1,000 Doctoral Students for the Territories
"The times they are a-changing" and local authorities are struggling. They have to do more with less: more innovative, digitalised, eco-friendly projects; less money and staff. They are urged to act without being given either the human resources or the time to properly understand what is happening.
By sending PhD candidates to local councils and non-profit organizations for 3 years, i.e., the entire time of their PhD studies, HESAM Université (whose President is also a local elected official) aims at empowering local authorities, while giving PhD candidates the opportunity to do long-term research for a local administration.
Furthermore, only few of these local authorities know that they can apply for a state subsidy of 42,000 euros when they hire a PhD student.
The programme is called "1,000 Doctoral Students for the Territories" and is run by HESAM Université with the help of state and local representatives and PhD student organizations. It won an award from the French Ministry of Research for the employment of humanities graduates.
Similar projects exist in Sweden (Närkomm at Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet, municipal PhD Students at Mälardalen University), South Africa (the knowledge transfer programme funded by the African Centre for Cities), and Australia (the “Future Cities Node” project funded by the Cooperative Research Centre for Low-Carbon Living and hosted by the University of Melbourne).