Overview and Missions

IRSET is a large international inter- and multidisciplinary research centre on environmental and occupational health.
Le bâtiment de recherche de l'Irset


IRSET (UMR_S 1085) is a joint research unit of the INSERM institute, the University of Rennes, and the EHESP School of Public Health, in partnership with the University of Angers and the University of the French Antilles, the CNRS, and the Teaching Hospitals of RennesAngers and Guadeloupe. IRSET's director is Mr Michel Samson (INSERM Research Director).

IRSET's missions:

  • Study the biological processes and the environmental factors (whether physical, chemical, biological, occupational, and sociocultural) that affect human health,
  • Respond to requests from governmental, national and regional authorities, and health agencies, in charge of public health, environmental health, occupational health, and drug safety, by providing them with scientific data and contributing to expert work,
  • Contribute through research to the objectives of the National Plans, in particular in the fields of public health, occupational health, environmental health, and occupational health,
  • Respond to requests from citizens, non-governmental associations, intermediary bodies and the media.

IRSET In Figures

Founded in 2009 and accredited by Inserm in 2012, IRSET today includes almost 350 research staff working in two departments: Research and Research Support.

The Research department comprises 11 research teams certified by INSERM and one ERC team:

  • 29 EPST* researchers, 40 teaching-researchers, 13 post-doctoral researchers,
  • 60 hospital university teachers and/or hospital practitioners,
  • 74 qualified research supervisors (HDR),
  • 60 PhD students,
  • 75 engineers and technical staff.

This division also includes one COFRAC-accredited innovation and R&D platform led by Vincent Bessonneau, the LERES (60 people), as well as an emerging team "Fungal Respiratory Infections" under the direction of Nicolas Papon (30 people).

(As of January 1, 2023)

The Research Support department brings together all of the support functions, i.e. around 30 people working in support of the institute's scientists: Administration/Financial management, Logistics and Estate (including deliveries and washing facilities), Health & safety, and Animal facilities.

In addition, IRSET welcomes 50 to 100 interns each year.

IRSET was assessed by the HCERES (High Council for the Evaluation of Research and Higher Education) in 2021.

* National Public Institution of a Scientific and Technological Nature

A Wide Range of Research Topics

IRSET research teams all work towards a common goal, which is to better understand the biological processes and environmental factors that affect human health and to study the related pathologies. They work in a number of complementary areas such as molecular biology, genomics, bioinformatics, analytical chemistry, toxicology and epidemiology.

IRSET's Supervising Institutions And Partners

IRSET comes under three different institutions: the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), the University of Rennes and the  EHESP School of Public Health.

Angers University, the University of the French Antilles, the CNRS, the Rennes Teaching Hospital, the Angers Teaching Hospital and the Guadeloupe Teaching Hospital in Pointe-à-Pitre are its main partners.

IRSET also maintains privileged links with Anses and Santé publique France.

IRSET Supervisory Bodies and Partners


IRSET researchers rely on Biosit platforms

Nolwenn Brandhonneur | Biosit : biologie, santé, innovation technologique

Biosit is a federative structure for research in biology and health. It manages and develops cutting-edge technological platforms in fields such as in vitro and in vivo tests and imaging, histology and pathology, and molecular analysis.

Rennes, A Nice City To Work And Live In

The Institute is located in Rennes, Brittany's capital city, which also hosts the Universities of Rennes 1 and Rennes 2, the EHESP School of Public Health, and many elite engineering schools. The city is well-known, both for its dynamic scientific research environment and for its lively arts and culture scene. It is a major transport hub, with a high-speed train link to Paris (1h25) and flights to all major European cities from Rennes Saint-Jacques international airport (2-3h).



Jobs | Internships | Theses

Click here to see IRSET's current job offers.