• attract high-quality international candidates from a wide range of countries,
  • to provide high-quality collaborations at an international level and with the non-academic sector, and
  • Improve follow-up and mentoring conditions.

Main achievements:

  • Recruitment of 60 PhDs fellows (28 in 2016, 32 in 2017)
  • Set-up of a single application website for all USPC doctoral schools
  • Creation of an original program for supervisors
  • Creation of a dedicated individual support for fellows
  • Improvement of our overall procedures to hire and train foreign PhD fellows.

Project activities:

Personal follow-up

To ensure an efficient personal follow-up, Inspire has regular contact with the Inspire fellows. Individual interviews are organized with the fellows, twice during the project, in order to ensure that they have access to satisfactory working conditions and that their thesis is complying with the COFUND rules. These interviews are the opportunity to tackle every issue faced by the fellows.

The Inspire project, within a partnership with the CROUS, offers affordable accommodations in Paris for all Inspire fellows that request them.

In order to support the fellows international mobility and their participation to international scientific events abroad, the INSPIRE projects offers 1 500 € for each doctoral student over the duration of the project.


Specific courses & events

  • Professional and transferable skills courses and workshops

INSPIRE participants are offered a variety of courses and workshops both within their discipline and outside.

They are required to follow at least one hundred hours of such seminars over their three-year project.

  • 3-i weekends

These weekends (4) include a visit to an iconic French area (Champagne and Strasbourg, up to now), meetings with local companies and public sector institutions and scientific presentations related to the area visited  Such “triple-i” weekends are the opportunity for INSPIRE participants to meet and discuss with experts from all origins, inter-sectoral (private companies, public government representatives as well as associations) and inter-disciplinary (different fields of research studying one given object).

  • Mid-way conference

The conference specifically focuses on the careers in the non-academic sectors, inviting speakers, from the non-academic sectors.

Organized with PhD Talent during a full day, this conference will be composed by round-tables, plenary conference and various activities. The Inspire fellows will develop their knowledge of their specific sector and receive valuables advices for their professional career.

  • Supervisor program

The Inspire supervisors have the opportunity to follow a four days program organized by the Inspire project, in order to identify the specificities of their role as thesis supervisors.

  • Doctoral trainings for PhD fellows

The Inspire fellows have the opportunity to follow two days of training organized by the Inspire project, in order to help them manage their doctoral project and to develop their autonomy in the practice of research. It addresses issues related to the development of their professional project.

Beneficiary: Sorbonne Université Paris Cité

Université Sorbonne Paris Cité (USPC) is a consortium of eight universities and higher education institutes and five research organizations.

USPC is indisputably one of the leading universities in France. It hosts over 6 000 permanent researchers corresponding to approximately 8% of all researchers in France. Over 6 000 doctoral candidates are also enrolled within USPC member institutions corresponding to approximately 8% of all doctoral candidates in France. Together, USPC eight members form the first hub in France for Life and Health Sciences and for Humanities and the second one in Mathematics.

These researchers work in approximately 250 different research labs, approximately 100 in Life and Health sciences and 100 in the Humanities and slightly less than 50 in Exact Sciences.

The eight institutions of USPC also host more than 200 FP7 research project including over 60 funded by the European Research Council.


The members:



Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions: 4.7 Millions €

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) provide grants for all stages of researchers’ careers – be they doctoral candidates or highly experienced researchers – and encourage transnational, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility. The MSCA enable research-focused organizations (universities, research centres, and companies) to host talented foreign researchers and to create strategic partnerships with leading institutions worldwide.



Université Sorbonne Paris-Cité : 1.6 Millions €

Initiative d’excellence” (IDEX) aims at creating world-class multidisciplinary higher education and research institutions in France and is part of “Investissements d’avenir” launched by the French Government.