EHESS permanent faculty members are elected to the position of Assistant / Associate Professor or Research Director (similar to the status of Professor in the USA and UK), in the faculty member's chosen research area, by the Board of Teachers.

Faculty members are free to decide the topics of their research seminar series. They are no prerequisite thematic or disciplinary categories. Teaching at the EHESS has one key requirement: each faculty member must base their teaching on their current, ongoing research activities including discussions of methodologies, ways of working with research team members / collaborators, and the positioning of the work in relation to that of academic peers. Every year, faculty members renew the form and content of their teaching, as their own research develops. They are also encouraged to invite colleagues from other French or overseas universities to lead or participate in their seminars.

The EHESS brings together 117 Research Directors, 58 combined Research Directors (who are employed by another institutions, generally a research body or university, and who are full members of the Board), and 77 Assistant / Associate Professors who are affiliated with the Research Centre, "Mixed Research Unit (UMR)", of their choice. Through their innovative and high-quality research, their role is to coordinate a broader community of scholars, within research laboratories and scientific networks in France, in Europe and overseas.