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The Collegium de Lyon and the RFIEA

The Collegium de Lyon is an historical member of the French network of Institutes of Advanced Studies (RFIEA), along with three other IASs based in Marseilles, Nantes, and Paris.

The Foundation serves as the institutional interface between the RFIEA and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the Athéna Alliance (National Thematic Alliance for SSH – Alliance thématique nationale pour les sciences humaines et sociales), the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Consortium of University Presidents (CPU) and the National Network of Humanities Institutes (Réseau national des maisons des sciences de l’homme – RnMSH). It promotes the specific added value the IAS brings to French academic world and facilitates synergies with university communities (Communautés d’universités et d’établissements – COMUE), their member institutions and research bodies.

Since 2009, it has served as the general secretariat of the Network of European Institutes for Advanced Study (NetIAS), which comprises 22 of the most prestigious European institutes for advanced study. In 2010, it designed an international mobility program which it now coordinates – the EURIAS Fellowship Program – cofunded with an €8 million contribution from the European Commission. It is the permanent representative of the French IASs included in the network of University-based Institutes for Advanced Study (UBIAS), which comprises 45 institutes located on all five continents.

As part of the major national investment program, Investissements d’avenir, the RFIEA+ won the “Laboratory of Excellence” (LabEx) call for proposals in March 2012 and is one of 40 SSH projects selected at the national level. The RFIEA foundation is the coordinating institution for the LabEx RFIEA+. The economist Raouf Boucekkine, director of the IMéRA (Aix-Marseille IAS) is the current scientific and technical director of the LabEx.

The RFIEA+ supports the IAS' policies of inviting top-level researchers. It also supports various actions within the framework of three major initiatives:
  1. The development of international projects: a seed fund encourages scientific partnerships based on collaboration between the fellows who are invited to the program and French laboratories, in the context of European and international calls for projects, either individual or collaborative (French National Research Agency, European Research Council, the Horizon 2020 research program);
  2. The promotion of social and economic value: the activities undertaken ensure that the knowledge produced in the institutes is better disseminated and has greater impact on public and private decision-makers (businesses, local and regional authorities, etc.), as well as civil society organizations (non-profits, cultural centers, newspapers and other media);
  3. Doctoral training: the activities undertaken (summer school, intensive seminars, mobility, participation in doctoral juries, etc.) strengthen research training programs, not only in terms of site policies but also at the national, European and international levels.

The RFIEA (including the LabEx RFIEA+) contributes substantially to the funding of the Collegium de Lyon and the three other member institutes of the network.

FIAS-FP program

The RFIEA Foundation serves as the coordinator of the new French Institutes for Advanced Study Fellowship Programme (FIAS-FP). The four French Institutes of Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier and Paris teamed up to propose this unified and simplified entry point to their much-coveted scientific residencies.

The FIAS-FP is designed to foster intellectual exchanges amongst fellows and with the local scientific community, exposing them to innovative methods, opening new theoretical horizons, and creating international transdisciplinary networks among fellows and beyond. It provides SSH scholars worldwide the possibility to spend one academic year in one of the four of France’s most innovative scientific regions and to benefit from the IAS stimulating work environments for career development.

Starting 2020, the FIAS-FP supports each year several 10-months fellowships at the Collegium de Lyon. Applications for the Collegium which do not pertain to one of the themes of the Excellence Program carried by the Université de Lyon, belong to the programme blanc (blank program) and thus, are supported by this FIAS-FP program. All these applications are processed through the FIAS-FP / RFIEA centralized call.


 NetIAS (Network of European Institutes for Advanced Study) was created in 2004 to stimulate dialogue on the practices implemented by each IAS and to explore possible forms of cooperation. NetIAS members share the objective of creating international and multidisciplinary learning communities. This openness and the freedom the fellows enjoy for their research projects promote scientific and intellectual exchanges. The fellows are released from their usual teaching and research duties and pursue their project in a nurturing environment that stimulates reflection and innovation. The IAS environment provides a break from intellectual routines, which fosters the emergence of new perspectives, approaches and paradigms.

With its shared vision of freedom of research, and the alternative it provides to national institutions of higher education and research, the IAS offer a considerable diversity of fellowship conditions: individual or collective fellowships; invitations or open calls for applications; one academic year residencies or shorter periods. Furthermore, their scientific policies are characterized by different thematic or geographical orientations, openness to diverse natural and hard sciences, and a special commitment to promoting the early careers of researchers.


The EURIAS fellowship program, a NetIAS (Network of European Institutes for Advanced Study) initiative, ended in 2019. This network gathers 22 Institutes for Advanced Study in Europe. Around 50 researchers have been hosted each year in the NetIAS network for up to an entire academic year.

The EURIAS was coordinated by the RFIEA Foundation (Network of French Institutes for Advanced Study), a foundation for scientific cooperation. The Program Advisory Board was composed of three internationally recognized administrators whith extensive experience on panels at the national, European and international levels. This international mobility program, primarily aimed at scholars in the humanities and social sciences, is 40% cofunded by the European Commission as part of the Marie-Skłodowska Curie Actions (COFUND program) of the 7th Framework Program (FP7).
The EURIAS program was extremely competitive, with a low acceptance rate of 6%, and has supported applicants with strong and innovative research projects that extend beyond disciplinary specialties, that demonstrated international outreach and whith a large number of publications.

The EURIAS program has been very successful in the international scientific community, attracting applicants from about 100 countries each year. The high quality of the 600 applications that it receives on average for each call for applications, coupled with its low acceptance rate, have contributed to the program’s growing reputation and widening institutional base. French IASs, which on average offered a quarter of the grants available under the program, received a large number of international applications and quickly gained recognition within the European IAS network.