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Please let me know if this questions doesn't abide by the rules of the site and I'd be glad to take it off. In this case, I'd also appreciate if you can tell me where I should post this question to get the best answer.

I'd like to apply for a postdoctoral position at INRIA, France, and I'm noticing that the places for recommendations are optional, see this link for a screenshot of the application page. I'd like to ask two relevant questions:

1) Are they truly optional for INRIA postdoc position applications?

2) In case I decide to submit my recommendations anyway, is it possible that I ask for the references to be sent to me, and I upload them myself, as opposed to the referees uploading them for me. And in the second case, it's apparently not clear how the referees will upload their letters to my application file?

P.S. I already contacted the job poster (= potential postdoc mentor) and the team's administrative secretary, by email and phone, only to get no response.

If you work at INRIA as a researcher or had a successful postdoc application at INRIA, your answer will be ideal but I'm happy to hear from all of you.

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    I've heard from people at INRIA that it's very competitive, at least for permanent positions, and that probably applies to postdocs too. Their PhD applications also make letters of recommendation "optional", which seems ridiculous (a friend who applied without didn't even get an answer). I would see the recommendations as mandatory if you want to have a chance, but I might be wrong (I don't work there).
    – user39012
    Feb 19, 2021 at 10:37

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