Cooperate with the CNRS in the United States and Mexico

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Funding programs and mobility grants

Interested in transatlantic collaboration ? Whether you are a CNRS researcher or a US or Mexican researcher, find out more about or international collaboration tools. 

CNRS cooperation tools

The CNRS relies on flexibility to adapt to the evolution of global science. Bilateral agreements, concluded with partner countries and their main research and financing institutions, offer many possibilities for researchers to engage in long-term scientific cooperation.

 

Find out more about the CNRS collaboration tools and funding mechanisms :

PhD joint programmes

 

What is a PhD Joint programme?

A PhD Joint Programme is a collaborative doctoral research agreement that enables doctoral students from a partner university and doctoral students from CNRS-affiliated institutions in France to advance their research project under the joint supervision of a faculty member from the partner university and a faculty member from the CNRS-affiliated institution in France.

The program is generally open to projects in a variety of disciplines and is jointly funded by CNRS and the partner university. Funding covers mobility costs for travel, as well as a three-year PhD scholarship for the graduate student registered at a CNRS-affiliated institution.

Projects are selected for three-year funding.

 Who are they for?

Doctoral students from a partner university and doctoral students from CNRS-affiliated institutions in France

How to get a grant ?

Apply to the calls for proposals launched by the CNRS and its partners.

International Emerging Actions

 

What is an International Emerging Action ?

An International Emerging Action (IEA) is a “PI-to-PI” project whose aim is to explore new fields of research and new international partnerships through short-term missions, the organization of working meetings, and the initiation of initial joint research based on a shared scientific project. These actions run for 2 years.

Who are they for?

International Emerging Actions are aimed at staff working in a CNRS research unit and their partners.

How to take part in an IEA?

Project leaders are invited to apply to the annual call for proposals launched by the CNRS Europe and International Division in all disciplines.

In 2023, there are 37 IEA in the U.S. and Mexico – 35 in the United States and 2 in Mexico.

International Research Project

What is an International Research Project (IRP)?

An International Research Project (IRP) is a collaborative research scheme between one or more CNRS laboratories in France and one or two laboratories from foreign countries (the United States or Mexico). It strengthens previously established collaboration through short and medium-term scientific exchange.

It is aimed at organizing working meetings or seminars, developing joint research activity including field research, and supervising students. The French and foreign teams concerned must have already shown their capacity to collaborate (for example through one or more joint publications).

These programmes have a duration of five years.

Who are they for?

An IRP is open to staff working in a CNRS research unit and their scientific partners in France and abroad.

How to submit a project ?

To propose a project, applications must be submitted to the CNRS scientific institute to which the applicant’s unit is attached.

In 2023, there are 37 IRP in the U.S. and Mexico – 32 in the United States and 5 in Mexico.

International Research Network

What is an International Research Network (IRN) ?

An International Research Network (IRN) structures an international scientific community around a shared theme or research infrastructure.

It promotes the organization of international workshops and seminars, or thematic schools, organized by network partners in France and abroad. It brings together researchers from one or more French laboratories, including at least one CNRS laboratory, and several partner laboratories abroad.

Who are they for?

An IRN is open to staff working in a CNRS research unit and their scientific partners in France and abroad.

How to submit a project ?

To propose a project, applications must be submitted to the CNRS scientific institute to which the applicant’s unit is attached.

These programmes have a duration of five years.

Our International Research Networks in the U.S. and Mexico

In 2023, there are 28 IRN in the U.S. and Mexico – 25 in the United States and 3 in Mexico.

International Research Laboratory

What is an International Research Laboratory (IRL) ?

An International Research Laboratory is an international research facility where research activities are carried out jointly around shared scientific axes. It structures the significant and lasting presence of scientists from a limited number of French and foreign research institutions (one foreign partner country only) in an identified location. 

It includes facilities that bring together scientists from various research units including international laboratories — International Joint Units (UMI) and Service and Research Units (USR) abroad — which are set up whenever the support of a dedicated Operational Research Structure (SOR) is required. This type of collaboration is the most advanced form of bilateral research project.

An IRL is proposed by the CNRS scientific institutes according to their own procedures, on the basis of structured international collaborations, involving a high degree of internationalization of the participating teams and a strong localization of research activities in a common location.

These programs run for five years.

Our International Research Laboratories in the U.S. and Mexico

In 2023, there are 8 IRL in the U.S. and Mexico  – 6 in the United States and 1 in Mexico.

The last laboratory is an UMIFRE (Unité Mixte de Recherche à l’Etranger), the Center for Mexican and Central American Studies (Centro de Estudios Mexicanos y Centroamericanos – CEMCA), located in Mexico and co-directed with the French Ministry for International Affairs.

