You are here : Version Anglaise > News & About > PhD

CSC PhD scholarships candidates - Applying to a PhD program at the Université de Lyon

What PhD studies mean?

To be admitted into a doctoral program in France, you must have a research subject, a supervisor and a funding. Research subjects are provided by the research teams or proposed by the candidates themselves. In human and social sciences, it is quite usual that the proposal is elaborated by the candidate knowing that it has to be part of a thematic area on which a research team works.

A PhD program lasts 3 years but can be extended to 4 years if it is scientifically relevant and if there is available funding.

Usually, French is the language of the dissertation and defense. However, it is possible to write and to defend in another language, but in this case, there must be a written abstract in French (and sometimes an oral abstract too). In natural and experimental sciences, it is very common that the dissertation and defense are in English.
The Université de Lyon offers French language courses to all doctoral students. They are of all levels, from beginners to “Dissertation writing" and they are fully subsidized.

The doctoral student is attached to a doctoral school (in French, a doctoral school is called "école doctorale -ED"), according to his/her scientific area and registered as a student at a selected higher education and research institution. The doctoral school manages and validates the selection of candidates, guarantees the scientific quality of supervision and provides doctoral students with interdisciplinary training The higher education and research institution decide the admission into a doctoral program and awards the degree.

Each doctoral student has to take a certain limited amount of "doctoral courses" adapted to their scientific and professional aims. This training may consist of participation at a scientific seminar or at short training sessions. The Université de Lyon offers a wide range of training opportunities which seek to provide doctoral students with transferable skills and to help them in ensuring their future employability.

Once they are admitted into a doctoral program, doctoral students pay registration fees as well as the Student Life and Campus Tax (CVEC). This tax of €90 must be paid every year. PhD students have to register on their own to France's social security system. This procedure is free of charge.

The Université de Lyon has 17 doctoral schools which cover all fields of research.

Eligibility criteria

  • Hold Chinese citizenship;
  • Hold a Master's degree or equivalent diploma which proves your aptitude for research;
  • Have a very good level of French or English, depending on your scientific area.

How to apply?

Step 1
If one subject or one topic suits your research project: send to the contact-person a detailed CV and a cover letter in the expected language. Specify your level of English or French.

Step 2
Your application will be reviewed by a research team. You may be asked to submit more information or to have an interview on line.

Step 3
The research teams select the candidates. The director of the lab and the director of the doctoral school validate the selection.

Step 4
Before March 10, you will receive a letter of acceptance of your application signed by the director of the lab and the director of the doctoral school. You will add this letter to your application through CSC.

For your information:
The Université de Lyon wishes to encourage applications:
  • Coming from partners institutions in Shanghai (ECNU, Tongji, Fudan, Shanghai Jiao Tong);
  • Being part of a cooperative program between an institution in Lyon or Saint-Étienne and a Chinese University;
  • Joint PhDs.

Guidelines in Chinese from CSC

Topics and subjects proposed by the doctoral schools ("ED")

Life sciences

Formal and physical sciences

You already have a thesis subject?

We advise Chinese candidates to contact directly the doctoral school (ED) linked to your research area.

List of doctoral schools and research areas