High resolution liquid chromatography (LC-TOF) used to identify emerging organic pollutants. © BRGM - C. Bruneau

Doctorates and post-doctorates

As the French Geological Survey organisation, the BRGM hosts around a hundred doctoral students each year under its PhD programme, in cooperation with university laboratories and companies. This public institution also offers funding opportunities for post-doctoral contracts of 12 to 18 months.

PhD theses with BRGM

École de terrain "Environnement minier et après-mine", région d’Alès (Gard, 2015).

Field course on “Mining and post-mining environments”, Alès region (Gard, 2015). © BRGM

Co-supervision of theses, a cornerstone of BRGM research

Co-supervision of PhD theses is one of the cornerstones of BRGM's research activities. The number of theses co-supervised by BRGM researchers has trebled in the last ten years, with about 70 theses co-supervised in 2018.

PhD theses are also a crucial component in BRGM's strategy for partnerships with both universities and industry and are therefore an integral part of BRGM's science programme.

The theses undertaken at BRGM contribute to cross-cutting activities that support outstanding research or the development of research methodology (analytical and experimental methodology, model development, etc.), or that fall within one or more of the six main objectives laid down in BRGM's research strategy:

  • Geology and knowledge of the subsurface
  • Groundwater management
  • Risks and spatial planning
  • Mineral resources and the circular economy
  • Sub-surface potential for the energy transition
  • Digital data, services and infrastructure

Financing and supervisory arrangements

BRGM's doctorates programme applies several types of funding:

  • Employment by BRGM: doctoral students are employed by BRGM but affiliated with a doctoral faculty, under a partnership with a university laboratory. Work on the thesis is mainly conducted at BRGM and fully integrated into one or more of its projects.
  • Employment by a university: doctoral students are employed by their university under a project run in partnership with a university laboratory. BRGM co-finances the thesis scholarship directly, under a co-supervision agreement with the PhD student's host institution.
  • Employment by a company (e.g. with CIFRE funding): the PhD student works under an agreement between BRGM, the university laboratory and a company.

Other ways of integrating PhD studies into BRGM projects may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

One of the aims of the new BRGM doctorates policy is for about one third of its PhD students to be employed by BRGM. Whether or not the PhD student is employed by BRGM, a co-supervision agreement is always signed between BRGM and the partner laboratory or laboratories.

How to apply?

Thesis topics are published on the Join BRGM website.

The application must include:

  • a CV
  • a cover letter
  • one or two letters of reference
  • a list of academic grades (Bachelor + Master 1 and first semester Master 2)

See the thesis topics on the Join BRGM website

Undertake a post-doctorate at BRGM

Techniques de modélisation 3D au BRGM (Orléans, 2011).

3D modelling techniques at BRGM (Orleans, 2011). © BRGM

Opportunities for post-doctoral contracts at BRGM

BRGM offers funding opportunities for post-doctoral contracts of 12 to 18 months.

Post-doctoral researchers who hold a PhD acquired in a research organisation other than BRGM enhance their own scientific experience and contribute their specific knowledge of priority topics to BRGM's multidisciplinary research teams.

They can also follow training courses designed to assist them in their scientific careers.

What are the prospects afterwards?

At the end of their post-doctoral contract, some researchers are hired by BRGM, while others leverage their experience by moving into teaching careers or joining private research units.

How to apply?

Post-doctoral contracts are published on the Join BRGM website.

Post-doctoral contracts are governed by the post-doctoral student's integration charter.

Candidates for a post-doctoral position at BRGM are eligible if less than five years have passed between the date on which they defended their thesis and the date of entry into force of the employment contract. Post-doctoral fellowships at BRGM have a maximum duration of 18 months.

Go to the Join BRGM website

BRGM - 3 avenue Claude-Guillemin - BP 36009 45060 Orléans Cedex 2 - France Tel.: +33 (0)2 38 64 34 34