Individual Training Plan (PIF)

(Cliquez ici pour la version française)

The procedure to fill an Individual Training Plan on myEDB can be found at:

A. The Individual Training Plan for EDITE

General presentation

Since 2014, EDITE is asking each PhD student to make an individual training plan (PIF) to help him prepare his professional project after the thesis. The PIF is the first step in “lifelong learning” which is seen as a virtuous practice and is encouraged by the law to facilitate future professional developments and transitions. The PIF can be made up of different types of training: methodological, scientific or professional.

The PIF is part of your PhD student file. The PIF must be submitted and approved during the first months of the thesis. It is examined by your monitoring committee and during re-registrations.

All PhD students must have a PIF, but its content depends entirely on the type of thesis (in the laboratory, in a company, in France, abroad, etc.) and on where the student come from (initial training, engineer, foreign, etc.).

An Individual training plan or PIF is defined by two things: a professional project and a list of training courses.

The principle of the PIF is to encourage you to follow training courses to broaden your horizons and which will help you in your professional project. You must understand that being able to follow training is a chance, and that the time of the thesis is a privileged period for that.

A training course is always structured with a precise program and with a real trainer (s) (i.e. it is not a YouTube video).

At the end of a training course, you will need to have a document to attest to your participation. However, getting an attestation may not always be possible. Indeed, if a training course is open to all without registration and accessible on the internet, you will not be able to prove that you have followed it. This is not an issue, you can still put it in your PIF to keep track of your training courses with the date of the last session. As there is no minimum threshold for the number of training sessions, there is no point in cheating, so EDITE trusts you as a matter of principle.

The professional project

This is simply what you want to do after your thesis. You may wish to work in an academic or industrial research laboratory, in a particular field. You may wish to found a start-up on your thesis work or in another field. You may wish to become a professor. You may wish to expatriate. Some PhD students do their thesis in their company, which does not prevent them from having a professional project. In short, it’s very open and very personal.

Why describe a professional project?
To force you to take a step back and imagine what you are going to do after the thesis. It is not contractual, you have the right to change your mind It is a matter of projecting yourself in 3 to 5 years to describe what you would like to do ideally. If you have a clear vision for your future, it will be easier to find useful training courses.

The list of training courses

For the PIF, a training course is a set of knowledge or skills acquired in a formal setting with a physical or virtual trainer who can attest to your attendance for this training (if possible).

The organizations offering training courses are numerous and depend on where you are doing your thesis. In Paris, there is a Training and Career Department (DFC) of the Institut de Formations Doctorales (IFD), the Collège de France (CDF), but it can also be courses from Coursera, Udemy, summer schools, Master courses, training in your company (if you are in cifre), teaching assignments, etc.

There are several types and several possible areas of training. 

The type defines what the training looks like.
(note that the conference presentation of your own articles is not considered a type of training, as it is an integral part of the progress of your thesis).

  • Seminar or cycle of seminars
    • Offered by the DFC, the Collège de France, or other organizations.
  • Training
    • With a trainer, in person or remotely, given by the DFC or others.
  • Doctoral mission
  • Thematic school
    • Summer school, winter school, or others.
  • Classes
    • For example a master course or an online course organization. It can be a language course, a scientific course, etc. It is a type of training but which extends over several weeks with lectures and tutorials.

The area defines the purpose of the training, there are 3 domains:

  • Methodological or technical training
    • whose goal is to acquire technical skills on a specific tool such as LaTeX, Zotero, Mathlab, etc. or life skills to facilitate the completion of the thesis and integration into the professional world such as writing articles or speaking.
  • Scientific openness training
    • whose goal is to acquire scientific knowledge to broaden your spectrum of knowledge or fill in gaps. This can be a thematic school or a series of seminars on a specific subject or even a course in a scientific field (online or in real life).
  • Generalist and professional training
    • whose goal is to acquire knowledge related to professional environment. These are, for example, ethics, entrepreneurship, the world of R&D, management, language courses. They also concern teaching missions or scientific mediation.

