PhD FdV Frontiers in Life Sciences Bettencourt Interdisciplinary Program in Paris

Sorbonne Paris Cité - Université Paris Descartes | Paris, France
The “Frontières du Vivant” (FdV) PhD program, established in 2006, is part of the “Programme Bettencourt” created and funded by the Bettencourt-Schueller Foundation to help creative and talented students develop their PhD in an environment as enriching as the best world graduate programs.

Description of FdV Frontiers in Life Sciences Bettencourt Interdisciplinary Program in Paris


The aim of this interdisciplinary doctoral school is to promote ambitious research projects involving interactions between a broad range of academic disciplines, in the pursuit of understanding living systems. The FdV graduate school recruits students from all over the world, trained in various disciplines (e.g. biology, physics, medicine, economy, linguistics).

The FdV PhD program is hosted by the “PRES Sorbonne Paris Cité” and is one of the five graduate schools gathered in the Paris Descartes Paris Diderot PhD Program in Life Sciences.

The guidelines below are based on the quadriennal project of the doctoral school approved by the AERES. The guidelines are also available in here in PDF Format.

FdV spirit

The pedagogical project of FdV is focused on the active participation of the PhD fellows in their own education at the frontiers of knowledge. Key actors of their research projects, they will benefit from academic and financial resources made available by FdV in an environment of cooperation and excellence to educate themselves and further develop their potential as “young researchers”.

The program enables labs to host unconventional theses, with respect to their usual doctoral school, to participate in an interdisciplinary community, and to take advantage of resources made available by the school through their fellows.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline April 22nd
Tuition fee

PhD University fees are 350 euros a year.

Not specified
Start date September  2016
Credits (ECTS) 180 ECTS
Duration full-time 36 months
  • English
Take an IELTS test
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time
Intensity Flexible
Project Type Open
Educational Form Academic, Professional

Course Content

Mandatory FdV courses and workshops
  • Creating Interdisciplinary Research Projects (CIRP) Workshop, Ariel Lindner (1st year PhD)
  • Critical Analysis of Research Articles (CARA), Anne Schmidt (1st year PhD)
  • FdV/AIV Thematic Workshops (2nd year PhD)
  • Interdisciplinary Fridays (IF) Seminars, Sofie Leon (1st year PhD)
  • Public Speaking for Scientists, Ray Horn (1st year PhD)
  • Scientific Writing, Jean-Luc Lebrun (2nd and 3rd year PhD)
  • Well-being and integrity in research, Atelier des Jours à Venir

Requirements for FdV Frontiers in Life Sciences Bettencourt Interdisciplinary Program in Paris

Students admitted to the FdV PhD program have a strong background in at least one of the disciplines relevant to their research project, demonstrate the quality and originality of the research project in view of its interdisciplinary, and show a proven interest in interdisciplinarity and the FdV PhD program.

The FdV PhD program is supported by many institutions that offer fellowships to the top-ranked students. This include fellowships from the Universities (doctoral contracts), the regions, and some foundations. Since the doctoral school will not be able to support all the eligible candidates (around 10 out of the 30 students admitted every year), students and their supervisors are encouraged to apply independently to funding available from other institutions, to insure the eligible candidate to be admitted in the FdV program.

You will be asked the following information:

  • Your personal information and contact details
  • Your project and your potential funding
  • Your supervisor(s) and your hosting laboratory (Paris region mandatory)
  • Your path and education, languages
  • Your previous research experience, personal publications if any
  • Your scientific interests, subjects and methodologies you wish to study
  • Your motivation (why you chose this PhD subject, why you want to join the FdV PhD program, your personal approach to interdisciplinarity and your interest in teaching)
  • Your choice of FdV courses for your first year in the PhD program (based on our academic program)

You will also have to upload the following documents:

  • Project description (in English) of up to 3 pages : abstract (in English and French), introduction, objectives, experimental and/or modelling venues, perspectives.
  • List of the 5 most significant publications of the PhD supervisor
  • 3 recommendation letters (in English and signed) : the first one from your PhD supervisor and the two others from a scientist of your choice (including your 2nd PhD supervisor, if any).
  • Your curriculum vitae
  • A recent photo of yourself (photo ID)

Work Experience for FdV Frontiers in Life Sciences Bettencourt Interdisciplinary Program in Paris

No work experience is required.

More Information


Co-accreditation Paris Descartes and Paris Diderot Universities, PRES Paris Sorbonne Cité

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