International co-supervised PhD scholarships
Call for projects closed Call for applicants closed Interview and/or deliberation closed Results announced
This call is now closed

Presentation of the call

Objective of the call 

This call aims at providing an exceptional opportunity for talented young researchers to have an international PhD training from two different laboratories in different countries, with the possibility of obtaining a double PhD degree in the case of “co-tutelle”. The call for ”international co-supervised PhD scholarships” will helps to strengthen the scientific links and collaborations of Aix Marseille University (AMU) with the international neuroscience community.


  • Deadline for project submission: March 06, 2020
  • Call for PhD candidates : March 15, 2020
  • Deadline for PhD candidate application: May 3, 2020
  • Interview of selected candidates: June 2020
  • PhD starting date : October- December 2020

Description of the call

Researchers (with HDR diploma) from the AMU Neuroscience community are invited to submit a scientific PhD project in collaboration with an identified foreign academic partner who will act as PhD co-supervisor. Note that any supervisor of a PhD student who received a scholarship in the previous year (2019) from one of the 3 AMU calls -Neuroschool international co-supervision, Neuroschool international PhD, and doctoral school ED62 calls- will not be eligible to apply.

It is mandatory to establish an official partnership with the foreign University or Research partner institution and to provide a letter of consent for PhD registration and supervision as well as for commitment to financially support the PhD student (see the “Funding and Support” section below).


Any international partner institution is eligible, however special attention (and priority in case of equal ranking) will be given to AMU established international partners (see List below). The possibility to provide a double PhD degree (“co-tutelle”) will be strongly encouraged.

List of priority foreign partner institutions:

CIVIS partners:

  • Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen (Germany),
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece)
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium)
  • Sapienza, Universita di Roma (Italy)
  • Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain)
  • Stockholm University (Sweden)
  • University of Bucharest (Romania)

NeuroSchool partners:

  • Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (Germany)
  • University of Helsinki (Finland)
  • Université de Montréal (UdeM, Canada)
  • A*Star associated universities (Singapore) :
    – National University of Singapore (NUS)
    – Nanyang Technology University (NTU)

Funding and support

NeuroSchool will fund up to 50% of the 3-years PhD fellowship while the remaining part will be covered by the partner institution.

Be aware that Neuroschool will not pay any travel costs: other specific sources of funding can be found (including the AMU labs/teams).

Note that the implementation rules for an official “co-tutelle” impose that the student registration fees are paid only at one of the two institutions, however fees have to be paid at least once in each of them.


The successful candidates must register for their PhD at AMU, in neuroscience, and do their research work on a full full-time basis either in the AMU research laboratory or in the partner institution abroad, according to a predetermined schedule agreed between the supervisors. The PhD will last for a period of 3 years starting no later than December 2020.

Pecuniary information

Monthly salary from AMU: 1,768,55€ (gross), i.e. approximately 1421€ (net), but subject to contribution rate changes. The salary provided by the partner university will depend on each specific agreement.

Expenses: applicants will pay their annual tuition fees (around 400 € at AMU) and, when needed, their visa fees.

Co-direction: registration and tuition fees can/must be paid at the international partner University depending on the specific agreement between the partners.


Call for projects - CLOSED

Eligibility criteria for the candidate co-supervisors

The AMU co-supervisor must have obtained the HDR = habilitation à diriger des recherches, degree required to supervise PhD students in France.

The co-supervisor at the international partner institution must have the formal title necessary to supervise a PhD student in that institution.

Preparation of the application

The AMU co-supervisors will look for an international partner, and define the partnership and the perimeter of the PhD research project. In collaboration with their international partner, they will contact the foreign institution and finalize all administrative aspects for the partnership (co-supervision, registration, financial support…).

WARNING: In view of the difficulties in obtaining the letter of commitment from the partner institution specifying in particular the details of the co-funding, we authorize the project leaders to provide this document by May 1st at the latest (all the rest of the project must still be submitted by March 1st).

Please note that NeuroSchool only deals with (partially) FUNDING the PhD student salary : co-supervisors must comply with administrative validation and registration of the student and of the co-supervised PhD project as notified by both institutions.

Information about AMU administrative requirements for PhDs  in co-tutelle can be found on AMU International Affairs (DRI) website, including the form for the official collaboration agreement (in English and French).

Selection of international co-supervised PhD projects for funding by NeuroSchool 

After verification of their administrative validity by the NeuroSchool PhD Program, selected research projects will be published on the NeuroSchool and the international partner’s websites as well as advertised worldwide by mid-March, 2020.

The call for student applications will be circulated as largely as possible worldwide. Students’ applications which best match the scientific co-supervision projects will be selected by the two co-supervisors and the candidates will be interviewed by an international committee including  NeuroSchool members and representatives of partner universities.

Application forms

To submit a project, please download, fill in and resubmit the form available in the tab “Documents available for download”.

Call for applications - CLOSED

This call is open to French (including those from NeuroSchool) and international students.

The candidates will be able to download the necessary documents from March 15th, 2020 in the “Documents available for download” tab:

  • The list of proposed research projects
  • The document “Choice of research projects”,  in which the candidate should select and rank two of the proposed research projects
  • The template for the two recommendation letters that must be sent from two referees directly to

The application must be submitted in English through our website, before May 3rd, 2020 at midnight (Marseille time), as a SINGLE PDF DOCUMENT containing:

  • A resume (with copy of the obtained degrees)
  • The document (“Choice of research projects”) highlighting the adequacy between the applicant’s background and the two elected research projects (see “Documents available for download” tab)
  • A letter of motivation (500 words max)

The selection of candidates will be done in 3 phases:

  • 1st phase:  project supervisors undertake an initial ranking of candidates who selected their project.
  • 2nd phase: the PhD program committee examines the ranked candidates of all projects and selects the candidates to be auditioned according to their academic background their adequacy with the project.
  • 3rd phase: the pre-selected candidates are interviewed by visoconference in front of the PhD program committee, which makes the final ranking.


Auditions were held on Friday, June 5 before a jury including a representative from each NeuroMarseille laboratory. The results were obtained unanimously.

The panel of judges was as follows:

  • AUDOIN Bertrand (CRMBM)
  • CHAUVET Sophie (IBDM)
  • ESCLAPEZ Monique (INS)
  • GROSBRAS Marie-Hélène (LNC)
  • LOPEZ Christophe (LNSC)
  • MALFAIT Nicole (INT)
  • RIVERA Santiago (INP)
  • ROBBE David (INT)
  • SARLEGNA Fabrice (ISM)
  • VITU-THIBAULT Françoise (LPC)
  • KAVOUNOUDIAS Anne (as head of the PhD program)
  • ZAARAOUI Wafaa (stepping in for F. CHAVANE as head of the PhD Program)


Following the call for projects launched last January and the call for applications which closed at the beginning of May, the PhD Program has awarded 30 months of PhD scholarships for 2 winners:

  • Guillaume Frebourg was awarded 18 months of funding for the co-supervised project led by Virginie Callot (CRMBM, AMU) and Yvan Petit (ETS, Montreal): Multi-modal analysis of the relationships between mechanical, structural, connectivity and functional alterations of the spinal cord in cervical spondylotic myelopathy and central canal syndrome.
  • Coleen Roger has been awarded 12 months of funding for the co-supervised project led by Jean-Philippe Ranjeva (CRMBM, AMU) and Yu Fu (A*STAR, Singapore): Neural regulation of feeding. A translational approach from mouse to human.

Documents available for download

Call for projects phase


Call for applications phase

Please note that the following project is not available anymore : PROJECT C5–MONTAGNINI ANNA(INT) & SPERING MIRIAM (OVS), “Oculomotor decision-making in health and Parkinson’s disease”