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 of three steps: (i) the candidate must select and be selected by a host laboratory, keeping in mind that each advisor 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 an Admissions committee that selects candidates for an interview at the Institut Pasteur; (iii) these candidates are invited for a four-day interview on the Institut Pasteur campus and present their past and future works to the Admissions committee (see the details in application information).


When does the application process begin?


The application period starts in early September. 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 November. The exact dates and deadlines 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 as early as possible and well before the application 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. Projects and contact information for laboratories recruiting prospective Ph.D. students at the Institut Pasteur can be found on the Current call page (when a call is open). Further information about laboratories and their research interests is available on the website under RESEARCH. 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. However, the laboratories not listed on the current call page are unlikely to search for a student in the upcoming academic period.


May I contact several host laboratories?


Yes. 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 one.


Does my host laboratory have to be located at the 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 copy of the diploma or a certified written attestation of completion must be available before the start of the program.


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


The PPU doctoral program does not have an age restriction, but most accepted candidates are 24-26 years old and start their Ph.D. within a year of finishing their M.S., a few within 3 years.


Do I need to apply directly to the University?


No, you may not. Your application must be sent to the Institut Pasteur PPU Doctoral Program 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 there country-specific requirements for international applicants?




What are the language requirements?


The program is run in English and therefore fluency in English is required. TOEFL or other language proficiency scores may be indicated when submitting your application. No knowledge of French is necessary. French language classes will be part of the Ph.D. program curriculum.


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


No. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are welcome but not required.  


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 of 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 by the Admissions Committee solely on the basis of their qualifications and scientific potential. All applicants must successfully pass the application and interview procedure in order to be eligible. Moreover, under French law, the external funding must constitute employment or the funds must be allocated to the Institut Pasteur to pay the candidate’s salary.


How and when will I receive notification regarding interviews?


The selection for the interview is highly competitive. The candidates selected for an interview will be notified by email toward the end of December or beginning of January.



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 shortly after the interviews, generally within 1 week.


Where do I send application materials?


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


Will I receive a confirmation of reception of my documents?


Yes. Once your application is 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?




Is there an application fee?





Application (Host laboratory)


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


Yes. However, all laboratories searching for a Ph.D. student for this program must inform the Doctoral Program Office in advance of their intent to participate in the call by submitting the project notification form.


Can a host Laboratory present multiple candidates?


To present a candidate to the PPU program, thesis advisors must hold an HDR (Habilitation à Diriger les Recherches) diploma. If there are multiple scientists holding an HDR in a host laboratory, each one can propose a project and submit an application with a prospective Ph.D. candidate.


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 an advisor that already has a Ph.D. student in the program present another candidate for the following application period?


No advisor may have more than one Ph.D. student in the program.


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 should indicate why it proposes the candidate for its laboratory and for the PPU program.





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


The candidates selected for the program and their host labs will be notified by email shortly after the interviews, generally within 1 week.


How long is the interview stay in Paris?


Four days. The exact dates are indicated on the Current Call Page.


What is involved in the interview process?


During your stay you will visit your host laboratory to meet and discuss with the prospective advisor and laboratory members the research project. Individual interviews will be performed by Faculty members to assess each candidate’s qualifications for the PPU program. You will tour the Institut Pasteur and its core facilities, and meet with current PPU students and the PPU program staff. To see what scientific life is like at the Institut Pasteur, meetings are also planned with scientists and other Ph.D. students at meals and in informal social events. You will be interviewed by the Admissions Committee, during which time you will present your Master’s degree research (results or in progress) and planned Ph.D. project.


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 the 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, University Pierre and Marie Curie and University Paris-Sud. This partnership means that students are employed by the Institut Pasteur and register at a Parisian university. Students enrolled in the PPU program perform their research project on the campus of the 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 will I register?


Your laboratory will be affiliated with a doctoral school of one of the three partner universities. You will be registered at the same doctoral school and university 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 registers at a doctoral school.


Will the courses differ depending on my university affiliation?


Completion of a Ph.D. at a French university requires participation in several scientific courses and professional trainings. All students enrolled in the 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. 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 status of his/her visa application (if you are not from the European Community.


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


Students are expected to finish their Ph.D. in three years. Sometimes extensions may be granted when required and justified and are subject to approval from the doctoral school. Extensions will only be given if external funding is available. The program provides funding for three years.


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. 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 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 in Institut Pasteur reserved housing at the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris (CIUP) 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 continue living at 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 doctoral program office and the human resources office of the Institut Pasteur will provide assistance. A "Protocol d'accueil" for the visa application will be sent to students selected to enter the program from outside of the European Community. Precise instructions will be sent to all students accepted into the program on the paperwork that they need to complete and the steps they need to follow. The instructions must be followed carefully.


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. The Institut Pasteur will help you to enroll in the French social security system, which includes health care. This will eventually, usually (3-6) 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, and request a signed health care sheet "Feuille de soin" which later may be sent to the French health care office "Assurance Maladie" by mail for reimbusement. Please keep copies of all payments and "feuilles de soins". 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, AMELI, at


Mis à jour le 13/06/2016