor before you can enrol. The Doctoral school must also accept you.

How much is a PhD stipend in France? ›

Conventions Industrielles de Formation par la Recherche (CIFRE) As part of the Conventions Industrielles de Formation par la Recherche (CIFRE), you will complete a 3-year full-time work contract leading to PhD research for a French company and French public laboratory. You will receive €23,484 per year.

What is the French equivalent of a PhD? ›

The PhD (“Doctorat”) is a professional research experience, undertaken by a master's degree graduate or equivalent, which is sanctioned, after the defense of a thesis, by the awarding of the degree of doctor (“grade de docteur”). This is the highest degree awarded by the French Higher Education.

Is PhD stipend taxable in France? ›

Taxes have to be paid on these incomes. PhD students can also get financial support from associations or companies offering grants. They do not have to pay taxes, but have to pay the student social insurance to have health support, and they cannot pretend to unemployment help once their PhD is over.

What is the eligibility criteria for PhD in France? ›

To enroll as a Ph. D. student, you will typically need a Master's degree (or equivalent) in the relevant subject. You are also eligible to apply if you are pursuing your Master's degree and have completed it before starting the doctorate program.

What is the difference between a doctorate and a PhD? ›

One of the main differences is that a PhD is typically an academic degree, while a doctorate can be either academic or professional. Additionally, a PhD is highly theoretical and research-focused, while a professional doctorate is practical and geared toward applying research to specific professional settings.

How long is a PhD in USA vs Europe? ›

Time to completion

PhD programs in the UK (and rest of Europe) take around 3 to 4 years to complete. After a PhD in the UK, students generally go on to their postdoctoral research. In the US, a PhD may take up to 5 or 6 years.

Can I do PhD without Masters in France? ›

In most European countries, a Master's degree is a necessary requirement if you want to apply for PhD. The only cases when you can be exempt from a Master's is if your Bachelor's took four or more years to complete, as was the case before the Bologna system.

Can I work while doing PhD in France? ›

Working during your PhD

Every international student in France is permitted to work alongside their studies as soon as they are enrolled in a French institute and registered for Student Social Security.

Can I apply to a PhD in Europe without Masters? ›

Europe offers considerable opportunities for existing and young researchers from around the world to study a PhD, a post-doctorate degree and to work as a researcher. You should have a Master's or equivalent degree to apply. In some cases, a bachelor's degree is sufficient.

How to find PhD positions in Europe? ›

How to Find a PhD in Europe?
  1. Use PhDportal. You are always welcome to use our website, PhDportal, which offers more than 2,700 PhDs in Europe. ...
  2. In Europe, a PhD is considered a full-time job. ...
  3. Be proactive with your PhD application. ...
  4. University rankings can help you decide.
Jan 10, 2022

What is the GMAT score for HEC Paris PhD? ›

The average GMAT of admitted candidates is in general around 700. What is the purpose of the language tests? The HEC PhD Program is taught 100% in English.

Which country has best PhD stipend? ›

Four countries with the highest PhD stipend
  • Norway. Average PhD stipend (per annum): US54,935 US dollars. ...
  • Denmark. Average PhD stipend (per annum): US$54,636. ...
  • Switzerland. Average PhD stipend (per annum): US$53,434. ...
  • Finland. ...
  • 4 highest paying degrees for int'l students in the US. ...
  • 4 highest-paying computer science jobs.
Aug 24, 2022

How much are Harvard PhD students paid? ›

All incoming students, regardless of need and background, are awarded a fellowship which includes tuition, single-person health fees, and a living stipend ($47,586 for 2023-2024).

How much is the average PhD fund in USA? ›

A stipend is a non-repayable grant provided to doctoral students to help support their studies. What is the PhD stipend in USA? PhD students in USA can earn between $15,000 and $30,000 a year depending on their institution, field of study, and location.

What is PhD equivalent in USA? ›

PhD equivalent degrees

Doctor of Science (DSc): USA, Japan, South Korea, Egypt. Doctor of Juridical Science and Doctor of the Science of Law: USA.

What do I call someone with a PhD? ›

A doctoral degree (PhD) is a degree that one earns after a master's degree. A PhD entitles a person to use the title doctor.

What are the three types of degrees in France? ›

The three-level organisation of post-secondary education is shared by most countries in the European Union; in France, meaning licence-master-doctorat (Bachelor's-Master's-Doctorate), or the LMD system. This system standardises the levels and organises recognition of the degrees in the different countries.

What is the age limit for PhD in France? ›

The age limit for PhD in Europe is 36 years. This is time when most of the universities get their seats filled. Many PhD aspirants wait this much longer time due to one reason i.e. to make their dreams come true during younger days but unable to achieve.

What can you do with a PhD in French? ›

French PhD jobs
  • Private French Tutor. Prepaze Academy. ...
  • French Language Instructor at FSI. Yorktown Systems Group. ...
  • Adjunct Faculty: French. SLCC. ...
  • Lecturer, Full-Time, Temporary, French-Modern Languages and Cultures. ...
  • Fishing Tourism Policy Consultant. ...
  • Consultant - Anti-Racism. ...
  • Mathematical Scientist. ...
  • Lecturer in French.

Is PhD stipend enough to live on? ›

The average annual stipend in the United States ranges between about $23,000 and $33,000 per year. You're not going to get rich as a PhD student on one of these stipends, but you can survive.

