Teaching

If possible, it is suggested that you try to teach during your PhD, or the first years of post-doc.

There are various reasons why you should:

  • It looks good in your curriculum. You may build on it whatever your future choices are.
  • It is a requirement to apply for an assistant professor position in France (see the official site of CNU - section 34 ).
  • It is a (small) income during your thesis.

Speaking in front of an audience is difficult. Teaching will help you develop the skill, including improvising in unexpected situations. It is a required skill for any scientist, in particular during national or international meetings.

A teaching background is often required before applying to a teaching position, including at college level.

To apply for an assistant professor position in France, you must be registered on the "listes de qualification". Registration is decided for 4 years by the CNU upon a review of your resumé. A minimum of 40 hours of teaching at University level is mandatory.

During your thesis you may apply for "missions complémentaires" at any University of your choice. This addendum to your doctoral contract provides for a regular income and (in principle) some help and formation for your first teaching experience. If possible, this is the best choice. It must be compatible with your contract (check), and your application must be accepted. Applications are usually during spring time, before you get the answer to your application to a PhD grant if you wish to teach during your first year. Acceptance will be conditional to your getting a grant but you MUST apply nevertheless! The PhD student who has a teaching mission ensures a maximum of 64h of courses/tutorial classes/practical exercises (usually in french) per year during the duration of the PhD.

Universities give a teaching mission in priority to PhD students who are registered with them to facilitate administrative procedures. There are more candidates than opportunities, so you can apply in several universities and resign after if you have many positive answers. The grant of the doctoral contract is: 1758€ for a research mission alone, 2024€ for a research and teaching mission (excluding taxes).

Links for applications1 (Updated June 11th 2018):

See also specific informations on 2017.

If you do not have these "missions complémentaires" you can in principle teach within a more loose context on a date to date basis (sessions). There is no specific rule, except that you must not teach more than 64h a year.

You can also do other missions: missions of scientific dissemination, missions of results valorisation from research laboratories or companies, or consulting missions in public or private institutions. You will find here (in french) a call for applications (for 2017) from Palais de la Découverte and Cité des Sciences. For more information on the consulting missions, you can consult the website of the association SYNAPSE (in french) (association of young researchers dedicated to the relationship between companies and PhD students) hosted by the University Paris-Saclay. These missions can also be used to obtain the qualification in order to be able to apply for a position of assistant professor in France. You will have to sign a addendum to the PhD contract for one year but renewable.

If you could not find a teaching opportunity during your thesis, try to find one during your post-doc position. Most contracts allow it, but you may have to ask before signing! Do not forget to check.


  1. Late applications may be welcomed in case somebody resigns. Check on line even after the deadline. 

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