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The inter disciplinary fields of excellence of the different sections include: astrophysics, subatomic physics, optics and lasers, materials optics and optoelectronics, nano sciences and nano materials, non linear physics and physics-health and physics biology interfaces.

The sections are involved in numerous national, European and international programs, all of which benefit from large international centres (ESRF, ILL, CERN).
The doctoral school includes approximately 140 PhD students in the two establishments : (100 – University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and 40 – ENS-Lyon).

The doctoral school’s laboratories include 300 researchers and professors, of whom 170 have their “habilitation à diriger les recherches” which allow the school to host many students.
The PHAST doctoral school is part of the doctoral college of the University of Lyon, in addition to the University of Savoies. This college brings together 17 doctoral schools from the higher education establishments in Lyon. It is an environment that encourages discussions and propositions to be made. This doctoral college also makes it possible to share resources in organisation of the courses, credits and PhD contracts.
Having three different sites makes it a challenge to create an “esprit de corps”, but efforts are made to bring the students from the different sites together at the beginning of the year, in November or at the juries that are organised at the half-way point of the theses.
The PHAST signs and applies a charter for the theses that was put into place by the University of Lyon and is common to all the Lyon doctoral schools.


It is not easy to give a unity to an organization that is present on three separate sites, but the graduate school strives to provide doctoral students of the different sites the opportunity to meet. This is the case on the day of return, in November, or defenses in the mid-term.
The doctoral school sign and apply the PHAST thesis charter established by the University of Lyon, which is common to all doctoral school of Lyon.
Standards for supervision of theses
A supervisor can not supervise more than three arguments simultaneously in the doctoral program PHAST.

Standards applied to the supervision of the theses
A thesis director cannot supervise more than 3 students at one time in the PHAST PhD school.

Policies regarding the length of time to complete the thesis

Students have 3 years in which to complete their thesis. All requests to enrol in a 4th year must be made during the spring term of the third year. They are then reviewed by the doctoral commission held in May or June who decides whether or not to grant the request. This procedure only applies to theses that will not be defended during the calendar year.