The French National Research Agency Projects for science

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Projects and ResultsWork Programme 2015Building the ERA and France's international attractivenessHosting High-Level Researchers

The "Hosting High-Level Researchers" instrument

In a global context of researcher mobility, ANR wishes to help reinforce the scientific positioning of France while at the same time offering a first-class welcome to foreign researchers. Consequently the agency is proposing a funding instrument dedicated to individuals baptised "Hosting High-Level Researchers" to enable scientists of any nationality to come to France and conduct a research project in a reputed organisation in France. The ANR funding is designed to help French laboratories fulfil their role as host and the researcher to carry out his or her project.

This instrument forms the subject of a specific call for proposals which is open to all scientific domains and targets two researcher profiles: leading world-class scientists whose career is widely recognised across the globe, and young researchers with high potential who can prove a record of excellence on the international scene.

The reply to this call is a collaborative effort between the researcher and the hosting institution.

For the researchers: conducting research in France under excellent conditions

The chosen candidates will be hosted in a very high quality environment and attributed substantial resources to ensure the success of their scientific work, with a view to encouraging long-term residence in France.

The ANR funding will enable the successful candidate to set up a research team and carry out an ambitious 3 to 4 year project with high impact on a scientific subject that has received little, if any, attention in France. The ANR funding can cover all or part of the researcher's salary as well as the operating and equipment expenses.

The conditions of candidacy are simple:

  • Reside abroad (or have arrived in France recently)
  • For young researchers (junior profile): on the call closing date, the candidates must have spent at least 24 months outside the French territory during their post-doctoral career. The candidates must have defended their thesis no less than two years and no more than seven years ago to have the status of "young researcher".
  • For the other researchers (senior profile): the candidates must have spent the majority of their career abroad and have defended their thesis at least seven years before the call closing date.

There is no age limit for candidates.

Once the ANR funding has been set up, the candidates must be able to move to France rapidly. The candidates are expected to give a long-term commitment.

They will be encouraged to present themselves for the competitive recruitments opened in the French research organisations. If a candidate is hired on a permanent contract ("CDI" in French), the ANR funding may be maintained and used to increase the impact and deployment of the research carried out in the project. Moreover, funding portability is provided for under certain conditions if a CDI is obtained, which means that the researcher can change laboratory during the project.

For the research institutions: attracting high-level foreign researchers

This initiative, which is intended only for organisations situated on French territory, aims at increasing ties between foreign laboratories and French research institutions so as to give the latter enhanced visibility and appeal while enabling them to integrate new international networks.

The initiative is designed to bring benefit to the entire French higher education and research system. The substantial and lasting investment of the successful researchers should create impacts and competitiveness.

A strong commitment is required on the part of the hosting organisations: right from the project proposal stage and in collaboration with the candidate researcher they must detail the means that will be provided, including the resources not covered by ANR funding. ANR will establish the grant agreement with the hosting organisation, not with the researcher.

This initiative supplements and reinforces the other funding instruments of the same type existing at national and European level.

In practice:

The "Hosting High-Level Researchers" instrument forms the subject of a specific call for proposals each year.