The INSHS has defined the internationalization of its scientific communities' research as one of its priorities and this is implemented through a variety of initiatives. In particular, the Institute encourages its staff to interact with the scientific communities of countries with a long research tradition as well as with those from emerging scientific countries. The Institute has strong ambitions in European and internationally and relies on a unique network of research units in other countries for this.

See all our calls for participation:  Appels à candidature > Typologie > International.

Specific cooperation tools are a priority

European projects are an ideal vector to enhance the competitiveness and recognition of French humanities and social sciences research. The INSHS supports the development of tools for international collaborative projects and works on strengthening its presence on European programme committees thus clearly affirming its aim to increase its teams' participation in European research projects.

    European and international cooperation instruments

    The CNRS has developed specific cooperation instrumentsto promote and structure international exchanges between researchers and laboratories by increasing the institutional visibility of strategic international cooperation projects. These instruments are joint research programmes (PRCs), international emerging actions(IEAs), international research project(IRPs) and international research networks(IRNs).

    Thanks to these four complementary tools, the INSHS has progressively built up a structured international network of researchers.

    • 38 IRNs
    • 14 IRPs
    • 23 IEAs
    • 6 PRCs 

    At the heart of European research programmes

    The INSHS's Network of European and International Correspondents and internal communication campaigns keep researchers constantly informed about Horizon 2020 European funding programmes' starting dates and schedules. This programme has a €70 billion budget and is structured around three founding pillars – the aim is to achieve "Excellent Science" (Pillar 1) and "Industrial Leadership" (Pillar 2) while responding to the "Societal Challenges" of Europe today (Pillar 3).

    Applications for competitive funding from the ERC (European Research Council) have been steadily increasing since the programme's launch in 2007. Sixty CNRS laureates have received funding in the framework of this scheme.

    Horizon 2020

    Help with setting up projects

    Help with setting up projects

    Structures exist to enable researchers to find the relevant programme according to the nature of their research and their network and help them set projects up.


    These structuresprovide support at three levels and researchers need to contact them to qualify for such support at each stage of a project:

    • at the institutional level: The Institute's international pole works on helping researchers determine an appropriate strategy for their participation in the CNRS's structuring initiatives and in European Union programmes;
    • at the regional level: The regional delegations' Partnership and Technology Transfer Services (SPVs) are the prime contact resources for laboratories and provide researchers with administrative and technical support. After consultation with the international pole of the INSHS, SPVs can also assign a European Project Engineer (IPE) to help with the administrative requirements involved in the creation of a European project;
    • at the national level: A network of National Contact Points (NCPs) is dedicated to each Horizon 2020 European programme. These National Contact Points inform researchers of all news concerning European projects. The role of the NCP is first of all to alert researchers to the publication of new calls for proposals, to answer requests for information by email or phone and to organize information meetings. It is a national structure the main aim of which is to provide information but it cannot accompany the development of project as this is the role of the Partnership and Technology Transfer Services and European Project Engineers.

    A unique network of research units in other countries

    The Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences jointly steers a network of research units in other countries which enables special partnerships to be set up in different regions of the world and plays a pivotal role in the internationalization of French HSS.

    French research centres in other countries, Schools and Institutes

    The Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences works with research centres and major French institutions in other countries to promote our units' European and international ambitions. This network is one of the most important tools for structuring research in Europe and internationally.

    The INSHS co-manages three service and research units (USRs) - the Jean-Bérard Centre (Naples), the Centre d'études alexandrines (Alexandria) and the French-Egyptian Centre for the Study of the Temples of Karnak. These centres are shared with two French Schools abroad (the École Française de Rome and the French Institute for Eastern Archaeology in Cairo) and with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

    The INSHS has partnerships with major local universities in three international laboratories - in Tucson, Washington and Dakar/Bamako/Ouagadougou (multi-site unit).

    Finally, the INSHS is unique in that it co-directs a unique network within the CNRS, French International Research Laboratories (UMIFRE) in partnership with the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

    All these units offer researchers, academics (hosted with delegated positions) and doctoral students a wide range of opportunities for mobility in their careers.

    The INSHS has also signed scientific agreements with five French schools abroad – the French School at Athens, the École Française de Rome, the French School of Asian Studies, Casa de Velázquez and the French Institute for Eastern Archaeology.

    These five establishments are under the authority of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and have represented the excellence of French research abroad for several centuries now. They are important organizations for disseminating and promoting research carried out at the INSHS.

    22 USR
    3 UMI
    25 UMIFRE
    Unités à l'étranger copilotées par l'InSHS
    Unités à l'étranger copilotées par l'InSHS © Secteur de l'imprimé - IFSeM - DR 1 - Mai 2018

    Mobility abroad

    The procedure governing the mobility of researchers abroad depends on the status of the host institution. The INSHS insists that researchers' who choose to work in other countries can only do so in the framework of research programmes supported by the Institute. They require the prior agreement of the Institute in accordance with current CNRS rules. The maximum continuous period for working in other countries is three years. Academics can qualify for specific mobility offers through delegated positions to host institutions. CNRS staff working in other countries are under the administrative authority of the CNRS Michel-Ange centre.

    Posting abroad

    CNRS researchers are directly posted by the Institute to UMIs-UMIFREs-USRs but their salaries are still paid by the CNRS in accordance with the 1967 law on French civil servants working in other countries.


    In the case of secondment, researchers are fully administratively and financially supported by the host organization. This is the case for positions in major French institutions abroad paid for by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs or by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. Acceptance for such posts is based on procedures outside the CNRS. However, secondment has to be approved by the Institute which also requests the opinion of unit directors.


    Delegated positions

    Since 2007 the Institute has supported the policy of delegating academics to the French centres it jointly directs in other countries. This procedure respects the timetable and normal procedures for delegated postswhich regulate the links between the CNRS and higher education and research institutions. The conditions for delegated posts abroad are governed by the 1967 law.