Artificial Intelligence for the Sciences (AI4theSciences) doctoral program

Artificial Intelligence for the Sciences (AI4theSciences) is a doctoral program run by Université PSL. 26 PhD contracts at the interfaces of artificial intelligence or big data processing are offered. AI4theSciences is supported and jointly funded by the Horizon 2020-Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions-COFUND European program.

psl ai 4 the science

Artificial Intelligence for the Sciences (AI4theSciences) participates in the development of an interdisciplinary research community composed of all PSL laboratories at the cutting edge of the use of artificial intelligence techniques in their own disciplines.

As a founding member of 3IA PR[A]IRIE and the ELLIS Paris unit, PSL is recognised at the highest international level for its work in mathematics and computer science, at the core of AI and Machine Learning. It is also a privileged place for the development of these technologies in all scientific disciplines. The AI4theSciences doctoral programme is at the heart of the Data Science program, which organises numerous multidisciplinary training activities, bringing together specialists in AI and applied disciplines.

The AI4theSciences doctoral program

Launched in October 2020, AI4theSciences is a six-year project with three calls, in 2021, 2022 and 2023. The funding of 26 doctoral contracts at the interfaces of artificial intelligence or massive data processing is assured over these two cohorts. AI4theSciences is supported and co-funded by the European Horizon 2020 - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions-COFUND programme.

Beyond the activities of their discipline's doctoral school, the laureates of the programme are trained in AI and Machine Learning techniques, popularisation writing, Open Science, acquiring non-academic transversal skills, etc. during two dedicated pre-entry weeks, weekly seminars and conferences organised throughout the program.

Each student benefits from double supervision: a thesis director, a PSL researcher specialising in his or her discipline, and a co-supervisor specialising in AI or massive data techniques - the latter may come from a laboratory outside of PSL or from a private partner located in France or Europe. These are open to all PSL disciplines (physics, chemistry, history, economics, etc.), as long as they involve artificial intelligence or massive data processing techniques.

Third call Admissions

Results of the 2020 call for proposals: dissertation projects selected in the first cohort

PhD project 1 : "3DMorphEmbryo - AI-assisted reconstruction of 3D human embryo morphology from 2D medical images to improve the prediction of its development potential" (Collège de France). Alessandro Pasqui supervised by Hervé Turlier (CIRB) and Bogdan Stanciulescu (CAOR - Centre de Robotique).

PhD project 2 : "Advanced methods for enhancing interpretability of AI tools with application to the energy sector" (Mines Paris - PSL). Konstantinos Parginos supervised by Georges Kariniotakis (Centre PERSEE Mines Paris - PSL) and Riccando Bessa (Center of Power and Energy Systems at INESC TEC).

PhD project 3 : "Dark energy studies with the Vera Rubi Observatory LSST & Euclid - Developing a combined cosmic shear analysis with Bayesian neural networks" (Observatoire de Paris - PSL). Biswajit Biswas supervised by Eric Aubourg (Laboratoire APC) and Junpeng Lao (Google Switzerland).

PhD project 4 : "The politics of coding" (Ecole Normale Supérieure - PSL). Daniele Cavalli supervised by J. Peter Burgess (République des Savoirs) and Jean-Gabriel Ganascia (LIP6, Sorbonne Université).

PhD project 5 : "Physically Informed Machine Learning for controlling unruptured intracranial aneurysms" (Mines Paris - PSL). Pablo Jeken Rico supervised by Elie Hachem (CEMEF) and Bruno Figliuzzi (Centre de Morphologie Mathématique).

PhD project 6 : "Towards neuromorphic computing on quantum many-body architectures" (ESPCI - PSL). Melissa Alzate supervised by Lionel Aigouy (Laboratoire de Physique et d'Etudes des Matériaux) and Alexandre Zimmers (Laboratoire de Physique et d'Etudes des Matériaux).

PhD project 7 : "Data-driven Enzyme Evolution" (ESPCI - PSL). Mats Van Tongeren supervised by Yannick Rondelez (Gulliver Lab) and Olivier Rivoire (CIRB).

PhD project 8 : "Machine learning for origin of life in the RNA world" (ESPCI - PSL). Francesco Calvanese supervised by Philippe Nghe (UMR Chimie Biologie Innovation) and martin Weigt (LCQB, Sorbonne Université).

PhD project 9 : "Impact of human cognitive traits on finacial market formation" (Ecole Normale Supérieure - PSL). Stefano Vrizzi supervised Boris Gutkin (LNC2) and Stefano Palminteri (LNC2).

PhD project 10 : "Language Acquisition in Brains and Algorithms: towards a systematic tracking of the evolution of semantic representations in biological and artificial neural networks" (Ecole Normale Supérieure - PSL). Linnea Evanson supervised by Yves Boubenec (Laboratoire des Systèmes Perceptifs) and Pierre Bourdillon (Hôpital Fondation Adolphe Rothschild).

