I live in an Asian country and I have planned to apply to PhD positions in France and UK in Pure mathematics.

I wrote to one professor saying that I am interested in his work and would like to work under his supervision for PhD research.

Here is an excerpt from his reply:

"In France we have essentially targeted funding so we need students and advisor to know themselves well in advance so that a project can be defined before applying for funding. It can work only with at least a couple of months preparation before the deadlines for funding applications."

So, there is quite a difference between PhD research in UK and France. In UK the admissions are centralized and other 1st year is taught advanced courses and funding is for 4 years while in France the funding is for 3 years and I don't think there are taught courses, admission is also not centralized.

So, can you please tell me some other differences which I must keep in mind (and which I am unaware of) before writing to professors in France?

  • 4
    I suspect that your understanding of the UK system is quite lacking, too. It might thus be better to ask HOW stuff in France works, rather than asking about the differences to the UK. It would also make the question more broadly applicable.
    – Arno
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 9:25
  • 2
    @MassimoOrtolano Let me have a stab at that canonical question for UK and France. I agree that the answer to this question would fit there perfectly.
    – penelope
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 10:17
  • @penelope If you have time, that would be great! :-) We surely have a number of users from UK and France, but probably thus far none have had the time (or dared) to write something. Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 10:24
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    @MassimoOrtolano I never noticed the question :/ I did my PhD in France (so might be a bit outdated) and now hold an academic position in the UK, so I think I should be qualified to answer both.
    – penelope
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 10:25
  • 1
    @penelope Thank you so much! Even if you are a bit out of touch with modern realities in France, you know how it is in the academic world - it's much easier to get people to critique your work than publish their own ;)
    – Lodinn
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 12:01