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Permanent positions

Researchers' recruitment examination

Permanent CNRS researchers are national civil servants and are therefore recruited by competitive examination. They are divided into scientific disciplines or groups of disciplines, corresponding to sections or interdisciplinary commissions of the National Committee for Scientific Research.

Application conditions

Rank Researcher (CR) Senior researcher (DR)
Grade 2nd class (CR2) 1st class (CR1) 2nd class (DR2) 1st class (DR1)
Required level PhD 4 years of research experience 8 years of research experience 12 years of research experience
Conditions Applicants of any nationality who have earned a doctorate, PhD, other diploma(s) from outside France, and/or equivalent degree(s) or experience. Equivalency is determined by a specific governing body that is entitled to refuse the application.

Timetable and recruitment process

Early December

Job openings are posted on the CNRS researchers' recruitment website.


Deadline for applications to be filed.

February to July

The candidate selection process takes place in two phases:
  • 1. The eligibility phase, which varies depending on the desired rank.
    • For the recruitment of researchers, it involves a two-step selection process by the appropriate eligibility panel * :
      - pre-selection based on the written applications, followed by
      - interviews with the pre-selected candidates.
    • For the recruitment of senior researchers, it consists of:
      - Selection based on the written applications,
      - Possibly followed by interviews, if the section of the National Committee so desires.
    • At the end of this phase, each of the candidates is declared either eligible or ineligible.
    • * The eligibility panels are made up of researchers as well as members of the sections and interdisciplinary commissions of the National Committee.
  • 2. The acceptance phase: based on the assessment of the applications and interviews, the list of selected candidates is finalized.


The selected candidates begin work at the lab specified in their acceptance letter.

Contractual recruitment of disabled researchers

Every year, CNRS recruits disabled researchers either by regular competitive examination (with the possibility of adaptive testing) or by contractual agreement.*

The contractual recruitment process is intended to facilitate the recruitment of disabled scientists as CNRS researchers, according to the organization's obligation to employ disabled workers provided for in the French Labor Code. It allows them to be recruited on the basis of a one-year contract that can be renewed once, before becoming permanent.

The latter is open to candidates who qualify to benefit from the above-mentioned obligation and are not already employed in the public sector, provided that they meet the necessary requirements for the position in question.**

* In accordance with Article 27 of French law n°84-16 (amended) related to certain procedures for the recruitment of disabled staff in the public sector.

** The general prerequisites for recruitment are specified in decree n°95-979 dated 25 August 1995 (amended), related to the recruitment of disabled persons in the public sector.

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