Recommendations for up your PIF

The PIF belongs to you, it is an instrument at the service of your professional success, which you commit to and for which you are primarily responsible. Take the time to think about it and build it up during an interview with your thesis supervisor (and possibly with your academic or professional co-supervisor).

You can ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are my professional aspirations? What practical knowledge, what “business culture”, what tools would be useful to me to prepare for this future (a few years away)?
  • What are my immediate needs, but also what would I like to learn in the longer term? Remember that culture is what remains when you have forgotten everything …
  • What are my known flaws that may cripple me? How to tackle them head-on by taking advantage of these few years of thesis to progress? (Languages, communication, structuring of expression, etc.)

You must establish a PIF, It will be requested during your monitoring committee and when t applying for a defense presentation. However there is no minimum nor maximum in the number of hours you can take for that matter. You must do the trainings or take courses that are useful to you and in consultation with your management.

There is no mandatory training with the exception of one on research ethics and scientific integrity. You must therefore follow ethics training, either the one offered by the DFC or another.

The DFC offers training on this subject in the form of conferences for which you can register, but which are also available online: ⟶ Conferences on research ethics and scientific integrity . These conferences last approximately 1 hour and are in French without English subtitles. If you are not a French speaker, you will probably have to find other training courses.

If you cannot attend face-to-face conferences, you will just have to indicate the title and the viewing data of the conferences you attended remotely in your PIF. Please note that if you say you followed the lectures remotely, we will not be able to verify it, but we will trust you, knowing that it is in your best interest to follow them.

If your laboratory, or your company (if you are in cifre), offers specific training on ethics (for example EURECOM offers a course called RDI: “Responsible Digital Innovation: Risks, Ethics and Technology”), you can choose it. This is just as valid for ethics training.

You also have the possibility to follow MOOCs like those offered by the University of Bordeaux on scientific integrity in research professions or by the University of Lyon on research ethics.

B. General procedure of the PIF

There are two scenarios:

  1. The general scenario for new PIFs.
  2. The particular scenario for PIFs which were started according to the old procedure.

Steps of the PIF

The drawing below represents the succession of the 4 stages of the PIF. Normally the steps are made in order 1, 2, 3 and 4. Thus, you should not register for a course before having obtained the validation of the ED, but it is not an obligation. You can, in practice, register for training before their approval by the ED, however you take the risk (even if it is very low) that the training will not be validated. Note, however, that all DFC (section C.) or college de France (section D.) training courses are still considered valid.

Step of the PIF Procedure
The colors in the drawing represent the different states of the PIF.
These states are explained later in this section.

  1. Describe the professional project and submit it to the ED for notice.
    • For a new PIF, take the necessary time to think about it, but put something in, you can make it evolve during the thesis.
    • For an existing PIF, copy and paste the professional project that you have already described on EDB. You can take the opportunity to update it.
  2. Choose the training courses and register them in the PIF and submit it to the ED
    • For a new PIF, the choice depends on your situation and your project.
      You must select trainings:
      • In the catalog of the training and career department (DFC). More details can be found in section C. of this page.
      • In the catalog of training courses offered by the college of France. You will find more details in section D. of this page.
      • In the proposals from your laboratory, your company for cifre theses or your supervision (training, thematic schools, etc.)
      • In online training catalogs of your choice
      • Etc.
    • For an existing PIF, copy and paste the training courses actually attended with their date of completion. You can add new formations as for the case of a new PIF.
  3. Register for validated training sessions that have not yet been completed
    • This step depends on the training concerned.
  4. Update the PIF with the completion dates and submit it to the ED for validation.
    • You will need to enter only one date per course. If the training was spread across several sessions, you must enter only the date of the last session.
    • You enter this information, and upload a supporting document proving the completion of the training if you have one.

