About the CNRS


The French National Centre for Scientific Research is a government-funded research organization, under the administrative authority of France's Ministry of Higher Education and Research.

CNRS in rankings

With 20 Nobel laureates and 12 Fields Medal laureates, the CNRS has a long tradition of excellence. It delivers high-quality research and is consistently ranked as a top research institution worldwide.

Nature Index
With a total of 4971 articles, CNRS topped the Nature Index in 2014, and is maintaining its rank in 2015 (monthly updates).

Global Scimago Institutions Ranking
CNRS topped the Scimago Institutions Ranking in 2014 in number of articles. It also ranks 1st for innovation, in a ranking based on patents.

Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Innovators
CNRS also appears in the Top 100 Global Innovators ranking by Thomson Reuters in 2014, one of the 6 scientific research institutions to do so.
It recently took 5th place in the Reuters TOP 25 Global Innovators ranking for publicly-funded research.


Founded in 1939 by governmental decree, CNRS has the following missions:

  • To evaluate and carry out all research capable of advancing knowledge and bringing social, cultural, and economic benefits for society.
  • To contribute to the application and promotion of research results.
  • To develop scientific information.
  • To support research training.
  • To participate in the analysis of the national and international scientific climate and its potential for evolution in order to develop a national policy.


As the largest fundamental research organization in Europe, CNRS carried out research in all fields of knowledge, through its ten institutes:


CNRS encourages collaboration between specialists from different disciplines in particular with the university thus opening up new fields of enquiry to meet social and economic needs. CNRS has developed interdisciplinary programs which bring together various CNRS departments as well as other research institutions and industry.

Interdisciplinary research is undertaken in the following domains:

  • Life and its social implications
  • Information, communication and knowledge
  • Environment, energy and sustainable development
  • Nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials
  • Astroparticles: from particles to the Universe

CNRS in Singapore and Southeast Asia

There are 4 CNRS UMIs (international joint labs) in Singapore, including IPAL, making the city-state the 2nd international country of CNRS, on par with Japan. The CNRS regional representative office for Souhteast Asia, CNRS@ASEAN, is also located in Singapore, a few blocks away from UMI IPAL, in the NTU@one-north building.


Discover CNRS through its institutional film and its coporate brochure.