International Research Center

What is an International Research Center (IRC) ?

An International Research Center (IRC) is an ambitious, institutional-level initiative that goes beyond a very small number of laboratories or research teams, as is the case for other structured initiatives (IRL, IRP, IRN).

The IRC is designed to strengthen and perpetuate strategic partnerships with institutions of excellence that have a high level of cooperation with the CNRS, involving different institutes and a variety of themes.
This intangible structure strengthens cooperation between CNRS and its partner by establishing new collaborations to meet jointly decided research objectives. It is monitored by regular high-level strategic dialogue between the 2 partner institutions, and steered by bilateral institutional bodies to promote synergies.

Since this is an institutional partnership, the CNRS only intends to have a dozen or so worldwide.

Our International Research Centers in the United States

The CNRS-UArizona IRC for Global Grand Challenges focuses on major societal challenges and on a global theme of the environment in the broadest sense (planetary and extra-planetary environments, but also the data environment), with the UofA occupying an excellent position in US and world rankings for environmental sciences, water sciences, space research and information sciences, as well as possessing first-rate infrastructures (LSST, Mirror Lab, Biosphere 2).

The CNRS-UChicago IRC for Fundamental Scientific Discovery strategically fosters the emergence of new collaborative initiatives to address the biggest questions of our time. It fosters transdisciplinarity by encouraging the participation of researchers in the fields of economics, public policy, social sciences, humanities, biology, physics, chemistry, engineering, earth and space sciences and beyond. In June, three initial workshops were held at the University of Chicago, in the fields of humanities and social sciences, biological sciences and quantum sciences, to structure the IRC’s strategic lines of work for the coming years.

Latests CNRS collaborations

Other funding programs

The Embassies of France in the United States and Mexico have a number of funding programs at their disposal to promote researcher mobility and bilateral collaboration

Embassy of France in the U.S. programs

 

The Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States offers several programs for students and researchers to support transatlantic mobility in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) field.

The Office provides funds that generally enable Franco-American research projects to initiate collaboration, a leverage effect that can later help them apply for grants from major national agencies (ANR, NSF).

Finally, its new program, La Synapse, dedicated to accelerating French deeptech on the transatlantic axis, links research and entrepreneurship, science and technology, France and the United States, to reveal France’s technological potential and position it as the partner of choice for innovators in North America. This initiative brings together the following programs : NETVA, Start in France, French-American Innovation Days, and Learning Expeditions. Find out more about some of these initiatives below.

 

Office for Science and Technology flagship programs :

Funding of a stay in a partner laboratory in France, via the Châteaubriand fellowship program, for doctoral students in the United States.

The CNRS is a partner in this program.

Transatlantic mobility for students and young researchers, through the Transatlantic Research Program (managed by the Office for Cooperation and Cultural Action).

It provides funding for doctoral, post-doctoral and young researcher mobility, at all levels, in both directions, as part of joint scientific projects undertaken by young researchers from France and the United States.

The New Technology Venture Accelerator is a support program in the United States for innovative French start-ups

Funding of a one-week stay in France for American doctoral students to meet other French doctoral students and visit research facilities, as part of the French American Doctoral Exchanges (FADEx) program.

The French American Innovation Day brings together French and American experts as scientists, entrepreneurs, representatives of civil society, start-ups and companies to discuss a key innovation theme.

Since the early 1990s, the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) has created five endowment funds with leading American universities:

  • University of California at Berkeley
  • University of Chicago
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Stanford University
  • University of Texas at Austin

The websites of the Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States and La Synapse list many other funding opportunities, outside the Embassy, for students and researchers.

Embassy of France in Mexico programs

 

The Scientific Cooperation Department of the French Embassy in Mexico, together with the French Institute of Latin America (Instituto Francés de América Latina – IFAL), offers several programs for students and researchers to support Franco-Mexican mobility in a wide range of scientific disciplines (archaeology, astronomy, agronomy, mathematics, health, anthropology, nanotechnologies, etc.).

The Embassy provides funding that generally enables the emergence of Franco-Mexican research projects or the deepening of a collaboration, a leverage effect that can then help them apply for grants from major national agencies.

 

There are several types of program:

 ECOS Nord program (French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs & French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, with ANUIES, CONAHCYT and SEP) : this program brings support for the mobility of PhDs and researchers for joint research projects. It funds exchanges between researchers in the form of short-term missions and advanced training courses for PhD students taking part in selected projects. It is open to all fields of knowledge.

Joint scholarship program with CONAHCYT exist for doctoral mobility.

