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© Research
Institut Pasteur

Welcome

ABOUT

This Institut Pasteur (IP) guide is prepared for the convenience and information of newcomers on the IP campus. It is intended to help future “Pasteurians” to familiarize with the campus and the French research system.

CONTENT

Forms of research entities on the IP Campus

Different forms of research structures exist on the IP campus. They are grouped into Departments.

  • The IP campus hosts 11 scientific departments:

The departments represent an assembly of units and groups with a common research orientation. Each department has a director assisted by a deputy director and a council. Department Directors have increasing influence over budget and space allocations, recruitments and scientific strategy, but their responsibilities are less than those of their homologues elsewhere: they do not have executive authority (decisions are made by the central Directorate). Department directors also invariably head a unit within the department. They are appointed by the Directorate for a period of two years, renewable once, according to propositions made by the department council. Units belonging to a Department can be localized in different buildings. Units are affiliated to a Department but can have a secondary affiliation to another one.

  • The Units are the main research entities on the IP campus:

Research Units vary in size from around seven (mostly for newly created units) up to 20 persons, rarely more (long-established units). Unit size is determined by a number of parameters, including international standing, research quality, management skills of the unit head and number of staff scientists (faculty) in the unit.

IP units are created for a maximum of ten years and undergo one interim evaluation, as part of the Department five-year evaluation. At the end of the ten years, an application for a new unit (“re-creation”) can be filled, sometimes with new personnel and new projects. Units considered not to be performing adequately can be closed after evaluation or reduced in size.

  1. Large units (9-30 persons) have a higher number of faculty members. The head of a large unit is usually at the equivalent of Professor or Associate Professor level, while other faculty members are usually at Associate or Assistant Professor level. The unit head is responsible for overall scientific strategy and for administration but in some large units, whenever the head decides it, other faculty might have responsibilities for scientific strategy within their groups, which typically comprise two or at most three other persons. The Directorate of the Institut Pasteur officially recognizes these researchers as “group leaders”. The scientific objectives of the various groups within a large unit should be reasonably cohesive with regards to the objectives of the unit.
  2. Small units (7-8 persons) usually comprise one or at most two faculty members, one of whom is head of unit, together with a technician or engineer, and students and postdoctoral fellows or contract scientists. The unit head has sole responsibility for scientific strategy and administration.
  3. 5-year junior units (G5). G5 are created to develop new research areas at the Institut Pasteur. They are initially composed of a head (Assistant Professor level), a technician or engineer and postdoctoral fellows and students. G5 start with a maximum of six persons but might expand, depending on the recruitment of junior faculty and external funding. These junior units close automatically after five years, whereupon G5 heads may apply to create a new unit.

CNR are established at the request of the French Institute for Public Health Surveillance (InVS) for their expertise and surveillance of specific infectious agents and the surveillance of the diseases they cause. Several entities on the campus are associated with reference centers for diseases caused by agents that are the field of research of the entity. The CNR are jointly funded by the Institut Pasteur and the InVS and are usually directed by the head of the unit to which they are attached. National Reference Centers are evaluated by the InVS and are created for 5-year periods.

The Institut Pasteur is designated WHO-Collaborative Center (WHO-CC) for several diseases by the Director-General of WHO to form part of an international collaborative network set up by WHO in support of its program at European levels. An institution is designated initially for a four-year period; the designation may be renewed for an equal or shorter period. Several WHO-CC are located on campus, sometimes, but not always associated with the corresponding CNR. The Institut Pasteur is also recognized as OIE Centre (World Organisation for Animal Health).

Four transversal research Centers

were set up in 2014 at the intersection of the scientific departments. The aim of these entities is to encourage internal cooperation and boost the external visibility of Institut Pasteur.

1) Center for Translational Science (CRT)

The Institut Pasteur Center for Translational Science (Centre de la Recherche Translationnelle, CRT) aims at facilitating the transfer of knowledge from basic science to clinical applications to improve human health, and at translating clinical questions into biological models. The CRT is open to all departments of the IP campus and efforts are made to support translational research conducted within and among the International Network of Institut Pasteur (often referred as the RIIP, see below). The CRT proposes an integrated approach to scientific research and assists researchers through the different steps of a translational research project: from the development of an idea to identification of clinical partners, study design, data analysis and data management.

