The Health-Science (MD, PharmD, VetD-PhD) program at the Imagine Institute of genetic diseases is intended to support young doctors, pharmacists or vets in their research projects, in the context of a science thesis (between the 1st and 4th year), and also be able to give them the means to better consider a medical or pharmaceutical, and scientific career. The program was initiated in 2011 with the aim of promoting versatility by developing both medical and research skills.


This program, supported in its begining by the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation, helps fund host positions within the research laboratories that make up Imagine IHU. The length of the grant is three years. The head of the program is Dr Rieux-Laucat.

Find the application file and information for the 2023 program here.


Candidates have to be:

  • Interns or former interns,
  • In medicine, pharmacy, dentistry or veterinary medicine,
  • Holders of a Masters of Research
  • Enrolled (or will enroll) in a University PhD program.

Interns have to be in the process of or at the end of an internship. Assistants (AHU and CCA) have to have validated the whole of their internship for 6 years maximum. The thesis in medicine or pharmacy is not required for interns. Successful candidates commit to carrying out their PhD full time, over at least 3, within the host laboratory.

It is essential that the host laboratory is a research team at Imagine IHU.

Review of applications:

Selecting candidates involves a review of the application form and a hearing by an ad hoc committee, made up of doctors and researchers at Imagine IHU. A different jury is set up every year depending on the applications received, to avoid any conflict of interest. It is possible to include external members of Imagine IHU.

Terms of recruitment, remuneration, obligations

The contract will be implemented and managed by Imagine IHU in the form of a fixed-term contract. This contract can be renewed for an additional year, after hearing and evaluation, but with no competition from new applications.

Successful candidates commit to presenting the progress of their work, supported by their tutor, 12 months and 24 months after the contract starts, as well as to thank the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation and the French “Investments for the Future” program in their publications.

They are or have been MD-PhD students

This program allowed me to complete the training in research that I had started (M1 and M2 in genetics at Paris Descartes University). Clinic and research are inextricably linked, which inspired me and convinced me to continue my journey with a PhD in science. Thanks to this program, I was able to do it. I think it is incredibly important for a doctor to have a solid foundation in basic research  

Mara Cavallin

The program was a tremendous opportunity to carry out a research project within a dynamic institute, in which scientific collaborations as well as the available facilities allow projects to advance quickly and effectively. The location of the Institute within the Necker-Enfants malades hospital AP-HP and the continuous interaction with clinicians and researchers from fields other than our own are essential drivers in our scientific advances for therapeutic purposes  

Déborah Jorge Cordeiro

Firstly, this program gave me the opportunity to take the time to conduct a research project, by allowing me to give 100% to the lab. It also allowed me to carry out a University mobility project in a pioneering lab in the use of zebrafish directed by Prof. Iain Drummond in Boston, who we work with in collaboration   

Guillaume Dorval

The translational research apprenticeship requires time and discipline. The MD-PhD program gives young doctors wanting to develop a University project the opportunity to train in the best ways. Indeed, free of any hospital obligation, I was able to develop through contact with competent researchers, therefore completing my science training and carrying out my science thesis in the best conditions  

Rémi Duclaux-Loras

The program allowed me to dedicate all my time to my thesis in an extremely favorable surrounding, both with the presence of multiple core facilities and many teams with varied skills who allow very constructive and invaluable interactions taking into account the constant developments in the field of study of human developmental abnormalities  

Lucile Boutaud