The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (French National Centre for Scientific Research) is one of the world’s leading research institutions and the largest fundamental research organization in Europe. Founded in 1939, the CNRS is a public body under the authority of the French Ministry of Education and Research.

Ten specialized institutes

Internationally recognised for the excellence of its scientific research, the CNRS carries out research in all fields of knowledge through ten specialized Institutes:

  1. The Institute of Biological Sciences (INSB)’s mission is to develop and coordinate research in biology that seeks to understand the complexity of the living, from atoms to biomolecules, and from the cell up to complete organisms and populations.
  2. The Institute of Chemistry (INC)’s mission is to develop and coordinate research involving the development of new compounds, the understanding of chemical reactivity and prediction of the relations between the structure of molecules at the atomic level and the properties of these molecules.
  3. The Institute of Ecology and Environment (INEE)’s mission is to develop and coordinate research in the fields of ecology and the environment, including biodiversity and human-environment interactions.
  4. The Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (INSHS)’s mission is to develop research on human beings, both as producers of language and knowledge, and as economic, social, and political actors.
  5. The Institute for Engineering and Systems Sciences (INSIS)’s mission is to ensure the continuum between basic research, engineering, and technology by promoting a “systems” approach through the development of the disciplines central to the Institute.
  6. The National Institute for Mathematical Sciences and their Interactions (INSMI)’s mission is to develop and coordinate research in different branches of mathematics, ranging from its basic aspects to its applications.
  7. The Institute of Physics (INP)’s mission is to develop and coordinate research in physics, with two primary objectives: to understand the world and to respond to the challenges facing society today.
  8. The Institute for Information Sciences and Technologies (INS2I) organizes and develops projects in computer science and digital technology. One of its primary goals is to make these two research areas a central part of multi- and interdisciplinary issues, along with information science.
  9. The National Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics (IN2P3)’s mission is to develop and coordinate research in the field of nuclear physics, particle physics, and astroparticles.
  10. The National Institute for Earth Sciences and Astronomy (INSU)’s mission is to create, develop, and coordinate research in astronomy and Earth sciences, as well as ocean, atmospheric, and space sciences.

International cooperation

The European Research and International Cooperation Department (DERCI) implements and promotes the CNRS’s international cooperation policy. The DERCI is the single point of entry for French and foreign institutional partners with regard to the organisation’s international initiatives.

The DERCI performs the following missions:

  • Selecting thematic and geographical priorities, setting up win-win cooperation and structuring partnerships;
  • Improving international cooperation monitoring tools and developing a decision-making ideology relying on suitable performance indicators;
  • Facilitating the research network between the CNRS and its national and international partners’ universities, academies;
  • Welcoming, informing and guiding foreign delegations from research organisations, universities and/or research institutions in order to develop new partnerships;
  • Making international dialogue an essential tool to enhance French research attractiveness and visibility abroad;
  • Coordinating initiatives at the European and international level with foreign institutions.

The CNRS created eight offices for its representation abroad: New Delhi, Washington DC, Pretoria, Brussels, Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro. These offices structure the scientific cooperation of the CNRS with strategic partners of the area they are in charge of.

Learn more about the CNRS:

Learn more about international cooperation at the CNRS: