International co-supervised PhD scholarships
Call for projects closed Call for applicants until : May 02, 2021

Presentation of the call

Objective of the call

The call for international co-supervised PhDs aims to provide an exceptional opportunity for talented young researchers to have an international doctoral training. The candidates may be local (AMU master’s student) or external (from other French or foreign universities). In the case of “co-tutelle”, these PhD students will also have the opportunity to obtain a double doctoral degree. This call thus contributes to strengthen the scientific links and collaborations of Aix-Marseille Université (AMU) with the international neuroscience community.

Description of the call

Fisrt there is a call for projects, where 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. Submitted projects are carefully examined for their eligibility (see eligibility criteria listed below).

Then there is a call for PhD candidate applications, where prospective PhD students contact the researchers who have submitted projects and apply for up to 2 projects.

NeuroSchool plans to fund up to 54 months of PhD salary through this call, which will be distributed among the top-ranked candidates (e.g., 3 laureates x 18 months each).


  • Deadline for project submission: March 1st, 2021
  • Opening of the call for PhD candidates: March 14, 2021
  • Deadline for PhD candidate application: May 2, 2021
  • Interview of selected candidates: June 2021
  • PhD starting date : between October and December 2021


It is mandatory to establish an official partnership with the foreign University or Research partner institution and to provide a letter of commitment indicating that the PhD student will be allowed to register at the partner university, will be supervised and above all, will be financially supported (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 established AMU 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 Università 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 each 3-year PhD fellowship while the remaining part will be covered by the partner institution.

Monthly PhD student salary at AMU: 1,768,55€ gross, i.e. approximately 1421€ net, subject to contribution rate changes. The salary provided by the partner university will depend on each specific agreement. When validating the projects, particular attention will be paid to the fact that the student must receive a decent income for the entire PhD.

Be aware that Neuroschool will not pay any travel costs (nor visa fees, if applicable): other specific sources of funding can be found (including via AMU labs/teams).

NeuroSchool does not pay the annual tuition fees of the laureates (about 400 € to AMU).


The successful candidates must register for their PhD at AMU, in neuroscience, and do their research work on a 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 between October and December 2021.

“Co-direction”: the PhD student paid by AMU must be registered at AMU for the totality of his/her PhD studies.
“Co-tutelle”: students’ tuition fees must be paid only at one of the two institutions for a given year, but they must be paid at least once at each institution.



This work has received support from the French government under the Programme “Investissements d’Avenir”, Initiative d’Excellence d’Aix-Marseille Université via AMidex funding NeuroMarseille AMX-19-IET-004, and NeuroSchool ANR-17-EURE-0029

Call for projects (for researchers) - CLOSED

Eligibility criteria for the candidate co-supervisors

The AMU co-supervisor must have obtained their 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.

Maximum one project can be submitted for every 3 HDRs in a given team.

IMPORTANT : exclusive “1 PI (HDR)-1 Project-1 Student” rule : PI applicants are only allowed to submit one project for one of the 3 following calls :

  • international co-supervised PhD (NeuroSchool),
  • PhD scholarships for international students (NeuroSchool),
  • ED62 doctoral school call for doctoral contracts.

In addition, any supervisor of a PhD student who received a scholarship from one of these calls in the previous year (2020) is not eligible to apply this year.

A general e-mail from ED62 doctoral school and Neuroschool will be sent to both master’s students and supervisors by the end of the year to provide general explanations about the rules of conduct.

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…).

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 specified 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).

Application forms

To submit a project, please download, complete and upload the Word form available in the “Documents to download” tab, with the requested documents: a summary of the research project and a letter of commitment from the partner institution.

The summary of the research project (max. 1 page in a Word document in 11 pt Verdana font) must include:

  • State of the art
  • Objectives
  • Methods
  • Expected results
  • Feasibility
  • Complementarity of the two laboratories
  • Expected candidate profile

The letter of commitment from the partner institution must specify:

  • Funding details for the fellowship (including tuition fees, travelling costs, social security, insurance…). If funding is not secure yet, indicate the funding source(s) and expected date(s) when it should be known.
  • Administrative details demonstrating the feasibility of the co-supervision (or the cotutelle/double degree, if this is the favorite option)
  • Possible agreement about shared intellectual properties, publication authorship etc.

Verification and diffusion of international co-supervised PhD projects for funding by NeuroSchool

After verification of their administrative validity by the NeuroSchool PhD Program, eligible research projects will be published on the NeuroMarseille and the international partner’s websites as well as advertised worldwide by mid-March, 2021.

The call for student applications will be circulated as largely as possible worldwide. The candidates whose profile best corresponds to the project will be selected by the two co-directors and by the jury comprising a representative of each NeuroMarseille laboratory and members of the NeuroSchool PhD program committee. Finally, this jury will interview the shortlisted candidates for a final selection.

Call for applications (for students) - OPEN

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

For administrative reasons, it is not open to students who will have already started their PhD before the fall of 2021.

The candidates will be able to download the necessary documents from March 14th, 2021, in the “Documents available for download” tab:

The application must be submitted in English through our website, before May 2nd, 2021, at midnight (Marseille time), as a SINGLE PDF DOCUMENT containing:

  • A resume (with copy of the obtained degrees)
  • The “Choice of research projects” document 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)

Where should you apply? Click directly on “Submit your application” on this call.

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 jury 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 jury, which makes the final ranking.


Auditions will be held in early June 2021 in front of a jury including a representative from each NeuroMarseille laboratory and members of the NeuroSchool PhD program committee. The jury composition will be announced shortly.

Documents available for download

Call for projects phase

Please indicate the PhD supervisor in the document name itself and upload it with the summary of the PhD project and the letter of commitment.

Call for applications phase


Will be announced in June.


International co-supervised application

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