Higher Education

Irstea’s (National Institute for Environmental and Agricultural Science and Research) collaboration with higher education is governed by a framework agreement with the CPU (Conference of University Chairmen). An initial framework agreement was signed in July, 2002 (extended by amendments until July 2010) and a recent framework agreement was signed on 4 February 2010 for a period of four years.

This framework agreement sets out the main types of collaborations that we are involved in and enables specific agreements with universities to be drawn up. It is particularly conducive to collaborations with the PRES (Research Clusters and Higher Education). Also implicated in this new framework agreement are: integrated programmes or excellence networks, joint research units (UMR), federal research institutes (IFR), the participation of Cemagref scientists in doctoral programmes, welcoming students studying for their Master’s degree or doctorate to our laboratories in addition to university staff (delegations, CRCT - sabbaticals for research or thematic conversion, teacher-researchers, university departments, research bodies).

Research Clusters and Higher Education (PRES)

The institute is an associate member of the European University of Brittany (UEB) Higher Education Research Cluster, an EPCS (Public Institute for Scientific Cooperation) which brings together research actors in Brittany from 23 establishments (agreement signed on 9 June 2008). The main objective of the association is the constitution of a national technological research cluster on the transformation of bioproducts in pursuit of sustainable development.
Irstea signed a scientific partnership agreement with the PRES University of Lyon for a period of two years on 6 February 2009. This agreement aims for the development of the partnership in response to the two scientific challenges of linking methods and technologies in an objective of environmental quality and broadening the approach to risks through the study of the viability of environmental systems.

The institute is an associate member of the PRES UniverSud Paris, an EPCS pulling together 21 higher education and research institutes in the southern regions of Ile-de-France.

Teaching activities

Teaching activity (lessons, conferences, TP/TD) carried out by the establishment’s scientists is recognised in the form of teaching units (UE). For 2010, the data captured in the information system shows a total of 11,380 UE, broken down into 4,677 hours of lessons/conferences and 4,365 hours of TP/TD, up by 13% on higher education participation for 2009. This amount is equivalent to 59 teacher-researchers – full time equivalent (ETP).

  • 48% of the total amount of teaching units relate to support for public action and mainly concern "lesson-conference" type training.
  • 75% of this teaching activity in support of public action is carried out in teaching establishments dependent on the MAAPRAT (Ministry for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries, Rural Areas and Land Management), the equivalent of 4,108 teaching units (UE).

évolution de la participation des scientifiques du Cemagref à l'enseignement sur les 10 dernières années.

Intern Supervision –Master 2 level and beyond

Within the framework of training through research, Irstea each year plays host to a number of student interns. The establishment has thus supervised 233 interns at Master 2 (2nd and final year of the Master’s degree) level and beyond, a significant increase on the figure for 2009 (148 interns).


Cemagref is a member of a digital thematic university: UVED (University of virtual environment & sustainable development) aims to federate the higher education and research establishments most involved in the areas of environment, sustainable development and the development of digital pedagogical resources. UVED offers numerous freely accessible digital teaching resources in the areas of the environment and sustainable development in addition to calls for tender for the manufacture of resources.