Courses delivered at the Ecole de l'Inserm Liliane Bettencourt are part of a dual curriculum consisting of two stages: first completion of a research-focused two-year Master’s degree before the 4th year of medical or pharmacy school, then a PhD before or during residency.
The first year of the Ecole de l'Inserm (2nd year of medicine, pharmacy or dentistry)
Written application - Theoretical training
50-60 selected applicants take part in a 14-day program during the École de février. There, the students receive 60 hours of lectures in chemistry, physics, mathematics. They are also able to dialogue in permanence with the teachers, and there are 6 scientific seminars from active researchers, as well as two group sessions of article analysis.
One unit of a 1st-year graduate-level course (UE) of the student's choice must also be completed in the 2nd year of studies.
2nd year of the school (3rd year of studies)
Admission based on entrance exam - Research internships
The entrance exam takes place in June. The exam is based on material taught in the École de février and requires an intensive individual study of documents sent 2 months prior to the exams. The number of successful candidates accepted for the 2nd year of the School is determined solely by the jury's evaluation.
During this year, the successful students complete a 6-month student internship (or two 3-month internships) introducing the student to full-time research.
To register in the 2nd-year of a Master’s program, a second unit of a 1st-year Master’s course must be successfully completed. The selected course unit should take into account any potential prerequisites for the 2nd-year of the Master’s program. The students do not earn a diploma for the 1st year of the program, but an equivalence will allow them to register in the research-focused 2nd-year Master’s program.
Typical credits for enrollment in the 2nd year of the research-focused Master’s program
- 6 ECTS: passing the 2-week École de février course and success in the entrance examinations in June;
- 18 ECTS: passing the selected 1st year Master’s course units, including outside of the student’s university;
- 36 ECTS: completion of the 6-month research internship for 3rd-year pre-med general studies degree (6 x 6 ECTS).
Universities are responsible for evaluating the ECTS required for registration in the 2nd-year Master’s program. The above proposal, which corresponds to the procedures adopted by several universities, is given by way of example.
3rd year of the School: 2nd Year of Research-focused Master’s Degree
Following the 2nd year of the Master’s degree (M2) requires interrupting medical or pharmaceutical studies for one year.
The student chooses his or her M2, which can be external to the student’s university. The M2 year offers the student an extended experience in experimental research.
Preparation of a PhD thesis
After obtaining the research-focused Master’s degree, the student has two options for preparing his or her PhD thesis:
- Complete the thesis before clinical training, the best time for a complete immersion in the world of research. The student can choose the clinical or fundamental research laboratory freely and will maximize his/her chances of obtaining a PhD fellowship. The student resumes his or her medical or pharmaceutical studies after obtaining the PhD and can anticipate a post-doctoral internship at the most favorable time for starting his or her own research program, if possible during the residency period.
- Complete his or her PhD during a residency hiatus: already holder of a two-year research Master’s degree, the student can begin his or her PhD in the 2nd or 3rd year of residency. Once s/he has chosen his or her host laboratory, the student can apply for a fellowship from an “Ecole doctorale”, for a two-year Inserm host contract after one year of research, or for funds available from various foundations.
Obtaining the PhD degree is the 2nd stage of the dual-curriculum's research program. It offers the young physician-researcher multiple opportunities to gain experience in various careers in medical research.