The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched the Eiffel excellence scholarship programme in January 1999 to support French centres of higher education in their international outreach initiatives, in a context of mounting competition among developed countries, to attract elite overseas students on master's, engineering and PhD courses.
Eiffel scholarships are available in three main fields:
-engineering science at master’s level, science in the broadest sense at PhD level (engineering science; exact sciences: mathematics, physics, chemistry and life sciences, nano- and biotechnology, earth sciences, sciences of the universe, environmental sciences, information and communication science and technology);
-economics and management;
-law and political sciences.
French higher education establishments nominating candidates for the Eiffel Programme undertake to enrol them:
-either in a master’s degree course;
-or in a PhD programme, under joint supervision or dual enrolment, in partnership with a foreign higher education establishment.
- Nationality: this programme is reserved for candidates of non-French nationality. Candidates with two nationalities, one of which is French, are not eligible.
- Age: for master’s courses, candidates must be no older than 30 on the date of the selection committee meeting, 6th of March 2017; at PhD level, candidates must be noolder than 35 on the date of the selection committee meeting, 6th of March 2017.
- Origin of applications: only applications submitted by French educational establishments are accepted. These establishments undertake to enrol scholarship holders on the course for which they have been selected. Applications submitted by any other means shall not be considered. Furthermore, any candidate nominated by more than one establishment shall be disqualified.
- Courses of study: scholarships are for students wishing to enrol on a master's course, including at an engineering school, and for PhD students. The Eiffel Programme does not apply to French-run master’s courses abroad, as non-PhD scholarship holders must complete at least 75% of their course in France. It does not apply to training under an apprenticeship contract or a professional training contract either.
- Combination with other scholarships: foreign students who, at the time of application, have already been awarded a French government scholarship under another programme are not eligible, even if the scholarship in question does not include social security cover.
- Language skills: when pre-selecting non-French-speaking candidates, establishments must make sure that their language skills meet the requirements of the relevant course of study.
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Master’s level The Eiffel scholarship includes a monthly allowance of €1,181 (a maintenance allowance of €1,031 and a monthly stipend of €150). In addition, the following expenses are directly covered: -one international return journey; Page 3 of 6 -social security cover; -cultural activities. Scholarship holders may also receive an additional housing allowance, under certain conditions. PhD level The Eiffel scholarship includes a monthly allowance of €1,400. In addition, the following expenses are directly covered: -one international return journey (for students in law or political sciences who may make several trips, only one return journey shall be covered); -social security cover; -cultural activities. Scholarship holders may also receive an additional housing allowance, under certain conditions.