The ANRS is an original organization in the landscape of French research. Created in 1988, it mobilizes researchers from various disciplines in both the developed world and resource-limited countries to conduct research on HIV and viral hepatitis. The ANRS drives and funds research work but has no laboratories and the researchers who work for the agency are salaried employees in the laboratories of organizations like Inserm, CNRS, Institut Pasteur, IRD, and universities.
As a funding body, the ANRS makes two annual calls for research proposals and funds those selected by international advisory committees. The ANRS also offers funding outside these calls for proposals. ANRS support is not only financial: the agency oversees projects from conception to completion through continuing dialogue with the research teams and by making available human and technical resources, and logistic assistance.
As a research organization, ANRS also backs and funds studies that emerge from working groups and coordinated actions. The relevance of prioritized subjects is validated yearly by an international scientific board and is reviewed in light of the progress of research programs.
The ministry for research provides the bulk of the ANRS budget, but the ministries of health and of foreign affairs also contribute.