The Fabulous World of Research in France┋#3: The IFRE

IFRE, Instituts Français de Recherche à l’Étranger (“French Institutes of Research Abroad”) are French research centres implemented outside of France, but placed under the supervision of the French Ministry of European and the Foreign Affairs and the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). They have been conceived as instruments of scientific diplomacy.

Centered on humanities, social sciences and archaeology, these research institutes run research programs, some interdisciplinary, often in collaboration with local partners.  Some of them, such as the Maison française d’Oxford, are the only foreign institution hosted within a university as prestigious as Oxford University.

Most IFRE invite expat researchers for residencies and are very much devoted to online publishing (Open Edition).

And what does UMIFRE mean?

25 of the 27 IFRE are run by the French Foreign Ministry together with CNRS. These 25 have the status of CNRS research units: in French, Unité Mixte (UM) and are therefore referred to as “UMIFRE”: “Unité Mixte des Instituts Français de Recherche à l’Étranger”.

A network with many branches

The network includes 27 institutes (25 of them run together with CNRS and two of them integrated into the local Institut Français) and 7 antennas in 34 countries, among them:

Around 150 researchers and 350 PhD students have been hosted within the IFRE network. The residencies are granted through open calls for applications. IFRE also regularly publish vacancy announcements for fully employed researchers.

Find here all ongoing calls for applications within the UMIFRE network!


Further reading:

“Le CNRS et le réseau des UMIFRE”, CNRS website

“De la tradition à l’innovation : le réseau des Instituts français de recherche à l’étranger”, IFRE website

“Le réseau des IFRE : un dispositif scientifique au service d’une coopération de haut niveau”, France Diplomatie website



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