Organization of French Research System

The French public research system is quite different from those found in most other countries. Here below, a  schematic description of its features, followed by practical information on opportunities at the Faculty of Science of Aix-Marseille University.

Mostly, public research is conducted jointly between universities and research organizations (EPST, or "établissement public à caractère scientifique et technologique"). Major national research organizations include :

With a few exceptions, most of the research laboratories at the Faculty of Science are jointly run by Aix-Marseille Université and one or two research organizations, such as the CNRS, or the INSERM. Each laboratory is called a "Unité de Recherche" (Research Unit), created and regularly evaluated at the national level. When it is jointly run with a research organization, it is called a "Unité Mixte de Recherche" (UMR). Most of our laboratories are UMRs. You can find a full list of the research units here. The personnel of these UMRs is employed either by the university or by a research organization.