The center consists of:

  • Technical cores for Biomarker Discovery & Molecular Medicine and Cell Phenotyping
  • Clinical coordination services (including activities supported by the Pole Intégré de Recherche Clinique, PIRC)
  • Biobanking activity and healthy volunteer cohort access (coordinated by the ICAReB platform; ICAReB stands for Investigation Clinique et Accès aux Ressources Biologiques)

2) Center for Global Health Research and Education (CGH)

The Center for Global Health (CGH) was launched in September 2014. It aims at strengthening the IP International Network’s global health activities implemented throughout the world. The CGH has three lines of intervention:

  • Developing research to improve human health. The CGH promotes multisite, interdisciplinary research projects that target major global health challenges to develop innovative context-specific preventive, diagnosis, and therapeutic solutions.
  • Training tomorrow’s scientists The CGH develops new training initiatives to provide future scientists with hands-on experience, knowledge and skills that will enable them to lead ambitious, interdisciplinary cutting-edge research projects, taking into account animal and environmental dimensions, translational research, big data, etc.
  • Outbreak investigation The CGH coordinates an international task force of scientists in different disciplines to respond to and investigate infectious disease outbreaks. The task force utilizes the Institut Pasteur’s expertise and members are deployed at an early stage of an infectious disease outbreak upon request from national authorities and international organizations. The task force also develops epidemiological, basic and translational research on emerging pathogens.

3) Center of Bioinformatics, Biostatistics and Integrative Biology (C3BI)

The Institut Pasteur aims at making a significant impact in this field and has launched a major recruitment campaign for bio-informaticians and senior bioinformatics and integrative biology researchers to further strengthen its existing capabilities. Among its roles, the C3BI seeks ways to coordinate and pool resources, and develops cutting-edge tools to support the Institut Pasteur’s research efforts.

In the pursuit of these objectives, the C3BI is supported by four key sources of expertise:

– Eight bioinformatics units;

The Center of Informatics for Biology (CIB), responsible for developing and maintaining bioinformatics tools and for making large-scale databases available to IP teams;

The International Group for Data Analysis (IGDA), which works with the 33 institutes in the International Network, spread over 26 countries. IGDA is responsible for coordinating and pooling bioinformatics and statistics resources within the network, with a particular focus on training;

– The HUB, an innovative entity that was set up to provide support for IP research units and platforms in bioinformatics and biostatistics via an ongoing call for proposals.

The aim of the IP Bioinformatics platform, composed of the CIB, the HUB, the IGDA and bioinformaticians embedded in the IP units, is to provide a quality service for the entire campus and the institutes in the International Network, and to generate greater international visibility for the methods, software, and servers developed at Institut Pasteur.

4) Center for Innovation and Technological Research (CITECH)

The Citech aims at bringing together physicists, mathematicians, chemists, computer scientists, biologists and medical doctors from the campus and from partner institutions and industry, that are willing to combine their diverse expertise in a synergistic manner and solve the next-frontiers biological questions. The Citech organizes and maintains technological core facilities at the state of the art, and stimulates interactions between research units and technology groups, with institutional or industrial partners and with engineering schools.

The Citech activities are organized in topics transversal to the 11 scientific departments of the IP campus and are focused on technological research and innovation around five main orientations:

  • Bio-imaging articulates research units and teams in multiscale biological imaging around core facilities in Dynamic Imaging, Ultrastructural Microscopy, and Nano-imaging.
  • Biomics brings together research units and teams around core facilities in Genomics, Transcriptomics and Proteomics.
  • Biomolecule design and production associates research units and teams around core facilities in recombinant protein bio-production, Monoclonal Antibody Production, and probe chemistry.
  • Molecular Biophysics organizes research units and teams in structural biology around core facilities in Biophysics, Crystallogenesis and Crystallography.
  • Computational Engineering is in charge of instrumentation software development.

The Institut Pasteur International Network (also known as the RIIP for Réseau International des Instituts Pasteur)

The Institut Pasteur is an international network with 33 Institutes in 26 countries spanning every continent. It is composed of a vast human and scientific community that performs critical work in the areas of public health, research investigation and training. As such, it is a key player in global health, in constant dialog with local authorities, research institutions, and major international organizations.

