PhD activities

Research is done by young people! IFSTTAR continues its policy of active support for doctoral studies

A doctorate can be the stepping stone to an academic career. But internationally, and for a very wide range of professions, the PhD is increasingly becoming a pre-requisite for entering the jobs market at a very high level, since it is recognised as a high-level course that teaches students to cope with the complexity of a subject over a significant period of time.

Employability is often facilitated by a thesis topic related to the socio-economic needs of companies or local authorities. A significant number of PhDs at IFSTTAR are conducted within the framework of CIFRE (Industrial Agreements for Training through Research), which allows a company to hire a doctoral student who will occupy a central position in a research partnership with a public laboratory, with the financial support of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.
IFSTTAR actively participates in the CIFRE forum.

PhDs can bring new types of expertise into laboratories while at the same time taking part in the training of doctoral students via the doctoral schools in IFSTTAR’s partner universities.

Between its creation in 2011 and the end of 2017, IFSTTAR trained 575 PhDs. Their employment ratio (for both fixed-term and permanent contracts) after one year is 90% for those who gained their PhD in 2016. It is over 93% for those who gained their PhDs in previous years.

In 2017, IFSTTAR awarded 25 doctoral contracts, which represents a financial commitment of €2.5 million. In addition, 12 doctoral contracts were signed with an external employer. Work has started on 14 CIFRE theses, 8 research contract theses, 5 theses on fixed-term contracts (including two theses that are jointly supervised with Canada) and one ITPE4A thesis. In total, work on 65 theses has got under way in the Institute's laboratories or jointly-managed research units! At the other end of the process, 75 theses were defended in 2017.