Steering international policy

The international policy of the CNRS favours a “bottom-up” approach, which is necessary in research dynamics. Cooperation originates in the field, and stems from the interest of researchers and their teams in the laboratories. The institution provides added value by assisting researchers and being receptive to their needs, in an effort to help them develop their projects through mechanisms aimed at structuring and strenghtening collaborations.

Science at the heart of international action

Steering cooperation on multiple levels

The CNRS Research Office steers the organisation’s foreign activity through the ten CNRS institutes. The latter identify the scientific projects with the greatest potential for establishing dynamic partnerships with various European and global research players. Scientific advisers at each of the ten Institutes monitor this cooperation, with a network of dedicated representatives occasionally taking over in the field.


Worldwide collaboration enables scientific teams to raise the bar. Research that is not global simply does not exist.
Antoine Petit, CNRS President

DERCI: gateway for institutional partnerships

The European Research and International Cooperation Department (DERCI) implements the CNRS’s international and European policy. Whether for French or foreign institutional partners, it is the gateway for operations conducted both within the European Research Area and throughout the world. The DERCI’s three primary missions are to establish win-win partnerships in accordance with scientific and geographical priorities, increase the visibility and attractiveness of the CNRS, and promote dialogue with academic partners.

An active presence in the field

A network of offices abroad

The CNRS manages a network of offices located at key global scientific hubs: Brussels, Washington, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, Beijing, Singapore, New Delhi, and Pretoria—so many strategic locations for promoting scientific excellence. This network provides support to expatriate researchers or those on assignment, and also oversees scientific cooperation agreements. The offices play a role in monitoring and facilitating relations with foreign partners, alongside the scientific and cultural services of embassies.  

A branch office at the European Union

The CNRS branch office in Brussels strengthens the organisation’s position as a key player in European scientific policy. The CNRS helps researchers participate in European programmes, making its voice heard with EU institutions. It is also involved in the influential governing bodies of French research (Science Europe, the Club of associated research organisations (CLORA), etc.).

The CNRS firmly established in Singapore

Visite de l'Umi Cintra à Singapour
The Cintra international joint unit in Singapore brings together the CNRS Institute for Engineering and Systems Sciences, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and the company Thales, a global player in the electronics and aeronautics industries. © CNRS Singapore

With four UMIs and a regional office on location, the CNRS presence has grown in Singapore, a country that is experiencing tremendous scientific growth. From massive investments and cutting-edge infrastructure to international research centers and scientists of excellence, the city-state is an emblematic site for the scientific and technological vitality of Asia. It hosts active research in practically all fields, including engineering, information sciences, chemistry-materials-nanotechnology and the living world, as well as finance and society. This impressive dynamism in a restricted space favours partnerships and interdisciplinarity. In this stimulating environment, the CNRS supports basic research at the highest level.