Administrative affiliations of IP research entities

Two third of the research units and groups on the campus are also affiliated to one or more government French agencies (CNRS, Inserm, INRA, Universities), which provide additional running costs and some personnel. All CNRS and some INSERM units are consortia of IP units under the responsibility of a director (who is the Director of one of the IP units within the consortium). These large units do not correspond to IP departments, although some of them gather almost all IP units of a department.

Recurrent Funding

The Institut Pasteur provides core funding annually for all the entities. Those appropriations may not be carried over from one year to another. The allocated amount is related to the maximum staff allowed and a bonus is awarded for the units that have been rated as “outstanding” by the Scientific Council following the HCERES 5-year evaluation (HCERES stands for Haut Conseil de l’Evaluation de la Recherche et de l’Enseignement Supérieur, it is the French “High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education” a French independent administrative agency responsible for the evaluation process of universities and research institutions in France). This bonus is allocated during five years after the evaluation.

In addition, the Institut Pasteur, together with the CNRS, Inserm, INRA and other state institutions pay the salaries of permanent staff within the units (see below the paragraph “staff” for more details).

Institut Pasteur funding and maximum staff allowed are readjusted after each evaluation.

Grants

Internal Grants:

Each year, the Institut Pasteur offers about 14 postdoctoral fellowships (Pasteur Roux-Cantarini and Pasteur Foundation awards) and grants for international PhD students (PPU). Calls for application for the Pasteur Roux-Cantarini postdoctoral awards are launched twice a year (Spring- and Autumn-sessions). The Pasteur Foundation fellowships are dedicated to US citizens (for further details please check on www.pasteur.fr). Institut Pasteur also launches internal calls for projects to support specific research areas (Inter-Pasteurian Concerted Actions [ACIP], Transversal Research Programs [PTR], etc. …)

External Grants:

Funding by the Institut Pasteur (and even additional funding by government agencies) is insufficient to maintain a unit or a group. The heads thereof must obtain additional outside funding for running costs, to purchase major equipment and to hire temporary personnel (students, post-docs). The Service des Contrats de Recherche (SCR) on the IP campus diffuses information regarding national and international funding opportunities and helps scientists in their grant applications.

Equipment

New entities are allocated a specific equipment budget to set up its activities. Every year in September, research entities can make requests for additional equipment. The requests are prioritized by the Committee of the Heads of Departments and the Heads of Centers to decide which will be funded by Institut Pasteur

Staff

There are about 2400 persons on the Institut Pasteur campus. Among them, roughly half are scientists (around 600 permanent scientists and 600 post-docs or PhDs), a quarter of them are engineers and technicians and a quarter of them are administrative and technical support staff.

Personnel are either hired by the Institut Pasteur (80%, including administration, maintenance and technical facilities) or paid by government agencies (20%, referred to as “OREX” staff).

Scientific staff

Institut Pasteur faculty members are evaluated every two years by a scientific committee (COMESP), which makes recommendations to the Directorate about promotions and salary increases. Faculty members affiliated to external research institutions are evaluated by the assessment bodies of these institutions.

Most IP faculty members are at the equivalent of assistant professor (around 150) or associate professor (around 100) level. The Institut Pasteur currently has about 43 full Institut Pasteur professors. Below is the correspondence between the French and the Anglo-Saxon System:

  • Research associate: Assistant
  • Assistant professor: Chargé de recherche
  • Associate professor: Directeur de recherche Institut Pasteur (formerly Chefs de Laboratoire)
  • Full professor: Professeur

Faculty members who are on the staff of a university usually spend half of their time (or less) on teaching duties at their university, but they conduct all of their research at Institut Pasteur. All other faculty members (IP or OREX) devote the majority of their time to research.

Recruitment of junior faculty into research groups occurs through an annual open call. Applicants are evaluated by the COMESP, which makes recommendations to the Directorate. Applicants are presented by the head of the unit they wish to join.

There are around 350 post-docs and 250 PhDs on the campus. Almost all post-docs are paid by research contracts. Most PhD students receive a salary from the government through their university, though some are paid by research grants. Many Masters level students undertake research training for 4-6 months on the campus. French laws provide that PhD students and postdoctoral fellows receive a salary, which means that health insurance and retirement dues are covered. These temporary contracts are called Scientific CDD and their duration is limited to a maximum of 54 months on the IP campus. Interns are paid about 500€/month if their internship lasts longer than two months.

