Frequently asked questions

We've set out below the answers to questions we are frequently asked - grouped thematically.

If you can't find the information you are looking for here, get in touch with us directly.

What does the recruitment process involve at ILL?

Apply on line, once you have found a vacancy you are interested in

-> if your application is of interest to us, once the application deadline is over we will set a telephone interview with you

-> you will then either be invited for interviews at the ILL or receive a negative response by email within 4 weeks

-> if your application is successful our human resources service will formalise an offer of employment and then assist you throughout the recruitment and settling-in period.

For more information, click here

Can I apply for several posts at a time?

Yes, you can, write a specific application letter for each post and indicate the job reference. However, we advise you to focus your application on the offer which interests you the most.

I would like to apply, but none of the vacancies match my skills...?

You can apply without specifying a particular vacancy, via the on-line application form. If we feel that your skills could interest us at a later date we'll keep your application for up to two years.

I've forgotten my password for my personal account: how can I recover it?

Contact us at the following address: recruitment(at)

My profile has changed since my last application. How can I update it?

It's very simple: just log in with the login and password you received when you created your profile; you can then make the changes you want.

How can I be sure that my application has been received?

When you create your personal account, a confirmation email is sent automatically to the email address you have provided. If you are not sure, you can contact our recruitment team at: recruitment(at)

What do the recruitment interviews entail? What should I expect?

You should be prepared for: an individual interview with a recruitment officer, an interview with a panel of staff members capable of evaluating your technical skills and personality, and, possibly, depending on your professional field, a simulation exercise and/or meetings with others involved at the Institute.

We will be trying to understand and assess your current and potential skills, your character and values, how you function and interact with others, and your level of motivation.

You can find advice on this process here.

If I travel to the ILL for interviews, will my travel costs be reimbursed?

Yes, if you live outside the Grenoble area (over 50 km), we will reimburse your travel costs (train, plane or car), based on the cheapest options and on condition that you can provide proof of purchase on the day of the interviews.

When will I know if I have been successful?

We do our best to reply as quickly as possible. Our candidates come from all over the world however, and the recruitment process can continue 4 to 6 weeks beyond the application deadline.

How many people work at ILL?

ILL currently employs about 500 people.

What are the working hours at ILL?

For non-managerial staff, the ILL working hours are 8 am to 4.30 pm, with a 47-minute lunch break.
For managerial ("cadre") staff, working time is counted in days per year.
ILL operates a 35-hour week - with a days-back system ("RTT") for time overworked.
Some positions operate in shifts, their working hours are different.

I don't speak French - can I apply?

The ILL is an international centre and pays particular attention to applications from non-French countries. If your French is not good but you are willing to learn, we can provide training to bring you up to standard.

What would be my career prospects at ILL?

Our policies in this respect can be found here.

What employment conditions, salaries and benefits does ILL offer?

ILL offers very attractive employment conditions.

For more information, click here.

I've a family. Does ILL provide relocation assistance?

ILL offers all new staff assistance with their move to Grenoble and personalised help through an agency specialised in relocation services. The service can be obtained free of charge under certain conditions.

The agency will assign a single interlocutor to help you (very familiar with the local context and expatriate issues, speaking at least two foreign languages). S/he will provide assistance both before you arrive and during your settling-in period.

For more information, click here.

What are the advantages of working in Grenoble?

Grenoble is ideally situated, only a few hours away from Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Turin and Geneva. Its position at the foot of the Alps has earned it a reputation as an attractive centre for outdoor activity - the capital of the Alps.
The opportunities provided by its natural environment combine perfectly with its role as a major city centre providing a rich palette of cultural, commercial and professional activities.

To discover more about Grenoble click here

What opportunities would there be for my partner?

ILL's "staff integration support fund" is managed by a joint committee responsible for organising activities to help ILL families settle into their new surroundings. Part of the fund's annual budget can be used to finance the personal or professional projects of staff members' partners.

What would be my tax situation?

If you arrive from a foreign country and don't know how the French tax system works you might be entitled to professional advice.
The system includes all the taxes and other social contributions payable to French public administrations by foreigners and French nationals living in France.

If you need more information on fiscal issues, click here (pdf - 230 Ki)

I'm looking for an apprenticeship. What does ILL offer?

ILL can offer two types of apprenticeships:

  • Apprenticeship contracts:
    If you are between 18 and 25 years old, or are classed as disabled, or are starting up or taking over a company, you may be eligible for an apprenticeship contract. These are contracts of employment allowing apprentices to follow training courses in recognised centres ("CFAs") and gain work experience in parallel on a placement or internship basis.
  • "Professionalisation" contracts:
    These apply to people aged between 18 and 25, jobseekers over 26 or to those receiving certain state benefits (RSA, ASS, AAH, CUI, etc.). They are work experience training contracts combining practical work experience with theoretical tuition in a training organisation.

To see our apprenticeship and "professionalisation" opportunities, click here

What are the working conditions and benefits for an apprentice?

You will be considered as a member of staff. You will therefore be entitled to the same working conditions as ILL employees, based on your monthly working hours.

You can consult ILL's conditions of employment here

I'm looking for an internship/work placement. What does ILL offer?

If you are interested in a placement opportunity please send your CV and letter of motivation directly to the person indicated on the announcement. 
Remember to quote the placement reference number.

You can find advice on how to apply here

I'm looking for a placement. What would I earn at ILL?

Allowance for trainees depends on the length of the placement and your level of qualification.  

You can consult ILL's conditions for trainees here

I'd like to do a thesis next year. Are you recruiting?

Our PhD Graduate School runs a PhD programme every year guaranteeing excellent scientific supervision and personal guidance.

ILL's procedures for recruiting thesis students are explained here. 
You will also find information on the thesis projects currently underway.