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Scientific Collaborations

Collaborations with the LabEx

The Université de Lyon has 12 Laboratories of Excellence (LabEx). These laboratories and laboratory groups foster the creation of ambitious, international scientific projects by recruiting researchers and investing in innovative equipment.

The Collegium de Lyon has developed collaborations with several LabEx of the academic site. As a consequence, the Collegium de Lyon and the LabEx issue joint invitations to researchers who are working on the research topics covered by the LabEx. Scientific events may also be organized and LabEx researchers may participate in the activities of the Institute.


The LabEx ASLAN (Advanced studies on language complexity) stems from the cooperation between two research units located in Lyon: DDL (Dynamique Du Langage) and ICAR (Interactions, Corpus, Apprentissages, Représentations).


In 2011, ASLAN received funding for a 9-year period to capitalize on their existing activities while acting as a catalyst for emergent and innovative research. By articulating and extending the research activities of these two centers, ASLAN seeks to favor the emergence of multidimensional and integrative approaches to linguistics and language-oriented activities, leading not only to a richer understanding in a variety of related fields, but also to a measurable social, educational, cultural, medical, and economic impact.

International cooperation is critical to providing both context and insight to our studies. Thus, the ASLAN Steering Committee may support research proposals to the Collegium call for applications, if they are in line with the goals of the LabEx or its constituent laboratories. We encourage applicants to visit the websites listed below and to contact us for further information.

Keywords: Language; Linguistics; Complex Systems; Multimodal Communication; Neuroscience; Cognitive sciences; Learning; Education; Language impairments; Cultural diversity and socialization


Contact: ASLAN coordinator: Kris Lund

LabEx MILyon

Mathematics and computer science are deeply intertwined, and their multiple interactions are explored in-depth in Lyon, with the LabEx MILyon.

This is true for topics which are close to analysis, such as scientific and high performance computing, as well as more algebraic subjects, such as group theory and its links to symbolic dynamics, or category theory and its applications to the representation of concurrent systems.

The LabEx MIlyon wishes to reinforce its multidisciplinary activities in these three fields and is seeking high-level applications:
  • either in areas related to certified computation: numerical analysis, approximation theory, certified or symbolic mathematics libraries, explicit approach to dynamical systems, computer-assisted proofs;
  • or in the field of dynamical systems with multi-dimensional time, in particular going beyond the amenable case; this could concern the measured or topological settings, graph limits, approximations by finite models, or the challenges presented by the recently-introduced entropy invariants and their relationships with group theory;
  • or on mathematical models of distributed or concurrent systems: causal approaches to the semantics of concurrency, partial orders or event structures, links with category theory and game theory.
Applicants will have to show interest in taking part in the Collegium de Lyon's activities and interacting with researchers from diverse backgrounds, notably those working in the fields of Human and Social Sciences.

The LabEx MIlyon will provide successful applicants with funding in order to organize short-term thematic activities or visits of collaborators.

Contact: MILyon coordinator: Christophe Sabot

LabEx Comod

The COMOD LabEx takes an interdisciplinary approach drawing from various methods from the history of ideas to analyzing the civic foundation of European democracies. Most ideas, institutions and political practices surrounding “living together” are based on a certain type of practical rationality, in particular in the areas of politics and the relationship between citizens and authorities, the State and religion, sovereignty and expertise. This rationality was largely born during the Scientific Revolution and has grown in complex ways over the past few centuries. It has grown out of humanism through a number of key writings and a consensus on a few principles. This consensus forms the “civic foundation” upon which our European democracies have been built.

The Comod LabEx includes 5 UMRs, greeting staff and a Research Federation:
The LabEx’s research and education activities are articulated around three major areas of research and, more recently, areal studies.

Three major areas of research involving multi-year structuring projects

  1. The true formation of modern rationality and “the unthought”
  2. The State and religion
  3. The State and citizens
7 fields of areal studies

LabEx Cortex

The CORTEX LabEx (Construction, cognitive function, rehabilitation and repair of the cortex) includes 15 research teams from six laboratories: SBRI, ISC-MJ, CRNL, INMG, EMC, and GATE.

CORTEX is the result of a unique multidisciplinary team whose aim is to understand the cortex and cognition. It uses an integrative approach based on the systemic study of networks and multiscale interactions, from cells to the individual. Understanding the biological foundations of cognition, and the reasons for potential dysfunctions, requires intricate knowledge of the cortex’s genesis, structure and physiology.

