Application (Student)

Application (Host lab)


University - Doctoral School

Ph.D. Program

Life in Paris


Application (Student)

What is the application process ?


The application process consists in three steps: (i) the candidate must select and be selected by a host laboratory, keeping in mind that a host laboratory can present only one candidate. ; (ii) applications are filled out by the candidate together with the host laboratory and are submitted by host laboratories. Applications are evaluated by a selection committee that establishes a short list of candidates for an interview at the Institut Pasteur; (iii) short-listed candidates are invited for a four-day interview on the Institut Pasteur campus and have to present their past and future works to a scientific committee (see the details in application information).


When does the application process begin ?


The application period starts mid September-early October. Prospective students are free to contact the lab (s) they are interested in at any time before the application period opens.


When is the application deadline ?


The deadline for each application cycle is usually in mid-December. The exact date for each application period will be indicated on the current call page when a call is opened. Candidates are strongly encouraged to contact host laboratories at least four weeks before the deadline.


What is the first step in the application process ?


The first step is to identify and contact a host lab in which you would be interested in doing your Ph.D. research. Profiles and contact information for laboratories recruiting prospective Ph.D. students at Institut Pasteur can be found under the Current call page (when a call is open). Because laboratories receive many applications and can present only one candidate, the first step of the selection process is to be chosen by a host laboratory.


May I contact a lab that is not listed on the page of the current call ?


You are free to contact any lab of your choice at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. The list of all laboratories at Institut Pasteur can be found on the Institut Pasteur website (see scientific departments). However, the laboratories not listed on current call page are unlikely to search for a student in the upcoming academic period.


May I contact several host laboratories ?


You may contact as many host laboratories as you wish. However, if you are selected by more than one host lab for application to this program, you will be required to choose only one laboratory at the time of submission of your application.


Does my host laboratory have to be located at Institut Pasteur in Paris ?




What are the degree prerequisites for consideration of acceptance in the Pasteur-Paris University International Ph.D. program ?


A Masters of Science (M.Sc.), or an equivalent degree that would formally qualify you to register for a Ph.D. program in the French University system, is required to be considered for acceptance into this program. In some cases, students who have carried out an undergraduate research project in addition to their B.A. or B.Sc. degree may qualify. The host lab can inquire into this with its affiliated doctoral school.


By what date must I have finished my M.Sc. or equivalent degree in order to enroll in the PhD program ?


You do not need to have finished your M.Sc. or equivalent degree prior to the application deadline. The degree must be completed by the summer of the following year, in order to register at the Paris Universities. A certified copy of the diploma or a written attestation of completion must be available before the start of the program. Exact dates of the deadline of completion of the degree (June to September) will differ based on each laboratory’s university affiliation.


Is there an age limit or a time limit between the date of my Master’s degree and filing the application ?


No, there is no age limit. Nonetheless, this program targets students who are at the beginning of their career.


Do I need to apply directly to the University ?


No. Your application must be send to the Institut Pasteur PPU Graduate office by your host lab. If you are accepted into the program, you will receive information on when and how to register at the university to which your host laboratory is affiliated.


Are specific standardized test scores required and where should they be sent ?


The program is organized entirely in English and fluency in English is mandatory. Results of English tests are not mandatory, however, if you have taken tests, such as TOEFL, TOEIC, GRE, etc, please include the scores in your CV as part of the application form. Knowledge of French is not necessary to enroll into the PPU.


Are there country-specific requirements for international applicants ?




What are the language requirements ?


A fluent knowledge of English is required. Knowledge of French is not required; French language classes will be part of the Ph.D. program curriculum.


If I have done my university studies outside of France, but will earn my Master’s degree from a French institution, am I eligible to apply ?


No. A master degree (or the equivalent) delivered by a university located outside from France is required.


I already have been granted a Ph.D. fellowship. Does this guarantee a place in the program ?


No. All applicants are evaluated solely on the basis of program qualification and scientific potential. All applicants must successfully pass the application and interview procedure in order to be eligible.


How and when will I receive notification regarding interviews ?


The selection for the interview is highly competitive. The candidates short listed for an interview will be notified by email before the end of January or beginning of February.


