Doctorate in History
Three-Year PhD Programme
Programme in French & English
Information Sessions: Masters
Find out more about the Masters programs and the wide choice of specialisations offered by the 7 Schools of Sciences Po during our webinars dedicated to applicants.
A unique education and training in the fields of political, transnational and global history, broadly (and flexibly) understood
Our aim is to train researchers who are familiar with key historiographical issues and concepts, are capable of conducting rigorous archival research, and are willing to participate in a broad international debate and conversation. Our purpose is to develop historians, who possess both intellectual range and specialized competence: who can produce important and path-breaking research as well as teach general survey courses at the undergraduate level and in secondary schools. To help develop the necessary teaching skills, doctoral students normally work as supervised teaching assistants and, often, as instructors of their own courses, which are taught in French, English and other languages used in the different campuses of the Sciences Po system. In addition to research and teaching (both in universities and secondary schools), our doctoral students often find professional opportunities in government, higher education administration, think tanks and other non-academic research organizations, museums, cultural institutions, journalism, publishing houses and the private sector more broadly.
In order to achieve our educational objectives, we offer a variety of research seminars that doctoral students are asked to attend, and contribute to, throughout the program. A mandatory yearlong seminar is organized for first year students, whose residence in the Paris area is therefore required. Each doctoral student works closely with a main supervisor at Sciences Po; she/he can also be proposed a second supervisor, who can be based at Sciences Po or in one of our many partner institutions. This supervision provides doctoral researchers with the necessary guidance for their research, and helps them develop the confidence to work independently. We strongly encourage the conversation among doctoral researchers and faculty, and invite the two to collaborate in the organization of research seminars and various teaching activities. Each year, we invite numerous visiting professors from around the world to discuss their research. Their presence offers our doctoral researchers further possibilities to interact with a range of experts in their different fields.
The doctoral candidates accepted in the program – typically between 4 and 7 each year – are all granted a fully funded 3-year scholarship. Further aid at the end of the third year can be offered thanks to teaching assistantships and other forms of financial support. Completion of the program typically takes 3-5 years, depending on a variety of factors, the field of research, language requirements, and location of materials among them.
Doctoral students are encouraged to present papers at scholarly conferences, submit articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals and join scholarly networks, apply for fellowships and grants – including the many offered thanks to
Doctoral students can apply for the research funds the Doctoral School and the Center of History offer to offset the costs of research missions, conferences and other activities.
How to apply?
There are two deadlines, in January and May, open to Master students from SciencesPo and other academic institutions.
Doctoral candidates must identify at least one member of the Center for History who can supervise their research, and indicate his/her/their name(s) in their personal statement. A 2/3-page CV and the research project must also be uploaded.
Doctoral candidates may also include a writing sample, master thesis chapter or paper if they wish to.
Doctoral candidates should also have two referees to whom they can address a request for an academic recommendation through the Admission page.
The research proposal must be written in French or English; it should not exceed 3000 words (bibliography, of not more than 20-25 titles, excluded). The proposal should clearly indicate the purpose and relevance of the research, the approach and methodology, and the list of archival sources on which it will be based. A section of the proposal must explain why the doctoral candidate is applying to Sciences Po.
Doctoral candidates can be interviewed, in Paris or via videoconference, in February or June.
The criteria applied in the selection will be the academic record of the applicant, the quality and originality of the research proposal, the potential supervision at Sciences Po, and the demonstrated availability of archival sources.
Conditions of the Doctoral Research
All admitted doctoral candidates have a doctoral funding.
Those admitted with a doctoral contract are offered a monthly gross salary of 1769 euros for the first three years of the program, and can teach up to 64h each year. Typically, in such case the monthly salary is topped up 347,20 euros gross, bringing the total monthly salary (research and teaching) to 2116,20 euros gross.
During the doctorate, the doctoral students can apply for various in-house and external forms of financial support.
During their first year, doctoral students must attend a series of seminars organized by the Center for History.
The Doctoral research is supervised by a permanent member of the Faculty and an individual supervising committee within the Center for History. The supervisor can eventually decide, in agreement with the doctoral candidate and the head of graduate studies, to add an additional, external supervisor.
The doctoral students are part of the Center for History and have desk space and privileged access to the Archives of the Center as well as to the General and Research Libraries of Sciences Po, one of the largest library in social science in continental Europe.