CALL FOR CANDIDATES Admission to the SACRe Ph.D program 2024

                                               CALL FOR CANDIDATES

Admission to the SACRe Ph.D program 2024

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



Call open from April, 5 2023 to May 13, 2024, 4pm (UTC+1, Paris)

Download file below ↓

The documents have to be sent in a SINGLE PDF to with copy to


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

The Sciences, Arts, Creation, Research(SACRe) Ph.D program, within the Arts Graduate program of PSL University, 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 confirmed 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 doctoral seminar, and to cross-disciplinary trainings, specific and general courses (see below).

After a successful defense, the Ph.D candidate will obtain the doctoral national diploma (Ph.D), issued by PSL University and prepared in the institute to which she·he is attached.



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 PhD program (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 program is a result of the cooperation between six institutes which are either full members or associate members of PSL University : the Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique (CNSAD-PSL : 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-PSL). Allowing research and creation projects 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 SACRe doctoral program consists :

  • for practitioners : of the creation of works, objects or devices (dispositifs) and the redaction of a thesis, closely associated with a reflexive approach based on various theoretical and scientific fields. The thesis may be hybrid in nature, using written expression as well as other types of expression depending on the discipline. These two types of corpus - artworks and thesis - form the PhD corpus.
  • for theorists : of the production of a written thesis, and of an artwork closely linked to the thesis’ topic. 



Terms of the Ph.D program

Ph.D supervision

The Ph.D is supevised jointly by a scientific supervisor and, at least, one 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.

It is not mandatory to present a written agreement from a Ph.D supervisor in order to apply. The Ph.D supervision can be finalized after the candidate’s selection by the school’s jury. It is the candidate’s responsibility to initiate a dialogue with a thesis supervisor, in consultation with the applying institution, in order to finalize the thesis supervisor before the admission committee (i.e. between the 2nd and 3d rounds of the admission process).

 The list of members is available on the following websites SACRe,ED 540 and PSL.


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 within the Arts Graduate program, explores the links between research and creation for all doctoral students admitted to the program.
  • Complementary, professional, and cross-disciplinary trainings to be chosen within the Ecole doctorale 540, Arts Graduate program, and PSL’s Doctoral college.


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

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

The Ph.D candidates, all permanent members of SACRe research laboratory (EA 7410), 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.

f - read the arrêté

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


Financial aid and offers related to the program

In 2024, five PSL Ph.D. contracts are open to the call.They may be attributed to candidates wishing to start a thesis in one of the following establishments : ENS-PSL, CNSAD-PSL, ENSAD, La Fémis, CNSMDP.

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 decree n°2016-1173 of August 29th 2016 modifying the decree n° 2009-464 of April 23rd 2009. It is a full-time job and every other unrelated job will have to be officially authorized.

f – read the decree

If applicable, candidates must specify in their application the contribution of other confirmed thesis funding (such as CIFRE, ANR, CDSN, HES-SO funding...).

The amount specified in the doctoral contract is 2100 euros gross per month, in accordance with the decree of December 26th 2022, modifying the decree of August 29th 2016, which set the salary of a doctoral student.

f – read the decree

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.).


Thesis characteristics and defense and issuance of the SACRe PhD program

The SACRe PhD program 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-PSL.

The thesis consists jointly of works of art or design in the different formats and media proper to each discipline and of a thesis. 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 thesis. The Ph.D 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, among those listed below :

  • Master’s degree
  • French or foreign degree equivalent to a Master’s degree (“grade de Master”)


For foreign candidates, a minimum B2-level in French is required for PSL doctoral contracts when applying and, as a last deadline, before the admission committee. 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.

Practitionercandidates must be able to present a portfolio as evidence of an established artistic practice.

Candidates must not currently be enrolled in another doctoral program. If you already benefit from a confirmed thesis funding, please expressly mention it in your application. There is no age limit for candidates. Candidates may not apply more than three times. It is not possible to apply simultaneously to several SACRe institutes.


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 :






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 April, 5
to May, 13 2024
(4 p.m., Paris local hour UTC+1)


Selection process

1. Admissibility

The admissibility process is the responsibility of each applicant school.

School of arts and design. After pre-selection on the basis of applications (1st step), the school selects a number of candidates and invites them to an audition (2nd step).

ENS-PSL. Pre-selection is based exclusively on applications (1st step), and if necessary ENS-PSL reserves the right to organize an audition (2nd step).

At this stage, the candidates selected by each institution are admissible.

2. Admission

The admission process is the responsibility of the PSL Admission Committee, composed of a representative of PSL University’s Research Vice-Presidency, the direction of Doctoral School 540 and the direction of the SACRe and the Arts Graduate program at PSL.

On the basis of the selection made by each institution during the admissibility phase, the PSL Admission Committee establishes the list of candidates proposed for thesis registration and the allocation of doctoral contracts at PSL University (main list), and draws up a complementary list (waiting list).

The committee also decides on the admission of candidates not financed by PSL doctoral contracts.

The Executive Board of Université PSL pronounces the final results, which are published on the SACRe website and the SACRe institutes websites.

On admission, dual registration at one of the institutes as well as at ED 540 (ENS-PSL) is required to participate in the program. PhD students preparing their thesis at the ENS-PSL 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  

 Le site Web de PSL

 Le site Web du Collège doctoral de PSL

 Le site Web du laboratoire SACRe

 Le CNSAD-PSL (Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique)

 Le Conservatoire de Paris (Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse)

 L’ENS-PSL (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)