The Situation of Researchers

In Person: Research in France
4 July 2008
Understanding the peculiarities of the French public research system is critical to the success of foreign scientists coming into the country.

Different Prospects
27 October 2006
Graduates of French universities have more limited prospects than do graduates of Grandes Ecoles when it comes to basic and industrial research.

Cracks in the Monolith - CNRS Begins a Long-Awaited Reform
27 May 2005
The chiefs of France's CNRS-the largest basic research agency in Europe-have adopted a plan to shake the place to its foundations. [Science News Repost]

French Postdocs Abroad - Finding Your Way Home
4 February 2005
Going abroad is often a good career move when you are training to be a scientist. But as French postdocs are finding out, it is rather difficult to come back home once they've left the country. Next Wave speaks to two French postdocs who've left France for the US and Japan about how a recent government initiative will give them the support they need.

The New Pact for Research in France - What's in it for Young Scientists
14 October 2005
The French government has unveiled its Pact for Research, a new draft bill intended to give French research a new impetus, after nearly 2 years of protests and consultations with the scientific community.

Researchers Back a 70-Page Reform Agenda.
In October 2004, more than 900 scientists gathered in Grenoble and voted for a raft of proposals on everything from cash to careers in the name of overhauling fundamental research. [Reposted from Science News.]

Boosting Independence to Attract Young Talent
Adelaida Sarukhan investigates INSERM's Avenir programme which aims to give young French and foreign researchers an early taste of independence.
Lisez cet article en Français .

French Ph.D.s Need Luck as Well as Talent
In our Eurodoc Exchange series, Frederique Voisin-Demery explains the situation of Ph.D. students in France. A related article describes the French Ph.D. system for those from elsewhere.

Postdocs: Your Future Is in YOUR Hands!
Taking part in Next Wave's postdoc production policy debate, Jonathan Dando, completing a postdoc in France, urged European researchers to stop complaining and create more options for themselves.

Storming the Bastille
Science magazine's Michael Balter illustrates efforts to support young scientists in France.

France Addresses Gender Gap in Science
Melissa Mertl reports on the current situation of French women in science and the French government?s activities to support them.

French Ph.D. Students on the Warpath
Ph.D. students from Paris, Strasbourg, Lyon, and Rennes protest at the French Finance Ministry, demanding a 20% increase in grants and better access to resources such as offices and computers.

Help and Resources

Experiencing France
France is an attractive professional destination for scientists. Three European researchers tell us about the teething pains and joys of settling in.

Vin, Pain, and Science
Scientists go to France for the science, but they come away with much more.

The French-Speaking Biologists Network
"La Toile des Biologistes" is a worldwide network of French-speaking biologists, a directory for the approximately 3000 French postdocs around the world.

Role Models

Finding His Voice in Gene Silencing
29 May 2009
French plant molecular biologist Olivier Voinnet bet his entire research career on gene silencing when it was still largely considered an artifact.

Training in Academia--and Industry
French physicist Sylvain Schwartz has trained in, and won acclaim from, the private sector and the ivory tower.

A Family, a Laboratory, and an EMBO Award
A flair for research questions, independent work, and persuasiveness mark the career of French biologist Sandrine Etienne-Manneville.

Bouncing Back in a New Country
Ahcène Bounceur left Algeria for the opportunity to pursue a career in operations research and microelectronics in France.

A Job in the Video Game Industry
As a child, Ronan Marchalot spent many hours playing video games. Now the French computer scientist spends his working days writing them.

French Pharmacist Finds Career Niche at Regulatory Agency
Franck Diafouka found at the EMEA the opportunity to study the impact of drugs in real life and work in a multinational and multicultural environment.

Still Learning
Julia Kempe, who, at 33, has four post-graduate degrees in three different fields, refused to settle down after earning tenure at CNRS.

Getting Big on Astroparticles
French astroparticle physicist Guillaume Dubus manages--somehow--to keep a foot solidly grounded in each of four scientific worlds.

