IMéRA of Marseille
IMéRA is an Institute for Advanced Study, or IAS (Institut d’Etudes Avancées, IEA). Its purpose is to offer residency programs for high-level international researchers, both confirmed and emerging, of all disciplines, so as to provide them with an opportunity to meet, carry out work requiring several months of freedom from administrative or teaching duties, and strengthen ties between research and higher education centres in the region.
The Institute, which is fully interdisciplinary, is both a residency centre and the driving force behind a long-term collective project, aimed "contributing to the construction of future interdisciplinarity" through commitment to transcending disciplinary boundaries and emphasising the human dimension of sciences, which is all too often neglected in favour of their conceptual dimension.
IMéRA, which was founded by the three Universities of Aix-Marseille and the French National Scientific Research Centre (Centre National de Recherche Scientifique – CNRS), is a co-member, along with the Institutes for Advanced Study in Paris, Lyon and Nantes, of the French IAS Network (Réseau Français des Instituts d’Etudes Avancées – RFIEA), one of the thirteen Thematic Advanced Research Networks (Réseaux Thématiques de Recherche Avancée – RTRA) set up by the French Government in a drive to create poles of scientific excellence.
IMéRA is characterised by three clear choices:
• Its openness to all scientific disciplines—hard sciences, social sciences and the humanities—as well as to literature and artistic creation, with a view to stimulating innovative exchanges and thereby transcending disciplinary boundaries;
• Its emphasis on hosting young research teams which are interdisciplinary and international, so as to allow them to develop their projects in exceptional conditions, in relation with senior, experienced researchers, whether through residency at IméRA or by carrying out research based in the region
• Its Mediterranean orientation, whose aim is to offer excellent conditions for allowing researchers from the Mediterranean zone to work in association with the Institute and thus to provide them with a flexible, open structure fostering intellectual debate.
The Institute is governed by a Board of Directors, comprising representatives from: the Université de Provence, the Université de la Méditerranée, the Université Paul Cézanne and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).
It is chaired by the historian Robert Ilbert, the founder and former director of the Mediterranean Centre for Human Sciences (MMSH).
Its members are:
• Université de Provence – Jean-Paul CAVERNI
• Université de Provence – Jean-Marc LAYET
• Université de Provence – Brigitte MARIN
• Université de la Méditerranée – Pierre CHIAPPETTA
• Université de la Méditerranée – Roger GIUDICELLI
• Université de la Méditerranée – Didier LAUSSEL
• Université Paul Cézanne – Robert FOUCHET
• Université Paul Cézanne – Marc PENA
• Université Paul Cézanne – Thierry TATONI
• CNRS – JEan-François GOSSIAUX
• CNRS – Robert ILBERT
• CNRS – Patrice BOURDELAIS
The Scientific Board assesses the Institute’s activities and contributes to defining its scientific orientation. It is also responsible for selecting residents from the shortlist chosen by IMéRA’s Pre-selection Committee.
The Board comprises some twenty prestigious international researchers and meets once a year. It is chaired by Giovanni LEVI, with Jean-Pierre SIVAN as Vice Chairman.
• Rachad ANTONIUS, Sociologist, Université du Québec à Montréal
• Françoise BIRG, Cancer researcher, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM)
• Karine CHEMLA, Mathematical historian and sinologist, CNRS and Université Paris VII-Diderot
• Marie-Françoise COUREL, Geographer, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris
• Anne FAGOT-LARGEAULT, Philosopher and psychiatrist, professor at Collège de France (Chair of Philosophy of Biological and Medical Sciences)
• Karim FAWAZ,Doctor, Harvard Medical School, Boston.
• Etienne GUYON,Physician and museologist, Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles, Paris
• Jean-Pierre KAHANE, Mathematician, Member of the Académie des sciences, Paris.
• Michèle KAIL, Psycholinguist, specialist in cognitive science, CNRS and Université de Provence
• Rashid KHALIDI, Historian, The Middle East Institute, Columbia University in the City of New York
• Giovanni LEVI, Historian, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice; Chairman of the IMéRA Scientific Board.
• Antoine LYON-CAEN, Jurist, Université Paris Ouest-Nanterre-la Défense and EHESS
• Christine MENGIN, Architectural historian, Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
• Gretty MIRDAL, Psychologist, University of Copenhagen
• Jean-Claude RISSET, Musician, composer, researcher in acoustic physics (CNRS)
• Jean-Pierre SIVAN, Astrophysician, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille (CNRS); Vice Chairman of the IMéRA Scientific Board
• Betül TANBAY, Mathematician, Bogaziçi University, Istanbul
IMéRA residence proposals are open to researchers of all origins in terms of nationality and disciplines prepared to contribute to collective work on new cross-field issues, notably interaction between social and formal/experimental sciences, between basic science and applied science. The Arts and humanities are included.
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IMéRA is located in the heart of Marseille, on the Longchamp plateau, a vast landscaped park leading off the Canebière, where it has its premises in the former Observatoire d’Astronomie Marseille-Provence.
This remarkable site, ideally located in terms of transport and accessibility, has long been devoted to science and culture. The Palais Longchamp, a prestigious Second Empire monument crowning the plateau, is home both to Marseille’s oldest museum, dedicated to fine arts, and to the Natural History Museum.
The Institute is fortunate in its exceptional scientific environment. Located in Marseille, the home to major scientific universities and research institutes, it also benefits from proximity to Aix-en-Provence, with its humanities and social sciences universities and research laboratories. The Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region is France’s third largest scientific pole.
Work on the site is planned and will be carried out in two phases, providing accommodation and work areas so that some fifteen residents can be housed in better conditions at IMéRA as of the beginning of 2012.
The first phase (May 2010-December 2010) will involve work on the Maison des Astronomes and the three-bedroom flat; the second phase (2011) will see work carried out on the university building.
Until January 2011, residents will be accommodated in a residential hotel, and the science laboratories in the region will provide working space for residents.
The three-bedroom flat is now available.
Three flats located on the third floor of the Maison des Astronomes will be open to residents in March 2011. The Maison will also include a seminar room and a large conference room on the ground floor, with lounges and management offices on the first floor.
The university building will be fully renovated for the beginning of 2012, with a dozen lodgings, specific spaces for IMéRA projects and service and leisure areas.