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DERCI’s mission

The Europe of Research and International Cooperation Department (DERCI) implements and promotes the CNRS’ European and international cooperation policy. Single point of entry for French and foreign institutional partners with regard to the organization’s international initiatives, it performs the following missions :

  • selecting thematic and geographical priorities, setting up win-win cooperations and structuring partnerships ;
  • making the CNRS’ international initiatives an essential tool to enhance French research attractiveness and visibility abroad ;
  • improving dialog and joining forces with other organizations, universities and alliances to propose coordinated initiatives at the European and international level.

CNRS international strategy

International influence

The CNRS is world-wide known thanks to its hundreds of structuring initiatives, which the organization has formalized with its foreign partners. Around 55,000 missions are also carried out throughout the world each year. In addition, over 200 researchers (including secondees) perform research in foreign institutions for durations of one year or over. Joint publications with international partners also bear witness to the CNRS’ international vitality. They make up over half of the organization’s publications.


Around 50 official delegations visit the CNRS every year. This testifies the interests of international partners not only in CNRS laboratories but also in its research organization and governance. With 30% foreign researchers recruited in 2012, the CNRS is widely accessible to international scientists.

International cooperation tools

The CNRS’ international cooperation tools are structured at multiple levels :

Collaborative projects are organized on the basis of researchers’ proposals, which are subjected to a selection process within the CNRS authorities and in liaison with international partners.

Examples of interdisciplinary and multilateral programs

Coordinated by the CNRS, the MISTRALS program (Mediterranean Integrated STudies at Regional And Local Scales) is a ten-year observation and interdisciplinary research project dedicated to understanding the processes at work in the Mediterranean Basin, as well as global change, whether natural or human-induced. Its ultimate goals are to predict the evolution of habitability conditions in this ecoregion and to propose appropriate measures to optimize them.

The programs Frontiers of Science (FoS) and Frontiers of Engineering (FoE) aim at promoting an interdisciplinary approach when addressing cutting-edge research topics. During symposia, talented young researchers have cross-disciplinary exchanges with fellow scientists of the other country in order to find new approaches or trends. France is involved in two FoS programs, one with Japan, the other one with Taiwan. A FoE program is underway with Japan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and France’s main scientific institutions manage these programs through a consortium coordinated by the CNRS.

CNRS participation in European programs

The CNRS is a major player in the development of the European research area and thus an important contributor to the European integration process. Within the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7), it participated in the main five research programs of the European Commission, with which it has signed over 1250 contracts. In particular, the results obtained by French researchers in the ERC calls for proposals have further strengthened CNRS’ position as the organization that is home to the largest number of scientists in Europe. The CNRS also took an active part in the International Cooperation projects (INCO) of the FP7 Capacities Programme.

Within the “France - Europe 2020” Strategic Agenda, aimed at helping French research tackle important challenges, and in keeping with the momentum of Horizon 2020, the CNRS strives to increase the participation of its research teams to European calls for proposals. In particular, it will encourage its researchers to prepare proposals on strategic scientific topics as coordinators and will continue to provide information, support its researchers, and prompt them to submit proposals.

Contact information :

Direction Europe de la recherche et coopération internationale (DERCI)
3 rue Michel-Ange
75794 Paris cedex 16