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International programs for scientific cooperation (PICS)

In situations where cooperation with a foreign partner is well-established, and has resulted in joint publications in scientific journals, it is possible to formalize the relationship through PICS. This is a more involved form of cooperation than a plain exchange of researchers in that it is based on pre-existing joint research, and has a longer time frame.

It brings together two research teams and the participation of young researchers (Ph.D.s and postdocs) is encouraged.

What is a PICS?

A PICS is a joint research program aimed at supporting joint research projects carried out by two teams, one from CNRS and one from abroad. Funding required by the cooperation to support exchanges comes from both partners.

How long does a PICS last?

  • Three years, non renewable.

Who can submit a proposal?

  • In France, CNRS researchers, as well as academic staff from other institutions who work in CNRS-affiliated research units.
  • Outside France, researchers and academic staff from a research organization or university.

How and when to apply?

A call for proposals is published annually on the website of the CNRS european research and international cooperation office (DERCI). The two-stage application process begins on March 1 and finishes on the first week in June. Funding begins at the start of the following year. Before submitting a proposal, CNRS researchers must seek approval from the relevant thematic institute. Once they have obtained it, they can request an application form from DERCI.

The foreign partner must simultaneously submit a proposal to their home institution. A provisional budget is to be presented with the research project proposal.

How are applications evaluated?

Proposals are evaluated at both CNRS and the partner institution if this is provided for in a bilateral Agreement.

At CNRS, evaluation is carried out by the relevant thematic Institutes.

How are PICS funded?

Both institutions participate in PICS funding. Funding covers research trips, meetings, and running expenses if needed.

Funding begins at the start of the fiscal year following the decision to carry out a joint project within the framework of the PICS.

Scientific and financial reports must be submitted annually.