SEED: training the next generation of scientists

SEED, which stands for Societal, Energy, Environmental, industrial and Digital transitions, is a 60-month interdisciplinary, international and intersectoral doctoral training programme offered by IMT Atlantique and co-funded by the European Union. The programme itself is designed to nurture four key dimensions: thesis interdisciplinarity, internationality, cross-sector experience, and promotion of innovation. It offers 40 fully funded early-stage researcher (ESR) positions within three different tracks. Each track builds on the same fundamental excellence trainings implementing a 4i approach (Interdisciplinarity, Internationality, Intersectorial, Innovation), while providing a different degree of mobility and focus:

  • a "standard" track: 30 months at IMT Atlantique, 3 months with an international academic partner, 3 months with an industrial/ non-academic partner
  • a "co-tutelle/academic co-supervision" track: 24 months at IMT Atlantique, 12 months with the international academic co-supervision partner
  • an industrial oriented track: 24 months at IMT Atlantique, 9 months with an industrial partner (12 months if the partner is international), 3 months with an international academic partner (0 months if the industrial secondment is already abroad).

Coordinator, partners and actors

IMT Atlantique: IMT Atlantique is the main actor involved in the programme. As the coordinating institution, it coordinates and implements the doctoral programme for the entirety of its duration. It is the main point of contact for any questions related to the programme, the application process, participation.

European Union:  SEED is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action COFUND programme, which means that the European Union is involved inasmuch as it has evaluated and approved this programme following a call for proposals and is now co-funding the programme.

Industrial and academic partners: IMT Atlantique is joined by numerous industrial and academic partners co-submitting thesis topics, to host the ESRs during their various mobility phases, and who commit themselves financially to the programme. However, due to the two-stage nature of the programme, with the second cohort starting in 2025, the possibility remains open for more partners to join and participate!

PhD Applicants: as the programme aims to recruit 40 PhD students, IMT Atlantique and its partners are naturally interested in finding candidates interested in applying to and participating in this doctoral training programme. English-speaking candidates of all nationalities may apply, provided that they have not resided in France for more than 12 months in the last 36 months. See more information on application requirements and the selection process.

Programme and application

Programme timeline: The duration of the programme itself is 60 months (2023-2028). The duration of the programme should not be confused with the duration of the doctoral training, which, as indicated above, is 36 months, regardless of the track chosen.
This duration of 60 months allows sufficient time for the selection and full training of two cohorts of 20 ESRs each. The first cohort is therefore expected to start in 2024 and finish in 2027, while the second cohort is expected to start in 2025 and finish in 2028.

Application timeline: The application period is usually mid-November to 31 January of the following year for each cohort.
See more information on application requirements and the selection process.

Geographical location

Geographical location: the programme is coordinated by IMT Atlantique and the doctoral training will mostly be provided on either of IMT Atlantique’s campuses, in Brest, Nantes or Rennes (France). 

Application location: The application process in entirely online. There is no need to send physical documents or travel to an on-campus interview as the application process is entirely online. Applications must be submitted via the following dedicated website : Application for SEED PhD thesis


A PhD programme of high quality training : 4 reasons to apply

  • SEED is a programme of excellence that is aware of its responsibilities: to provide a programme of high quality training to develop conscientious researchers, including training in responsible research and ethics. 
  • SEED’s unique approach of providing interdisciplinary, international and cross-sector experience is tailored to work in a career-focused manner to enhance employability and market integration.
  • SEED offers a competitive funding scheme, aiming for an average monthly salary of EUR 2,000 net per ESR, topped by additional mobility allowances as well as optional family allowances.
  • SEED is a forward-looking programme that actively engages with current issues and challenges, providing research opportunities addressing industrial and academic relevant themes.

For further details click on the below link.

Information and image source:
European Commission MSCA COFUND PhD program
SEED: training the next generation of scientists
see link below
Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, January 31, 2024
Further Information: External Link