Calls for applications: new "Make Our Planet Great Again" funding programs to study and conduct research in France

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In the context of the Make Our Planet Great Again initiative launched by President Macron in June 2017, new funding programs were created to welcome international students and researchers in France for a master’s degree, a PhD program, a post-doctoral contract or a short research stay. Calls for applications are now open on Campus France website: https://www.campusfrance.org/en/make-our-planet-great-again-funding-programs.

The Make Our Planet Great Again call

On June 1, 2017, the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, launched the Make Our Planet Great Again initiative in order to express France’s support for students, researchers, entrepreneurs, associations and NGOs involved in the fight against climate change. This initiative met with worldwide enthusiasm and generated more than 11,000 expressions of interest from around the world on the makeourplanetgreatagain.fr platform, including 5,000 from researchers and students. Among these 5,000 messages, approximately 1,800 were complete applications for a study or research stay in France or a collaboration with a French research team. Most of these applications came from the U.S.

A first wave of MOPGA laureates

The French National Agency for Research (ANR) and the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) evaluated the applications of researchers interested in long-term residencies in France. They selected 18 laureates whose names were revealed in presence of President Macron during the Tech For Planet event organized on December 11, 2017, as a side event of the One Planet Summit. Among them, 13 come from the U.S. (Princeton, Stanford, Cornell, Columbia…). The 18 laureates will join a French laboratory for 3 to 5 years in order to develop their research project and will benefit from a funding of 1 to 1.5M€ (half of it coming from the host institution).

In addition, the Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the U.S. directed PhD students and young researchers towards two of its existing programs: the Chateaubriand Fellowship Program and the Thomas Jefferson Fund. These two programs benefit from exceptional funding as part of the MOPGA initiative, in order to fund additional projects in the fields of earth system science, energy transition, climate change and sustainable development. The Chateaubriand Fellowship Program supports outstanding PhD students from American universities who wish to conduct research in France for a few months. Chateaubriand Fellow Theresa Oehmke was one of the U.S. PhD student who applied on the makeourplanetgreatagain.fr platform. She was welcomed on stage by President Macron during the Tech For Planet event. The Thomas Jefferson Fund supports innovative, collaborative research projects led by two young researchers, one American and one French. Laureates of both programs will be announced in May.

In the context of the MOPGA initiative, the Office for Science and Technology also has special funding available to support high-level collaborations between France and renowned American universities such as MIT and Berkeley. This includes the “MIT-France Climate Program”, a structuring initiative on climate change research, which is coordinated by MIT on the American side and Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL) on the French side.

New funding opportunities now open for applications

The French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation recently launched four new funding programs for international students and researchers coming to France.

  1. Grants to pursue a master’s degree beginning in the 2018 academic year (one or two years) [PDF]
  2. Co-financing for candidates wishing to complete a PhD in France starting between September and December 2018 (over three years) [PDF]
  3. Co-financing for PhD researchers with a 12- to 24-month postdoctoral research contract in France starting after September 2018 [PDF]
  4. Grants to carry out a short research stay at a French research institution (two weeks to five months) between August and December 2018 [PDF]

Calls for applications for grants at the master’s level, postdoctoral research contracts and short research stays will be open from March 12 to April 6, 2018. Students will be able to apply to PhD offers from April 5 to 20. Results will be announced mid-June. For more information on the programs, eligibility guidelines, and to apply, please visit Campus France website: https://www.campusfrance.org/en/make-our-planet-great-again-funding-programs.

Contacts:
- Campus France: mopga@campusfrance.org
- Office for Science and Technology: deputy-ntics@ambascience-usa.org