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An Institute for advanced studies

The Collegium de Lyon, much like other Institutes for Advanced Study (IAS) around the world, is designed to be an independent research center for innovative research.

By providing freedom of research to a community of outstanding researchers, the Collegium de Lyon’s primary aim is to build a high-level scientific community centered on the humanities and social sciences that is open cross-cutting research projects incorporating the hard sciences, offering a truly novel interdisciplinary perspective.

The primary means to this end is to invite internationally-renowned researchers, teachers and scholars to work together at the same academic site. Unburdened from their usual teaching or administrative duties, their time is freed up to pursue their fundamental research full-time, individually or in collaboration with others in a high-quality research environment.

The history of science and empirical research show that some places and institutions provide a better quality environment than others to stimulate scientific creativity, which leads to more decisive progress in research and development. These often small-scale institutions gather renowned scientists conducting research in a variety of academic fields. They are also characterized by the absence of a strict hierarchy and by openness to thinking outside the box and leading original projects.

With this in mind, the Collegium de Lyon was founded in 2006 in keeping with the two principles of what makes an IAS: a fully global approach and an active interdisciplinary approach. The Collegium de Lyon believed that encouraging interdisciplinary research from the start was the most beneficial way to renew and diversify the research conducted within each discipline, as this could strengthen the dynamics specific to each field. Interdisciplinarity also generates new perspectives on the fields of knowledge, and multiplies the points of view by fostering scientific inspiration.

The Collegium de Lyon’s ambition is to host the most original and outstanding scientific projects that fit within the research potential of the Lyon Saint-Etienne academic site. No restrictions are placed on fields of research, topics or cultural contexts. Each fellow is free to pursue the work of their choosing, with no predefined program limiting their creativity. The IAS does not invite researchers specifically because they work on a similar theme: the process is completely bottom-up. The Institute aims only at selecting the best, regardless of their specialty or their field of research.

As a consequence, applications cover a large range of disciplines, areas of knowledge and societal issues. Applicants are selected from an open and recurring call for applications. The hope is that during their stay, they will cultivate the Collegium de Lyon’s structuring themes as a natural consequence of the collaborations they develop with other fellows, teachers and researchers of the Lyon Saint-Etienne academic site. Original, truly interdisciplinary perspectives may then arise from having outstanding researchers working on different topics in the same location in ideal work conditions.

The most successful IASs in the world maintain close ties to their location, and the Collegium de Lyon follows this pattern with its strong connection to the metropolises of Lyon and Saint-Etienne.