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The CNRS Overview

The CNRS Overview

Since its establishment in 1962, the National Council for Scientific Research – Lebanon (CNRS-L) is serving the scientific community in Lebanon covering all scientific disciplines. Its main objective is to encourage scientific research and support human resources development along the general scientific policies adopted by the government. CNRS-L is committed to keep the scientific community in Lebanon connected with advances achieved worldwide, at the same time dedicate its resources to meet local development objectives.

Established as the central public institution in charge of science policy-making under the authority of the President of the Council of Ministers and granted administrative and financial autonomy. It has two major functions:

  1. Advisory Function:The CNRS draws the general outline of the National Science Policy and formulates proposals and suggestions to the government and carries out surveys and inventories of on-going research activities in private and public institutions in the country.
  2. Executive Function: Consists in the implementation of the National Science Policy. To achieve this objective, the CNRS initiates, encourages and coordinates research. In addition, it leads and organizes scientific research activities within its defined work programs and research centers.

Mission and Purpose

  • To draw the general outline of a national science and research policy.
  • To advise the government on any issue concerning science and national science policy.
  • To carry out surveys and inventories of on-going research.
  • To formulate work programs in cooperation with the concerned ministries and the private sector.
  • To initiate and encourage scientific research in the theoretical and applied aspects of basic, social and behavioral sciences


In 2006, the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) was launched by the CNRS-L and adopted by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in an official ceremony at the Grand Serail. The STIP identifies some of the most pressing social needs in the country, and formulates priority scientific research programmes within a comprehensive vision, linking together and stressing partnerships within identified socio-economic societal needs and with qualified human resources available in Lebanon.

Organizational Structure

The CNRS is a public autonomous institution reporting directly to the President of the Council of Ministers and is administered by:
  • The Board of Administration
  • The General Secretariat
In addition and in order to address issues that are not fully covered by existing academic institutions in Lebanon, the CNRS-L over the years established and manages four specialized research centers:
  • National Center for Marine Sciences
  • National Center for Geophysics
  • National Center for Remote Sensing
  • Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission

The activities of these centers focus on issues of general concern to the country such as air, soil and groundwater pollution, renewable energy, biodiversity, pollution and managements of the costal regions, industrial and urban solid waste treatment, radioactive waste treatment, earthquakes and construction standards.

CNRS-L Programs:

In parallel, the CNRS-L support national, regional and international research in Lebanon through the following programs & activities:
  • Grant Research Program
  • Associated Research Units Program
  • Regional Grant Research Programs
  • PhD Scholarship Program
  • Undergraduate Scholarship Program
  • CNRS Awards for Research Excellence & Research Career Excellence
  • International Collaboration, Projects and Platforms
  • Publications and Visibility (Lebanese Science Journal – LSJ, CNRS-L Books, & CNRS-L Bulletin – Nachra)

Since the creation of the CNRS-L, science underwent very fundamental changes. Science policy has moved from capacity building to targeted research programmes and objectives, with the increasing role of large scientific networks, massive investment in R&D, public and private and overall change of research scale. Small countries are confronting a dilemma: either be connected or dedicated to local development objectives. The CNRS-L needs to combine both. Its aim is to make economic development science-based.

Science, Technology, Innovation Policy (STIP)