Excerpt from the SML Doctoral School's Internal Rules and Procedures

Article 7: PhD students’ financial resources

  • The Thesis (co-)Supervisor(s), the Director of the Research Unit and the Doctoral School Director or the school’s delegated Assistant Directors ensure that all registered PhD students benefit from sufficient funding for carrying out their thesis. For full-time theses, a level of funding comparable to that of a doctoral contract must be sought, and priority must be given financing in the form of employment contracts established for a duration of at least 3 years starting from the date of the student's doctoral school registration. If the PhD student's funding is provided by a professional activity not directly linked to his/her thesis (e.g., teaching or a liberal profession), one must ensure that this activity allows the student sufficient time for properly carrying out his/her thesis within the maximum duration of 6 years. 
  • The SML Doctoral School’s general rule is that thesis registration requires monthly funding of at least the French minimum wage (SMIC) for the entire length of the student’s doctoral studies and stay in France. An official document guaranteeing the student’s funding for all three thesis years is required upon registration. For foreign stays, sufficient funding must be ensured. 
  • Dispensations may be requested for certain exceptional cases, notably for foreign PhD students. Such special requests must be firmly justified and accepted by the Doctoral School Bureau.  In considering such dispensation requests, the Doctoral School Bureau shall take into account the practices proper to each discipline, as well as the PhD student’s personal situation. 

Each year, the Marine & Coastal Sciences Doctoral School publishes and organizes the selection of doctoral school applications

Thesis subjects are published on the platform: “Theses in Bretagne Loire”. 
Thesis subjects are proposed by the Thesis Supervisors at the start of the year. Subjects can also be proposed later in the year; we therefore recommend that you regularly consult the dedicated platform (be sure to refresh your web browser upon each visit) so as to discover any recently proposed thesis subjects. 

Subjects and recruitments

The procedure established by the Marine & Coastal Sciences Doctoral School takes into account financers’ calendars and requirements. At the beginning of the calendar year, project sponsors submit their proposed thesis subjects via the Université Bretagne Loire’s dedicated platform: Following the subject’s validation by the doctoral school, upon the recommendation of the director of the host research unit, the subject is made accessible to online applications. Any acquired thesis funding (in part or in full) can be displayed. Subjects for which no funding is displayed are nevertheless not dismissed: certain funds could later be allocated during the Doctoral School Council meeting held in late June/early July. 


Applicants must submit their application dossier via the Université Bretagne Loire platform, specifically the page dedicated to the Marine & Coastal Sciences Doctoral School (online applications section). 

Main types of funding

State funding

  1. By the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research,
    • Allocated by institutions: universities, research bodies (CNRS, INRA, IRD, etc.).
    • Special funding programmes for Écoles Normales Supérieures/Écoles Polytechniques.
    • Other special funding programmes (for disabled students, etc.).
  2. By the French Ministry of Defence.
  3. By the French Ministry of Agriculture.
  4. By the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs via Campus France, Eiffel and embassies.
  5. By the French Ministry of Health.
  6. By the French Ministry of Ecology.
  7. By research bodies such as IFREMER, the DGA (French Defence Procurement Agency), CNES (National Centre for Space Studies), etc. 

Funding by territorial/local authorities

The regions of Brittany and Pays de la Loire award doctoral research grants, as do certain departments and cities.  These are generally half-fundings.

ANR (National Research Agency)

France’s National Research Agency (ANR) implements the funding of research projects based in France. It thereby contributes to the funding of thesis projects within the framework of the Investissements d'Avenir (Future investments) programme (Idex, PIA, Labex). 


For a set duration of 3 years for CIFRE contracts or private-law contracts depending on the status of your employer (an EPIC, an association, a company, etc.).