Fostering Doctoral Mobility / Reinforcing Scientific Collaborations

The Programs for the Office for Science and Technology (OST) department of the French Embassy in the United States: a number of programs to aid Franco-American scientific cooperation and expand the mobility of students and researchers.  

Scientific research and innovation are the main drivers of progress and evolution of modern societies.  They require budgets and considerable funding, provided by public entities through multiple organizations and agencies on regional, national, and international levels, and by private entities.  They also require well educated and extremely qualified researchers and engineers, who are internationally available.  Effectively, international cooperation is necessary for the highest levels of research being conducted on the scientific fronts, and helps to feed permanent collaborations, data sharing, and exchanges.  The unprecedented health crisis COVID-19 has further exacerbated the need for ¨open science¨, the pooling of resources and research results.  

The international research networks play a strategic role permitting researchers the ability to take advantage of complimentary resources, to share ideas, and to accelerate the production of results.  In addition, in uniting the students, they improve their education and development of linguistic and scientific competencies necessary to prosper in international teams. 

In this sense, the international mobility of researchers and students between France and the United States is essential in terms of formation and adaptation to different scientific ecosystems; they are fed new information to permit them to question previous findings and understandings, while benefiting from the addition of knowledge and access to research infrastructures which are not always present on both sides of the Atlantic.  

In this context the Office for Science and Technology of the French Embassy in the United States (OST) proposes several programs to start and support the transatlantic mobility of researchers and students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).  More precisely, these programs aim to:

-Initiate or reinforce scientific collaborations

-Assist with the mobility of doctorate, post-doctorate, and researchers

-Contribute to reinforcing the scientific attractiveness of France and attract foreign talents to set up and/or invest in France

Certain programs are aimed specifically towards certain prestigious American Universities: these are the bilateral funds, put in place by the agreements between the MEAE and the University of California - Berkeley, University of Chicago, MIT, Stanford University, and the University of Texas at Austin.  The common principle of these funds is based on the availability of funds, contributed equally by both parties, the interests of which are used to fuel the cooperation program between each of these universities and French laboratories.

Other programs are aimed more specifically at student mobility (doctoral students) or young researchers in the early stages of their careers.

Although mainly funded by OST and partner US universities, the French Department of Higher Education, Research and Innovation contributes to the funding of some programs. The same is true of certain French universities and research organizations for which these “seed funding” programs constitute a pillar of their international strategy, capable of initiating cutting-edge research with partners in the United States and attracting young American researchers to their laboratories.

The description below provides an explanatory list of OST programs according to level - Master, doctoral student, post-doctoral fellow, and researcher - and the desired objective. In addition, each program is specifically detailed on their corresponding pages on this site.

Scientific Collaboration

The financial support provided by the OST generally corresponds to seed funds for French-American research projects, making it possible to initiate collaborative projects and serve as a lever to obtain more substantial research funding from national (ANR, NSF…) or supranational (Europe…) agencies.

The Thomas Jefferson Fund - managed by the SCAC, it covers both the field of human sciences and that of STEM - aims to finance joint scientific projects led by young researchers from France and the United States. It includes funding for mobility (see below).

The bilateral funds specifically support joint scientific programs between French research teams and researchers from the partner American universities.

Student & Researcher Mobility

The Thomas Jefferson Fund finances doctoral, post-doctoral and young researcher mobility, in both directions (FR -> USA and USA -> FR), within the framework of scientific collaboration programs between two teams.

For collaborations with the American universities concerned, bilateral funds make it possible to finance post-doctoral and researcher mobility, in both directions, FR -> USA and USA -> FR, within the framework of joint scientific projects. 

Specifically for American students in pursuit of a doctorate, the Chateaubriand program - STEM component - makes it possible to finance stays in a partner laboratory in France.

The OST does not offer specific funding for the mobility of Masters students, except under the France-Stanford Fund, which provides for a specific call for applications to finance student mobility at the research Masters level. 

Our programs are designed to be complementary to the many existing funds offered by various national or international entities. Information and funding possibilities are described in depth and accessible on the websites of:

Campus France which lists all the grants and aid available to finance the mobility of students and researchers. In addition, the usa.campus france site lists the specific funding possibilities for bilateral mobility between the United States and France.  

Euraxess, the European portal dedicated to the mobility and employment of researchers

- The National Science Foundation (NSF) in the rubric Education and Human Resource (EHR) Active Funding Opportunities

The French-American Fulbright Commission which provides academic and research scholarships at different levels in France for Americans and in the United States for French citizens

- Fulbright Etudiants for the mobility of students in a Masters program FR -> USA

Fulbright US Student Program for the mobility of students in a Masters program USA -> FR

Doctoral mobility in the direction FR -> USA can be financed within the framework of the Fulbright Doctorate program.

The Fulbright Researchers program funds stays for researchers wishing to visit American academic institutions. Conversely, the Fulbright-Tocqueville program makes it possible to finance stays of eminent researchers or teacher-researchers from the USA to France. 

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