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Valérie Pécresse launches a new doctoral contract

Fabrice Martin

All PhD students will work in the framework of a genuine simplified and unique work contract, including all social benefits. Salary will be negotiable above a legal lower limit.

On the occasion of the European Research Council (ERC) conference, Valérie Pécresse, Minister of Higher Education and Research, announced the creation of a new doctoral contract aiming at strengthening the attractiveness of the PhD.

All PhD students carrying out a doctorate in a French university or a research organization, without any direct link with a company or a private sponsor will hold this work contract under public law. Here follows its main characteristics:
-Employer: The university or research institution
-Duration: three year, extendable one more year
-Training: Employer's commitment to propose the PhD student all the training necessary to carry out his or her missions.
-Missions: the contract will include detailed description of all of the PhD student's missions (research , tech transfer, consulting, teaching…)
-Salary: negotiable above a lower limit but with no ceiling.

One of this new contract's explicit objectives is to foster competition between universities willing to attract the best students and, more precisely, to give them the means to attract young Engineering Schools graduates towards research.

Young researchers' representative organizations have been asking for what was called a "Thesis contract" since 1996. A "Thesis Charter" was in force in graduate schools since 1998.