3 min

You passed an INRAE competitive exam

When you pass one of INRAE’s competitive recruitment exams, you will join the ranks of France’s civil servants. You initially have the status of trainee civil servant, which will then become tenured civil servant following the successful completion of your training period. Here are a few guidelines to help you understand career development at INRAE.

Updated on 02 January 2020

illustration You passed an INRAE competitive exam
© Fotolia

You are joining the French Civil Service

Fonction publique

INRAE is a public research establishment under the dual authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Research. Tenured staff are recruited via a competitive exam process. They have civil servant status and are considered French Civil Service employees.

Once you have successfully passed the exam, you will be hired for a permanent position. You will benefit from job security for the duration of your career.

Your training period and tenure process

After successfully passing a competitive exam, you will be considered a trainee civil servant from the day you take up your position for a one-year period*.

This training period aims to verify that you are able to carry out your duties, facilitate your adjustment to your assignments and smooth your integration to INRAE. Interviews are scheduled with your supervisors during this period to verify these points. This one-year training period is a probationary period and may be renewed once for the same amount of time.

*Except for research directors who are tenured from their appointment.

Understanding the procedures for advancement and internal promotion

As a civil servant, you have a precise statutory position. Beyond the job you will be doing, your position is classified according to a specific corps, grade and echelon. Your corps is determined by the level of exam you passed. This is the starting point of your career.

The system of advancement and internal promotion allows for career development within and between these various levels.

What are the possibilities for promotion?

Statutory texts set out the procedures for advancement from one grade to another and from one corps to another.

There are two ways to access higher grades according to criteria regarding length of service:


Advancement to another grade is available for all grades. Employees must meet promotion criteria and be recommended for advancement by their unit director. Employee representative bodies have a negotiating role to propose a grade advancement table. The final decision rests with the Chair and CEO of INRAE.


Professional selection offers faster access to certain grades: engineers hors classe (IR HC), exceptional class research technicians (TR EX) and superior class research technicians (TR SUP). This is a professional exam with a jury.


The main pathway to access a new category is through competitive exams (external or internal). However, the status allows for changing to another category based on professional experience and value, as well as length of service.

Learn more

New employee handbook

The new employee handbook was designed to give you more information about how our Institute is organised and its inner workings. Each chapter was written to help you make the most of the many opportunities offered at INRAE.

10 April 2024

Paid leave and working hours

This section provides information on the number of days of paid leave you can take as well as work cycle options.

02 January 2020

Rights, obligations and code of conduct

INRAE staff members, whether they are civil servants or contractual employees, are representatives of the French state and are subject to the rights and obligations set out in the French Civil Service Code. As such, they embody the fundamental values of the French Republic and foster the values of publicly funded research.

In carrying out all their work, INRAE employees adhere to ethical values and principles of conduct, act with impartiality, integrity, dignity and probity, and seek to best serve the public interest.

In working at INRAE, staff members also promote and implement the Institute’s ongoing commitment to diversity and gender equality, its fight against discrimination, and its respect of the principle of secularism so that each person may apply their skills in an environment that recognizes and celebrates the richness of diversity and acknowledges that diversity is stimulating and promotes cohesion.

You will find below the principal rights and obligations applicable to public service employees.

12 April 2024