UoM – CNRS Graduate Research Projects Scheme

Critical Dates

18 September 2023

Call for joint PhD proposals opens

27 November 2023

Applications due

January 2024

Results released

*PLEASE NOTE: Applicants from ABP, please contact abp-gradresearch@unimelb.edu.au for additional EOI steps.


Following a sought-after call in 2021, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and UoM are calling for proposals to establish joint PhD projects. The Graduate Research Projects scheme established the Melbourne – CNRS Network, with recruited joint PhD candidates undertaking research across a range of multidisciplinary projects. Candidates participating in the program are jointly supervised by UoM and CNRS Principal Investigators (PIs) and jointly enrolled at UoM and the CNRS affiliated French university.

Up to ten joint PhD projects will be funded across five separate pairs of PIs, comprising one PI from UoM and one from CNRS. Each of these five pairs will receive one    PhD scholarship from UoM (allocated to the UoM PI) and one PhD fellowship from CNRS (allocated  to the CNRS PI). These awards will also include travel and establishment support.

Those PhD candidates participating in the awarded Graduate Research Projects must meet the entry requirements and enrollment criteria to jointly enroll at both the UoM PI’s Faculty as well as that of the CNRS PI’s affiliated French university:

  • France: PhD candidates seeking to undertake a joint research project funded by the CNRS PI must commence the first year of their PhD at a host French University by December 2024.
  • Melbourne: PhD candidates seeking to undertake a joint research project funded by UoM must commence the first year of their PhD at UoM by December 2024.

This call is open to proposals from all areas of research.

This call for joint PhD project proposals is open to applications from academic supervisors only. If you are a prospective candidate interested in applying for a joint PhD, please refer to the information available here.


The supervisory team must comprise of at least two Principal Investigators (PIs), one from UoM and one from CNRS. The PIs must have capacity to serve as primary supervisors for two jointly enrolled PhD candidates.

UoM academics

UoM academics must be registered to supervise as per the Supervisor Eligibility and Registration Policy. Primary supervisors should be employed at UoM beyond the envisaged submission date of their PhD candidates (2028). If their employment contract does not extend beyond the submission date, then alternative arrangements must be in place, by either having:

  1. A named co-supervisor at Melbourne beyond the envisaged submission date of their PhD candidates (2028); or
  2. A letter of support from the respective Head of Department/Head of School detailing the arrangements in place to ensure continuity of supervision.

For more information, including forms for supervisor registration, please consult the information for supervisors section on the Graduate Research Hub.

Honorary employees whose primary academic affiliation is the University of Melbourne are eligible to lead an application as a PI if they are a registered Principal Supervisor at Melbourne, and either:

  1. Their primary employer has entered into a written agreement for this call, using the provided approval form to fund the Melbourne cash component of the collaborative activity; or
  2. They participate at their own expense if they are otherwise unaffiliated (for example, they hold an emeritus position).

Melbourne academics must not have outstanding Progress Reports or Final Reports from any other University of Melbourne Researcher Development Scheme.

CNRS academics

CNRS-based PIs (all researchers affiliated to a CNRS laboratory are eligible, whether employed by CNRS or by another institution) must hold accreditation to supervise PhD candidates. The PI’s affiliated university must also be able to support the negotiation of an agreement to facilitate the enrolment of joint PhD candidates.

Additional notes for all applicants

Previous recipients may not currently reapply to this scheme but may participate in joint PhD projects as co-supervisors.

Additional colleagues (including other partners in Australia, from non-CNRS affiliated institutions in France, or internationally) are not eligible to apply as primary supervisors, although they can participate in the co-supervision of joint PhD candidates. PIs cannot submit more than one proposal (for two joint PhD candidates) as part of this call but can co-supervise other projects.


Up to a total of five proposals will be funded, with each proposal supporting two joint PhD candidates. One of these candidates will have UoM as their Home Institution, and the other will have the French university affiliated with the CNRS PI as their Home Institution.

The Home Institution is where the candidate spends most of their research time and is likely to commence and conclude their degree. The Host Institution is where the candidate spends the remainder of their candidature as part of a research stay. Candidates should submit their thesis within three years of commencement and spend at least 12 months at each institution.

From UoM:

Tax-free scholarship, including a stipend, for each Melbourne-based candidate. Refer to the Graduate Research Scholarship page for full details.

Tuition fee waiver (scholarship) for both Melbourne and CNRS based candidates.

Access to a lump sum of up to $20,000 to support Melbourne-based candidates and UoM PIs for relevant activities, including:

  • Candidate travel
  • PI travel
  • Workshop costs or virtual collaboration expenses
  • Graduate recruitment

From CNRS:

Full PhD Grant for 3 years for each CNRS-based candidate.

5,000 EUR per year to support CNRS-based candidates and CNRS PIs for relevant activities, including:

  • Candidate travel
  • PI travel
  • Workshop costs or virtual collaboration expenses

How to apply

  1. Review the Guidelines

    Please review the guidelines before the submission.

  2. Complete and submit the application

    Step 1: A single, jointly-prepared application in English must be submitted via the dedicated CNRS website: https://noa.cnrs.fr by Monday, 27 November 2023, 12:00 CET(France).

    Applications should be written in English and for an audience proficient, but not expert.

    Step 2: Melbourne PIs must also submit a copy of the joint application and endorsement to the UoM SmartyGrant portal by Monday, 27 November 2023, 15:00 pm AEDT(Melbourne).

    All Melbourne PIs must ensure that the Head of Department/School and Associate Dean (Graduate Research) endorsement is attached to the application using the approval forms also available under 'Supporting Documents' below. Melbourne applicants who hold an Honorary position must also complete the Honorary declaration form.

    If the application involves a PI from Melbourne's Faculty of Arts, the approval forms must be provided in addition to the supporting statement on how the candidates will be the Faculty’s PhD coursework requirement.

Supporting documents

CNRS-UoM Call Guidelines

CNRS Title Page

CNRS website: https://noa.cnrs.fr

UoM SmartyGrants portal

HoD and Associate Dean (Graduate Research) approval forms

Honorary declaration form

List of Projects Awarded Funding in Previous Rounds


Melbourne contact

The Researcher Development Schemes team

Research, Innovation & Commercialisation,

The University of Melbourne


CNRS contact

European and International Affairs Department

Isabella Villavicencio

International Cooperation Officer