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International joint units (UMI)

If collaboration with (a) partner institution(s) is already well-structured and the teams wish to work together full-time in the same laboratory, located either in France or abroad, CNRS and (a) partner institution(s) can decide to set up an International Joint Unit.

What is a UMI?

A UMI is a full-fledged laboratory, as found in universities and research organizations. It is based in a single location, in France or abroad, and brings together researchers, students, postdocs, and support staff from CNRS and the partner institution(s). The Director of the UMI is jointly named by CNRS and the foreign partner institution(s).

How long does a UMI last?

Four years, possibly renewable twice after evaluation of the UMI activity.

Who can submit a UMI proposal?

An application to create a UMI must be submitted by its future Director (a researcher or professor) to both CNRS and the partner institution abroad.

How and when to submit a proposal?

Requests to set up a UMI can be made at any time to the relevant thematic institute of CNRS and the partner institution abroad.

The application file includes a research proposal and a provisional budget plus total cost for 4 years.

How are proposals evaluated?

Scientific evaluation of proposals is carried out simultaneously by peer review, at CNRS and at the partner institution. The selection of UMIs is competitive and based on mutual agreement between the partners.

In France, the National Committee for Scientific Research provides an evaluation.

As UMIs have the same status as CNRS units, decisions concerning their creation must be ratified by the President of CNRS.

Once the decision to create a UMI has been made, a contract, with research project description, consolidated provisional budget, management rules and intellectual property provisions is signed by the President of CNRS and by the heads of the foreign partner institution.

How is a UMI funded?

Human and material resources are provided to the UMI by CNRS and the partner institution(s), in addition to funding from other sources, such as other research organizations, foundations, and private companies.

The salaries of researchers, Ph.D. students, postdocs and support staff are covered, as are equipment, running costs, research trips, and infrastructure expenses.

These expenses are jointly covered by the partners according to an annual provisional budget, following consultation between the administrative and scientific authorities in both countries.