A Head Start in Renewable Energy
Guillaume Bourtourault's early entry into environmental protection put him ahead of the game when renewable energy finally made it onto the political agenda.

Getting a New Business off the Ground
Aeronautics engineer Françoise Heilmann-Pascal is setting up an "environmental airship tourism" company that will take people aboard zeppelins.

Eric Hébrard is making a kid's star-filled dream come true but is keeping his feet on the ground, nonetheless.

György Pálfi's passion for science comes back to his early childhood, yet his career path took him to the field of diplomacy and international science. A role that he tremendously enjoys, and which doesn´t prevent him to still be involved in research. Lisez cet article en Français.

Rare Events: A Physicist in Finance
J. P. Bouchaud has left traditional physics and transferred into the financial sector. His career path may seem unusual, but physicists are much in demand in finance.

Leaving the Bench to Become an Entrepreneur
A special business training course for scientists and a business plan competition were key steps in Jean Chatellier's entrepreneurial career change.

Journey to Journalism
Leaving the lab to become a journalist might seem daunting enough. Elisabeth Pain decided to do it in a foreign country--the UK!

Comment Etudier la Science ma Préparée à Enseigner en Ecole Maternelle
For Muriel Devise becoming a schoolteacher was not easy. It was hard to leave science, but she believes her science training is very useful in her new career. Also in English.

Going to Singapore: A Good Move for a Scientific Career
Frenchwoman Clare Lesieur's career has taken her to Switzerland for a Ph.D. and the UK for a postdoc. Her next move is Singapore, and she tells us why and how.

The Importance of Being Mentored
Monique Wells from Houston, Texas, is a senior toxicologist with L'Oréal Recherche in France. She tells Next Wave readers about the importance of mentoring.

Opportunities

Consulting Experience for Doctoral Students in France
23 January 2009
A program just launched by the French government allows Ph.D. students to sell their skills to non-academic sectors--which could lead to new career opportunities.

Science in an International and Humanitarian Context
Jobs at UNESCO offer young scientists an opportunity to apply their scientific knowledge in an international, humanitarian context.

Living and Working in France -- Feature Index
A successful research career depends on the ability to pursue the right opportunities, wherever they may lead. For those young researchers heading to France, we provide information on the French research system, logistical concerns, and funding sources. We also share some personal experiences.

A Troubleshooting Guide to Landing in France
A new culture and lifestyle can make moving to a new country an exciting experience, but administrative issues can spoil the fun. Here is our guide to a trouble-free landing and settling in France.

Finding Your Way Around the French Research System
With the recent changes in the French research system, French scientists may have to wait a bit longer for employment stability, and foreign scientists will have new ways of looking for opportunities to join the French scientific community.

New Research and Job Opportunities in Southern Europe.
Science's Next Wave looks into the research and job opportunities at the latest science centres in southern Europe.

Getting a Permanent Position, and a Chair of Excellence, in France.
Not only did Greek researcher Lena Alexopoulou secure a group leader position in France, but she also was one of the 10 junior laureates to receive a Chair of Excellence in 2004.

Funding for French Scientists to Go Abroad.
Being able to do some studies or research abroad often comes down to finding hard cash to fund your international experience. Next Wave's Babette Pain takes a look at where the pots of money are in South Europe, with a focus on France.

It's a CDI Fellow's Life
Conor O'Sullivan describes two typical days as a fellow with Collège des Ingénieurs (CDI).

An International MBA Programme for Scientists and Engineers
The Collège des Ingénieurs (CDI) offers a management fellowship leading to an MBA, exclusively for science and engineering postgrads from selected universities world-wide.

New Impulses for European Plant Genome Research
Co-operation between France and Germany in the field of plant genome research offers opportunities for cross-border research.

Help this list grow! Are you a French scientist with an interesting story to tell? Contact us.