PhD Track



Physics has been the driving field for several intellectual revolutions of the last century: quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity have changed our view of the world in our most profound convictions. The resulting technological progress of the semiconductor age is nowadays omnipresent in daily life, and is at the origin of the current digital transformation of society. Quantum technologies such as quantum storage devices and quantum computing are awaiting their entering into the play, as are computational materials design, or machine learning techniques at the service of society.
At the same time, our world faces tremendous challenges related to environmental needs, energy, transport, information technologies, biotechnology or space engineering. Physics provides both a means to address some of the most urgent societal issues and a marvellous intellectual challenges related to the very origins of our world. Thanks to its versatile methodologies it is moreover a key tool for problems relating to neighboring disciplines: methods of statistical physics or non-linear dynamics e.g. are nowadays used in biology, economics or finance as much as in demographic or climate modelisation. Last but not least, synergies between materials science and solid state physics and chemistry are a driving force for technological progress thanks to more and more refined materials and device solutions.

The Institut Polytechnique de Paris with its world-class Research Center covering all fields of physics as well as its interfaces with chemistry, applied mathematics, biology or economics provides a unique environment for students motivated by a PhD Track program.

Language of instruction: English
The language in the labs is English. A wide offer of courses in English is available in most topical areas. Knowledge of French can however widen the choice of more specialized courses.
Oriented: Research
Duration : MSc (2 years) and a PhD (3 years)
Courses Location : IP Paris – École Polytechnique

Program structure

The PhD Track provides a five-year “a la carte” integrated master and PhD program for particularly motivated and talented students aiming at preparing a career in academia through an individualized research-oriented training program. Students will be attributed an academic tutor in their field of research from the very start of their studies of IP Paris. In coordination with their tutor, students will elaborate their own personal curriculum consisting of course work and research phases corresponding to their research interests and professional project. During their first year, students will follow a selection of courses in their disciplinary field, complemented by modules allowing them to broaden their general scientific culture and to acquire secondary skills. At the same time, students are already members of the research team of their tutor and participate in team activities and research discussions. This includes in particular attending relevant research seminars and potentially topical workshops. During the third trimester of the first year, students will work on a research project, in collaboration with their host team. The second year will be mainly devoted to a larger-scale research work, giving rise to a master thesis and – most likely – first research publications. This is also the occasion to consolidate their choice for the topic of their PhD. While it will still be possible to follow selected – more specialized – scientific courses and courses in secondary skills, the last three years of the PhD Track program will be mainly devoted to research work towards the PhD degree. Topical reorientations (including changing research group and tutor) are possible at any moment during the first two years (upon agreement of the two faculty members concerned), but should be avoided once the PhD phase has started.

Fields potentially available to PhD Track students cover all areas of fundamental and applied physics offered at IP Paris, including in particular theoretical and experimental condensed matter physics, mathematical physics, optics and lasers, plasma physics, experimental and theoretical high-energy physics as well as topics at the interfaces with chemistry, materials science, applied mathematics or biology.

Involved Laboratories

Potential laboratories for the research work and PhD phase:
Center for Theoretical Physics (CPHT)
Photovoltaic Institute (IPVF)
Leprince-Ringuet Laboratory (LLR)
Laboratory for Applied Optics (LOA)
Laboratory for Optics in Biology (LOB)
Laboratory of Plasma Physics (LPP)
Laboratory of High Intensity Lasers (LULI)
Laboratory for Irradiated Solids (LSI)
Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics (PMC)
Laboratory for Interfaces and Thin Films (PICM)

Career prospects

This PhD Track aims at preparing students for academic careers in universities or in major research organisations in France (CNRS, CEA, IN2P3) or abroad.


Application guidelines for a PhD Track at IP Paris

Academic prerequisites

Licence/BSc (or equivalent diploma) in physics with highest honors and a personal project that is coherent with the philosophy of the PhD Track program.

Applicants are advised to contact faculty members in their field of study well ahead of the application deadline with a statement on their scientific interests in view of the coordination of their proposed study program with a tutor at IP Paris.

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.


Hache François

Silke Biermann