Data and History of Prosfer


The PRoSFER program was created in 2002 and underwent a significant evolution in the course of time in order to maximize its quality and efficiency and to adapt it to the substantial evolution of its partner institutions and their academic environment.

  • October 2001: On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of its creation, the East China Normal University (ECNU) of Shanghaï invited the Directors of the Ecoles Normales Supérieures (ENS) of the time (ENS of Paris, Gabriel Ruget; ENS de Sciences of Lyon: Bernard Bigot), (ENS de Lettres et Sciences Humaines of Lyon: Sylvain Auroux; ENS of Cachan: Claire Dupas) to an ECNU ceremony. 
  • July 2002:  In the wake of this visit, a delegation including Jean-Louis Duclos (Director of International Relations of Lyon ENS of Lettres et Sciences Humaines), Laurence Falbollot (Director of International Relations of Paris ENS) and Chinese Studies expert Romain Grazziani (Paris ENS) visited ECNU to elaborate the first agreement establishing the program, later renamed as the ProsFER Program. The agreeement is officially signed in the course of summer and the program is launched in the Fall after its formal approbation by the Chinese Minsitry of Education.







  • Fall 2002: Launching of the program and formal approbation by the Chinese Ministry of Education.
  • September 2004: The first PRoSFER students from ECNU arrive in France to start their PHD thesis in the ENS laboratories.
  • June 2005: The French-Chinese Institute for Future Researchers is established at ECNU to host to the PROSFER Program.
  • July 2007: First PRoSFER PHD thesis defenses.
  • April 2009: First renewal of the ProsFER Agreement 
  • August 2010: Creation of the Joint Research Institute for Science and Society (JoRISS), an interdisciplinary without walls research platform complementing the PRosFER program, by ECNU, the ENS de Lyon and CNRS.  
  • November 2014: Second renewal of the PRoSFER agreement by ENS Paris, ENS de Lyon, ENS Paris Saclay and ENS de Rennes. Introduction of the two new fields of Education sciences and Computer science. 

​​​​​​​The signature ceremony of the 2014 PROSFER agreement at ECNU 

  • December 2019 : Third renewal of the PRosFER agreement by ENS de Lyon, ENS Paris Saclay and ENS de Rennes. A one semester systematic mobility is integrated into the Master component of the program, and the PHD component of the program opens to ENS students for realizing joint PHDs with ECNU.

A 2014 presentation of the program and its history:
This document was realized by ECNU on the occasion of the 2014 renewal of the PROSFER  agreement.



  • More than 3600 teaching hours delivered at the East China Normal University (ECNU) 
  • 170 ENS researchers and professors involved
  • 149 doctoral students who have come to France in order to realize their joint ECNU-ENS thesis
  • More than 95 joint thesis defended in 2019