CALL FOR CANDIDATES Admission to the SACRe Ph.D program 2021

, par Morgane THRO


Admission to the SACRe Ph.D program 2021

| visual arts | film | music composition | design | art history and theory | performing arts |

Call open from March 9, 2020 to May 6, 2021, 4pm (UTC+1, Paris)


The documents have to be sent in a SINGLE PDF.


Given the health situation, applications are ONLY by email. The complete fil should be sent to with copy to


This call is open to international candidates, without age restrictions.


The Sciences, Arts, Creation, Research(SACRe) Ph.D program is open to all candidates holding a Master’s degree from any higher education institution, whether established practitioners (artists, filmmakers, designers, composers, stage directors…) and/or researchers. When she/he applies, the candidate specifies if she/he wants to benefit from a 3-years doctoral contract or if she/he already benefits from a grant.


When applying, the candidate commits to completing the course plan of Ecole doctorale 540 “Lettres, arts, sciences humaines et sociales” at PSL University, which includes participation to the SACRe common doctoral seminar, and to specific and general courses (see below).


After a successful defense, the Ph.D candidate will obtain the doctoral national diploma (Ph.D)




Allowing research and creation project to develop in an exceptional context, enabling practitioners in various creative fields and researchers to work and invent together : this is the mission of the SACRe Ph.D program.

The program is a result of the cooperation between six institutes which are either full members or associate members of PSL : the Conservatoire national supérieur d’art dramatique (CNSAD : national theatre conservatory), Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (CNSMDP : national music and dance conservatory), École nationale supérieure des Arts décoratifs (EnsAD : national school of decorative arts), École nationale supérieure des métiers de l’image et du son (La Fémis : national school for film), École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (Beaux-Arts : national school for fine arts), and the École normale supérieure (ENS).

The objective of SACRe is to facilitate the emergence and development of projects which associate art and research, and which are original in both their methods and their results. Encompassing multiple domains, as indicated by the name of the doctorate (SACRe : sciences, arts, creation and research), this truly interdisciplinary doctoral program brings together practitioners, as well as researchers in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences, thus inculcating a close articulation of thought and sensitivity.

The SACRe doctoral program consists :

  • for practitioners : of the creation of works, objects or devices (dispositifs) and the redaction of a document named a “portfolio”, closely associated with a reflexive approach based on various theoretical and scientific fields. The portfolio can combine texts and other means of expression (photographie, sound, etc.) depending on the artistic field in question. The two types of corpus – artworks and portfolio –form the “thesis”.


  • for theorists : of the production of a written thesis following the usual norms of a PhD dissertation in the humanities or in science, and of a portfolio closely associated with a creative approach.

Terms of the Ph.D program

Ph.D supervision

The PhD is supevised jointly by a scientific supervisor and an artistic supervisor, for “practitionners”.

The Ph.D supervisors may preferably be chosen among SACRe / Laboratory members, or among PSL and particularly within one of the laboratories attached to the Doctoral school 540 (ED 540).

The artistic supervisor will preferably be chosen among the teaching or researching staff of the art schools attached to the SACRe program.


The Ph.D supervision can be finalized after the admission.



The list of members

is available on the following
websites SACRe
,ED 540


The Ph.D program proceeds for three years, as follows :


  • Specific instruction is conducted in the SACRe art schools or conservatories. Each institute arranges the facilities, the organization, and the functioning of the program for the Ph.D candidates.

  • A SACRe seminar (12 sessions) explores the links between research and creation for all doctoral students admitted to the program.

  • Specific instruction to be chosen within the Ecole doctorale 540, PSL’s “Graduate program in the Arts”, and PSL’s Doctoral college.


The doctoral course plan of ED 540, including the three course categories listed above, must be completed before the PhD defense.

The program includes mandatory annual assessments and annual presentation of each student’s work.


The Ph.D candidates must also participate in elaborating study days, seminars, conferences and symposia, as well as public events, especially within the frame of transdisciplinary projects.

This program is in line with the doctoral instruction fixed by the 12th article of the arrêté du 25 mai 2016 concerning the national doctoral degree.