How and when will I receive notification regarding acceptance to the Ph.D. program ?


The candidates selected for the program will be notified by email before the end of March, following an on-site interview in early March.


Where do I send application materials ?


Candidates do not send applications themselves. Applications must be sent by the host laboratory to the PPU Graduate Office : phd@pasteur.fr.


Postal address for sending the original documents or recommendation letters :


The Pasteur-Paris University International Doctoral Program

Direction de l’Enseignement

Institut Pasteur

28, rue du Dr Roux

75724 Paris, CEDEX 15



Will I receive a confirmation of reception of my documents ?


Yes. Once the application materials are received by the Graduate Office, you will be sent a notification by email within a week. We will only notify applications that are complete and sent by the host laboratory.


Is it possible to check the status of my application once it is filed ?


No. The return receipt will confirm that your application has been received.


Is there an application fee ?




Application (Host laboratory)

Can the host laboratory present a candidate without having posted a research project of the on the current call page ?


Yes. However, all laboratories searching for a Ph.D. student for this program must inform the Graduate Office of their intent to participate to the call.


Can a host Unit present multiple candidates ?


See difference between host Unit and independent research team below.


With which universities must the research group be affiliated ?


To participate in the Pasteur - Paris University International Doctoral program, a prospective host laboratory must be affiliated with a Doctoral School of one of the three partner Universities of the program (Université Paris Descartes, Université Paris Diderot and Université Pierre et Marie Curie).


Can a host laboratory that already has a Ph.D. student in the program present another candidate for the following application period ?


For two years following the acceptance of a student into the program, the host team cannot submit an application sponsoring an additional student. However, if there are multiple research teams in the host laboratory (recognized as independent teams), only the research team that already has a student in the program is restricted; the other research teams can submit an application for a prospective Ph.D. candidate in this period.


What information should be contained in the host laboratory recommendation letter ?


The host laboratory must certify that it is willing to host and supervise the prospective Ph.D. candidate if he/she is accepted into the program. The host laboratory is free to add any further recommendation and information it may find pertinent to the candidate’s application.



Following the interview, when will I be notified of acceptance into the Ph.D. program ?


Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by the Graduate Office sometime between the third or fourth week of March.


How long is the interview stay in Paris ?


Four days.The exact dates are indicated in the application form.


What is involved in the interview process ?


During your stay you will visit your host laboratory to meet and discuss with laboratory members the research project. Individual interviews will be performed by Faculty members to assess each candidate’s qualifications for the PPU program. The stay will also consist of a detailed visit of the Institut Pasteur and its core facilities, as well as meetings with the PPU program staff. To see what scientific life is like at Institut Pasteur, meetings are also planned with scientists and current Ph.D. students working on campus in a series of informal social events.


Will travel and accommodation expenses for participating in the interview be covered by the PPU Program ?




University - Doctoral School

What is the connection between the Institut Pasteur and the universities of Paris ?


The Institut Pasteur is a non-profit research foundation that has maintained a long tradition in teaching. Several major science courses organized at Institut Pasteur are integrated into the master degrees of several Parisian universities. For the PPU program, the Institut Pasteur has developed a special partnership with the University Paris-Descartes, University Paris-Diderot and University Pierre and Marie Curie. This partnership implies that students are affiliated to both Institut Pasteur and a Parisian university. The students will be registered at a Parisian university and will receive their salary from Institut Pasteur. Students enrolled in the PPU program will perform their research project on the campus of Institut Pasteur. The universities will deliver the diploma, on which will be indicated the co-operative nature of this program through the title “Pasteur-Paris University International Doctoral Program”.


At which Parisian university must my potential laboratory be affiliated ?


The laboratory should be affiliated with a doctoral school of one out of either Paris-Descartes, Paris-Diderot, or Pierre and Marie Curie. You will automatically be registered to the same doctoral School as your research team.


What is a doctoral school ?


A doctoral school is an association of research teams preparing Ph.D. students through an educational program for the research profession. Each French university has several doctoral schools that each are specialized in specific scientific domains. To be enrolled in a Ph.D. program, the student has to register at a doctoral school, which will be the one based on the team’s preexisting affiliation.


Will the courses differ depending on my university affiliation ?


