The PhD prepares students for careers in higher education and research, whether academic or not. The École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay, like the other ENS, offers a very high level of pre-doctoral training in all disciplinary fields. Each year, more than 80% of the students at the École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay go on to prepare a doctoral thesis in France or abroad. Doctoral training is a form of training through and for research.

During the 3 years, the activity of the doctoral students is multiple and depends on the path that the doctoral student wishes to take.
The multiplicity already comes from the subject treated. It is a unique subject, aiming at improving knowledge in the field. It can be academic or related to a public or private company, it can be fundamental or applied, experimental or theoretical, but always original.

Financing your thesis

The 3 years of thesis are years for which financing is essential (no registration in thesis without financing is authorized) but this one is not of right, even for a student ENS. The sources of funding are however multiple, depending on the type of subject, the laboratory, the industrial or academic partners... It can come from:

  • the state through the doctoral contracts of the establishment (CD, or various calls for projects) ;
  • the specific doctoral contracts for normaliens (CDSN);
  • funding from public commercial establishments (EPIC) such as the CEA, INRIA or ONERA, via the national research agency (ANR) or IDEX;
  • regional or European funding...

Each student must therefore apply for one or more sources of funding depending on the situation and in consultation with the thesis director.

During the three years of the thesis, the doctoral student also agrees to respect a charter of good conduct including the respect of rules of ethics and scientific integrity.

PhD Missions

Teaching mission

Additional activities such as teaching or consulting are possible during the thesis.

Broadcasting mission

During the thesis, the doctoral student is also required to participate in seminars and conferences and to present his or her work.
As research activity is measured by the communication of it, the doctoral student is also required to publish his work in national or international journals, or to participate in patent applications.

Defense and thesis manuscript

It is the final point of the work and a very important tool for communication and promotion.

During the 3 years of the thesis, the doctoral school will accompany the doctoral student, from the registration (through a preliminary audition) to the defense. Each step is governed by national rules. This is the case for the monitoring committee, organized every year, which is responsible for deciding on re-registration, as well as for additional training, some of which, such as training in ethics and scientific integrity, are mandatory.