French Network of Institutes for Advanced Study
Head : 15 parvis René-Descartes, 69007 Lyon - FRANCE
Office : 190 avenue de France, 75013 Paris - FRANCE
The Network of French Institutes for Advanced Study (RFIEA) was established in March 2007 as one of the thirteen Thematic Networks for Advanced Study (RTRA) created by the Research Act of April 2006. This thematic network is unique in the area of the humanities and social sciences. In a context in which research is undergoing profound change, France has taken the decision to set up Institutes for Advanced Study (IAS) – institutions that have proved themselves in North America and Europe – and has opted to link up in a network the four newly created institutes located in several French cities: the Collegium de Lyon and the Institutes for Advanced Study of Nantes, Aix-Marseille and Paris.
In order to accomplish its various mission tasks, the RFIEA was established by law in the form of a foundation for scientific co-operation officially recognised as serving the public interest. The Foundation received a patrimonial grant from the Ministry of Higher Education and Research amounting to €13.5 million, to which is added the contributions of its five founding institutions. The Board of Trustees of the RFIEA brings together some of the most important actors in the humanities and social sciences in France: the National Centre for Scientific Research(CNRS), the École normale supérieure (ENS), the École normale supérieure Lettres et sciences humaines (ENS LSH), the School for Advanced Social Science Study (EHESS), the Foundation Maison des sciences de l’homme (FMSH), and the university and research centres in the Rhône-Alpes and Aix-Marseille regions and in Nantes.
Through its four constituent institutes, the RFIEA brings together 8 universities, 12 large advanced teaching and research institutions, 57 research units and over 1000 researchers linked to the IAS.
By the year 2013, over a hundred leading, emerging and experienced international researchers will be hosted each year in the four constituent Institutes of the RFIEA, making it one of the largest initiatives of its kind in Europe.
The Board of Trustees of the RFIEA brings together some of the most important actors in the humanities and social sciences in France: the National Centre for Scientific Research(CNRS), the École normale supérieure (ENS), the École normale supérieure Lettres et sciences humaines (ENS LSH), the School for Advanced Social Science Study (EHESS), the Foundation Maison des sciences de l’homme (FMSH), and the university and research centres in the Rhône-Alpes and Aix-Marseille regions and in Nantes. The Chairman of the Board is Jacques Commaille, École normale supérieure de Cachan. Its members are:
Administrators representing the founding members:
• Yvon Berland, université de la Méditerranée - Aix Marseille II
• Alain Bonnafous, Institut des sciences de l’homme de Lyon
• Patrice Bourdelais, Institut des sciences humaines et sociales du CNRS
• Jean-Paul Caverni, université de Provence
• Olivier Faron, École normale supérieure Lettres et sciences humaines
• Jean-François Gossiaux, Institut des sciences humaines et sociales du CNRS
• Samuel Jubé, IEA de Nantes
• Alain Supiot, IEA de Nantes
• François Weil, École des hautes études en sciences sociales
• Michel Wieviorka, Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme
• Jean-Charles Darmon, université de Versailles Saint-Quentin
• Gilles Pollet, Institut d’études politiques de Lyon
• Robert Ilbert, Maison méditerranéenne des sciences de l’homme
Elected representatives of teaching researchers:
• Alain Dewerpe, École des hautes études en sciences sociales
• Ali El Kenz, université de Nantes
• Marc Pena, université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III
• Bruno Pinchard, université de Lyon 3
The RFIEA has a Scientific Advisory Board whose role is to help define the main orientations of scientific policy and propose an innovative approach for the evaluation of the activities of the IAS and the Network. The Board is composed of twelve international researchers who represent a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences and who come from different parts of the world; it met for the first time in plenary session in December 2008.
The members of the Board are:
• Balveer Arora, Jawaharlal Nehru University (science politique)
• Monique Chemillier-Gendreau, Université de Paris VII (droit)
• Abdou Filali-Ansary, université Agha Khan de Londres (philosophie)
• Mauricio Garcià-Villegas, université nationale de Colombie (sociologie)
• Odile Journet-Diallo, École pratique des hautes études (ethnologie)
• Michèle Lamont, université de Harvard (sociologie)
• Patricia Lombardo, université de Genève (littérature comparée)
• Robert Salais, École normale supérieure de Cachan (économie)
• Björn Wittrock, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (science politique)
In November 2007, the Board of Trustees of the RFIEA nominated Olivier Bouin as Director of the Foundation. The RFIEA’s head office is located in Lyon, and the Foundation also has offices in Paris.
The presence of fellows in the institutes for advanced study
Over the 2008-2011 period, 147 researchers were invited to the four institutes supported by the foundation, making a substantial total of 848 researcher-months. In 2011, the IAS will host twice as many researchers as in 2008 and double the number of researcher-months. The possibility of inviting scholars for long stays has been acted on by Nantes and, to a lesser extent, by the Lyon and Paris institutes. The Nantes IAS reached cruising speed in 2010-2011, as it was the first institute to be established and has assembled considerable funding and real property assets. The three other institutes – including IMéRA, which welcomed its first fellows in September 2009 – will reach cruising speed in 2012-2013.
Origins of the fellows of the institutes for advanced study
It should be noted that of the 147 resident fellows, 117 have been non-French researchers from more than 20 countries. This distribution reflects the dominance of transatlantic and intra-European academic networks, but also the marked interest shown by the French institutes in researchers from other parts of the world, notably Africa, South Asia and East Asia. The proportion of foreign scholars will probably increase due to the invitation policies of IMéRA, which gives priority to scholars from Mediterranean countries, and of the Collegium de Lyon, which is preparing to host several researchers from China’s Academy of Social Sciences, with which the Collegium has very close relations. The range of fields is very wide, although history has a large share, far greater than those of literature, philosophy, sociology and law. This distribution reflects the quality of French scholarship in these disciplines and the attractiveness of the IAS’ international reputation for foreign researchers. The first invitations extended to foreign researchers in the “exact” sciences in Marseille and in the cognitive science in Paris and Lyon should lead to an even greater multidisciplinarity.