CORTEX has many objectives: to develop new methods of cognitive remediation, to develop new, effective therapeutic procedures and to contribute to the development of biotechnology.

Key Words: Biotechnology; anatomy; cognition; psychiatry; neurobiology; neuroeconomics

Scientific and technical leader: Henry Kennedy



The Intelligence of Urban Worlds (IMU) LabEx has centered its research on an “object” – the generalized urban space – and an integrative approach based on plurality, bringing together all scientific fields as well as non-academic players. This “radical plurality” has been adopted by all members of the founding community and is the signature of French urban research.
Epistemologically, this position is more radical than the usual multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary approaches. It raises the bar for the outcome of research, with the expectation of the mutual acculturation of the “academic” and “practitioner” spheres, which will share their practices, knowledge and know-how in a symmetrical manner and define the challenges and issues to be addressed together. The second challenge is having scientific practices from different fields working together. The boundaries of each scientific discipline mean that individually, they cannot address the complexity of environmental, social and technical situations. Indeed, it has long been accepted that research in each field has extended beyond the boundaries of the discipline. The challenge here is to widen their involvement to several areas. By encouraging eco-biologists, sociologists, heating engineers, geographers, archaeologists, computer scientists, urban planners and hydrologists to work together, the IMU has fostered a larger, more complex and original approach to producing knowledge about urban environments, although this of course poses additional challenges. As the real world rarely presents naturally discrete parts for study, each discipline has carved out an area to investigate, drawing on its own history, conceptual tools, methodologies and paradigms to do so. Only an integrative approach can hope to produce knowledge of the complexity of the urban phenomenon. These two dimensions – the generalized urban and plurality – are the signature of the IMU in urban studies research.
Today, the IMU LabEx includes 37 laboratories and 580 researchers  in the Lyon-Saint-Etienne area, as well as many local experts from companies, organizations and local authorities. The LabEx also has presence on the global stage (tendering for international projects, collaborative projects, etc.). Our strong partnership with the Collegium strengthens this international synergy as it creates opportunities for international experts to interact with our researchers and to further explore the plurality of research in the LabEx. These collaborations may continue in the long term, with suggestions of ways to structure collective research (debates during colloquium, joint applications for international calls for tender, etc.).

University Research Schools - EUR


In November 2017, the EUR H2O’Lyon was selected as part of the “Investment for the Future program – Graduate school of research” and has been granted funding for 10 years by the French National Agency for Research. H2O’Lyon aims to build a Graduate School of Research for Water Science and Hydrosystems. It adopts a fully interdisciplinary approach, drawing from the Humanities and Social Sciences, Physics and Engineering and the Life Sciences, in order to research the challenges in working with and managing water and hydrosystems. It aims to strengthen the impact and international renown of the research and educational programs in this field in the Lyon-Saint-Étienne area, which include master’s and PhD programs and advanced research laboratories.

The H2O’Lyon EUR includes 17 master’s programs and training programs, 5 graduate schools and 12 research units



In order to encourage candidates matching the main academic fields of research of Lyon Saint-Etienne, the Collegium de Lyon has developped partnerships aiming at creating research chairs or collaborating on existing ones.
Researchers working on topics covered by the two Unesco Chairs of the academic site - in the École nationale des travaux publics de l'État (ENTPE) and in the Université Catholique de Lyon (UCLY) - are particularly welcome.

Unesco Chair « Memory, Cultures and Interculturality», Université Catholique de Lyon

The impact of interculturality in the quest for a new humanism

Its aim is to study how, in a context of a merging of cultures, cultural values and working towards intercultural dialogue can play a useful part in a new humanism while meeting the deep aspirations of individuals and peoples.

Human rights, cultural diversity and globalisation

In a context of economic globalization, the objective is to study the impact of cultural diversity in the implementation of fundamental rights. Such an approach requires studying the determinant factors (e.g. sociocultural, moral, religious, historical, etc.) that may or may not play a part in the effective and universal implementation of those rights. We will place a particular emphasis on intercultural mediations that may be required for education to foster mutual understanding.

Cultural memory and conflict management

The memory of conflicts broadens the scope of universality and has a strong impact in terms of social cohesion, will to live together, even peace between nations. The research on this topic aims at :

  • Identify the inter- and intra-community sociocultural and religious practices that play a part in conflict management
  • Study how effectively they actually are in managing conflicts, and scrutinize how such practices can inspire other methods of conflict management.

