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 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