Comité national de la recherche scientifique
National Committee / sections

Every field of research is divided into disciplines or groups of disciplines corresponding to the sections of the National Committee for Scientific Research. This breakdown, set by ministerial decree, is updated on a regular basis according to advances in science and fields of research, and the names and number of sections are adjusted.

Independence, competency, representativeness, longevity, collegiality, and transparency are the key values of the National Committee; they ensure the relevance and consistency of the evaluations of sections and CIDs, with strict consideration of academic diversity.
The application of these values is illustrated by the display of section evaluation criteria defined by each community.

The detail of section missions and of their operating procedures are set forth in the section by-laws.


The section, the governing body closest to scientific activity, is the reference organization for researchers and research units.

Sections perform several important functions; they:

- evaluate researchers' scientific activity and make recommendations on requests related to their careers
- create first phase admission boards for recruiting researchers
- assess unit projects according to the CNRS priority areas for scientific development
- analyze the current scientific situation and the outlook for the future

Sections analyze current challenges facing research and the new prospects created through major discoveries in their discipline or group of disciplines. The scope of this theme is defined by the section's keywords.
Every four years, half-way through the mandate, the section publishes a Situation and outlook report jointly drafted with the other National Committee bodies.


Sections meet at least twice a year.
They include 21 members:

- 14 members elected by all research personnel
- 7 members appointed by the French Research Ministry based on the Director General's recommendation

A Bureau is created for each section, including: - a President elected by the Scientific Board - four members: two are elected and two are appointed by the Director of the Institute, chosen from section members

Section names and pilot institutes

Section Intitulé
Institut principal
Institut secondaire
01 Interactions, particles, nuclei, from the laboratory to the cosmos
02 Physical theories: methods, models and applications
03 Condensed matter physics: structures and electronic properties
04 Atoms and Molecules, Optics and Lasers, Hot Plasma Physics
05 Condensed matter physics: structure and dynamics
06 Computer and Information Sciences: Foundations of Computer Science, Computation, Algorithms, Data and Knowledge Representation, Information Processing
07 Information sciences: Image and signal processing, computer graphics and vision, embedded systems and systems on chips, robotics, automatic control, human machine interaction, speech and language processing
08 Micro- and nanotechnologies, micro- and nanosystems, photonics, electronics, electromagnetism, electrical energy
09 Structural and materials engineering, solid mechanics, biomechanics and acoustics
10 Fluid and reactive media : transport, transfer and transformation processes
11 Supra and Macromolecular Materials and Systems: elaboration, properties and functions
12 Molecular architectures: synthesis, mechanisms and properties
13 Physical, theoretical and analytical chemistry
14 Coordination Chemistry, Catalysis, Interfaces and Processes
15 Chemistry of materials, nanomaterials and processes
16 Chemistry for living organisms and medicinal chemistry. Design and properties of compounds of biological interest
17 Solar system and distant universe
18 Earth and the Terrestrial Planets: structure, history and models
19 The Earth System: superficial envelopes
20 Molecular and structural biology, biochemistry
21 Genomes organisation, expression and evolution. Bioinformatic and system biology
22 Cell biology, Developmental biology, Evolutionary developmental biology, Reproduction
23 Plant science
24 Physiology, ageing and tumorigenesis
25 Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology, Neurophysiology
26 Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
27 Host/pathogen relationships, immunology, inflammation
28 Pharmacology, bio-engineering, imaging, biotechnology
29 Biodiversity, evolution and biological adaptations: from macromolecules to communities
30 Continental Surface and Interfaces
31 Humankinds and environments: evolution, interactions
32 Ancient and medieval worlds
33 Modern and Contemporary Worlds
34 Language Sciences
35 Philosophy and philological sciences, arts sciences
36 Sociology et legal studies
37 Economics and Management
38 Social anthropology and comparative studies of contemporary societies
39 Spaces, Territories and Societies
40 Politics, Power, Organization
41 Mathematics and interactions of mathematics