PhD project 11 : "Artificial Intelligence to Decode the Genomic Replication Programme of Human Cells" (Ecole Normale Supérieure - PSL). Amir Hossein Zeraati Aliabadi supervised by Olivier Hyrien (IBENS) and Benjamin Audit (LPENSL).

PhD Project 12 : "Learning dynamics in biological and artificial neural networks" (Ecole Normale Supérieure - PSL). Pierre Orhan supervised by Yves Boubenec (Laboratoire des Systèmes Perceptifs) and Jena-Rémi King (Laboratoire des Systèmes Perceptifs, Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research).

PhD project 13 : "Unsing vocal interactions to study syntax of dolphins acoustic communication (Ecole Normale Supérieure - ENS). Chiara Semenzin supervised by German Sumbre (IBENS) and Gonzalo de Polavieja (Collective Behavior Lab, Champalimaud Foundantion).

PhD project 14 : "Processing eDNA data into relevant indicators of ecosystem health and biodiversity monitoring (EPHE - PSL). Letizia Lamperti supervised by Stéphanie Manel (CEFE) and Loic Pellissier (ETH - WSL)

Results of the 2021 call for proposals: dissertation projects selected in the second cohort

PhD project 1 : “Transfert learning in biomechanics” (Mines Paris - PSL). Matteo Bastico supervised by David Ryckelynck and Etienne Decencière.

PhD project 2 : “Physics-informed Deep Learning for the Understanding of Mesostructure Effects on the Mechanical Failure of Reinforced Polymers" (Mines Paris - PSL). Guilherme Basso Della Mea supervised by Lucien Laiarinandrasana and Petr Dokladal.

PhD project 3 : "Artificial intelligence at the service of space astrometry. A new way to explore the solar system" (Observatoire de Paris). Giulio Quaglia supervised by Valéry Lainey and Guillaume Tochon.

PhD project 4 : "Artificial Intelligence for Seismic Hazard Monitoring with InSAR" (ENS-PSL). Negin Fouladi Moghaddam supervised by Romain Jolivet and Bertrand Rouet-Leduc.  

PhD project 5 : "Whole genome sequencing and deep learning: estimating demographic and adaptive processes in range expansion scenarios" (EPHE - PSL).Alba Nieto Heredia supervised by Stefano Mona and Oscar Lao.

PhD project 6 : "AI-based damage nucleation models assessed on big 4D data and micromechanical finite element simulations" (Mines Paris - PSL). Berjo Rijnders supervised by François Willot and Thilo Morgeneyer.

PhD project 7 : "EEG classification for comatose patients" (CNRS/ENS - PSL). Kevin Reynolds supervised by David Holcman and Nathalie Kubis.

PhD project 8 :  "Quantifying Uncertainties in Physics-Informed ML" (Mines Paris - PSL). Yuke Xie supervised by Hervé Chauris and Nicolas Desassis

PhD project 9 : "Corporate Honorum. Massive Data Analysis of Careers in the Corporations" (Université Paris Dauphine - PSL). Yinglei Han supervised by Dario Colazzo and François-Xavier Dudouet. 

Results of the 2022 call for proposals: dissertation projects selected in the third cohort

PhD project 1: “Decoding communication from brain recordings: building the next generation of brain computer interfaces “(ENS-PSL). Lucy Zhang supervised by Jean-Rémi King et Pierre Bourdillon.

PhD project 2: “Simulating early language acquisition with data-efficient spoken language models “(ENS-PSL). Jing Liu supervised by Emmanuel Dupox et Kim Najoung.

PhD project 3: “Emergent Behavior in Large Language Models: Social, Cultural and Psychological Dimensions “(CNRS/ENS-PSL). Noé Durandard supervised by Thierry Poibeau et Simon Hegelich.

PhD project 4: “Linking Linguistics and Brain Dynamics with Deep Language Models “(ENS-PSL).  Pablo Jose Diego Simon supervised by Yair Lakretz et Jean-Rémi King.


Drapeau européen

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska Curie grant agreement No945304.


Governing bodies of the Artificial Intelligence for the Sciences program

The Management Team (MT)

The Management Team includes Thomas Walter, Scientific Coordinator of the project and Zully Rojas, the Project Manager. The Project Manager is the direct contact for any question related to the project.

The Executive Board (EB)

The Executive Board is a joint institution made up of six researchers chosen by PSL and the Vice-President in charge of Graduate Research and Education at PSL. It is chaired by the project's Scientific Coordinator, Bruno Bouchard.

Chosen for their expertise in the research or private sector and their knowledge of issues related to AI techniques and applications, the other members of the EB are Jamal Atif, Isabelle Ryl, Judith Rousseau, Eric Brousseau and Léa Saint-Raymond.

The EB's missions are:

  • Verify the scientific eligibility of projects submitted under the two calls for PhD projects
  • Ensure that the submitted PhD projects meet the COFUND expectations, and that they are scientifically approved.
  • Suggest for each call for doctoral projects the members of the Selection Committee
  • Approve the annual budget of the COFUND
  • Manage possible conflict resolution
The Selection Committee (SC)

The Selection Committee includes between 8 - 16 independent experts, internationally renowned specialists of AI and its applications, depending on the diversity of the PhD projects submitted by PSL scientists, to ensure that all relevant areas are available. The committee includes PSL academic experts, external academics, and business experts.

The Selection Committee is in charge of the selection and ranking of the applicants at round 1 and 2 of the admission process. The committee will released one ranking list of the 15 in 2020 and 9 in 2021 admitted students as well as the waiting list. The list indicates which projects will or will not be set up.

Selection committee members in 2020:

  • Alexandre Allauzen  (Lamsade, Université Paris Dauphine – PSL)
  • Silke Biermann (CPHT, Ecole Polytechnique)
  • Isabelle Bloch (LIP6, Sorbonne Université)
  • François Boulanger (LPENS, ENS – PSL)
  • Justine Cassel (School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University)
  • Jean-Michel Dalle (Agoranov director, science and technology start-ups incubator)
  • Romuald Elie (Google DeepMind)
  • Marie Gendrel (IBENS, ENS – PSL)
  • Flora Jay (LRI, Université Paris-Saclay)
  • Rémi Monasson (LPENS, ENS – PSL)
  • Anne Siegel (IRISA, INRIA)

Selection committee members in 2021:

  • Marc Abeille (CRITEO)
  • Alexandre Allauzen  (Lamsade, Université Paris Dauphine – PSL)
  • François Boulanger (LPENS, ENS – PSL)
  • Justine Cassel (School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University)
  • Jean-Michel Dalle (Agoranov director, science and technology start-ups incubator)
  • Romuald Elie (Google DeepMind)
  • Marie Gendrel (IBENS, ENS – PSL)
  • Flora Jay (LRI, Université Paris-Saclay)
  • Frédéric Lechenault (LPS, ENS -PSL)
  • Thierry Morra (LPENS, ENS - PSL)
  • Olga Mula (Ceremade, Université Paris Dauphine – PSL)
  • Benjamin Negrevergne (Lamsade, Université Paris Dauphine – PSL)
  • Alleksandra Walczak (LPENS, ENS - PSL)

Selection commitee members in 2023:

  • Alexandre Allauzen (Lamsade, Université Paris Dauphine – PSL)
  • Romuald Elie (Google DeepMind)
  • Frédéric Lechenault (LPS, ENS - PSL)
  • Benjamin Negrevergne (Lamsade, Université Paris Dauphine – PSL)
  • Anne Siegel (IRISA, INRIA)
  • Aleksandra Walczak (LPENS, ENS - PSL)
  • Madalina Olteanu (CEREMADE, Université Paris Dauphine - PSL)
  • Marc Abeille (CRITERO)
The Committee on Safeguards (CS)

The Committee on Safeguards will include the PSL HR Director, one elected doctoral student and two referents of the scientific integrity who will be independently nominated by the Vice-President for Student Life and Social and Environmental Responsibility at PSL.

The Committee on Safeguards, together with the Executive Board, guarantees the fairness of the project and the respect of ethical rules. It meets when necessary and takes charge of the appeal procedures filed by candidates during the pre-selection and admission procedures.


The logic behing the Horizon 2020-MSCA-COFUND actions

Horizon 2020 is the EU Research and Innovation program. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) - COFUND funding of Horizon 2020 aims to foster excellence in the education, mobility and career development of researchers. The funded projects have a very high level of requirement in terms of transparency in the selection, admission and career management processes of the researchers who won the call.

The projects are expected to offer attractive working conditions and to promote gender equality and inclusiveness in the pursuit of excellence. These PhD projects include outreach activities and aim to inform the public about the societal stakes of research.

Although they are "bottom-up", MSCA-COFUND projects must respect the "3i" rule, and be interdisciplinary, international, and intersectoral (linked to the non-academic sectors). The PhD laureates must respect the MSCA "mobility rule", i.e. not have lived more than 12 months in the project country during the last three years at the time of their application. There is no requirement on the applicants' citizenships. This is intended to promote European mobility and build the European research area (ERA).

Program partners

Air Liquide, ArcelorMittal, Fondation Adolphe de Rothschild, Total

Axa Research Fund, FAIR et Google Switzerland.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the team at

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