PhD track

Plasmas Physics


Plasma physics is one of the ten priority research axes of IP Paris. This axis is structured by the Universitary Research School (EUR) “PLASMA_ST”, one of the four actions of IP Paris especially dedicated to promote the interaction between education and research. It federates the activity of seven laboratories and teams (CMAP, CPHT, LOA, LPICM, LPP, LSI, LULI) which represent the largest plasma community in France and cover an extended spectrum of plasma domains at the forefront of science and technology. They are organized around three challenging topics:

  • “Plasmas and Energy” faces the issue of energy, one of the great challenges of this century when fossil fuel stocks are declining. It investigates key plasma processes leading to energy losses in gigantic international facilities dedicated to thermonuclear fusion as well as exploratory tracks in nanotechnologies for solar energy;
  • “Plasmas and Space” focuses on space plasmas and more precisely on fundamental mysteries as the energy conversion and dissipation at different plasma scales which remain still unsolved even for the closest plasmas in the solar system. This topic also addresses crucial questions related to plasma propulsion, a promising means to cope with the presently exploding demand of electric propulsion for satellites;
  • “Plasmas and Society” involves several technologies. Laser – produced plasmas offer the opportunity to push the understanding of the matter when it is submitted to ever stronger excitations over ever shorter time scales. They also provide efficient applications in medical radiotherapy and imaging. The tailoring of the chemical reactivity of low-temperature plasmas is of key interest for several crucial applications as nanotechnologies, air pollution control and treatment, plasma assisted-combustion, plasma medicine and agriculture.
    These three main topics are interconnected through two transverse axes on Plasma Theory and Numerical Plasmas.

Language of instruction: English
Oriented: Research
Duration : MSc (2 years) and a PhD (3 years)
Courses Location : IP Paris – Ecole polytechnique

Program Structure

The 5 years PhD track in Plasma Physics exploits the longstanding training excellence of the organizations involved in IP PARIS, coupled with the high involvement of the prestigious labs and strong industrial collaborations in different plasma domains. It involves fully individualized training path, both in terms of content and organization, leading a student with a bachelor degree (or equivalent) to a doctorate degree.

It includes an initial education coupled with the existing programmes (masters, engineering courses, doctoral courses) and with courses in fundamental physics, various options and practical works. EUR “PLASMA_ST” proposes an extended offer of practical works in the laboratories of IP Paris and innovating approaches in numerical learning such as the use of Jupyter notebooks. The first two years includes two extended periods for projects or internships in laboratory: one of several weeks and another one of 4 to 6 months with the purpose to progressively develop the student autonomy. The laboratories of IP Paris offer a comprehensive set of various subjects in very different plasma domains.

The students will then develop their personal research project ending with the doctorate degree. Again, an extremely rich set of challenging research projects is offered by the laboratories of IP Paris. EUR “PLASMAS_ST” will complete this offer with a training on specific or general topics in plasma physics and also on transverse tools like numerical methods, ethics, data management in collaboration with the doctorate school of IP Paris. The main objective is to provide the students with highly customized skills to be able to collaborate with the best research centers and industrial partners.


Application guidelines for a PhD Track at IP Paris

Academic prerequisites

Licence/BSc (or equivalent diploma) with highest honors

Students may also have the possibility to start the PhD Program in the second year of the MSc (4-year PhD program).

Language prerequisites


Application timeline

The deadline for PhD Track application is February 28, 2020 – Extended to March 22, 2020
Eligible applicants on the basis of the provided documentation will be contacted for an interview from the 15th of March onwards.

You shall receive an answer 2 months after the application deadline of the session.
You can check your application status by logging in your candidate space.

Tuition fees

Annual tuition fees for year 1 and 2 (MSc): for PhD track students IP Paris has decided to subsidize the tuition fees for Years 1 and 2 bringing them down from 6250 Euros (non EU students) / 4250 Euros (EU students) to the level of the official tuition fees of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and innovation for EU students (243 Euros in 2019-2020) 
Annual tuition fees for year 3 to 5 (PhD): Official tuition fees of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and innovation ( EU and non EU students pay the EU fees ; 380 euros in 2019-2020)
An annual scholarship may be granted to the best applicants for the first 2 years (MSc). Modalities will be communicated by February 15th 2020.
Successful applicants will obtain a three-year PhD scholarship for year 3 to 5.


Dominique Fontaine