Cover of higher education & research in France, facts and figures

📄 Sources:OECD
MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES.

 Coverage:Whole of France.

In the public sector, the following are identified as researchers: civil servants with the profession of research director, University professors, research fellows and senior lecturers; non-permanent staff recruited at a level equivalent to the professions mentioned above; staff under private status (e.g. in State-owned industrial and commercial establishments (Établissement public à caractère industriel et commercial - EPIC)) whose duties are equivalent to those of civil servants as mentioned above; research engineers and equivalent groups; doctoral students funded to complete their thesis; temporary research and teaching assistants (Attachés temporaires d’enseignement et de recherche - ATER).

In business enterprises, R&D researchers and engineers are scientists and engineers engaged in the conception or creation of new knowledge, products, processes, methods and systems.

Ancillary research staff are all personnel who are not researchers and who contribute to carrying out R&D projects or who are directly associated with this work: technicians and equivalent staff, clerical staff and secretarial staff. Staff are distributed in one or more branches of economic activity where R&D is carried out. These 32 research branches are based on the French classification of economic activities (Nomenclature d’activités française - NAF rev.2).

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35 human resources in research and development

This page has been updated. Read 35. human resources in research and development in Higher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017

In 2012, 564,500 people were involved in research activity in France. In the last three years, the number of researchers has increased more rapidly in business enterprises (+16%) than in government (+2%). Women represent 29% of all research personnel and 26% of researchers.

In 2012, 564,500 people in France were involved in research-related activity. They represented 412,000 full-time equivalents (FTE), an increase of 8.7% in 5 years (table 35.01). This change was due to the sharp rise in the number of researchers, which had grown by 16.8% in 5 years, from 221,900 FTE in 2007 to 259,100 FTE in 2012. The number of ancillary staff fell, however (-2.7% over 5 years). Researchers now accounted for 63% of research staff, and the 'ancillary staff to researcher' ratio stood at 0.59 in 2012 against 0.71 in 2007.

In 2012, business enterprises employed 156,600 FTE researchers. These numbers had increased 25.7% since 2007. In the government sector, researcher numbers had grown less rapidly (+5.4% in 5 years) and stood at 102,500 FTE.

Since 2002, researchers in business enterprises have outnumbered those in government and in 2012 they represented 60% of all researchers.

Almost half of all research personnel in business enterprises (48%) are concentrated in five branches of research (economic sectors where R&D is carried out): 'Information technology and computer service activities', 'Automobile Industry', 'Specialised scientific and technical activities', 'Aeronautics and space construction', 'Manufacture of instruments and appliances for measuring, testing and navigation, watches and clocks' (chart 35.02). Between 2007 and 2012, the number of researchers in the service branches increased 10 times more (+91%) than those working in industrial branches (+9%).

The proportion of women working in research was 29% in 2012. This figure is lower for researchers (26%) than for ancillary staff (35%). It is also lower in business enterprises (22%) than in the government sector (40%).

In government, more than three out of four research personnel have permanent posts. There is greater proportion of permanent staff among ancillary staff (88%) than among researchers (71%), as some researchers are doctoral students (chart 35.03).

In not-for-profit institutions, only 66% of research staff and 44% of researchers hold permanent posts.

Within the European Union, France is in third place for the number of researchers (FTE), behind Germany and the United Kingdom.

In relation to the active population, France had 9.1 researchers per thousand workers in 2012, behind Japan and Portugal, but ahead of the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom (chart 35.04). Several less populated countries rank among the world leaders, especially Finland, Taiwan and Sweden.

 Coverage:Whole of France.

How to cite this paper :

WOLBER Odile. Human resources in research and development. In: Higher education & research in France, facts and figures - 49 indicators [online]. KABLA-LANGLOIS Isabelle (dir.). Paris: Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, 2015. 8th ed. Chapter 35, 80-81 [Accessed 04/18/2019]. ISBN 978-2-11-139433-9. https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/EESR8EN_R_35-human_resources_in_research_and_development-ILL_04.php

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In the public sector, the following are identified as researchers: civil servants with the profession of research director, University professors, research fellows and senior lecturers; non-permanent staff recruited at a level equivalent to the professions mentioned above; staff under private status (e.g. in State-owned industrial and commercial establishments (Établissement public à caractère industriel et commercial - EPIC)) whose duties are equivalent to those of civil servants as mentioned above; research engineers and equivalent groups; doctoral students funded to complete their thesis; temporary research and teaching assistants (Attachés temporaires d’enseignement et de recherche - ATER).

In business enterprises, R&D researchers and engineers are scientists and engineers engaged in the conception or creation of new knowledge, products, processes, methods and systems.

