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Working on contract at Inria

© Inria / Photo C. Morel

Inria employs people with a wide range of skills for fixed-term assignments. Take up the opportunity to use your expertise and develop your skills and experience at Inria.

Fixed-term contract employees represent a large share of Inria's staff and make a major contribution to its activity and energy.

Recruitment criteria

The job market is tight at the moment and facing strong competition, especially from abroad, for scientists and engineers. There is also competition among establishments for skills (such as in management, finance, purchasing, contract management, etc.) that have recently been stepped up in public establishments. For positions recruited on a fixed-term contract, a job description is posted, setting out the position's scope and expectations. Inria assesses applications on the basis of the match between the job remit and the applicant's training and experience. Educational level is taken into consideration but is not necessarily a decisive criterion because the Institute is keen to recognise prior experience.

The selection procedures are specified in the job offer or, in the case of recruitment campaigns, on the campaign presentation page. Applicants are requested to create an online account, where they will be informed of each step of the processing of their application.

Status of fixed-term contract employees in the civil service - Legal framework

Two main regulatory frameworks apply:

  • Act No. 84-16, dated 11 January 1984, setting out the legislative provisions related to the Civil Service;
  • Amended Decree No. 86-83, dated 17 January 1986, setting out the general provisions applicable to State contract staff, in application of Article 7 of Act No. 84-16, dated 11 January 1984, setting out the legislative provisions related to the Civil Service.

A specific regulatory framework applies to PhD contracts (CORDI):

  • Amended Decree No. 2009-464, dated 23 April 2009, on PhD researchers on contracts in public higher-education or research institutions.

Research sector

Doctoral and post-doctoral research positions are, by nature, temporary jobs involving research and further research into an initial research topic.

Engineering sector

Fixed-term contract employees in the engineering sector come under Article 4.2 of Act No. 84-16: “To meet an on-going requirement, contract staff may be recruited when the nature of the functions or the service requirements warrant it, but only for Category A positions.”
This is a special-exemption recruitment of non-tenured personnel on a fixed-term contract with a maximum duration of three years, renewable up to a total duration of six years.

Support staff sector

Staff are recruited on fixed-term contracts to fill positions usually held by tenured employees or to provide back-up for departments with a temporary work overload or skills shortage.


Contract workers' remuneration is set when their contract is signed and applies throughout the intended period of employment. No raises can be considered during the contract term. A pay rise may be possible when the contract is renewed or when an addendum is signed. In 2012, Inria developed an employment framework for contract staff, setting out Inria's policy on fixed-term employment contracts and the associated pay scales.

Engineering & support functions sector

Pay levels are calculated according to educational level and experience.

Research sector

Experience is factored in when determining researcher pay levels. For doctoral and post-doctoral students, pay levels are established for the Institute.

Preparing your ‘post-Inria’ career

Inria pays close attention and takes a responsible attitude to contract employees' working life and future, and aims for a win-win commitment between Inria and its contract employees. A fixed-term contract at Inria can be a valuable asset in a career. We run surveys to track doctoral and post-doctoral researchers' entry into the workforce after their time at Inria. Many engineers leave us before the end of their contract to take up another job.

On arrival

Contract employees in support functions complete an induction and job-adaptation course. In research teams, young researchers receive support from the Young Researchers ‘Training Through Research’ Programme. Scientific engineers receive support and guidance from experienced civil servant engineers in the Experimentation and Development departments in charge of coordinating R&D.

During their contract

Fixed-term contract employees have interviews with their line manager or mentor to discuss their activities or track progress on their work.
They also have access to Inria's range of training courses, such as

  • an introduction to business and entrepreneurship for PhD researchers,
  • preparation for outside competitive exams for engineers and technical staff,
  • advanced technical courses (Python, GIT, SCRUM) for engineers,
  • French as a foreign language, etc.

The training plan also includes job-search training for fixed-term employees in the sciences or career planning workshops for staff in support functions.

On departure

Many employees say they would recommend Inria as an employer to their family and friends.
This is also one of our objectives: to see our former employees act as ambassadors for Inria and stay in touch with the Institute by joining Inria Alumni.

Keywords: Jobs Engineers Fixed-term contracts Contract employees