Note: the following information is non-contractual


1. Projects to be supported

The ESRF supports research projects related to the use of synchrotron radiation (SR) or to synchrotron/storage ring technology. In general projects will be proposed by the ESRF. However, applications from students or supervisors at universities with research projects of their own are also possible:

  • Projects on SR related science (chemistry, biology, materials science, engineering etc.) should involve the actual application of SR or the development of theories to account for SR data.
  • Projects on synchrotron/storage ring technology require the design or development of new sources or beamline components.
  • Projects in computing could involve either science (as in data and interpretation) or technology (as in data acquisition) or both.
  • Projects in theory could also straddle science and technology.

2. Procedure for submitting projects

Candidates must be eligible for a Ph.D. programme and have to register at a university (in one of the member or associated countries*). The student will be responsible for arranging his/her academic registration and for paying the fees, if any. Thesis student positions are foreseen in the following divisions: Machine, Computing Services and the Experiments Division. In cases where the student or supervisor are proposing the project the application should contain:

  • the project title,
  • a 500 word description of the project describing its scientific basis, promise and relevance to the ESRF,
  • the nature of the arrangement with the university,
  • the name of the supervisor at the university,
  • an estimate of the financial costs and time limit.

3. Thesis and supervision

The research is to be carried out at the ESRF for the major part of the time foreseen (70% at least). Normally an academic staff member from the student's university will act as a scientific supervisor. The student is supported at the ESRF by a scientist who guides and supports him/her in all technical and material working conditions. Even if the student is obliged to spend part of his/her first year in his/her home laboratory to prepare the research work, he/she must introduce himself/herself to the administration offices at the ESRF at the beginning of the contract to fulfill all of the required formalities. Special conditions apply to the first year for students based at a UK university.

4. Contract and duration

As a general rule, Ph.D. students are employed on a special fixed term contract, "Contrat de Formation par la Recherche" (CFR). The grant is initially awarded for a 2-year period and may be extended to 3 years. However, according to the progress of the research project, the Director General reserves the right to continue or to terminate the CFR contract.

Note: Special rules apply to students who are required to spend their first year full time at university.

5. Suspension due to military service or pregnancy

If the student has to leave the ESRF for mandatory military service, the thesis contract is suspended until the discharge. In case of pregnancy, the student is entitled to 18 weeks paid maternity leave.

6. Reimbursement of travel expenses

Travel expenses are reimbursed at the beginning and at the end of the contract according to the ESRF regulations. Removal costs, however, will not be refunded.

7. Salary and allowances

The monthly gross salary will be within the range of 2286 EUR to 2560 EUR. It is determined initially for a 2-year period and is revised for the third year. This remuneration is subject both to French income tax which depends on the individual's family situation and to contributions to the French social security and other compulsory schemes.
The total contribution (for social security, pensions, health insurance and unemployment) represents about 23% of the gross remuneration.