Ancillary research staff are all personnel who are not researchers and who contribute to carrying out R&D projects or who are directly associated with this work: technicians and equivalent staff, clerical staff and secretarial staff. Staff are distributed in one or more branches of economic activity where R&D is carried out. These 32 research branches are based on the French classification of economic activities (Nomenclature d’activités française - NAF rev.2).

 

Key figures


Number of ancillary research staff and researchers
564,500
 people (headcount)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: headcount
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Number of researchers
259,066
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Number of ancillary research staff
152,939
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Number of researchers in business enterprises
156,584
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
  See more key figures  
Number of ancillary research staff in business enterprises
90,147
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Number of researchers in government
102,482
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Number of ancillary research staff in government
62,792
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Number of researchers in business enterprises in the Automobile industry
18,236
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
  See more key figures  
Number of researchers in business enterprises in Aeronautics and space construction
13,282
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Number of researchers in business enterprises in the Manufacture of instruments and appliances for measuring, testing and navigation, watches and clocks
10,387
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Number of researchers in business enterprises in the Pharmaceutical industry
9,774
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Number of researchers in business enterprises in Electronic components and boards, computers, peripheral equipment
9,123
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
  See more key figures  
Number of researchers in business enterprises in the Manufacture of communication equipment
8,135
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Number of researchers in business enterprises in Information technology and computer service activities
18,446
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Number of researchers in business enterprises in Specialist scientific and technical activities
14,339
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Number of researchers in business enterprises in Publishing, audiovisual and broadcasting
7,964
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
  See more key figures  
Number of researchers in business enterprises in Telecommunications
5,534
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Number of researchers in business enterprises in the Industrial branches
107,563
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Number of researchers in business enterprises in the Services branches
49,020
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Share of researchers in the labour force
9.1
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
  See one more key figure  
Number of ancillary research staff and researchers
412,005
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "35. human resources in research and development".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES

35.01 R&D personnel (in FTE)

 
2007 2010 2011 20121
Research personnel (researchers and ancillary staff) 379,006 397,756 402,491 412,005
Government 163,115 162,168 163,380 165,274
State 2 87,162 83,431 82,820 82,643
Higher education 70,161 73,079 74,756 76,466
NPI 5,792 5,659 5,804 6,165
Business enterprises 215,891 235,588 239,111 246,731
Researchers 221,851 243,533 249,246 259,066
Government 97,274 99,705 100,807 102,482
State 2 44,317 45,615 45,707 46,230
Higher education 49,661 51,291 52,270 53,314
NPI 3,296 2,799 2,830 2,938
Business enterprises 124,577 143,828 148,439 156,584
Ancillary staff 157,155 154,223 153,245 152,939
Government 65,841 62,463 62,573 62,792
State 2 42,845 37,816 37,112 36,413
Higher education 20,500 21,788 22,486 23,152
NPI 2,496 2,859 2,975 3,227
Business enterprises 91,314 91,760 90,672 90,147
 

Break in series. From 2010, a change in methodology resulted in a reduction of around 6,000 FTE in government.
1 Semi-definitive data.
2 Including the French national centre for scientific research (Centre national de la recherche scientifique - CNRS).

 Coverage: Whole of France.

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35.02 Number of researchers per research branch in 2007 and 2012 1 (in FTE)

Total industry
Automobile industry
Aeronautics and space construction
Manufacture of instruments and appliances for measuring, testing and navigation, watches and clocks
Pharmaceutical industry
Electronic components and boards, computers, peripheral equipment
Manufacture of communication equipment
Other industrial branches
Total services
Computer and information services
Specialised, scientific and technical activities
Publishing, audiovisual and broadcasting
Telecommunications
Other service branches
  
2007
2012
Service branches
Industrial branches
 
 

1 Semi-definitive results.
The data on the graph show staff numbers in the 10 largest branches of research in terms of researchers in 2012. The other 22 branches are grouped together under the headings 'Other industrial branches' and 'Other service branches'.

 Coverage: Whole of France.

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35.03 Breakdown of permanent staff among public sector and NPI R&D personnel in 2012 1 (headcount, %)

Government
including State 2
including higher education 3
including NPI
  
All
Researchers
Ancillary staff
 
 

1 Semi-definitive data.
2 Including the French national centre for scientific research (Centre national de la recherche scientifique - CNRS).
3 Staff who are paid out of own funds are counted only in the 92 institutions with wider responsibilities and capacities in 2012. Doctoral students receiving pay and temporary research and teaching assistants (Attachés temporaires de recherche -ATER) are counted in all institutions.

 Coverage: Whole of France.

