The CIFRE device in museum
The Industrial Research Training Agreement (CIFRE) is a contractual arrangement that allows the integration of a PhD student into a museum team.
What is the CIFRE device?
The Industrial Research Training Convention (CIFRE) is a device created in 1981 and managed by the National Association of Research and Technology (ANRT) on behalf of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research (MESR).
Its objective is to promote the development of research partnerships and place doctoral students in conditions of employment. A CIFRE makes it possible to recruit a doctoral student on a fixed-term or permanent basis who will conduct in-depth research in and for the museum, under the supervision of both the museum and its thesis director. Any scientific work can be the subject of a CIFRE: study of the history of the museum, a collection, the public, the materiality of works…
All museums that have a legal entity are eligible for a CIFRE grant.
Who are the actors of a CIFRE in museum?
A CIFRE is based on the association of 4 actors:
- a museum,
- a research laboratory attached to a doctoral school,
- a doctoral student, holder of a master’s degree or a diploma of engineering, without age condition and without nationality condition (subject to obtaining a provisional work permit with the status «employee» or a residence permit with a status «scientific»), enrolled in thesis for less than 9 months in the doctoral school on which the laboratory that oversees the research work depends. The doctoral student must not have worked in the museum for more than 9 months on the date of receipt of the CIFRE application file by the ANRT,
- the National Association of Research and Technology (ANRT), which oversees and funds the agreement.
The doctoral student is supervised by both the scientific project manager for the museum and the thesis supervisor.
What are the benefits of a CIFRE?
For the museum
- Benefit from in-depth research work,
- strengthen the museum’s scientific team.
For the doctoral student
- Professional experience in a museum,
- follow the vocational training organised by the ANRT
- better position themselves on the labour market: 90% of doctoral students are recruited after a CIFRE agreement.
How long will it take?
3 years, at the end of which the doctoral student must support his thesis.
The doctoral student’s salary is €23,484 gross minimum/year (€1,957/month).
The grant received by the museum’s trusteeship (given by the ANRT) amounts to €14,000/year.
How do I proceed?
The thesis subject is chosen by the museum, the research laboratory and the doctoral student.
The employment contract CDI or CDD is signed between the museum and the doctoral student. This contract also guarantees the conditions for conducting searches and the ownership clauses of the results obtained.
The collaboration contract between the museum and the university or research laboratory that follows the doctoral student, defines the conditions of the partnership: organization of the doctoral student’s work, research methodology, workplace, intellectual property.
Preparation, selection and follow-up of a CIFRE dossier
All the information needed to file a CIFRE file is available on the ANRT site.
The application is submitted at any time of the year.
CIFRE files are reviewed by the Evaluation and Monitoring Committee which meets once a month. They are the subject of socio-economic and scientific expertise (scientific value of the thesis project and suitability of the candidate’s profile). The CIFRE may take effect within two months of project selection.
On the 12th and 24th months of the duration of the CIFRE, the museum and the research laboratory must send a report of the doctoral student’s activity to the ANRT.
The museum completes, one month before the end of the CIFRE, an evaluation questionnaire sent by the ANRT.
Feedback from the Ursuline Museum in Mâcon
The Ursuline Museum in Mâcon preserves most of the Bussière family’s production. Victor Bussière (1836-1905), a painter and decorator active in Mâcon, introduced his children to artistic practice in the family business. Gaston Bussière (1862-1928), the eldest, moved to Paris and exhibited at the Salon. A friend of Luc-Olivier Merson and Alfons Mucha, he encouraged his sister Marguerite (1875-1961) to study painting with them.
The recruitment of Emeline Larroudé to the museum under a CIFRE contract guarantees the institution the conduct of a thorough analysis on the work of these artists. It also makes it possible to forge links with the university and research, prerequisites for the emergence of quality exhibition projects. The doctoral student’s missions at the museum extend to all the collaborations undertaken with universities, such as the organization of a day of study around the work of sculptor Alexandre Morlon or the participation in the European Researchers Night. As part of the museum’s collections department, she was able to enrich her knowledge of the operation of the collections management system and pursue her thesis.
Feedback from the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris
The Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris holds a collection of wallpapers of more than four hundred thousand pieces. Among these, the Desfossé & Karth fund, acquired in 1982, forms a unique ensemble, estimated at nearly ten thousand works.
Jules Desfossé (1816-1890), artistic director of the Mader manufacture in Faubourg Saint-Antoine, bought it back and gave it its name in 1851. Awarded several times at world exhibitions, it is made famous for its wallpapers made after works of artists in vogue. In 1864, he joined forces with the manufacturer Hippolyte Karth (1811-1877), director of Clerc & Margueridon. The two industrialists quickly formed an empire in the art of wallpaper by selling so-called «luxury» papers with glazed, velvety, gold and embossed textures, decorations and style items. In 1889, their respective sons Eugène Desfossé (1851-1934) and Jules Karth (1842-1904) took over the reins of the house which became the Société anonyme des anciens établissements Desfossé & Karth ten years later. In 1947, the graphic fund, the machines and the staff were bought by the company Isidore Leroy whose factories closed permanently in the early 1980s.
As part of a CIFRE contract, a collaboration between the MAD (supported for funding by private sponsors) and the SAPRAT laboratory of the EPHE allowed the recruitment of Armandine Malbois. One of his missions at the museum is to inventory this collection. It marks the starting point of an in-depth analysis of a hundred years of production allowing to question within the thesis the role and influence that the house Desfossé & Karth exercised in the French artistic, industrial and social landscape. The stakes of such an association are three-fold: the enhancement and availability of heritage collections to the greatest number, the weaving of links and ever more fruitful exchanges between the university and museum worlds, and the professionalization of a young researcher in the fields of research and conservation. It should be noted that Armandine Malbois’s thesis was also supported by a grant from the Antoine de Galbert Foundation in 2020.