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HR Excellence in Research

Inserm follows the recommendations of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers as part of the European Commission’s Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R). The Institute has held the HR Excellence in Research label since 2016.

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What is the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers?

The Charter and the Code

The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers form a set of basic principles and conditions that specify the roles, responsibilities and prerogatives of researchers and employers. The European Commission’s Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) aims to put these general principles into practice.

The label

Since 2016, Inserm has been entitled to the HR Excellence in Research label. The European Commission grants this distinction to institutions that are making progress in bringing their human resources policies into line with the principles of the Charter and the Code.

To keep this label, the Institute intends to guarantee researchers a stimulating working environment that will foster their careers. The HRS4R approach also aims to increase Inserm attractiveness and contribute to the development of the European Research Area.

HRS4R milestones and strategic documents


Inserm joins the 2nd cohort of the European Commission’s Human Resources Strategy Group to obtain the HR Excellence in Research label.


Inserm receives the HR Excellence in Research label, becoming the 2nd public scientific and technological institution to hold it in France.


Inserm conducts its first internal review in preparation for the interim evaluation. Even if some correctives actions were required, the European Commission declared that the HRS4R was embedded in the Institute. 


Next step: a new internal assessment.

At Inserm, the introduction of the HRS4R also meets certain objectives of the Institute’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan and the 2021-2025 Contract of Objectives, Means and Performance (in French).

Continuous improvement of HR practices in action

Recruitment open to all, transparent and merit-based

Information and career management tools

  • The Eva3 platform is used to manage all processes related to the evaluation, career and life of researchers: competitions, career progression, bonuses, emeritus status, etc. Go to Eva3 (in French)
  • Inserm pro provides staff with information on their career, remuneration, rights and duties, etc.

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Competitions for researchers

Inserm recruits research officers (CR) and research directors (DR) via competitive examinations based on qualifications and work experience. The Institute allocates positions by scientific discipline groups, corresponding to Inserm’s Specialized Scientific Committees (in French).

Competitions for research directors

These competitions enable researchers with more than 8 years’ postdoctoral experience to become research directors.

Competitions for research officers

Inserm recruits normal class research officers (CRCN), the first grade in the status of civil servant researcher.

Supporting foreign researchers

Inserm has set up a special system to welcome foreign researchers in the best possible conditions. In particular, a social and family economics advisor helps these staff with administrative, banking, insurance, childcare, housing and health matters...

Please note. In the 2021 and 2022 recruitment campaigns, between 33% and 35% of applicants were from abroad. They account for 25% to 28% of researchers recruited.

Mobility schemes for career development

Researchers can benefit from career mobility to boost their research activity. Mobility can also enable them to better reconcile their personal and professional lives, or move towards a career in research support.

Thus, individual mobility can vary from a simple change of assignment to other administrative positions such as secondment or personel leasing (in France or abroad). This may be within the academic or non-academic sector.

Test accommodations for people with disabilities

Researchers with disabilities can request special arrangements for competitive examinations. These adjustments concern the material conditions under which the written or oral tests are organized and conducted. The content of these tests remains identical to that of other candidates.

Please note. The employment of researchers with disabilities has increased at Inserm. In particular, the number of beneficiaries of the employment obligation has almost tripled, from 15 to 44 people between 2014 and 2022.

Charter for fixed-term contract (CDD) at Inserm

Inserm has drawn up a Charter for the recruitment and monitoring of fixed-term contract (in French). The publication of this document is in line with the objectives of the 2021-2025 Contract of Objectives, Means and Performance signed with the French government.

All researcher offers to join Inserm on fixed-term contract (CDD) are only available on EURAXESS.

Professional equality at Inserm

Implementing a policy of professional equality is an essential component of Inserm’s strategy. Thanks to a dedicated mission, the Institute is committed to promoting career paths that fully match the skills of its staff. In particular, Inserm has a Plan for Professional Equality between Women and Men 2021-2023 built around four axes:

  • launch a collective and operational institutional action,
  • create the conditions for equal access to responsibilities and career development,
  • improve the articulation between different life stages and better support parenthood,
  • fight against discrimination, sexism, and sexual violence (including LGBTQ+).

Ethical and responsible research

Inserm encourages its staff to optimize their research practices while respecting ethics and scientific integrity. In particular, since 2022, the Lorier program has aimed to build and maintain a culture of ethical and responsible research at the highest international level. This program relies on four action plans:

  • build the program agenda with all staff through workshops, working groups and networks of ambassadors in the field;
  • create a portal dedicated to the joint work carried out, providing contacts and resources;
  • train and certify staff in ethical and responsible research practices, while developing the training catalog;
  • develop research on research.

Research evaluation

In October 2022, Inserm has signed the CoARA (Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment) Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment. The Institute had already initiated this reform process with the signature of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment in 2018 and the implementation of the requirements of the aforementioned Declaration since 2016.

With this agreement, Inserm maintains its decision to pursue this reform and to implement the 10 commitments within the agreed timeframe. Besides, CoARA-Europe forecasts the implementation of national chapters and working groups on specific thematic areas about evaluation challenges. Inserm leads the French National Chapter with Aix-Marseille University.

The 10 commitments :

  1. Recognise the diversity of contributions to, and careers in, research in accordance with the needs and nature of the research
  2. Base research assessment primarily on qualitative evaluation for which peer review is central, supported by responsible use of quantitative indicators
  3. Abandon inappropriate uses in research assessment of journal- and publication-based metrics, in particular inappropriate uses of Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and h-index
  4. 4. Avoid the use of rankings of research organisations in research assessment
  5. 5. Commit resources to reforming research assessment as is needed to achieve the organisational changes committed to
  6. 6. Review and develop research assessment criteria, tools and processes
  7. 7. Raise awareness of research assessment reform and provide transparent communication, guidance, and training on assessment criteria and processes as well as their use
  8. 8. Exchange practices and experiences to enable mutual learning within and beyond the Coalition
  9. 9. Communicate progress made on adherence to the Principles and implementation of the Commitments
  10. 10. Evaluate practices, criteria and tools based on solid evidence and the state-of-the-art in research on research, and make data openly available for evidence gathering and research.

Protection for everyone

Specialized bodies provide support to Inserm staff in the event of conflict (of interest, on scientific matters, between individuals, etc.) or to deal with situations of workplace suffering or harassment:

  • the Mediator in conflicts between individuals or with the administration,
  • the Professional Ethics Board for professional duties,
  • the Office for Research Integrity dedicated to scientific conflicts,
  • the Reporting System for discrimination, harassment and gender-based and sexual violence,
  • the Psychosocial Risk Monitoring Unit.

An attractive environment

  • Personalized remote working. Employees and their managers decide, for the year to come, which days of the week they wish to work remotely. For greater flexibility, they can also choose floating days. This combination makes it possible to reconcile the needs of staff and teams to adapt to events that escape the weekly rhythm.
  • Leave. Working at Inserm also means benefiting from up to 32 working days of leave and up to 13 additional rest days from reduction of working hours per year for full-time employees.
  • Social benefits. Inserm offers its staff social benefits (in French), particularly for children, housing and vacations.

Your opinion matters

If you have suggestions to improve your working conditions or develop your career, please let us know. We will consider them.

    Svp prouvez que vous êtes un humain en sélectionnant L'Arbre.