Institutes, centres & units

CSIC mainly develops its scientific and technical activity through its research institutes, which are organized in departments integrated by research groups.


The CSIC is a State Agency that is considered as a Public Research Organization of the Spanish General State Administration with its own unique legal status. The CSIC carries out its functions through a multiplicity of organizational structures lacking their own legal character. The research institutes through which the CSIC performs its scientific and technical research activity are notable in terms of their importance and number. Each institute is integrated within one of three thematic Global Areas. 

  • CSIC research activity is carried out with full scientific autonomy and is organised through research groups that form the different departments according to topic areas. CSIC management activity is carried out following a decentralized and responsible system.
  • For their internal operation, the institutes have their own management (Management, Deputy Manager(s), Board), administration (Administrative Manager) and advisory bodies (Scientific Faculty).


The CSIC currently has 120 research institutes distributed throughout the national territory, with the exception of the Escuela Española de Historia y Arqueología in Rome (Italy).  Of these 120 institutes, 51 are joint centres with other institutions, primarily universities.

There are also eight centres classified as research support units, which provide technical and administrative support to two or more institutes.


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