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Roles in Research

A laboratory is a place where various research roles are carried out: researchers, teaching assistants, doctoral and postdoctoral researchers. You could also work as an engineer in a research team, or sit a research internship within a given team. The research centre recruits through competitions, or on contract, secondment, or delegation. You may also come as a visitor if you belong to another research centre in France or abroad.

Roles in Research

Researcher and teaching-assistants.

Responsibilities and Skills

Research activities focus on:

  • scientific publications: articles in leading journals, books, papers;
  • promoting results: patents, attending conventions;
  • disseminating scientific information: scientific articles for the general public, public communications (conferences, programmes);
  • training through research: supervising students (online students, interns, etc.)

As part of their responsibilities in the IT field, researchers or teaching assistants must be able to:

  • identify subjects for research;
  • develop protocols in collaboration with their team’s engineers and technicians
  • carry out experiments, and analyse and interpret the results.
  • write and publish papers;
  • be active in seminars and conventions...

Alongside these activities focused on scientific production, researchers and teaching assistants also help to train doctoral students and may teach at universities. Throughout their career, they will often be called upon to manage teams, lead scientific projects, and help in research administration. They may also apply for licences and patents, offer their skills to an existing company, or even create their very own.

Permanent positions

Permanent researchers and teaching assistants are civil servants, employed by the Ministry of Research and Higher Education. Accordingly, they are recruited through an annual national competition, normally held between January and June (applications open January to March). Visit the competition pages for the following establishments:

Université de Rennes1 :
Inria :

Application requirements

- for researchers
Applicants of any nationality, having earned a doctorate, PhD, or any other equivalent foreign qualification* may apply to be:

  • researchers (CR), at one of two grades:
    • 2nd class researcher (CR2)
    • 1st class researcher (CR1) – 4 years' experience in state or private laboratory
  • research managers (DR) (two separate competitions, without age limit as of 2 August 2005):
    • 2nd class research manager (DR2) – 8 years experience in state or private laboratory
    • 1st class research manager (DR1) – 12 years experience in state or private laboratory

*Equivalence is established through the equivalence authority who examines and assesses the case.

- for teachers:
Applicants must hold a doctorate and have obtained the lecturer qualification in order to be eligible for:

  • lecturers, at one of two grades:
    • regular lecturer
    • senior lecturer
  • university professors, at one of three grades:
    • 2nd class university professors
    • 1st class university professors
    • senior university professors.

Doctoral candidate

To work towards a thesis at the IRISA, you must contact a research team and find a potential supervisor who will suggest a subject for your thesis as well as a source of funding. The main sources of funding are:

  • Doctoral grants from the Ministry of Research
  • Doctoral grants from other bodies (CNRS, INRIA, Digiteo, Region, etc.) ;
  • Team research contracts;
  • Home country grants for foreign students

A complete list is available from the Ecole Doctoral Matisse website.

Browse our Thesis Opportunities.

Postdoctoral and ATER Researcher

IRISA welcomes postdoctoral research not exceeding two years in duration. These research visits are available to researchers who earned their PhD within the past year, or those who are about to complete their doctorate. A number of public and private institutions provide funding solutions for postdoctoral study.

The laboratory also welcomes ATERs (Temporary Teaching and Research Attachés), most of whom are students approaching the end of their thesis or whose contract has expired. Posts are occasionally filled by external applicants.

R&D Engineer

R&D Engineers provide support to researchers by developing the software and tools to facilitate their research, providing experimental platforms.

Engineers are mainly employed on fixed-term contracts of up to three years, often for the same period as the industrial contract on which they will work.

Browse our Careers.

Support roles

The IRISA also has need of administrative and technical roles to support its research by coordinating human resources, financing, international relations, and communication.


Every year, the laboratory welcomes a number of visitors, who come for a few days or even a few months. Visitors must belong to another research body in France or abroad. Before their visit they must contact the host team. Funding is available, such as for visiting professors (one, or occasionally, two months). All visitors must receive an official invitation from the laboratory, signed by the Director.


Research or Engineering Master’s students may be sought out by research teams to work in specific areas. The subjects on offer are posted on higher education establishment websites.

Consult our Careers