Awareness-raising to research


This course aims to familiarise students with the research profession, both in academia and in industry. Several speakers from different backgrounds will explain the reasons for obtaining a PhD and share their personal experiences and views on launching a career in research career will include several questions and answer selections and reading of a scientific article co-authored by a young researcher, making of and a 3MT video.

Teaching and Learning Methods: The course, taught in English, is organized as a series of seminars given by professors and R&D group leaders, all of whom hold doctoral degrees.

Course Policies: To validate the course, students must attend all lectures and hand in all assignments on time.






The list of conferences:

What is a PhD? Have you ever wondered whether or not you should get a PhD? This talk will discuss the most common reasons for doing so, as well as the benefits a PhD can bring you. It will look at the facts, statistics, and myths about a PhD and explain how (and where) to embark on a PhD journey.?

This lecture is given by a researcher from INRIA, who took academic breaks to create two start-ups. Starting from his Master 1, he will present his background, explaining why he did a PhD and how it helped him to create start-ups, why he pursued an academic career, and what are the links between academic research and start-ups.

Based on his experience in three different industries (software, film, and automotive), the speaker will discuss the rationale and challenges of frontier research in private industrial laboratories. Topics will include: open and closed research (papers, codes, and data); push and pull technology transfer; academic collaborations; intellectual property organizational barriers. Along the way, successful (and less successful) experiences of transferring basic research into deployed products will be discussed.

This hopefully interactive two-hour conference is aimed at all students who are curious about research as a possible first career move. The speaker will address a series of questions, such as: how to make the most of your PhD? What are good practices for starting research? What is creativity? How to write successful research papers? The conference is aimed at students who are wondering what it takes (and what to give!) to start a PhD, but also at those who have already decided to embark on a research career but want to know more. It is designed to trigger discussion and will include open question-and-answers soon.

What is the position of women in European and French education and research institutions? Recent statistical studies on the subject show that despite a recent progression, women are still under-represented in higher education and research. Their presence tends to be concentrated in certain disciplines and the higher the status hierarchy, the fewer women there are. What are the explanatory factors for this "marginal" presence of women? What are the prospects in the context of change in teaching and research institutions? In this presentation, we will develop some explanations based on a historical perspective, that of the history of universities and higher education and research institutions. We will also develop sociological arguments related to the place of women in society as a whole. Finally, we will show how some recent institutional changes, such as the increasing trend towards technology transfer and commercialization of research on the one hand, and the emphasis on social responsibility of higher education and research institutions on the other, could have positive or negative impacts.

  • The Cifre grant: the French industrial PhD program (one-hour session - Zoom session) - Valérie SIBILLE – ANRT

For the past 40 years, the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research has funded the specific Cifre PhD program as a public-private partnership. The Cifre grantee signs a 3-year full-time employment contract in a French company with a generous minimum gross annual salary and carries out her thesis under the supervision of an academic director while enrolled in the doctoral school.

List of homework:

  • Round table discussion with all speakers (1 hour - Zoom session)

Each student will be asked to submit (at least) one question to the panel of speakers. The student must submit the question in advance via the Moodle platform. A moderator will sort and compile these questions and facilitate the discussions.

  • Meet a PhD student

Each participant will meet with a EURECOM PhD student and co-author of a research paper. Participants will have to choose and read carefully one of these research articles. They will then have a teleconference with the co-author PhD student (between 15 and 60 minutes) to discuss the writing process/timetable and the content of the article, as well as the daily life in a research group. At the end of the meeting, the student must send a report of the meeting to the course coordinator by courier, with the PhD student as a copy.

  • Make your 3MT video

3MT is a competition that challenges PhD students to present their research in just 180 seconds.

You will have to do a similar job but your objective here is to present in 3 minutes of audio/video a famous scientist among the 65 most famous and important scientists in history, to be chosen from the proposed list, available at:

You must follow the general rules of 3MT,

See examples of winning 3MT videos here:

The format is free but... As for the 3MT competitions, you can use a maximum of 1 slide in your 3MT video (without animation). You can record yourself in portrait (head and shoulders) or full body, in front of a screen or not. It is important to highlight the main contribution of the scientist you have chosen and the impact of his or her work on our daily lives. Name your video “3MTyour_name_the-famous-scientist” (maximum submission size 128M). All students will then rate each other's videos to determine the best ones.


20/02/2024: What is a PhD? Why do a PhD? Myths & Facts 

  • Marios Kountouris (EURECOM)

19/03/2024: First steps and best practices in research

  • David Gesbert (EURECOM)

From academic research to a startup

  • Arnaud Legout (INRIA)

Learning Outcomes: 

  • Learn what a PhD is and what is involved in embarking on a research career;
  • Understand the different aspects of research, both in industry/start-ups and in academia.
  • To become familiar with the process of producing a research paper.
  • To produce a first video of a few minutes in English to present a great scientist in a given format.

Nb hours: 21,00

Evaluation: No final exam. The grade is determined by attendance at seminars (50% of the final grade), and the quality of the assignments submitted (50% of the final grade). Students vote for the best 3MT video.