Doctoral Programme


The CERGAM Research Centre

The doctoral programme of IAE Aix-Marseille (Aix-Marseille Université) is managed by the CERGAM research center (Centre d’Etudes et de Recherche en Gestion d’Aix-Marseille). Its initial aim was to integrate and consolidate different research teams in management across the faculties, institutes and schools of Aix-Marseille Université.
Today, the CERGAM comprises 53 professors and 65 doctoral students. Created in 1975, the doctoral programme in management was initiated by IAE Aix-Marseille to develop theoretical and applied research in this emergent field. Since then, hundreds of scholars in France and abroad have attended this high-quality programme.

A leading programme in France

The course at IAE Aix-Marseille had, and currently has, a key role in the structuring and development of management teaching and research in universities and business schools, especially in the French academic context. It is among the three most active programmes in France in terms of completed doctoral dissertations.


The programme provides students with a rich and stimulating environment made up of several research resources, which allow them to prepare and defend high-quality doctoral dissertations.


These research resources include, doctoral seminars organized by the CERGAM and other research centers in the Doctoral School of Economics and Management (Ecole Doctorale en Economie et Gestion). These doctoral seminars provide doctoral students with the most advanced research techniques and (qualitative, quantitative and mixed) methodologies. They are compulsory throughout the programme.


Beginning in the second year of the programme, doctoral students benefit from these supporting resources: They are encouraged to attend at least one annual peer-review conference and to publish at least one CERGAM working paper. Papers accepted at conferences are financed by a contribution from the CERGAM for registration and accommodation. In addition to doctoral seminars, students are encouraged to participate in Research Advanced Trainings for PhD Students (CEFAG Schools, EDAMBA Summer School - European Doctoral Association in Management and Business Administration). They can be awarded financial aid to conduct research abroad (mostly in Europe, USA, Canada, and Australia) and to visit CERGAM partner universities and research centers.


These workshops allow the IAE Aix-Marseille’s research Faculty and students to present their current research to get input from colleagues and specialists in their field. External renowned professors as well as potential future associates with international profiles may be invited. The setting is an ideal place for discussing and learning how to conduct research and prepare research papers to be submitted at conferences, workshops and journals. These internal workshops are topic-specific and are organized at IAE Aix-Marseille specifically in the areas of human resources management, marketing, strategy, international business and finance. These workshops take place five to nine times per year (per field).


Finally, at the end of the programme, a pre-dissertation defense in front of two or
three professors is organized to make final improvements and subsequently make
a high-quality dissertation defense after three years of research.

Alumni and careers

Career opportunities in France and abroad

At the international level, professors with a degree from the IAE Aix-Marseille’s doctoral programme are particularly well represented in Belgian, Canadian, Indonesian, Moroccan, Pakistanese, Senegalese and Tunisian universities and business schools.
They are the “world ambassadors” for IAE Aix-Marseille research excellence. In France, professors who attended the programme hold prime positions in almost all French universities and business schools. Within Aix-Marseille Université, a large majority of professors in management at the Faculty of Economics and Management and the Institute for Public Administration and Local Governance have also followed this path.

In IAE Aix-Marseille Graduate School of Management, 19 professors out of 34 research academic staff are former students from the doctoral programme.

A programme with national and international visibility

The placement of doctoral students as junior professors in IAE Aix-Marseille as well as in national and international universities and business schools provides evidence of the strong academic recognition and visibility of the IAE Aix-Marseille’s doctoral training. The quality level of doctoral dissertations prepared at the School is also attested by the important number of “best Doctoral dissertation” (or prix de thèse) and “best conference paper” awards obtained by two to four doctoral students every year.


The objective of the doctoral programme is to help doctoral students delivering a high-level dissertation that meets the highest international standards of research. After completing a research master, the admission in the programme is made upon a research project. This research project has to be supported by a professor (potential thesis supervisor) and approved by the Doctoral School of Economics and Management (Ecole Doctorale en Economie et Gestion).

In some cases, the research master can be partially replaced by an equivalent foreign diploma or by significant experience conducting research (research method seminars of the research master are compulsory).


National tuition fees and social security: 391 €
Social Security: 215 €



Fabienne PAUL