Each year the CNRS rewards those who contributed the most to its influence and to research advances. CNRS scientists are in fact regularly awarded the highest international distinctions. At the European level, the organisation is also the leading beneficiary of the ERC programme, for which excellence is the only selection criterion.

Talents CNRS

Each year, the CNRS medals celebrate the researchers and officials for their outstanding contributions to the organisation’s vitality and reputation.

  • The gold medal honours the body of research of a renowned scientific figure.
  • The medal of innovation recognises outstanding research in the technological, therapeutic, economic, or societal fields.
  • The silver medal is awarded, as their careers take off, to researchers who are already recognised at the national and international levels.
  • The bronze medal is given in recognition of the initial work of a promising researcher in their field.
  • The crystal medal rewards CNRS engineers, technicians, and administrative staff.
  • The collective crystal medal rewards teams of men and women in research support functions who have carried out collective projects which are innovative or with remarkable technical mastery.


The European Research Council (ERC) funds scientific excellence at the frontier of knowledge. It is a "non-thematic" scientific programme dedicated to exploratory research whose only selection criterion is scientific excellence.
This programme offers four types of individual grants:

  • Starting Grants, for young researchers, two to seven years after obtaining a PhD.
  • Consolidator Grants, for young researchers, seven to twelve years after obtaining a PhD.       
  • Advanced Grants, for established researchers.
  • Proof of Concept which provides commercialization support. These grants are reserved for researchers who have already obtained an ERC grant.