PIF reports and notices

The PIF is a moving object. As long as the thesis is not defended, you can make it evolve. The PIF can be in 3 different states:

  • active
    • This is the initial state. It is in this state that you can modify it. You can modify your professional project, you can add or remove training courses unless they have been completed. You can add training dates.
  • submitted
    • This is the state during which the entire PIF is being validated by the doctoral school. You cannot change anything until it is returned to the Active state.
  • closed
    • This is the final state at the end of your thesis. In the closed state, you can no longer modify your PIF without requesting its reactivation from the doctoral school.

When you submit a PIF, the doctoral school issues an individual notice on the project and on each training, there are 4 possible opinions:

  • Empty (vide)
    • It is the absence of notice.
  • Approved (approuvé)
    • The training proposal or professional project is approved.
  • To revise (à revoir)
    • The training proposal or the professional project needs to be revised. There is no doubt some information is missing. The comment field will help you understand.
  • Valid (validé)
    • The description of the training is complete with the date of follow-up and this description is considered valid. This notice only makes sense for training courses, it is not used for the professional project.

PIF form

The figure below gives the principle of the PIF form. The page  » PIF procedure on myEDB  » describes in detail how to complete the PIF, but here is the principle of this form.

  • the professional project along with the opinion of the ED
  • the list of training courses along with the opinion of the ED
  • a comment field for the use of the ED
  • and finally, the state of the PIF

General shape of the PIF form

C. Enrollment in DFC training

This section describes the registration process for DFC training. For other types of training, you must follow the rules imposed by the organizers of these training.
It’s up to you to find out. 

  1. Consult the DFC 2020 training catalog .
    You should have already looked at it to describe your PIF. Update your PIF if there is any training that interests you that you have not put in your PIF.
  2. Consult the 2020-2021 training calendar
  3. Creating an account on jobteaser
    This has to be done only once. You must fill in your profile and in particular the drop-down menu Program with the doctoral school ED 130 Info, telecom., Electronics . It is necessary for seeing the training sessions offered by the DFC
  4. Registration for training sessions on the event tab of jobteaser
    the Events tab gives you access to DFC training. You must register for the training courses you mentioned in your PIF, otherwise the ED will not be able to validate them. Note that you can also register for DFC trainings and update your PIF a posteriori as long as the DFC trainings are still valid for a PIF.
    The other tabs offer you other services, but these are not PIF training.

Important notes for DFC training

  • Registration is a commitment because the number of places for training is limited.
  • You can opt out up to 7 days before the start of a training session on the registration page for each training requested.
  • If you are unable to attend a session due to a major issue (illness, transport strike, etc.), you must absolutely send written proof to the address
  • If you have registered and you are absent without proof, the ED is notified. This could prevent you from registering again for this training, or even from all the training courses if the offence is repeated.

D. Training at the Collège de France

The college of France (CDF) offers a large number of very high quality training courses and seminars which may be of great interest to you and may be useful for your professional project. These training courses are open to PhD students from EDITE.

Many of the past training courses are freely available on the cdf site. If you wish to attend face-to-face training and you wish to have proof of attendance, you must submit a request to the ED at specifying the name of the training and the date of the first session. We can ask the CDF for an attendance sheet in your name that has to be signed by the trainer during the first and last session.

Currently, the CDF is closed to the public and all training is done remotely, so you will not be able to obtain proof of attendance. However, you can still put the CDF training in your PIF and indicate the sessions. ED trusts you, since there is no point in putting training courses in which you do not participate.

E. PIF procedure on myEDB

As you could see for yourself, the EDB doctorate management tool was not working as it should have, and we did not have the adequate support to keep it going. This is why a new myEDB tool was designed by Lélia Blin (deputy director of EDITE). It is now in service.

The myEDB database was pre-populated with EDB data, but not all data could be retrieved, especially PIF data. You must enter them or re-enter your PIF and request its validation.

Details of the PIF filling procedure can be found on the PIF procedure page on myEDB .

Requests for additional information concerning training should be sent by email to:

(Translated by Google, improved by Nathan MAURICE)