The National Committee for Scientific Research

A collective governing body reporting directly to the CNRS, the National Committee for Scientific Research (CoNRS)—which consists of a Scientific Board, the Scientific Boards of the Institutes, Sections specialising in each of the disciplines, and Interdisciplinary Commissions—plays an essential role in French scientific life.


The National Committee advises the CNRS governance—its president and chief research, resources and technology transfer officers—as well as the Institute directors. It participates in the development of the organisation’s scientific policy through its analysis of the current context and future prospects. It is assisted in its missions by the General Secretariat of the National Committee (SGCN). Thanks to the work of its governing bodies, which handle approximately 20,000 cases per year, the national committee:

  • contributes to devising the organisation’s scientific policy
  • conducts an analysis of the current context and future prospects,
  • is involved in recruiting researchers and overseeing their career development as well as the activity of research units.

Visit the CoNRS website (in french)


Made up of more than 1,000 national and international experts - elected members (divided into colleges) and appointed members (scientific, business and foreign figures) - the national committee is highly representative of the scientific community. Its members contribute their skills to the core mission of the CNRS, which is to identify and conduct, alone or with its partners, research that is in the interest of science as well as the technological, social, and cultural advancement of the country.”

Governing bodies

The national committee includes four types of governing bodies, which are renewed each four years, and whose role is to advise and assess research.

Scientific board

The Scientific Board (CS) has been chaired since 2010 by Bruno Chaudret, who serves in an advisory capacity on the CNRS Board of Trustees.

The CS ensures the coherence of the organisation’s scientific policy, in conjunction with the National Committee’s advisory scientific bodies.

It notably advises on:

  • the broad outlines of the CNRS scientific policy,
  • common principles for assessing the quality of research and researchers’ activities,
  • the creation or discontinuation of programmes involving one or more Institutes,
  • the allocation of financial and human resources among the Institutes,
  • programmes involving several Institutes, shared services, the Strategic Plan, and the multi-annual contract (State/CNRS).

It also advises on nominations to the scientific boards of the Institutes and can request an opinion from the CNRS Ethics Committee.

Find out more about the CS (in french)

Institute Scientific Boards

The role of the Institute Scientific Boards (CSI) is to :

  • advise and assist each Institute director, in the form of opinions and recommendations, on the relevance and appropriateness of their Institute’s projects and activities;
  • advise on any divergence of opinion that may arise between the specialised sections of the National Committee for Scientific Research and the Institutes during exchanges between the Institute directors, the President of the CSI, and the presidents of the relevant sections;
  • advice on the appointment of members to researcher admission panels.

Find out more about the CSI (in French)


The 41 sections of the National Committee cover all fields of knowledge. They take part in;

  • evaluating the activity of CNRS intramural or associated research units;
  • assessing researchers’ activities;
  • recruiting researchers (admission panels);
  • analysing the current context.

Find out more about the sections (in french)

Interdisciplinary Commissions

The Interdisciplinary Commissions (CID) have authority in fields involving several sections or Institutes. There are five CIDs for the current term of office. Their missions depend on their area of activity.

Find out more about the CID (in french)