3 min

The keys to success at an INRAE competitive examination

You would like to apply for a position at INRAE but are not sure what type of examination you should aim for? Find out the conditions for applying, the registration procedures as well as the steps to take for each of our competitive examinations at a glance.

Updated on 03 March 2020

illustration The keys to success at an INRAE competitive examination
© AdobeStock

I am applying for a research scientist position (“Chargé de Recherche de classe normale”, CRCN)

You want to contribute to public research, to develop research projects. You have diversified experience abroad, in different laboratories/organizations. So don't wait any longer, apply! Here are a few keys to make sure that you meet the conditions before starting the registration process.

Terms and conditions in order to register

Criteria Conditions
Age No age limit
Nationality No conditions of nationality required to apply
Qualification Doctorate or equivalent

Can I apply if I don’t have the required qualifications?

Yes, it is possible to sit the standard class researcher examination without the required qualifications. In this case, you must imperatively request "academic equivalency" for scientific work, which will be examined by the competent Specialized Scientific Commission of the institute.


  • The INRAE HR department will check that you meet the conditions required to apply and authorize you to take the examination according to the qualifications transmitted or, where applicable, academic equivalency requests.
  • You will receive an email indicating the status of your application : eligible to sit the examination or ineligible.
  • Your admission to the examination then allows the jury to examine your application file.

How do I register?

1/ You can register online by filling in the sections indicated and attaching the necessary supporting documents. 2/ Or by completing a paper application form, to be downloaded from the website.


Applications must be returned before the deadline indicated in the application form or on the website.



- Read the candidate handbook carefully before you complete the application
- Any application submitted or sent after the deadline will be rejected
- Postal items must be duly prepaid
- Applications sent by email will not be accepted
- Make sure that your application is complete when submitted
- You may not attach letters of reference


What are the different stages of the examination?


The researcher examinations will take place in 2 stages:


  • Eligibility based on the merit of the application: The eligibility jury will examine the scientific merit of the candidates in the field under consideration. This examination will consist in studying your scientific file. The jury will verify that you have the required scientific skills for the vacant position. Once the applications have been examined, the eligibility jury will draw up a list of eligible candidates.
  • Admission following an audition: if you are eligible, you will receive a notice approximately 3 weeks before your audition, as well as the necessary instructions for the preparation of the latter. The audition will allow the in-depth examination of certain data from your scientific file, and help to better understand your personality, assess your ability to work within a team and integrate yourself into the INRAE ​​environment.

After the auditions, the admission jury will draw up a merit-based list of eligible candidates and inform you of the result. If necessary, an additional list will be drawn up.


Learn more

What does a competitive examination involve?

Competitive examinations are a gateway to public sector employment, and the main recruitment process for permanent positions. The objective is to guarantee access to all while respecting equal treatment for each candidate.

28 January 2020

Understanding our public service corps according to your profile

When you register for an INRAE competitive examination, it is in view of a specific profession, one that corresponds to your aspirations and skills. So, you don’t understand why we are talking about ‘recruitment corps’. It's simple : when you pass a competitive public service examination, you are integrated into a specific professional ‘corps’. Everything is explained to you!

02 March 2020