french grad school
November 23, 2012 9:34 PM   Subscribe

Hello French brothers and sisters! Can an American Grad. student find plant biotech. Phd work in France these days? It is a dream to move there with my young wife, what are the biggest and best schools? Thanks everyone!

I of course have done some research and know it would be a challenge, there are a few schools I like but would like to see what you guys have to say. Thanks!
posted by 1inabillionmistake to Travel & Transportation around France (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You have found the Campus France website right?

I am an American graduate student in Belgium, if you are a masters student/undergrad looking for a PhD granting position, not a soon to be post-doc, you might find an old question of mine helpful.

In doing this your biggest issue will not be finding a position, but finding funding which is much more divorced from positions than in the US. If you are even vaguely competitive, admission will be relatively easy, but dependent on your ability to attract funding from either the institution or outside sources, and that will be much more difficult. Most French sources of money that can fund PhD students either specify that the students recruited must be French citizens, be EU citizens, or be citizens of the various places with French colonial history, which I'm guessing you are not.1 You can search for what French, American, and international sources of funding there are and would be appropriate to you here. Depending on your goals, you'll want a really solid chance of four years of funding if not a guarantee. Even if you only come with one year of funding, that could make you competitive for university specific weird piles of money that could fund the rest of your studies.

If you can compete for funding with the rest of the world, the the Marie Curie Fellowship would totally do it for you. Your University library/career center will also have a copy of this book along with someone who knows how to use it.

This might seem like a dumb question, but, do you speak French? Well enough to take classes, read scientific papers, or write a dissertation in French? Many universities do have advanced classes in English these days and some allow dissertations to be written in English, but certainly not all. The Francophone scientific literature is also really extensive and solid in a way that was kind of disorienting for at least my anglophone self to discover as my French got better, could you work for a lab for whom the majority of its work was totally inaccessible to you?

1Incidentally, you might want to look into whether you could be, do you happen speak at least an A1 level of German and have German grandparents? Have Irish grandparents? EU citizenship would really help you.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:38 AM on November 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

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