By applying, the potential Ph.D candidates agree to the terms in line with the texts stating the frame of the national doctoral degree.







fread the arrêté


Financial aid and offers related to the program

Ph.D candidates admitted by PSL receive doctoral contracts which provide them with a stipend for three years, the legal duration of the program as stated within the decreen°2016-1173 du 29 août 2016 modifyingthe decree n° 2009-464 du 23 avril 2009. Postponement of the thesis defense presentation beyond the legal duration of three years is only possible under exceptional circumstances and, if approved, does not prolong the doctoral contract or the financial aid. It is a full-time job and every other unrelated job will have to be officially authorized.



f – read the decree

The amount specified in the doctoral contract is 1 758 euros gross per month (amount in force since 29 August 2016).


Ph.D candidates can benefit from specific aid to mount events related to their doctoral project : support for artistic production (works, exhibitions, concerts, etc.) and scientific activities (seminars, publications, etc.).


f – read the decree

Thesis characteristics and defense and issuance of the SACRe Doctorate in the Arts

The SACRe doctorate is primarily for creative work by Ph.D candidates from the schools for the arts, and for interaction with creators by Ph.D candidates from the ENS.


The thesis consists jointly of works of art or design in the different formats and media proper to each discipline and of a portfolio. The latter highlights the sources, experiences, research, and other practices, whether artistic or not, that have influenced the work. It provides a well-reasoned and critical reflection on the work accomplished during the three years of the thesis. Its form is defined based on the characteristics and approaches specific to each discipline and is matched to the candidate’s research project, with the approval of the thesis supervisors.


The Ph.D defense for Ph.D candidates in the arts is based on the presentation of the works completed by the Ph.D candidate in diverse forms (exhibition, performance, concert, projection, event, or prototype) and the portfolio.The thesis defense for theorists is based on the presentation of the written thesis and of the practical work carried out within the specific framework of this Ph.D.In both cases, on successful completion of the public defense, the national Ph.D diploma is issued by PSL and mentions the institute where it has been prepared.



Conditions for admission

Candidates must meet university admission requirements and hold a five-year higher education diploma :


  • French national master’s degree

  • French or foreign degree conferring the grade of master’s (“Master 2”)

For foreign candidates,
B2-level in French is required. The thesis can then be written in English or in another international scientific language if the Ph.D supervision is favourable and if a long abstract is written in French, in accordance with the regulations.


Candidates in the arts must be able to present a portfolio as evidence of a real artistic practice. Candidates must not currently be enrolled in another doctoral program. If you already benefit from a fund, please expressly mention it in your application. There is no age limit for candidates. Candidates may not apply more than three times.

Application process

According to each institute, the candidate can apply for a free topic of research she/he proposes ;


Candidates first apply to the partner institute of their choice depending on their type of project :

You’ll find de admission document to complete in the end of this article.





La Fémis


Performing arts

Music composition

Art history and theory

Visual arts



Visual arts

The website of each institute specifies the application process and the list of supporting documents required.

The availability date of application forms and the deadline for submission goes :


from March 9

to May 6, 2021

(4 p.m., Paris local hour UTC+1)

Selection process

School of arts and design. On completion of a selection process upon the application form (1st round), each institute decides on the eligibility of candidates who are then invited to an audition (2nd round). After the audition, the institute elects its successful candidate(s).

ENS. The whole selection is made upon the application form (1st round) and, optionally, a meeting (2nd round).

After reviewing the applications and the eligibility reports for candidates prepared by each institute, definitive admission (3rd round) is announced by a plenary jury composed by the heads of research of each institute and the Director of the ED 540.

The final results will be published on the PSL Doctoral College website and the SACRe website in mid-July 2021.

On admission, dual registration at one of the institutes as well as at PSL, is required to participate in the program. PhD students preparing their thesis at the École normale supérieure are registered only at this school.


For any question about the general procedure, please write to For specific questions about the institute where you want to apply, please write to the specific contact mentioned on the website of the institute.

Useful links

PSL website

PSL Collège doctoral website

SACRe Laboratoy website


Le CNSAD (Conservatoire national supérieur d’art dramatique)

Le Conservatoire de Paris (Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse)

L’ENS (École normale supérieure)

L’EnsAD (École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs)

La FÉMIS (École nationale supérieure des métiers de l’image et du son)

Les Beaux-Arts de Paris (École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts)