The CNRS has been led by scientists since the word go. This form of governance allows it to devote all of its resources to research... and to demonstrate its innovation capacity in terms of ethics and professional equality.

Institutional management

Management Board

The Management Board is the CNRS’s decision-making body. It firstly includes the CNRS President and CEO, who is a member of the scientific community, and is appointed by the Council of Ministers upon a proposal made by the French Minister of Higher Education and Research. The Management Board is also composed of a Chief Research Officer, a Chief Resources Officer, a Chief Technology Transfer Officer, and the President’s Cabinet Secretary.

Management Committee

The management committee includes the Management Board along with the ten Institute directors and the Communications Department.

Scientific organisation

CNRS Research Office (DGDS)

The DGDS conducts, alongside the president, the institution’s scientific policy. It coordinates the activities of the ten CNRS Institutes, promotes interdisciplinarity, and organises partnerships with various research players at the regional, national, European, and international levels. Within this framework, and in close collaboration with the CNRS Resource Office, it relies on the expertise of the regional offices.

The Institutes

The scientific management of the CNRS includes ten institutes that guide the organisation’s research strategy and coordinate the activities and projects of the laboratories reporting to them. Each institute covers more or less extensive disciplinary fields in biology, physics, chemistry, engineering, the humanities and social sciences, mathematics, ecology, information sciences, and Earth sciences and astronomy.

Learn more about the institutes

Administrative organisation

CNRS Resource Office (DGDR)

The DGDR conducts, alongside the president, the institution’s administrative and financial policy. It is responsible for the development of human resources and activities in support of research. Within this framework, and in close collaboration with the CNRS Research Office, it relies on the expertise of the CNRS Institutes.

Regional organisation

Regional offices

The CNRS's eighteen regional offices play a role in managing and offering local support for the laboratories located throughout France. They work in collaboration with the CNRS’s academic partners, and notably assist in developing industrial projects and European programmes.

Learn more about the CNRS Regional Offices

Financing in the service of public research

The funding of CNRS activities is mostly provided by public service subsidies approved in the budget, supplemented by various resources known as CNRS-generated income. The latter is connected in particular to research contracts, which are signed as a result of successful applications to calls for proposals — primarily with French and European public organisations, and to a lesser degree with private companies. Funding is also derived from subsidies from other institutions (universities, research organisations, etc.).

Main features of the CNRS budget :

  • Nearly €3.8 billion budget;
  • 74% of resources come from public service subsidies, and nearly 27% from CNRS-generated income (research contracts, funding from calls for proposals, provision of services, etc.);
  • More than 80 % of the CNRS-generated income comes from research contracts (nearly 821 M€ in 2021).


Nearly 3.8 billion budget
Nearly 27 % CNRS-generated income

(research contracts, funding from calls for proposals, provision of services, etc.)

86.5 % of funding devoted to laboratories

A committed employer

Recipient of the HR Excellence in Research Award

In February 2017, the CNRS received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its European human resources strategy for researchers (HRS4R). The institution was recognized for helping build the European Research Area, as well as for the quality of its human resources policies.

Permanent employees recruited by competitive entrance examination

The CNRS employs nearly 33,000 people, including over 15,000 researchers, 14,000 engineers, and approximately 4,000 technicians. Permanent employees work alongside contract employees, and are recruited through external competitive entrance examinations, which open in December for researchers and June for engineers and technicians. More than 90 nationalities are represented in its research units. 

More than 200 occupations

The research activities of the ten thematic institutes include all fields of knowledge, and are organised into 41 sections and 5 interdisciplinary commissions under the administrative supervision of the National Committee for Scientific Research. The engineers and technicians who contribute to and support research fall into over 200 occupations from numerous professional fields, including sciences of the living world, chemical sciences, the humanities and social sciences, computer science, information, administration, and management.

Quality of life at work, a priority

In the world of research, in which personal commitment is decisive for the successful outcome of scientific programmes, quality of life at work is an essential lever for success. The CNRS made it one of its HR priorities by implementing a dedicated plan through 2019.

Integrating people with disabilities

Finally, the Mission for the Integration of People with Disabilities has implemented an action plan seeking to recruit and facilitate the professional integration of these agents. 

Visit the Careers website

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À l’instar de cette souffleuse de verre travaillant au laboratoire Kastler Brossel, le CNRS emploie des professionnels hautement qualifiés dans une grande variété de métiers. © Frédérique Plas / CNRS Photothèque / LKB