Funding instruments

As part of its Work Programme, the French National Research Agency (ANR) offers a number of proposes various funding instruments, each with its own specific anticipated effect and distinct characteristics in terms of submission, selection and monitoring. They are addressed to all scientific communities, including young researchers, and all public and private players involved in research in France.

Supporting early-stage research

Within the Generic Call for Proposals (AAPG), the ANR offers three instruments for funding collaborative research projects:

  • Between public entities in a national or international context (PRC or PRCI respectively),
  • Between one or more academic or public-sector research laboratories and one or more companies involved in R&D (PRCE).

These instruments aim to promote the pooling of the different teams’ skills and resources to accelerate the development of the proposed research and achieve results that will be profitable for both parties. As the ANR’s main funding instrument by volume of projects funded and grants awarded, PRC can be used to finance basic research covering all scientific fields and stimulate inter- and multidisciplinary approaches.

To enable younger generations to develop their own research topics, put together or strengthen a team, and therefore reinforcing their sense of responsibility, the Agency also offers the JCJC instrument within the AAPG. This is targeted at young researchers awarded PhDs less than 10 years ago.

 A generic call for proposals with two selection stages

Review the eligibility criteria, submission conditions, selection process and timetable of the AAPG

Developing partnership-based research and technology transfer

The ANR also offers funding instruments and implements specific programmes to support and strengthen research partnerships between public and private-sector players:

LabCom and LabCom consolidation

These programmes support and consolidate the creation of laboratories established jointly by a public research laboratory and a microbusiness, a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) or a middle-market company. They aim to develop academic research players’ potential for industrial partnerships and knowledge transfer and help to set-up long-term partnerships. 

 A dedicated call for proposals with two to three selection sessions per year

Industrial chairs

This instrument supports the creation of chairs in public laboratories, established jointly with companies, on ambitious, innovative research programmes with industrial applications. The chair is co-funded equally by the ANR and the partner companies. The partnership is coordinated by a researcher with an international reputation who provides teaching on the research topics targeted in line with their activity.

 A dedicated call for proposals open to all research topics

Challenge

The Challenge programmes finance several teams simultaneously to explore multiple research approaches to the same problem with the aim of overcoming scientific, technological or methodological obstacles that may have major social implications. The work is organised around campaigns of experiments to track, test and compare the approaches taken.

 A dedicated call for proposals whose communication is made in association with the co-funding partners.

Carnot programme

The ANR also manages the Carnot programme, which aim to recognize and support French laboratories engaged in positioning partnership-based research (and particularly bilateral contractual research) at the heart of their strategy. To support public research institutions  with the “Carnot institute” label and bring them closer to private stakeholders, the ANR makes an annual contribution to these bodies based on their partnership revenues. This additional allowance is designed to help them develop their skills and maintain the scientific lead they need for their performance and attractiveness.

Meanwhile, the Agency funds or organises collaboration programmes with national institutional partners to support projects in sectors of interest to its co-funders and coordinate the provision of support for research and innovation. Financed by the DGA and organised by the ANR, the Astrid and Astrid Maturation programmes dedicated to dual civilian and military research benefit from mixed ANR-DGA monitoring. These programmes aim to support and develop the maturity of research and innovation work on themes of interest to defence and civilian research.

Find out more about the ANR’s national partnerships

Supporting urgent research needs

ANR has a specific instrument to respond to urgent needs for research on specific themes, including subjects relating to events or natural disasters of exceptional magnitude: Flash calls. This instrument enables a scientific community to be mobilised very quickly. Project selection and funding take place in just a few months, without compromising the principles of peer review.

 A dedicated call for proposals subject to specific communication.

Encouraging the participation of French teams in European and international programmes

Collaborating with foreign funding agencies, the ANR takes part in specific international calls for proposals (ERA-NET, ERA-NET Cofund, EJP, Article 185, JPI, bi- or multilateral calls) to promote cooperation between French teams and the best European and international teams on specific strategic research themes. For this reason, it only finances the participation of the French teams.

The ANR also offers two specific calls for proposals to facilitate access by French researchers to large-scale European or international funding programmes and strengthen their leadership: 

  • MRSEI, to help researchers constitute a scientific network at an internationally recognised level on subjects from all disciplines with a view to submitting a project to a European (such as Horizon 2020) or international call for proposals.

Presentation of the MRSEI instrument

  • T-ERC, which offers a further chance of success to young researchers from French public research organisations who, despite very strong applications, have not been awarded funding under the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant or Consolidator Grant schemes.

European and internationally focused initiatives and funding instruments

View open calls for proposals

Alongside this, the ANR manages several specific calls for proposals on behalf of third parties through partnerships.

Find out more:

The Work Programme

Financial regulations