What is CNRS?

CNRS is the Centre national de la recherche scientifique, or the French National Center for Scientific Research.  It is a publicly funded research organization, under the authority of the French Ministry of Research, and is the largest of several French research organizations with the legal status of Public Scientific and Technological Institution (Etablissement public à caractère scientifique et technologique, or EPST, in French.)

Research at CNRS covers all the major fields of scientific research, and is organized into 10 research institutes.

A brief description, organization chart, key figures, and other information are all available in the About CNRS section of the web site.

What are the employment opportunities at CNRS?

  • The majority of CNRS staff members, including all tenured researchers, are French civil servants.  As such, they are recruited through an annual competitive entry process, called "concours".  This recruitment process is open to foreigners as well, and the researcher job listings appear on the CNRS web site in December, for a January application deadline and employment beginning in October.  Look for an icon on the CNRS home page called "concours chercheur" or "CNRS is recruiting researchers"
  • Non-researcher jobs are also filled through an annual competitive entry process.  These jobs tend to be more technically-oriented, and cover a wide range of job types.  Research engineer (ingenieur de recherche) jobs are in this category, and require a Ph.D.  Look for an icon on the CNRS home page called "concours ITA" or "CNRS is recruiting engineers".  The recruitment season is in the spring, with job listings generally appearing in March.
  • In addition to tenured positions, there are also other research positions, such as postdoctoral fellowships and temporary positions for researchers.  More information about these various categories can be found in the section of the web site called Join CNRS.

How do I find the contact information for a CNRS researcher?

We have a tool called "People Finder" to help you.  You can find the link on the right-hand side of the English home page for CNRS.  People Finder is a very simple search engine, which uses CNRS' employee database, to allow you to search for people by first and/or last name (or parts thereof). 

How does postdoc recruitment work?

Since 2010, the CNRS does not launch national campaign to recruit post-doctoral fellowships.

Candidates with completed PhD’s can, however, apply at any time during the year for fixed-term researcher positions.

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Can I study for a PhD at CNRS?

No, because CNRS is not a degree-granting institution.  You need to sign up in a PhD program at a French university, and can then carry out research in a CNRS lab affiliated with your university. For more information about being a foreign student in France, see http://www.egide.asso.fr/jahia/Jahia/lang/en/accueil.

How do I find contact information for a CNRS lab?

On the right-hand side of the English homepage, there is a link called "How to find a CNRS lab" or by the menu above: Research > How to find a la . This page will walk you through the steps of using the CNRS lab directory (which is only available in French for now) to find labs working in the field of interest to you.

How can I order CNRS publications?

CNRS has an in-house publishing company, CNRS Editions.  Please see their website for more information:


and notably the link to the online catalogues on the lower left-hand side of the home page.

You can also contact CNRS Editions through the information at the following page:


I recently ordered a publication at INIST which I have not yet received. Whom do I contact?

Please send your query to infoclient@inist.fr along with information about your order. Alternately, you could contact them by telephone at +33 (0) 3 83 50 46 64

I have an unpaid Purchase Order from CNRS. How do I collect payment?

The purchase order should contain all the contact information you need, namely the name and telephone number of a person to contact about the purchase order. If you would prefer to contact this person by email, you can use the People Finder function on our English home page to obtain his or her email address.

Is it possible to have visiting researcher positions at CNRS?

Absolutely. The best way to set up a visiting researcher position is to find a lab where you wish to work, and contact the lab director for more information.  Contact information for labs and their directors can be found by following the steps described in "How to find a CNRS lab".

Can CNRS provide funding?

CNRS is not a funding agency, but rather a research performing organization.  We cannot provide funding for non-CNRS researchers who wish, for example, to attend conferences which are unrelated to CNRS. 

Is it possible to do a scientific internship at CNRS?

CNRS does not have an official internship program.  However, if you contact a lab directly, it may be able to host you for an internship.  You can find labs working in your field of interest by following the steps described in "How to find a CNRS lab".

How to find information on the website quickly ?

There is a section called CNRS websites (homepage), which provides quick access to various items within the website.

SSL error messages such as "The certificate is not trusted because the issuer certificate is not trusted!"

When accessing a number of http-secured, cnrs.fr sites, our web browser may display error messages such as: "The certificate is not trusted because the issuer certificate is not trusted!"or "This Security Certificate Was Issued by a Company that You Have Not Chosen to Trust" and advise you not to access these sites.

In fact, our safety certificates are approved by a body which is not familiar to browsers, which generates these warnings.

If you do get such a warning, please make sure that you are on one of our sites. The address must contain .cnrs.fr (the dot before cnrs is important). If that is the case, you can ignore this message and access the site.

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