International scientists

A community based on excellence

INRAE is a scientific community of more than 12,000 people, built on scientific excellence and turned towards Europe and the world to tackle this century pressing global challenges related to climate change, biodiversity, and food security. We welcome women and men scientists from everywhere, future trainees, PhDs, postgraduates and researchers, with 10% of our researchers and 30% of our PhD students coming from abroad. Together, we are working to deliver leading-edge research focused on impact and innovation, driven by the European and international agenda. 


Whether you are interested in joining us or already planning your arrival at INRAE, the online Guide for international scientists is for you. This bilingual guide will help you with in-depth information on what we can offer you and the practical tips that you will need to live abroad, including how to get around, find housing, get health care and navigate French administrative procedures.

Researcher, postgraduate, PhD or trainee… Pick your profile to cater to your situation !

You have questions? This guide holds the answers

Are you still deciding if a career at INRAE is the right step for you?

Do you need help figuring out our organization and activities ?

Will you need a visa or a residence permit?

How will you get appropriate healthcare?

Where will you live?

How will your everyday life be like?

Are you coming with your family?

Do you want to learn French while you’re here?

>> Here are 10 reasons to join INRAE

>> All about our organization here

>> Choose & apply to  visas and residence permits

>> Understand France’s health care system

>> However long your stay with us, find somewhere to live

>> Cost of living, banking, insurance... we’ve summed it all up

>> Find all the childcare & schooling information

>> There are plenty language-learning opportunities

Contributing to research excellence in Europe and the world

Our scientific strategy is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and European priorities such as the Green deal and Horizon Europe.

In the last 10 years, we have been a top contributor worldwide, ranking 7th or less on research concerning SDG 2 for Zero hunger, SDG 12 on responsible consumption and production, SDG 13 on climate action, SDG 15 on life and land and ranking 14th for SDG 6 on clean water.

Our researchers collaborate around the world, in more than 150 countries and co-signed 18,208 international publications between 2017 and 2021.

At the European level, we have also developed a leadership in European networks and we are involved in more than 300 H2020 projects, coordinating 55 of them. INRAE was the 4th most funded organization in France for Horizon 2020, among the first beneficiaries in the societal challenge 2 Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy.

Getting involved with higher education and training

As a targeted research institute, we are aware of the key role of the transmission of knowledge in the response to today's major global challenges. As such, we are strongly committed to education and training, with our national, European and international education partners.

We have launched an action plan for 2022-2025 to go beyond the existing schemes we have set up.

The floor is yours

From Spain to Nantes

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From the discovery of physicochemical properties of plant-based polymers in Spain, to their assembly at INRAE in Nantes, Ana Villares' story takes us to the heart of her scientific research: design new biobased materials that are reliable and sustainable. “I love breaking down what we call thin layers: once you’ve explained those, you can control them!”, she says with a bashful smile.

 From Calcutta to Versailles

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“Discovering new knowledge is such a joy, like peeling back a veil that was hiding reality from my eyes”, says Abhishek Chatterjeewith a sparkle in his eye. With 15 years of international experience under his belt, the spark that fuels the passion of INRAE’s research scientist still burns bright. Recruited through open competition in 2020 INRAE competition in 2020, he joined the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences of Paris.

From Canada to Brittany

Scott McCairns is a researcher on ecological evolution of aquatic ecosystems, at INRAE Brittany-Normandy. “The position was advertised on an evolutionary biology researcher network, and immediately caught my attention.” His interest in sitting the competitive exam sprung from the application of evolutionary issues to the field of ecotoxicology. “Plus, France is a dream come true for a foodie like me!”

From England to Versailles

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Nadia Boukhelifa is a specialist in data visualisation and research scientist at the Joint Research Unit for Food Process Engineering and Microbiology. After working on data integration at the University of Leeds in England, she moved to France, where she first joined Inria and later Telecom ParisTech for postdoctoral fellowships. She joined INRAE in 2016 as research scientist, which offered her a chance to work in a new field with new expert users.

International scientists share their experience