Since 2003, the Ecole de l'Inserm has provided fast-track training in research to second-year students enrolled in medicine, pharmacy, or dentistry programs. The objective is to allow young medical doctors and pharmacists to take part in and then to supervise a clinical and/or fundamental research activity, throughout their internship and residency.

A dual curriculum, starting in the 2nd year of medicine/pharmacy/dentistry

This program consists of 2 stages:

  • The first is obtaining a research-focused Master’s degree in 3 years, starting from the second year of studies in medicine, pharmacy, or dentistry. The Master’s is acquired before the 2nd cycle of clinical and professional training. The Master’s degree (M2) implies that students interrupt their clinical training for one year while studying for the degree. This program provides targeted theoretical training (“Ecole de février” - during the students first year at the Ecole de l'Inserm) and a 6-month initiation to the research lab (during the second year at the Ecole de l'Inserm).
  • The second stage is obtaining a Ph.D. This degree can be prepared as a continuation of the Master’s, allowing a total immersion in the world of research and a free choice of laboratories, or it can be prepared during the residency period.

Find out more about this dual curriculum

The two-stage selection of students

Applicants admitted to the first year of the Ecole de l'Inserm are selected based on a written application (60 applicants accepted per year, out of about 160-190). Second-year admissions are based upon an entrance exam (20-29 successful candidates).

Find out more about application procedures

Ongoing support and contributions from the Fondation Bettencourt Schueller

Since 2007, the Ecole de l'Inserm has been known as the “Ecole de l'Inserm Liliane Bettencourt.” The Fondation Bettencourt Schueller funds  fellowships, scientific and research activities, and supports students returning to their medical studies after the fast-track PhD program. This support is provided as part of the Fondation’s activity promoting scientific activity with the goal of accelerating innovation and linking research and training.

Acknowledging the value of the School’s course, the Fondation Bettencourt Schueller decided in 2015 to renew its support for 10 new student cohorts, in other words making funding available until 2034. Thanks to this remarkable long-term commitment, the School will be able to further improve its operations, to promote the spread of dual medicine-pharmacy training courses in France, and to ease the start of dual university-hospital careers of students having completed these courses.

The School’s key figures (since 2003)

  • 1865 applications submitted by the Deans of the Medical Schools  and Schools of Pharmacy
  • 875 students admitted to the first-year course at the School
  • 346 students admitted via entrance exam to the second-year course at the School
  • 24 students accepted at ENS Paris and Lyon (Ecole Normale Supérieure)
  • 301 students completed research internships in accredited laboratories
  • 249 students obtained their two-year research-focused Master's degree prior to the 4th year of medical school
  • 43 PhD theses in progress
  • 27 PhD graduates
  • 19 MD-PhD
  • 2 Pharm-PhD
  • 1 PharmD-PhD