Category, body, grade, step... how to find your way?

May 18, 2020 - 6 min reading
Entering the CNRS means hearing about category, body, grade, step, index, agents... how does it work?

Understanding categories, bodies and grades

The organization of the civil service is based on the principle of separation of grade and job.

The job corresponds to a specific position, for example, the position of software engineer in a research laboratory.

The jobs are classified in 3 categories (A, B and C), according to the type of functions to be performed and the level of diploma/training required to access them:

  • Category A, for design and management functions, of the executive type,
  • Category B, for application functions, such as supervisor or technician,
  • Category C, for the functions of execution, of the worker or employee type.

Within a category, jobs are grouped into corps:

  • Category A includes the bodies of research engineers, design engineers and assistant engineers.
  • Category B includes the body of research technicians.
  • Category C includes the corps of technical research assistants.

In each body, the agents perform comparable functions, with identical conditions of remuneration and career development.

Each body is composed of several grades, which are themselves subdivided into steps that the agent climbs to according to his or her seniority. Each step has a corresponding salary index.

  • Research engineers have 2 grades: research engineer (IR), senior research engineer (IRHC).
  • The design engineers have 2 grades: normal class (IECN), hors classe (IEHC).
  • Assistant Engineers (AI) have a single grade.
  • The research technicians have 3 grades: normal class (TCN), superior class (TCS), exceptional class (TCE).
  • The technical assistants of research have 3 grades: technical assistant of research (ATR), principal technical assistant of research of 2nd class (ATRP2), principal technical assistant of research of 1st class (ATRP1).

Access to the higher grade is regulated by statutory conditions (seniority in the grade and step level). There are several ways of accessing the grade or body immediately above, including promotion by choice, promotion by professional selection or by internal competition.

Bodies accessible according to degree level

Category A bodies:

  • Research Engineers (IR): accessible with a master 2 (BAC +5)
  • Design engineers (IE): accessible from the license (BAC +3)
  • Engineering assistants (AI): accessible from the BTS (BAC +2)

Category B bodies:

  • Research Technicians (TR): accessible from the baccalaureate (BAC)

Category C bodies:

  • Technical research assistants (ATR): accessible from the BEP

Understanding remuneration at the CNRS

Since 2016, the remuneration of CNRS civil servants has undergone significant changes resulting from the implementation of new pay scales following the so-called "PPCR" (Professional Career Paths and Remuneration) salary negotiations and the transition of the engineering and technical bodies to the new indemnity system for duties, hardships, expertise and professional commitment (RIFSEEP).

Compensation components for public employees:

The basic salary is determined by the increased index for the step of the grade.

In addition to this base salary, there are monthly:

  • the allowance for functions, hardship and expertise (IFSE), linked to the function performed;
  • residence allowance fixed as a percentage of the basic salary (3%, 1% or 0%) depending on the administrative residence (city of assignment);
  • the family salary supplement (rate depending on the number of dependent children);
  • partial reimbursement of transportation costs (Île-de-France tickets);
  • specific bonuses or allowances linked to the performance of certain functions.

An annual compensation supplement (CIA), the amount of which can be adjusted according to the way in which the employee serves and his or her professional commitment, can be paid in July and December.

The various charges and deductions represent approximately 20%; they are deducted from the gross remuneration and allow the net remuneration to be determined.


Read more:

Consult the page dedicated to the remuneration of civil servants at CNRS