Scientific Affairs Department for Laboratories
Address : 14, rue Pierre et Marie Curie 94701 Maisons-Alfort Cedex
Phone : +33 (0)1 49 77 13 50
Manager : Pascale Parisot
The Scientific Affairs Department for Laboratories is responsible for coordinating the research, reference and monitoring activities of ANSES laboratories. It oversees the scientific relevance of research conducted in the laboratories and works to promote publication of their research.
The Scientific Affairs Department for Laboratories (DSL) is responsible for coordinating the research, reference and health monitoring activities of ANSES laboratories in accordance with the objectives of the Agency’s goals and performance contract.
The DSL supports the scientific activity of the laboratories’ teams and works to ensure that those activities are scientifically consistent with the Agency’s missions. It facilitates internal and external exploitation of the expertise developed by the laboratories.
The DSL carries out its missions in conjunction with the Deputy Director General for Scientific Affairs, the Director of Animal Health and Welfare, the Director of Plant Health, the Director of Research and Monitoring, and the Director of European and International Affairs.
Within this framework, the Scientific Affairs Department for Laboratories is primarily responsible for:
- fostering, facilitating and coordinating all the laboratories’ research, reference, and scientific and technical expert appraisal activities;
- supporting laboratories in the implementation and promotion of their specific research agendas;
- fostering, facilitating and organising the evaluation of the laboratories’ research, reference, monitoring and scientific and technical expertise activities;
- coordinating the Agency’s actions to structure health monitoring at the national level, with the help of the monitoring procedures carried out by reference laboratories or to which those laboratories contribute;
- promoting training through research within laboratories; putting in place incentives to promote internal and external exchanges;
- organising the laboratory teams’ involvement in education-through-research programmes, which promote and implement specific research agendas;
- running the joint ethics committee on animal experimentation for ANSES, the French National Veterinary School of Alfort (ENVA) and the University of Paris Est Créteil Val de Marne (UPEC);
- developing and following up on the recruitment and promotion policy for the laboratories’ scientific and technical personnel, in conjunction with the Human Resources Department;
- planning and follow up of issues related to laboratories’ investments, in conjunction with the Financial and Technical Affairs Department and the Information Technology Department;
- assisting research teams in the promotion and exploitation of their work with the support of the Legal Affairs Department;
- analysing the results of evaluations and audits of the laboratories’ activities in conjunction with their directors, so as to provide guidance
For many years, ANSES has worked on a number of projects in collaboration with counterpart agencies in other Member States. CoVetLab (ClubV) is the oldest network; it consists of five partners and has long provided equity for collaborative research and training programmes. The two European networks, Epizone and Med-Vet-Net, after a launch phase funded by the European Commission, now have a legal status and are self-funded. They work together to define common strategies and action programmes, which are carried out through workshops and short-term visits by scientists to other laboratories within the network. The partner institutes of these two networks will continue to jointly prepare common projects in response to calls for proposals from the European Commission.
In addition, the Agency is an active partner in the coordination of ANIHWA ERA-Net on animal health and welfare.
Pooling together resources with our European partners (through the NADIR programme) will enable access to a large number of high-level facilities.
In 2012, the Agency held:
- 20 international reference mandates
- 65 mandates as a National Reference Laboratory
- 9 mandates as a European Union Reference Laboratory
The Scientific Affairs Department for Laboratories supports the Agency’s laboratories in carrying out their mission of reference analysis.
With the active support of its contacts in the laboratories, the Scientific Affairs Department for Laboratories invites the NRLs both within and outside the Agency to coordinate their schedules of inter-laboratory tests, and to coordinate the development and validation of methodology.
In conjunction with the Quality Unit, the Scientific Affairs Department for Laboratories supports the laboratories’ development.
Several times each year, the heads of the Agency’s NRLs meet in a reference conference, which is a time for exchange and discussion on the reference analysis work of the laboratories.
Each year, the Institut Pasteur and ANSES join forces to fund 2 to 3 research projects. This is intended to support projects between the NRCs (National Reference Centres) and the NRLs (National Reference Laboratories). The purpose of these projects is, among other things, a better understanding of pathogens that are potentially or are proven to be zoonotic, in particular the study of the circulation and biodiversity of these pathogens that are ‘shared’ between animals and humans. In addition, biological food contaminants are included in the call for projects.
The Scientific Affairs Department for Laboratories assists laboratories in their research agendas. The scientific reputation of ANSES laboratories is essential for the international credibility of its reference and expertise activities, which support the French system for ensuring food safety.
The Scientific Affairs Department for Laboratories proposes a research agenda to each laboratory. Every four years, it organises an evaluation of the scientific and technical activities of the laboratories by external reviewers.
The DSL also encourages the heads of laboratories to contribute to education through research by an incentive policy, which supervises doctoral students in partnership with other funding institutions.
Education through Research
Research is an integral part of ANSES’s missions. While the Agency follows the usual norms for research in France, it must also be oriented towards supporting public policy-making, which is its primary mission, and must meet specific requirements in terms of impartiality and responsiveness.
Granting doctoral fellowships is an important tool for promoting research at ANSES. To remain on the same level with the best research institutes in Europe and around the world, the Agency must be able to attract the best PhD students, who are often the driving force behind research projects.
Each year, the Agency supports new research at the dissertation and post-doctoral levels. Several sources of funding exist: solely from ANSES, co-financing by ANSES and an external agency (INRA, CIRAD, the French regional authorities) or external financing (grants from the French Ministry of Research and Technology, Industrial Agreements for Training through Research (CIFRE), the French Defence Procurement Authority (DGA), the French Directorate General for Health (DGS), the French Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, venture capital).
ANSES oversees nearly 60 doctoral theses; in 2012, a little over 14% of theses were fully funded by the Agency, and nearly 85% were financed either partially or completely by external sources. We also work with 23 postdoctoral fellows, of whom just over 40% are funded by external contracts.