Doctoral schools

The doctoral schools (ED) work together with the research departments within an institution or, as the case may be, within partner institutions (co-accredited ED) as part of a doctoral training project. In the case of co-accreditation, one single institution is designated as the support institution and is responsible for the administrative management of the school. The doctoral schools as well as the research departments which constitute them are subject to a periodic national scientific evaluation as part of the four-year contract concluded between the State and higher education institutions. It is on this basis that their accreditation, which guarantees to doctoral students the benefit of a quality education, is carried out. The training programs provided within the doctoral schools aim also to allow doctoral students to acquire a higher level of scientific literacy, to construct their professional project, and to discovery the diversity of opportunities which are available to them in both private and public research. Finally, they strive to follow their doctoral students’ professional futures and publish alumni directories.

ULCO thus participates in 6 co-accredited Eds in the Nord-Pas de Calais region :

Science for Engineers (SPI) ED no. 72
Topics : automation; computer engineering; signal and image processing; electrical engineering; computer science; mechanical science, civil engineering, energetics and materials; micro- and nanotechnology; acoustics and telecommunications; pure and applied mathematics

Science of Matter, Radiation, and the Environment (SMRE) ED no. 104
Topics : physics; chemistry; earth and life science; Earth and the universe; environment; agribusiness technology

Health Biology (BSL) ED no. 446
Topics : molecular and cellular biology; physiology; biology of organisms, populations, and interactions; public health; clinical research; technological innovation; biomolecules; pharmacology; therapy

Economic and Social Science of Development and Management (SESAM) ED no. 73
Topics : development ; economics ; management ; sociology ; physical activity, geography, anthropology

Legal, Political, and Management Science (SJPG) ED no.74
Topics : private law, public law, history of law, political science, management science

Human and Social Science (SHS) Ed no.473
Topics : philosophy; philology; linguistics and the arts ; prehistory ; archeology ; history and the history of art; language, literature, and civilizations ; behavioral and cognitive psychology ; information and communication science of education

This regional arrangement rests upon a site policy allowing for the pooling of teaching resources and the harmonization of procedures used to recruit doctoral students.

Students preparing their theses in ULCO’s laboratories follow the program of training courses proposed by the corresponding ED: disciplinary conferences, multidisciplinary conferences on research methods, professional development modules related to professional integration.


The European Doctoral College of Nord-Pas de Calais brings together the co-accredited ED of the region. It aims to develop a coherent research policy specific to the Euroregion. The CDE’s mission is to promote the education of doctoral students in the region alongside economic actors and regional institutions in order to strengthen the connections between higher-level education and the socio-economic fabric. It also strives to facilitate scientific cooperation between the research laboratories of Nord-Pas de Calais and universities across Europe. To this end, it offers research grants to European students of all disciplines who are holders of master’s degrees acquired outside of France (but still in Europe) and who wish to receive an education in the Research Units of Northern France.

This environment, composed of 6 thematic EDs and the CDE, is peerless in France. It is an entire region—the third-largest province in terms of population and GDP (after Rhône Alpes and PACA)—which structures itself entirely around the 6 ED, all co-accredited.

The CDE aims to share the European initiatives of the 6 EDs and to add new coordinated initiatives in order to assure the excellence and mobility of its doctoral students on an international level as well as develop the international mobility of its doctoral students and the international appeal of regional EDs.

L’environnement constitué des 6 ED thématiques et du CDE est sans équivalent en France. C’est toute une région – la troisième province en population et PIB (après Rhône Alpes et PACA) – qui se structure autour de 6 ED seulement, toutes co-accréditées.

Le CDE a pour objectif de mutualiser les actions européennes des 6 ED, de monter de nouvelles actions coordonnées, afin d’assurer l’excellence des docteurs, leur promotion et leur mobilité à l’international, développer la mobilité internationale des doctorants et l’attractivité internationale des ED régionales.


Regional Council of Hauts de France (Conseil Régional Hauts de France) : Thesis subjects must be an integral part of the programs of the region : regional allocations are 50% co-financing (finding a second co-financing). 100% financing for SHS subjects, through the MESHS program, is possible but very limited. The request in these laboratories is generally made in the first trimester of each year.

Note : The files drawn by laboratories are coordinated with the Doctoral Schools.

ULCO (the former Ministry) : General Thesis Support and President Thesis Support

Note : The files drawn by laboratories are coordinated with the Doctoral Schools

Recruitment method and schedule : see the site of each of the 6 EDs.

Joint Association of the Opal Coast : This handles the 50% co-financing (finding a second co-financing). The deposit of 100% financing is possible. The request in the laboratories is made generally in the first trimester of each year. All these supports lead to doctoral contracts. For all these requests, the laboratory will file a file in the name of the student.

There exists other type of thesis supports, all of which depend on the subject of the intended thesis.

See research organizations such as :  ADEME, CNRS

Industrial Research Training Agreement (CIFRE) : The CIFRE arrangement subsidizes any business under French law which hires a doctoral student and places him or her at the heart of a research collaboration with a public laboratory. The work will culminate in the defense of a thesis in three years.

CIFREs are fully financed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, which has entrusted the implementation to the National Association of Research and Technology (ANRT).

Helpful links for young researchers with essential documents such as the Doctoral Guide :

  • The regulation of doctoral studies, doctoral training aides, and the directory of these training courses are available on the site of the Ministry of Research in the Doctoral Training section
  • Information on scholarships for doctoral or post-doctoral studies is available on the CNRS site
  • Information on the research grants of the Regional Council Hauts de France site
  • Presentation of Industrial Research Training Conventions (CIFRE) : – in the CIFRE Space section

Download the thesis co-supervision presentation document


From thesis to employment : Intelli’agence

Are you a doctorate student thinking about your project or a young PhD seeking employment ? Intelli’agence can help you at various steps :

  • The Doctoriales : a week to reflect on your professional project because the post-thesis is prepared during the thesis;
  • Valorization of skills “a new chapter of the thesis” : a guided appointment to assess your career and projects ;
  • Registration to the CV bank of the ABG site ;
  • Job offers ; all specialties, in business and in the academic world, in France and abroad ;
  • Information and advice: Docteurs & Co. magazine and weekly newsletter.

ULCO’s Intelli’agence correspondents bring personalized advice and follow-up to young PhDs looking for work. It is with them that you will be able to register at Intelli’agence as a candidate.

You will find also, in addition to a scientific database, an international job exchange on the Researchgate site.

Contact information for ULCO’s Intelli’agence correspondents :

Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale
Office of Professional Integration
1 place de l’YSER BP 1022 – 59375 Dunkerque cedex 1 – France
+33 (0)3 28 23 74 23



+33 (0)3 28 23 73 93