Technicians and engineers

Additional personnel include technicians (who are usually allocated to research units, groups and reference laboratories rather than to a specific project), and engineers. The latter are sometimes responsible for their own research project but are more often integrated within a larger research group within a unit.

The rule at the Institut Pasteur is to assign one engineer or one technician for 8 researchers (here the word “researcher” covers the researchers, post-docs and PhD students). The aim of this rule is to regulate the assignment of engineers and technicians within the campus to avoid unfair situations. Technical aids and expertise are not assigned to a researcher but to the head of Unit.

The units can also have the benefit of engineers and technicians coming from the CNRS or Inserm (if they are approved), and can recruit engineers and technicians on their external credits.

Administrative assistance

All units and groups benefit of secretarial assistance provided by the Institut Pasteur or Inserm/CNRS.

Scientific evaluation of entitie

The statutory advisory body of the Institut Pasteur for research units and groups is the Scientific Council (SC, see the paragraph “Decision-making bodies” for more details). Ad hoc committees, herein called the Site Visit Committees (SVC), who are mandated by the French governmental scientific evaluation organization HCERES, assist them.

Evaluations of the units are carried out every 5 years in the framework of the Departments evaluations. They are based on a written report from the unit concerned and on an SVC site visit. The SVC, together with representatives from the CNRS, Inserm and the HCERES and two international SC members, listen to oral presentations by unit/group members and hold formal and informal discussions with PIs of the department. Thereafter, the SVC presents an oral report to the Scientific Council, who provides a separate commentary and recommendation on each of the units/groups examined and gives rankings.

Criteria to be considered during the evaluation procedure include international standing and breakthrough of the scientific research activities of the laboratory (number and impact of the publications, patents, pertinence and originality of the work conducted and the proposed research project).

Recruitment of Heads of entities / creation of research entities in Pasteur

Several procedures exist, for both junior and senior applicants.

A regular call is launched every year (around September) for junior applicants, for the creation of 5 year-groups (G5). Applicants can be either from Institut Pasteur or from outside. Applicants must be less than 8 years after PhD at the time of their submission. Women are eligible up to 11 years after their PhD if they have one child, and up to 14 years after their PhD if they have two or more children.

A regular call is launched every other year for internal (Institut Pasteur) mid-career applicants.

Ad hoc calls, meant to fill gaps in Institut Pasteur portfolio of expertise, are launched on a more irregular basis, and target both junior and senior applicants (usually from outside, but internal applications are welcome). These calls can be at the initiative of either the Directorate or one or more of the 11 departments (requiring prior agreement by the Directorate).

For Units that have been through their 10-year cycle, a new project can be proposed, led by the former PI or by a new applicant (internal or external). All Units that finish their cycle at the same time are seen in a parallel procedure involving the same selection committee. More generally, the selection procedure can vary from one call to the other, but it always includes a first selection made online by a committee, followed by an interview of the shortlisted candidates by a second committee (identical or not to the first one), the final recommendation being made by the Pasteur Scientific Council. In these cases, the Scientific Council evaluates the creation of a unit or group without the help of advice from a Site Visit Committee. Candidates provide a written report and application, and are interviewed by the full SC, which will write a report and make recommendations according to the guidelines above. In addition, external review letters are requested

Space allocation (at the time of a lab creation or after an evaluation)

Due to its downtown location in the 15th arrondissement in Paris, laboratory space is in short supply on the campus, and most units and groups already fit tightly into their allocated space. Requests for expanded facilities must always be prioritized in this context. In particular, increases in unit size are linked to decreases in the size of other units and might affect the ability of a department to create new units and groups. Changes in the space allocated to a unit usually occur after an evaluation of the Department by the Scientific Council, and is a consequence of the evaluation of the unit.

Whenever feasible, new units and groups are located close to laboratories of other members of the same Department.

Decision-making bodies

 The Board of Directors (“Conseil d’Administration”) settles Institut Pasteur matters. Its 21 members meet at least four times a year and attend the proceedings of the General Meeting but do not take part in voting.

The General Meeting (“Assemblée des 100”) approves the Board of Directors’ Annual Report on Institut Pasteur activity, elects 16 members to the Board of Directors and votes on changes to the articles of association upon proposal by the Board of Directors. The General Meeting board has between 93 and 109 members, part of them being elected by the campus, part of them being ex-officio members due to their position in government agencies or offices.

