Internationally, nationally and industrially renowned, research at Ecole Centrale de Lyon is performed around 6 laboratories, all Joint research units (UMR) CNRS.

In an increasingly globally competitive environment, coupled with economical and societal expectations, Centrale Lyon has put in place a dynamic scientific policy, structured around 5 main disciplines: nanotechnology and nanomaterials, transport, energy, environment and bio-engineering.

With more than 50 theses presented each year, the Ecole plays an important role in education through research. Numerous former doctorates of Ecole Centrale de Lyon take up key positions in R&D services of large industrial groups or devote their time to a career in a university, at the Ecole, at a public university or in other research organisations.

The Ecole Centrale de Lyon is characterised by a remarkable balance between academic research and research partnerships, guaranteeing the highest level of scientific research whilst maintaining an indispensable practicality in the eyes of the enterprises. One of the advantages of research in the Ecole is the power of its test facilities, designed around platforms of ambitious sizes. Thanks to its recent success in the proposal of the Plan Investissements d'Avenir, and in coordination with other establishments in Lyon as part of a site policy where it is one of the main stakeholders, the Ecole reinforces today its test facilities with the establishment of 3 "Equipments of Excellence" (EQUIPEX): IVTV, Phare and Manutech.

Internationally, the Ecole's research policy is targeted around a concentrated number of main activities, notably the establishment of the Laboratoires Internationaux Associées (LIA) or the Unités Mixtes Internationales (UMI).

The Management of Research coordinates all the research-based activities and doctoral studies. Relying on the Conseil Scientifique of the establishment, the Ecole puts in place the scientific policy of the School and ensures the coordination with partner establishments.