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Complete your thesis within a company with the CIFRE program

The CIFRE* program allows future PhD students to complete their three-year thesis in collaboration with a company and an academic research laboratory.

Why would a future PhD student want to embark on this adventure?

  • Benefit from high-quality training and recognized research experience
  • Enhance your resumé with a scientific specialization at the highest level
  • Pursue a PhD in a highly professional and multicultural environment
* CIFRE = Industrial Convention of Training through Research (Convention industrielle de formation par la recherche)



The main objective of the “Doctor’Entreprise” program is to provide the best possible conditions for future PhD students to develop their professional career.

The CIFRE thesis brings together three different players:

  • The future PhD student, who will devote 100% of their time to research work (with periods of work in the company and the academic laboratory),
  • The company, who will hire the future PhD student under a permanent or three-year fixed-term contract (with a minimum gross annual salary of 23,484 euros) and will entrust them with a research project that is key to its strategic development,
  • The academic research laboratory, which supervises the future PhD student’s research work and helps them develop their skills and knowledge.


• Mathieu Nivon

The Université de Lyon and the Medef Lyon-Rhône have joined forces to promote the Doctor’Entreprise program.


Eligibility criteria

  • You must hold a five-year university degree or equivalent (Master’s degree),
  • You must not have been registered as a PhD student for at least nine months prior to your application submission date,
  • You must not be a current or past employee of the company, for a period of more than nine months (whether continuous or not) prior to your application submission date (excluding internships or work-study programs),
  • You must be authorized to work in France.

Preparing your application and the review procedure

Your application must include

  • A presentation of the company and the laboratory
  • Applicant information:
    - An up-to-date and detailed resumé, in chronological order
    - Master's degree report card
  • 3 formal letters of commitment from the heads of the company, the laboratory and the doctoral school
  • Description of the research project:
    - Free format (three to five pages minimum)
    - Main chapters presenting a research funding application

Application procedure

Applications are to be submitted online on the ANRT website. They will be reviewed by the evaluation and monitoring committee based on the conclusions of two expert assessments:

  1. Socio-economic, carried out by the company’s local regional delegate for research and technology, in order to assess its financial stability, its involvement in the research project and its ability to support the applicant’s scientific training.
  2. Scientific, carried out by a public researcher in the relevant field of research in order to assess the scientific quality of the research topic, the company's commitment to the applicant and the project, and the suitability of the laboratory.

Important dates

Applications can be submitted, at any time throughout the year, on the ANRT platform

The ANRT’s preliminary application review (within the first few days):

  • Verification of the partners' eligibility
  • To ensure that the application is complete

Application review (two to three months):

  • Socio-economic assessment
  • Scientific assessment

Decision made by the Evaluation and Monitoring Committee (one per month).

Business platform

For companies interested in welcoming a future PhD student

► Visit the Medef Lyon Rhône's dedicated web page
(coming soon)

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