What is the official French qualification? ›

DELF is an official diploma awarded by the French Ministry of Education to certify that foreign candidates have achieved a certain level of French. DELF covers 4 independent diplomas corresponding to the first four levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

What is the minimum requirements for PhD? ›

D Program shall normally be a two years Master's OR M. Phil Degree from any accredited Indian or Foreign University in the relevant field. She/he must have obtained 55% marks or Equivalent Grade in the Master's or M. Phil Degree (applicable for all PhD programs except in Engineering and Technology).

What is the eligibility criteria for PhD in USA? ›

What is the eligibility criteria for PhD in USA? Ans. To be eligible for PhD in USA, you need to have a completed graduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0, proof of English language proficiency, GRE scores in addition to other supporting documents required for admission.

Is it harder to get a PhD or doctorate? ›

A doctorate degree is not easier than a PhD. They're different and both take hard work. It would be best to research the area of study you are pursuing. A PhD demands years of original research, while a doctorate degree looks at an existing body of knowledge and looks into theories created by this knowledge.

Is A PhD higher than a doctorate? ›

Is a PhD Higher Than a Professional Doctorate? No, a PhD is not a higher degree than a professional doctorate. If you're wondering what's better than a PhD, both PhDs and professional doctorates are the highest level of college education that can be earned. Both degrees are doctoral degrees.

Is PhD a higher degree than MD? ›

Both the MD and the PhD are advanced degrees, but they often represent very different subject areas. Individuals with MD degrees are medical doctors, while those with PhD degrees have expertise in one of many academic or medical subject areas.

Which country pays most for PhD? ›

Four countries with the highest PhD stipend
  • Norway. Average PhD stipend (per annum): US54,935 US dollars. ...
  • Denmark. Average PhD stipend (per annum): US$54,636. ...
  • Switzerland. Average PhD stipend (per annum): US$53,434. ...
  • Finland. ...
  • 4 highest paying degrees for int'l students in the US. ...
  • 4 highest-paying computer science jobs.
Aug 24, 2022

Is PhD funded in Europe? ›

PhD fees and funding in Europe

Each country in Europe is free to set their own fees for doctorates and other degrees. However, EU member countries must charge the same fees to citizens of other EU countries as they do to their own students.

Do you get paid to get your PhD? ›

PhD Stipends

Most PhD programs expect students to study full-time. In exchange, they're usually offered a stipend — a fixed sum of money paid as a salary — to cover the cost of housing and other living expenses.

Which is the best paid PhD in USA? ›

Top 10 Highest Paying PhD Degrees
  • 10) Statistics. Salary in Early Career: $105,000. ...
  • 9) Biomedical Engineering. Salary in Early Career: $88,100. ...
  • 8) Physics. Salary in Early Career: $93,700. ...
  • 7) Engineering. Salary in Early Career: $93,600. ...
  • 6) Physical Chemistry. ...
  • 5) Pharmacology. ...
  • 4) Electrical Engineering. ...
  • 3) Computer Science.
Dec 27, 2022

How much does Harvard pay PhD students? ›

All students receive full tuition and stipend support while they are enrolled and making satisfactory progress toward the Ph. D. degree. For the 2022-2023 academic year, the stipend support is $44,376 or $3,698 per month.

What is the average salary of PhD student in USA? ›

Phd Student Salaries
Job TitleSalary
Stanford University PhD Student salaries - 443 salaries reported$42,831/yr
University of Pennsylvania PhD Student salaries - 305 salaries reported$41,386/yr
Harvard University PhD Student salaries - 303 salaries reported$42,593/yr
17 more rows

Can a PhD student bring spouse to France? ›

Visa for Spouse

Spouses and children may be permitted to reside in France while you study, but this is conditional. These conditions include having enough and appropriate financing and living space.

What is the minimum GPA for PhD in Europe? ›

Those who apply for the program with their BA degree have to have at least 3.0 GPA score out of 4 or some equivalent scores. c) Those who apply for the PHD program with their MA degree are assessed through ALES score, bachelor and master degree's GPA as well as interview results.

Which country in Europe is cheapest for PhD? ›

Finland. Another Nordic nation, Finland, is at the top of our list of 5 countries that offer free or very cheap PhD programs. In Finland, pursuing a PhD is entirely free, even for those who are not citizens, similar to Norway and Sweden. According to QS, Finland is home to two of the top 150 institutions.

Which European country is best for PhD? ›

The Netherlands is also among one of the top countries for PhD abroad and other higher education courses. It has some of the well-known and top-ranked universities in Europe. It is a country that has developed rich traditions of artistic, cultural and scientific achievement.

Who has the most PhDs in the world? ›

PhD Percentage by Country / Number of Doctorate Degrees per Country 2023
  1. Slovenia. Slovenia is the highest-ranking country in the number of Ph. ...
  2. Switzerland. Switzerland has the second-highest rate of Ph. ...
  3. Luxembourg. ...
  4. United States. ...
  5. Sweden. ...
  6. The United Kingdom. ...
  7. Germany. ...
  8. Australia.

Is doing a PhD stressful? ›

This is a question that many prospective PhD students ask themselves. While it depends on your personality, a PhD can be more stressful than a full-time job outside of academia. Several specific circumstances trigger high-stress levels among PhD students.

Do PhD students get paid in Sweden? ›

In Sweden, applicants apply competitively for paid positions as PhD students. The PhD students receive a salary for a maximum of 48 months/8 semesters/4 years (the starting salary is 28,000 SEK per month).


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