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The details of the doctoral contract have been published in the French Official Journal

Laurent Cousin

A law and a decree published in the French Official Journal on April 23, 2009 sets the amount a PhD student under contract should be paid and outlines the details of the contract.

The doctoral contract establishes a new legal framework enabling public institutions of higher education and/or research to recruit PhD students under a specific contract.


Remuneration. Minimum monthly remuneration of PhD students under contract is set by law at 1,663.22 euros gross and 1,998.61 euros gross if the PhD student has duties other than research (teaching, for instance). This measure is not retroactive and therefore does not apply to PhD students who already have a contract.

The doctoral contract. The decree outlines the details of the doctoral contract: its duration (three years), its start date, end date and the purpose of service. The contract may include a two-month trial period. During this period, the contract may be terminated by either party without compensation or prior notice, by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

It also outlines the PhD student’s activities, which may include, in addition to research, duties amounting to one-sixth of the actual work in a year devoted to teaching, dissemination of scientific and technical information and publication of research finding as well as expert missions in a company, local government or administration, public institution, association or foundation. The years of service of PhD students under contract are counted from the date the contract takes effect.
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