Completion of a Ph.D. at a French university requires participation in a number of scientific courses and professional trainings. All students enrolled in PPU program will participate in a similar number of courses and training hours, regardless of the university affiliation. To fulfill this requirement, students will be able to choose among a number of courses that are the most appropriate and interesting for their individual training, including the ones that are required by the doctoral school.


Who will deliver the Ph.D. diploma ?


The university will deliver the diploma, which will indicate the co-operative nature of this program through the title “Pasteur-Paris University International Doctoral Program”.


Ph.D. Program

What will be the approximate starting date for each new academic year ?


The program starts the first week of October. The registration at the individual universities usually can be done in September. Sometimes, an online pre-registration is necessary in June. An arrival in Paris between September 15 and October 1 will help to familiarize yourself with the city, the housing and the university, as well as to prepare all the necessary paperwork. The exact arrival date may vary from student to student and will depend on the date he/she obtained his/her Master’s, the status of his/her visa application (if you are not from the European Community), and on your university affiliation and registration requirements.


What is the expected duration of the program, from orientation to the defense of the Ph.D. ?


Students are expected to finish their Ph.D. in three years. Extensions are only granted under exceptional circumstances and are subject to approval from the doctoral school. Extensions will only be considered if an external funding is available. The program provides funding for three years, without possible extension.


Can you summarize the practical and academic offerings of this Ph.D. program ?


The program aims to meet the highest standards for education and training of Ph.D. students in the world. While spending most of the time working in the individual research projects in a laboratory at Institut Pasteur, students benefit from excellent scientific courses and professional development trainings. The students will also be able to attend exciting seminars and participate in interactive workshops, annual retreats and journal clubs. The students within this program will be well supported by the staff, present as advocates for the students’ scientific education and to provide assistance in any practical matters. A thesis advisory committee (TAC) will follow the students’ research progress and will offer guidance as needed in addition to that provided by the laboratory in which the student is working. The program offers a salary covering living costs and including health insurance. The program also offers assistance in obtaining housing upon arrival in France. A financial support for attending international conferences or summer courses will also be provided.


Does the Ph.D. program also include a Master’s program ?




Who do I contact if I have further questions ?


If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact phd@pasteur.fr.


Life in Paris

Is housing provided ?


Upon your arrival in Paris, you will be able to stay at the "Residence des Stagiaires" for 6 months. The rent is paid by the student. This is a beneficial time to look for housing. The real estate market is tight and students are encouraged to actively seek housing rental opportunities. They can apply independently to the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris (CIUP) and to the international houses of their respective countries as well.


Is there additional financial support given for family and/or spouses ?




Will I receive help with my Visa application and other paperwork ?


Yes. The graduate office and the human resources office of Institut Pasteur will provide assistance. A "Protocol d'accueil" for visa application will be sent to students who will be selected to enter the program. The instructions in this package have to be followed strictly for completing the visa application in the most efficient way with respect to the French embassies or consulates in the respective countries. Applying independently for visa without the "Protocole d'accueil" will not be constructive, as it may delay application time, and often generates the wrong visa type.


Does Institut Pasteur provide funds for travel and moving expenses when arriving in Paris ?




Is health care included in the salary ?


Yes, health care is included in the salary. Institut Pasteur ensures a coverage under the social security scheme which is applied to employees in France, with the same standards of safety and occupational health as those awarded to salaried employees holding a similar position. After signing of their contract, instructions will be provided on how to apply for the social security number. This is required to accumulate bonus as an employee for health care benefits. The students are required to contact their place of residence social security office to start the procedure. This will eventually in several (2-5) months yield a "Carte Vitale", which can be used at health care providers to facilitate refunds on expenses. Prior to obtaining the "Carte Vitale" students can still go to doctors and other health care professionals, request a filled and signed health care sheet "Feuille de soin" and send it to their health care office "Assurance Maladie" by mail. Please keep copies of all payments and "feuilles de soins". The Assurance Maladie office is located by residential proximity. See the AMELI website www.ameli.fr for more info. The website is in French, but there is an English link from there.


Where can I find more info on health care ?


Visit the website of the French health care service.



Updated on 04/02/2014