The Research Chair on Beauty Studies Launches Second Call for Applications for Doctoral Contract


Run by PSL and financed by L’Oréal corporate sponsorship, the Research Chair on Beauty studies provides a forum for research and education that brings together researchers from a variety of disciplines connected to the concept of beauty. It widely disseminates the results of its work, its seminars, conferences, technology transfer initiatives, and a final product.

Description of the contract

Within the framework of this call, one doctoral student will be selected for a 3-year contract with no age limit. Candidates from PSL University or any other institution in France and abroad can submit their applications under the following general conditions:

  • Hold a national Master's degree or a diploma conferring the degree of Master or equivalent, French or foreign, or a French or foreign graduate degree;
  • Not already enrolled/registered for a thesis and be admitted/admitted to a Doctoral School attached to one of PSL University's member or associate institutions.
  • French and/or English will be the working and publication languages;
  • Candidates must find a thesis supervisor within PSL (co-supervision is allowed with a qualified Professor from your current academic environment);
  • Before starting the contract, candidates must be admitted to a Doctoral School related to one of PSL's member or associate institutions.

Doctoral Contract Terms

The monthly stipend for doctoral contracts is €1,758 gross, in addition to an annual sum of €5,000 for the doctoral candidate, which shall be used exclusively to cover expenses related to his or her research activities. Within two years after beginning the thesis, the doctoral candidate must have published at least one article in a scientific journal as the primary author of original research and at least one article of a popularized version as a prerequisite to thesis defense. The doctoral candidate must participate in running the Chair (help organize scientific events, conferences, etc.).

Selection criteria

All disciplinary fields of research are eligible. Applicants from the exact & natural sciences (mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, biology, etc.) and arts/creation (practice-based) are particularly encouraged.

The steering committee for the Research Chair on Beauty studies meets as a jury to recruit junior researchers for the chair. The committee is composed of Rémi Carminati (physicist), François Jouen (neuroscientist), Alexandra Palt (General Manager of the L'Oréal Foundation and Chief Sustainability Officer for L’Oréal), Kaouther Adimi (writer and program manager for the L'Oréal Foundation), Anne-Marie Turcan-Verkerk (textual historian), Frédéric Worms (philosopher), Clélia Zernik (professor of aesthetics and chair of the steering committee) and may call on external experts as needed. 

The jury will also pay close attention to interdisciplinarity and to how well the research fits into the scientific framework of the Chair.

> Documents to include (in English or French) :

  • Proof of deliverance of required diploma or copy if available (Master’s 2 or equivalent);
  • Master's 2* academic transcript;
  • Personal statement explaining the benefit to the candidate of continuing his or her doctoral research within the framework of the Chair;
  • A CV;
  • A letter indicating the support of the intended thesis director attached to an institution that is a member or associate of PSL (for applicants in art/creation, the thesis director, who will be necessity be affiliated with the graduate School 540, should not be approached until an applicant has passed the first round of selection);
  • The thesis project (10 typewritten pages, maximum 20 pages with visual documents), which must include: formulation of the topic as a problem, overview of the state of the art, planned methodology, proposed data or corpuses, and a projected timeline.
  • A summary of the thesis project (one page);
  • The PSL information form, downloaded and filled out;
  • A copy of the applicant’s ID card, passport, or residence permit;
  • For applicants from non-French-speaking countries, a certificate issued by an entity approved by the French government certifying a sufficient level of ability in French or English;
  • Anything else that is deemed necessary, such as an art portfolio for a research and creation thesis. 


  • Application deadline: May 31, 2020 at midnight; applications must be sent to:
  • Preliminary results: June 15, 2020
  • Interviews: first week of July
  • Start of doctoral contracts: September 2020

This timeline may change depending on the evolving status of public health restrictions.

> Legal Considerations, Ethics, and Access to Data

The personal information collected as part of this call for applications will be handled in compliance with the French Data Protection Act.

By submitting an application to the committee, the applicant authorizes PSL to access the information provided via the platform. The coordinator of the Chair has the right to access and use the information required to contact applicants and researcher references. This information includes the salutation, first and last name, and information of the applicant and the researcher reference. Use of this information shall not be tolerated for any purpose other than administration of this call for applications.

International students: Welcome Desk available to help you

You are an international student and you have questions about life in Paris, how Université PSL works and how to deal with the paperwork? The PSL Welcome Desk team is here to direct you and give you advice to ensure a quick and successful setup in Paris.
Before your arrival, the PSL Welcome Desk and its partner Study&Co can help you complete the main paperwork (visa, CVEC, transportation etc.) and support you in your search for accommodation. Through the Buddy Program Partner@PSL, the PSL Welcome Desk team can connect you with other PSL students.