National Research Programme for Environmental and Occupational Health

Noise pollution, microplastics, endocrine disruptors, pathogens, 5G deployment, climate change... these are just some of the aspects of our environment that raise questions about their effects on our health. If we are to assess their real consequences, we need knowledge. This is the aim of the PNR EST.

Funding research into the risks associated with our environment

The National Research Programme for Environmental and Occupational Health (PNR EST), coordinated by ANSES, funds research on environmental health risks, including occupational risks and risks to ecosystems. Some health studies cover the general population, while others focus on vulnerable groups such as children and pregnant women, or on specific contexts such as the workplace, leisure activities, or daily life.

 The PNR EST has three objectives

  • To produce scientific knowledge on health risks associated with the environment and work, which are needed to enable ANSES to conduct its expert appraisals: either because the studies produce data that will be used for future expert appraisals, or because they fill gaps in knowledge identified in previous reports.
  • To develop new methods and tools for health risk analysis.
  • To organise research and scientific teams to tackle issues related to the environmental-occupational health theme.

The themes

Each year, two calls for proposals are issued simultaneously:

A general call for proposals on environmental and occupational health

This aims to fund research on priority issues, related to changes in society arising from public policies (French environmental health and occupational health plans, ten-year cancer prevention strategy) or raised by the national agencies concerned by the topic.

The themes of this call for proposals include the effects of light pollution, nanomaterials, endocrine disruptors or climate change; factors promoting cancer; mosquito-borne diseases and worker exposure to pathogens. The call also highlights the need to characterise the human and environmental exposome and improve understanding of its health effects, while taking account of the socio-economic dimensions.

A specific call for proposals on "Radiofrequencies and health"

This aims to fill gaps in scientific knowledge on the health risks of wireless communication technologies – whether current or under development – using radiofrequencies, such as mobile phones and connected objects. Four themes have been defined: research on the mechanisms of action of radiofrequencies at cellular level, their possible physiological or health effects, electromagnetic hypersensitivity, and the characterisation of uses and exposures to radiofrequencies in real-life situations.

Cahiers de la Recherche

The Cahiers de la Recherche address health and safety issues that often arouse public concern, such as endocrine disruptors, chemicals, cancer and the environment, etc. They provide a general picture of the research projects funded under the National Research Programme for Environmental and Occupational Health.

French funding agencies make a commitment to open science

In 2020, the Agency for Ecological Transition (ADEME), the French Research Agency (ANR), the French Research Agency on HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis | Emerging Infectious Diseases (ANRS|MIE), the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) and the French National Cancer Institute (INCa) signed a joint declaration in support of open science. This declaration underlines their ambition to develop a coordinated approach for disseminating and sharing knowledge more widely.

View the Joint declaration by the network of French funding agencies to promote open science (PDF)

View the 2023 Open Science FAQ (PDF) 

View the 2021 review of agencies in support of open science (PDF)

View the 2022 review and 2023 outlook in support of open science (PDF)

The PNR EST in brief

Year of creation: 2006
Number of calls for proposals per year: two (one on a general theme, the other on radiofrequencies). Possibility of a third call for proposals on a specific theme.
Number of projects funded: between 33 and 40 projects per year
Duration of projects: 2 to 3 years
Annual budget: €6 million to €8 million
Funding: sums entrusted to ANSES by the Ministries in charge of the Environment, Labour, Health and Agriculture. Co-funded by the Agency for Ecological Transition (ADEME) and the Aviesan alliance's multi-agency thematic institute for cancer (Aviesan ITMO Cancer).
Promotion: around 900 published scientific articles, two annual scientific meetings.