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


NATO salaries


In 2019, the North Atlantic Council approved the implementation of a new remuneration structure for NATO, known as the single salary spine, following principles developed in Coordinating Committee on Remuneration. The single salary spine will, over time, replace the ABCL salary structure (in force since 1958). 

The single salary spine is a new salary structure which aims to modernize the current remuneration structure by providing a flexible system that meets the broad needs of all NATO bodies and provides a long term cost control. It also aims to correct pay scales in the duty countries facing challenges to recruit and retain the staff that NATO needs. 

Under the ABCL salary structure members of the staff are recruited into one of four categories, A, L, B and C, which correspond to four types of duty or post. Following implementation of the single salary Spine, posts are placed on the single salary spine and are described in terms of 24 “NATO grades”. The grade equivalence table is found above.



The Director welcomes applications from suitably qualified NATO nation citizens for 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. Three-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. 

Salaries and Allowances

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

(a) Basic Salary
(b) Basic Family Allowance 
(c) Expatriation Allowance (not applicable to Italian citizens) 
(d) Dependent Child Supplement/s 
(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 and it will be paid after the reception of supporting documents that residence has been moved in order to take up duty.

Ceilings and supplements apply depending on staff member personal situation.

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 the removal, at the expense of the Organization, of their household goods and personal effects. Payment is made according to weight and volume, within the following maximum limits (including packing):

With dependants

Without dependants

Unclassified: 7,000 Kg./66 m3

Unclassified:  5,000 Kg./47 m3

Categories  A, B, C & L: 6,000 kg./ 57 m3

Categories  A, B, C & L: 4,000 kg./38 m3

To the above figures can be added 500 kg. or 5 m3. per child or recognized dependent residing in the household.  All consignments are cleared by the customs authorities in La Spezia.

Payment is made only within the approved estimates set by the Organization. The Organization does not pay for the removal of motor vehicles, boats, trailers or animals. Warehousing or other storage costs, other than those directly incidental to normal transportation expenses, are not admitted. 

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.

Payment of Salary and Allowances

Salaries and reimbursements must be paid in an Italian bank account. In the Centre’s premises there is a bank branch, but the staff members can choose their preferred bank group.

The staff members entitled to expatriation allowance can request the payment of part of their total emoluments into the currency of their home countries.

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

Members of the staff eligible for the payment of expatriation allowance, with the exception staff who, at the time of their recruitment, were nationals of the country in which they are serving and of no other country, are entitled to home leave for every 2 years of service. After completion of the first period of 2 years' service, the duration of this leave is 8 working days plus travel time both ways calculated on the basis of the most rapid and economical means of public transport. After the completion of 4 years' service, the duration of this leave is 3 working days plus travel time both ways using the most rapid and economical means of public transport. After the completion of 6 years' service and thereafter, only the travel costs both ways are reimbursable using the most rapid and economical means of public transport.

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 CMRE Community 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.