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“Paying to work? PhD candidates and PhDs against precariousness in Paris-Saclay”.

Dear fellow students researchers, 

Let us rejoice, Paris-Saclay has reached the 13th position in the Shanghai ranking of the best universities in the world! 

The working conditions of students researchers, both graduate or assistant, and PhDs without position also deserve a prize: too low number of doctoral fundings, financial insecurity, unpaid (and unrecognized) work, structural lack of secured teaching and researching positions, insufficient lenght of doctoral funding to complete one’s thesis, moral and sexual harassment, or worse… There are many fronts, as Adèle B. Combes, a researcher in neurobiology who runs the Facebook page “Vies de Thèses”, highlights in her new book Comment l’université broie les jeunes chercheurs (2022).

Where to start?

Every year, doctoral students are forced to pay registration fees and the CVEC (Contribution à la vie étudiante et de campus) to be able to enrol in a doctorate: nearly €470, or about a third of the monthly salary of the doctoral contract! Yet we devote our time to research work, and very often also to teaching. Paying to work? That’s enough to earn the first place in the absurdity ranking!

Paris 1, Dauphine and Nanterre are universities where the exemption of doctoral students from registration fees has been obtained. Why not in Paris-Saclay ?  We are nearly 4,000 doctoral students enrolled at the University of Paris Saclay: we can join and try to transform our studying, working and living conditions, of which tuition fees are only one aspect.

Let’s rally

We are doctoral students in economics, computer science, sociology, optics, political science, machine learning, history and biology, working in seven different laboratories. We are founding a collective to get in touch with each other, to discuss our living, working and studying conditions, to think together about our demands and our means of action. The more numerous we are, the more effective we will be, and the more appropriate our demands and means of action. 

Of course, we can only write from our point of view as contractual doctoral students. But we are not unaware of the specific problems of our other precarious colleagues, not to mention other undergrade or master students. Whatever your status, student or staff, and whatever your job, whether you are on a fixed-term contract, a part-time worker, a doctoral student or a doctoral student in post-doctoral position or ATER, let’s join together to act!

Join us

You can tell us if you would be willing to get involved, for example by meeting in a General Assembly. If you already have points of demand to put forward, don’t hesitate.