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35.04 Researchers as a proportion of the labor force in 2012 (‰)

FI
 
KR
JP
PT
BE
AU 2
US 1
NL
ES
PL
AR
 
MX 1
 
IL 1
TW
SE
FR 3
CA 1
DE
GB
RU
IT
TR
CN
 
 
 

The 23 countries shown are those with the most FTE researchers in 2012.
1 2011 data.
2 2008 data.
3 Semi-definitive data.

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 Etat de l'emploi scientifique en France - L'état de l'emploi scientifique en France - Marie-Hélène Prieur - December 2014
Cette édition 2014 de L’état de l’emploi scientifique a vocation à mieux connaître les enseignants, chercheurs, doctorants, personnels de soutien. En effet, si les données qui caractérisent ces personnels sont nombreuses, elles sont souvent dispersées et fragmentaires, avec des dates d’observation, des définition ou des périmètres différents : selon les sources, les données n’ont pas le même millésime et certains personnels ne sont pas toujours classés dans la même catégorie.

Cet ouvrage a donc pour objectif de rassembler dans un même document des études et statistiques permettant d’éclairer les différents domaines d’activités des personnels qui relèvent de l’emploi scientifique, conformément à l’article L411-2 du Code de la recherche.
 Repères et références statistiques sur les enseignements, la formation et la recherche - RERS - RERS - 2014 - Recherche et développement - 2014
La R&D française est présentée du point de vue des effectifs de chercheurs, de la dépense intérieure et extérieure, de la répartition des financements entre acteurs privés et publics.
 Note recherche 04.05 - Les chercheurs publics en sciences dures et la création d'entreprise - Sandrine Emin - October 2004
Les résultats présentés s'appuient sur une étude qualitative, réalisée auprès de chercheurs publics en sciences dures, travaillant dans les régions Ile de France, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur et Rhône-Alpes dont la finalité était de connaître leur intention ou pas de créer une entreprise. Moins de 15% d'entre eux ont l'intention de participer à une création d'entreprise. Leurs relations industrielles se caractérisent plutôt par des collaborations de recherche de type contrats industriels ou contrats européens. Pour les chercheurs intéressés par la création d'entreprise, leur motivation est liée à la recherche d'évolution professionnelle, sans qu'il y ait souhait de faire une nouvelle carrière. Le type de participation à la création d'entreprise envisagé par les chercheurs relève plutôt d'un objectif professionnel (transfert de technologie) que personnel (recherche d'autonomie ou création de son emploi). Les principaux freins à la création d'entreprise sont professionnel (risque de carrière) et liés à l'incompatibilité entre création d'entreprise et activités de recherche et d'enseignement. Les chercheurs les plus favorables à la création sont des hommes en début de carrière. Pour favoriser la création d'entreprise de la part de chercheurs, il serait opportun de développer les formations à la gestion.
 Note recherche 04.01 - Les chercheurs étrangers dans les organismes publics de recherche et dans les entreprises françaises - Collectif - February 2004
Les chercheurs post-doctorants étrangers travaillant dans les institutions publiques de recherche et dans les entreprises françaises ont, quant à leur mobilité, des motivations différentes. Les laboratoires d'accueil de cette population élaborent également des stratégies différentes. Selon les disciplines, les situations de travail sont différenciées. Selon les trois disciplines étudiées (chimie, économie et sciences de la vie), l'étude met en évidence des comportements qui varient selon les choix de diplômes retenus, les déroulements de carrière et les rôles du post-doctorat.


Other editions

Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017
35 - human resources in research and development - Catherine David
In 2014, over half a million people were involved in research activity in France. Women represented 30% of all research personnel and 26% of researchers. The number of researchers, 266,700 full-time equivalent (FTE) in 2014, has increased by 15% in five years. The number of researchers increased more rapidly in business enterprises (21%) than in government (6%) over the period 2009-2014 [Consult the following page]
Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 9th edition - November 2016
36 - human resources in research and development - Catherine David
In 2013, over half a million people were involved in research activity in France. Women represented 30% of all research personnel and 26% of researchers. The number of researchers, 266,200 full-time equivalent (FTE) in 2013, has increased by 17% in five years. The number of researchers increased more rapidly in business enterprises (26%) than in government (5%) over the period 2008-2013 [Consult the following page]

Translation

 Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheL'état de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche en France n°8 - juin 2015
35 - les moyens humains de la recherche et développement - Odile Wolber
En 2012, 564 500 personnes participent à une activité de recherche en France. Au cours des trois dernières années, le nombre de chercheurs a progressé plus rapidement dans les entreprises (+ 16 %) que dans les administrations (+ 2 %). Les femmes représentent 29 % de l’ensemble du personnel de recherche et 26 % des chercheurs [Consult the following page in french]


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