The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), founded in 1939, is the successor of the Committee for Extension of Studies and Scientific Research (JAE), created in 1907 and whose first president was Santiago Ramón y Cajal. The CSIC continued to lead the scientific activity in Spain although, unlike its predecessor, it gave more importance to applied science.

At the beginning of 1938, in the midst of the Spanish Civil War, Franco’s government announced the abolition of the Committee for Extension of Studies and Scientific Research and the transfer of the majority of its competences to the Institute of Spain. A few months later, in 1939, the project was redefined due to the creation of the Spanish National Research Council, which assumed the venues and the competences of the JAE.

In 1942, the first change was introduced in the Founding Act, which established the collaboration system with universities and allowed the creation of joint centres with them. In 1945, it was approved the creation of the first vacancies for research and support staff employed by the CSIC.

During the 60s and 70s, the CSIC continued extending itself across all the Spanish geography with the creation of research centres and institutes, and created its first foreign office: the CSIC Delegation in Rome.

At the end of 1977, once recovered the democratic system in Spain, a new regulation was created, involving a rupture with its previous stage and becoming the text on which have been articulated all the following regulations.