Fellowships from the Center for Mexican and Central American Studies (Centro Francés de Estudios Mexicanos y Centroamericanos – CEMCA): this Mixed Unit of French Institutes Abroad (UMIFRE), jointly run by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the CNRS, focuses its research on the anthropology of politics and the construction of forms of identity, pre-Hispanic dynamics, social and political history, and contemporary social dynamics. CEMCA regularly supports post-doctoral mobility by financing research stays.

Campus France’s call for postdoctoral fellowships (Convocatoria para programma franco-mexicano de postdoctorado) : the program supports the mobility and scientific stays of post-doctoral researchers involved in research projects. The objectives are to strengthen scientific and technological exchanges between France and Mexico, to encourage new collaborations and foster the development of joint scientific research projects, to encourage the participation of Mexican post-docs in joint research projects, to support academic and scientific mobility between the two countries, to encourage the promotion and enhancement of joint research activities by the scientific communities of both countries, to develop synergies between the scientific communities of both countries in order to create structured and sustainable high-level research networks.

Campus France’s co-tutored doctoral fellowship (Becas para Doctorados en cotutela) : in order to strengthen university and scientific cooperation at the graduate level between France and Mexico, the French Institute of Latin America (IFAL) – Embassy of France in Mexico offers a scholarship program to finance the mobility to France of students wishing to pursue a double degree at the doctoral level in co-tutelage.

Support program for the Franco-Mexican College of Human Sciences (with CEMCA): aid for the mobility of researchers in the humanities and social sciences

The website of the Scientific Cooperation Department of the Embassy of France in Mexico lists many other funding opportunities, outside the Embassy, for students and researchers. IFAL also regularly publishes calls for proposals for researchers in various scientific fields.

Prepare your mission

Do you belong to the CNRS and would like to carry out an overseas assignment as part of your duties, in the United States or Mexico? Discover all our administrative and practical resources below to ensure you have the best possible stay.

Preparing your mission to the United States or Mexico is an essential part of a successful stay. Whether you need to consult the CNRS resources on how to prepare your mission, make an appointment with the consulate of the country concerned, or check the security situation in the region you are visiting, everyone must take care to follow the steps necessary for a successful mission.

Create your mission

Create your international mission on the CNRS Intranet

Administrative requirements

Before departure, check administrative requirements in the target area

Safety

Take advantage of the resources provided by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs

Resources

Prepare your mission to the United States

To plan a trip to the United States, you first need to identify your needs.

You must have a mission order specifically issued for your trip. The “Going on a mission” tab on the CNRS Intranet site details the essential steps to be taken before, during and after your assignment.

Administrative formalities required for travel to the United States.

If you are a French citizen staying in the US for less than 90 days, you can benefit from the ESTA visa waiver program. Beyond this period, a visa will be required, whatever the reason for your stay.

We invite you to check below the situation that applies to you, via the website of the US Consulate in France.

 

Abroad, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs is committed to defending and promoting the interests of French nationals.

By clicking on “Advice to travelers”, you will be informed of the latest information on the security situation in the United States, and will benefit from preventive advice on security matters, with the aim of facilitating the preparation and smooth running of your stay abroad.

Furthermore, the Ariane website (also managed by the Ministry) enables all French nationals on a trip or short-term mission abroad of less than 6 months to register free of charge, in order to receive real-time safety instructions in the destination country by e-mail, SMS or telephone, and to make their presence known in the country in the event of a major crisis. For stays of more than six months, French nationals must register with the “Registre des Français établis hors de France”.

Prepare your mission to Mexico

To plan a trip to Mexico, you first need to identify your needs.

You must have a mission order specifically issued for your trip. The “Going on a mission” tab on the CNRS Intranet site details the essential steps to be taken before, during and after your assignment.

Administrative formalities for visiting Mexico

If you are a French citizen and are staying in Mexico for less than 180 days, without carrying out any paid activity, you do not need a visa. Beyond this period, a visa is required, whatever the reason for your stay.

We invite you to check below the situation that applies to you, via the website of the Mexican Consulate in France.

If you are planning a scientific stay in Mexico, we strongly advise you to identify yourself to the scientific attaché at the French Embassy in Mexico.

 

Abroad, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs is committed to defending and promoting the interests of French nationals.

By clicking on “Advice to travelers”, you will be informed of the latest information on the security situation in Mexico, and will benefit from preventive advice on security matters, with the aim of facilitating the preparation and smooth running of your stay abroad.

The Ariane website (also managed by the Ministry) enables all French nationals on a trip or short-term mission abroad of less than 6 months to register free of charge, in order to receive real-time safety instructions in the destination country by e-mail, SMS or telephone, and to make their presence known in the country in the event of a major crisis. For stays of more than six months, French nationals must register with the “Registre des Français établis hors de France“.