The Scientific Council (“Conseil Scientifique”) advises the President of the Institut Pasteur and the Board of Directors on all issues relating to scientific policy, organization, and research and teaching programs. The Council is consulted on all research units and teaching courses creation, closure and merging decisions. The Scientific Council is composed of eight members of the faculty and eight international scientists who meet at least twice per semester.

PhDs, “Ecoles doctorales” and HDR

Students holding a Master’s degree or an equivalent foreign degree may apply to be a doctoral candidate. Training lasts in principle three years and is reflected by a research work performed in a laboratory. It allows obtaining, after defending a thesis, the Doctor rank.

The financing of the thesis is a prerequisite to enter the doctoral program. Different types of funding are available through either Universities, the laboratories’ own resources from regional, national or European themed programs, or non-governmental organizations.

Any student enrolling in PhD is also enrolled in an Ecole Doctorale (Graduate school, see below).

PhD students are monitored by a scientific tutor during their thesis in an IP host unit, who is distinct of the thesis supervisor.

The “Ecoles Doctorales” are attached to Universities and gather research units or host laboratories working on major themes. Their missions are to ensure direct scientific supervision of PhD students, and to provide additional training provided in the form of seminars and scientific conferences, training modules during the three years of preparation of the thesis. Some courses provided by the Institut Pasteur teaching center are considered as part of the “Ecole doctorale”’s modules for PhD students enrolled at partner universities.

Most of Institut Pasteurs’s units belong to the following two Graduate Schools:

  • Ecole doctorale Bio Sorbonne Paris Cité (BioSPC): is accredited by both Paris Descartes and Paris-Diderot Universities. Consists of four departments: (1) Cell and Molecular Biology, Physiology and physiopathology Dpt.; (2) Development, genetics, reproduction, neurobiology and aging Dpt.; (3) Immunology Dpt.; (4) Infection and Microbiology Dpt.
  • Ecole doctorale Complexité du Vivant (CDV): is accredited by Pierre and Marie Curie University and the Ecole Normale Supérieure Ulm. Fields covered by CDV includes genomics, microbiology, cell biology and stem-cell biology.

Some units belong to other Graduate Schools:

  • Ecole Doctorale Médicaments, toxicology, chimie, imageries (mtci)
  • Ecole Doctorale Physiologie et physiopathologie
  • Ecole Doctorale Physique en Ile de France

HDR stands for «Habilitation à Diriger les Recherches»: It is a national diploma of higher education, which can be obtained after a doctorate. Since 1984, it is considered as the highest French diploma. It allows applying for a position as a university professor (after registration on the qualification list by the National Universities Council), and is required to supervise PhD theses or to be selected as reviewer for thesis.

To be eligible, applicants must hold a PhD, supported by publications or/and works.

Depending on the Ecole Doctorale, HDR-holders usually can supervise a maximum of 1-3 PhD students at the same time.

Incoming researchers who were already “habilitated” to train PhD students in their own system, will be accorded in some cases an HDR by equivalence. This is done by agreement between Pasteur and the relevant Ecole Doctorale.

Focus on MAASCC (The team in charge of Researchers Orientation, Support and Career Development)

The Human Resources Department has a specific team dedicated to career development and support for scientists. This team – the MAASCC  – is composed of career officers with scientific experience and training in human resources management, and offers scientists personal career guidance (individual interviews, group workshops…) as well as organizing events (such as the “Beyond the PhD” round tables for PhD students and postdoctoral fellows, networking lunches, ) to help them develop their career plans. The MAASCC team also provides assistance for administrative issues especially for non-French residents (with the assistance of a lawyer).
Contact : maascc@pasteur.fr
Find out more about integration in Institut Pasteur in our section “joins us”.


The Young Researcher Association of Institut Pasteur (StaPa)

StaPa is an association of young researchers open to all young researchers of the Pasteur Institute including short-term interns, Master and PhD students and postdocs. The aims of the association are both social and scientific. Social, to welcome and integrate young researchers to the Institute and promote interactions by organizing social events. Scientific, to promote exchanges (scientific, technical, language-based, etc.) between young researchers and with experienced scientists by organizing scientific meetings, seminars and workshops.
For more informations : http://stapa.ovh
Contact : bureau.stapa@pasteur.fr ; stapa-all@pasteur.fr