PhD programmes

IMT Nord Europe is accredited to award PhD degrees.

The PhD is the highest degree in higher education.

This training in and through research provides professional experience and results in the production of new knowledge.

PhD student conduct research based on their thesis topic under the responsibility of one or more thesis supervisors.

Doctoral training takes within the context of research units or teams whose quality is recognised by means of periodic national assessments. The thesis, which represents the individual or collective achievement of original scientific works, is then defended before a jury and approved by the award of a doctorate.

IMT Nord Europe is accredited to award PhD degrees from three doctoral schools:

There are several sources of funding for PhD students.

With the exception of the teams’ and laboratories’ own resources, these sources of funding are generally only obtained at the end of the academic year (June-July) for a start of the thesis in September-October of the current year. The following is a non-exhaustive list of possible sources of funding:

  • The French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and research organisations (CNRS, INRA, INSERM, INRIA, etc.),
  • The French Ministry of Defence (DGA),
  • Public bodies supporting research (CNES, ADEME, ANDRA, IFREMER, ONERA, ANSES, CEA), regional partners (e.g. regional councils, metropolitan areas),
  • Industrial Contracts for Training through Research (CIFRE),
  • Other types of funding or scholarships from the French government or foreign governments, especially in the case of joint PhD programmes.

Funding and the approval of the thesis supervisor must be obtained before proceeding with registration at the doctoral school and the institution.

The Research and Innovation Department and doctoral schools collect the offers of subjects, verify the eligibility criteria of the supervision and hosting by the research unit. They then communicate the subjects in French and English on the respective IMT Nord Europe and doctoral school websites. The Research and Innovation Department then posts on the ADUM platform to recruit the best candidates in accordance with the European Charter for Research and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

Applicants to the PhD programme must hold a French Master’s of Research or equivalent degree.

During the selection process, applicants must provide an application detailing their studies in order to verify their level and capacity to conduct the research work requested for the proposed thesis subject.

Applicants interested in a thesis subject at IMT Nord Europe must contact the thesis supervisor mentioned in the subject offer and the supervising team. An initial selection process is then conducted by the supervising team and host laboratory and a list in order of merit is proposed for the same thesis subject. It is advisable to rank several applicants for the research subjects in order to compensate for possible withdrawals.

When the thesis subject is backed by a contract, applicants are also interviewed by the industrial partner. This is also the case when the thesis subject is led with certain public funders such as ADEME and DGA.
The thesis supervisors and applicants submit the application to the Research and Innovation Department and to the Director of Doctoral Studies of the doctoral school in question.

The ADUM platform has been used to transfer this file since the start of the 2021-2022 academic year. Applicants must first create a PhD student account, as explained in the guide provided here. The file can be downloaded from the doctoral school website and must be submitted as a single pdf file. It includes, among other things:

  • an information sheet,
  • a CV and cover letter,
  • transcripts from M1 and M2 and class ranking,
  • Photocopies of degrees (translations of foreign degrees are required),
  • Letters of recommendation,
  • Funding certificates if they are already available,
  • Reports and research work,
  • Any other documents or additional elements likely to inform members of the jury of the suitability of the applicant’s profile with regard to the research work to be conducted for the PhD thesis.

This first step is part of the applicant’s academic registration with the doctoral school in question and demonstrates that they are qualified pursue a PhD thesis. PhD students are required to register with the doctoral school each year.
Additional information and flow charts and instructions for the new academic year are available on the ENGSYS and MADIS doctoral schools’ websites as well as on the ED SMRE website.

IMT Nord Europe and the three doctoral schools – ENGSYS, MADIS and SMRE – are accredited to award PhD degrees through to the 2025-2026 academic year. The choice of doctoral school is made based on the PhD student’s discipline and area of expertise. Each thesis supervisor from the school is assigned to a single doctoral school. PhD students may only register with this doctoral school. In the event of joint supervision of a thesis, the PhD student’s doctoral school will be the one affiliated with the main thesis supervisor.

This first academic registration step will be followed by mandatory administrative registration, also required every year, with IMT Nord Europe.
Administrative registration via the ADUM platform has been fully digital since the start of the 2021-2022 academic year.

In addition to administrative registration, the thesis supervision team must contact IMT Nord Europe HR services to start the procedures for authorising access to the school’s laboratory facilities. This authorisation is issued by the HFDS (High Official of Defence and Security). It generally takes two months to receive this and it must therefore be requested in advance.

Student’s registration fees (which are a required part of tuition fees) are defined each year by a ministerial order which is generally issued during the summer and applied to the following academic year. This amount is set at €391 for 2024-2025.

This applies only to PhD students registered at IMT Nord Europe. PhD students under joint supervision must register with both institutions each year but only pay registration fees to one institution. This does not release them from their academic registration obligation for the doctoral school.

The certificate of registration in the PhD programme cannot be issued to PhD students who have not completed their academic and administrative registration.

Likewise, the defence cannot be authorised unless the PhD student has been fully registered at the doctoral school and IMT Nord Europe without interruption.