Working at CMRE

Approximately 75% of the Centre employees are scientists and engineers/technicians from NATO member countries. The official NATO languages are English and French. The Centre offers a stimulating and pleasant working environment, with facilities that include:

  • the oceanographic research vessels, NRV Alliance and CRV Leonardo
  • electronic and mechanical workshops
  • advanced scientific computing
  • library


  • internationally competitive salaries
  • education and expatriate allowances, where appropriate
  • medical insurance
  • contribution to retirement fund
  • annual and home leave


The Director welcomes applications from suitably qualified NATO nation citizens for 3 to 5 year terms of employment in our scientific programmes. Undergraduates or recent graduates, and potential visiting scientists are invited to apply for the Visiting Researcher Programme.

For additional information, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


General Information for Prospective Employees*

*Details of terms and conditions of employment, current benefits and allowances are provided directly to each incoming employee. 


SCIENTISTS are recruited on three-year definite duration contracts. Two-year extensions may be offered. Due to the rotational nature of these contracts, positions become available on a regular basis. Therefore applications from scientists working in the Centre's research areas are always welcome. Relevant applications are kept on active files for future reference. SUPPORT STAFF are recruited on a three-year initial contract which may be extended.

Security Clearance

An offer of employment is subject to the prior and satisfactory completion of national clearance procedures. A request for security clearance will be submitted by the Centre to the appropriate national authorities after a candidate has accepted an offer of employment.

Medical Certificate

Prospective staff members are required to submit a health certificate stating that they are fit for work and free from deseases which may constitute a risk to others or be ground for exclusion from certain benefits under the NATO Group Insurance Policy and the Pension Scheme. Medical examination on appointment and subsequent annual examinations are mandatory.


On joining the Centre, and subject to passing an insurance type examination on recruitment, staff members become affiliated to the Centre Group Insurance Scheme.

Transfer of Pension Rights

Staff joining NATO from government service, national or international organizations may transfer accrued retirement rights. Accrued NATO pension rights may be similarly transferred.

Salaries and Allowances

Payable tax-free, in Euro at the end of each month comprising the following:

(a) Basic Salary
(b) Household Allowance 
(c) Expatriation Allowance (not applicable to Italian citizens) 
(d) Dependent Children's Allowance 
(e) Deductions

Installation Allowance

An allowance is paid to staff members residing more than 100 km from La Spezia on the date of their appointment.


  • Staff not entitled to Household Allowance : 30 days basic salary
  • Staff entitled to H.A. with no children or 1 dependent child : 45 days basic salary
  • Staff entitled to H.A., with 2 or more dependent children : 60 days basic salary

The first instalment of 30 days' basic salary is paid on arrival. The balance of the allowance is paid when the staff member has satisfactorily completed the probationary period (the first six months of definite duration contracts) and has been joined by family members.

Travel Expenses

Members of staff whose normal place of residence on appointment is more than 100 km from La Spezia are entitled to reimbursement of travel expenses on the basis of economy class air fares. Grade A staff are entitled to first class rail travel. Spouses and dependent children of staff members who have completed their probationary period are entitled to reimbursement of travel, on condition that they have set up their main residence with the staff member. The travel expense of the staff member are paid on arrival, those of spouse and dependents after successful completion of the probationary period.

Removal Expenses

Staff members whose normal place of residence is more than 100 km from La Spezia are entitled to reimbursement of expenses incurred in the removal of their furniture and household effects, subject to completion of the probationary period. Reimbursement is made at the end of the probationary period according to weight and volume, within the limits prescribed (including packing):

Staff entitled to Household Allowance  Staff not entitled to Household Allowance
Grades A & L : 6,000 kg./ 40 m3.  Grades A & L : 4,000 kg./ 30 m3
Grades B & C : 3,000 kg./ 20 m3  Grades B & C : 2,000 kg./ 20 m3

To the above figures can be added 500 kg. and 4 m3. per child or recognized dependent residing in the household. NATO does not pay for air-freight, shipment of motor cars, warehousing, storage or transportation of pets. All consignments are cleared by the customs authorities in La Spezia. 
N.B. In cases of financial hardship, it is possible to request an advance of up to 90% of the reimbursement of removal expenses after the removal has been effected.

Education Allowance

Reimbursement of educational expenses for dependent children may be granted with a ceiling of 2.5 x the dependent child allowance in the country of study and 3 times (4 times in exceptional cases, up to secondary level) the dependent child allowance if the child is educated in the country of which the staff member is a national.

Banking Facilities

Salaries and reimbursements are paid into the branch of the Banca INTESA located at the Centre, where employees are required to open an account for this purpose.

Working Hours

Seven-and-a-half hours (flexible) per working day

Annual Leave

Two-and-a-half working days for each month of service completed.

Home Leave

Staff members entitled to expatriation allowance are entitled (with some exceptions) to paid home country leave every two years, amounting to 8 working days plus travel time. The staff member, spouse and dependent children are entitled to reimbursement of travel expenses to and from the home country at economy class air rates.

U.S. Citizens

U.S. nationals selected to fill any vacancy at the Centre are employed under NATO Direct Hire status, details of which are available on request.


Citizens from United States, Canada, Czech Republic, Hungary, Iceland, Poland, Canada and Turkey usually require a visa for entry into Italy. Please contact the nearest Italian Embassy or Consulate upon presentation of our letter of offer. Special procedure is required for your family members if they reach you in Italy at a later time. This information is subject to change and should be verified by the individuals.


Typical rents range between 800,00 and 1350,00 Euro per month excluding utilities. Newly arrived staff are often obliged to spend an initial period in a hotel or temporary accommodation. Although finding accommodation is an individual responsibility, the Personnel Office can provide assistance.


There are five main options:

  • local (Italian) schools
  • Camp Darby (U.S. Army base near Pisa), elementary & middle school only
  • international schools in Italy (Florence, Genoa and Rome)
  • international schools, other country
  • schools in home country.

Parents with children of nursery and elementary school age (up to eleven) and in some cases junior high school age (up to fourteen), may choose local Italian schools. After an initially difficult period of adjustment, this arrangement normally works satisfactorily although it tends to be more difficult the older the child.

Recreational facilities

CMRE staff and family members have access to a gym, tennis and basketball courts located at the Centre. A number of activities and clubs sponsored by the Morale and Welfare Association are also available. Most international staff members personnel are granted the privilege of using the shopping, recreational and other facilities available at the United States Army base at Camp Darby, near Pisa. The International Womens Club in Lerici is actively supported by Centre personnel and their spouses.