Science, culture and human dignity

The rapid global progress of medical science and biotechnologies has been led to international ethical discussions. However, international approaches to such questions vary greatly. Therefore, the objective is to study how cultural factors can influence the perception of ethical and legal questions, and, in parallel, the concept of human dignity.

Contact: Roger Koudé

Unesco Chair, "Urban Policy and Citizenship", Ecole nationale des travaux publics de l'État

The “Urban Policy and Citizenship” UNESCO Chair examines, from a political perspective, the way in which city dwellers relate to large cities and to the institutions responsible for making and implementing urban policies. It explores and analyzes the social, spatial, economic and political mechanisms that affect integration, cohesion and solidarity. Citizenship is examined using a multi-disciplinary approach that characterizes urban studies, as much through the prism of political science as from that of sociology, geography or urban planning.

The Chair and its partners explore six fields of research:

  1. Urban citizenship
  2. Marginal populations and practices in the city
  3. Living together and social diversity
  4. Security and citizenship
  5. Environmental inequalities
  6. The effects of global competition between cities

Founded in 2007, at the initiative of Bernard Jouve, the Chair is hosted by the ENTPE and run by researchers from the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Research on Cities, Spaces and Society (Recherches interdisciplinaires ville espace société, RIVES, a member of the CNRS Espace, Ville, Société joint research unit). It is part of the network of UNESCO France Chairs and of the network of UNESCO Chairs dedicated to urban areas.

Contact: Eric Charmes

"Public Policy Transformation" Chair, Sciences Po Lyon

Sciences Po Lyon is building a Chair project devoted to the transformations of public policy. This Chair is entirely funded by the Sciences Po Lyon Foundation hosted by the Université de Lyon, and has three main objectives:

  • Fostering the understanding of the major social, environmental, demographic and digital transitions that define public policy;
  • Contributing to inventing the public policies of tomorrow and innovative ways to build them through close collaborations between citizens and local socioeconomic players;
  • Encouraging debate and research on public policy.

Our Chair aims to create a fellowship for a guest researcher conducting academic research in the humanities and social sciences, with experience in action-oriented research in public policy, in order to build upon its ambitious scientific program, which currently covers:
Democracy: studying collective deliberation practices of the future to make decisions concerning urban and rural transformation projects.
Data: designing the public world in a digital civilization.
Design: helping invent new public policy jobs

Contact : Renaud Payre

Other collaborations

The Historical Memory Project: constructing, deconstructing, and reconstructing individual and collective memory

Each society has its own memory, which is passed down from generation to generation, and is the glue that guarantees social cohesion. Despite its vital importance, it remains largely misunderstood due to its complexity. This collective memory is subject to dynamic processes that are difficult to untangle and analyze. It is never frozen and is ever-evolving, through a continual process of construction, deconstruction and reconstruction. It is multifaceted and cannot be reduced to the study of nations. Every more or less homogeneous group has its own memory. While the national memory is very important, it must not eclipse smaller groups’ memories (e.g. of religious or ethnic communities, socioeconomic groups, etc.) or the memory of groups that transcend the State (e.g. European or global memory, which includes specific questions surrounding the Holocaust, other genocides and world wars). This plurality of memories combine, which sometimes causes contradictions. This can lead to both increased social cohesion and to conflict.

Questions related to individual and collective memory are especially important for societies that have experienced traumatic events, such as wars (both world wars, the Algerian war, in France), dictatorships (military dictatorship in Brazil, the Vichy regime in France), or massacres (in particular the Holocaust, for its universal character). How is memory of such events built up? How does it change over time, with reconstructions and deconstructions, how is it forgotten and rediscovered, how does an “official” narrative evolve into a dissident narrative? How do difference versions of this memory coexist or clash? How does a society built upon the foundation of a collective memory, while also building the memory itself around its own needs and values?

In order to approach this complex “post-traumatic” memory construction/deconstruction/reconstruction process, specialists from different fields in Lyon have started to work together, including lawyers, philosophers, historians, sociologists, political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, linguists, specialists of literature, graphic arts, and architecture, as artistic works (through novels, paintings, graphic novels and film) play an essential role in this area. Psychologists, psychoanalysts and psychiatrists are also involved in this project. The project will also be open to the so-called “hard” sciences, including neuroscience, which can bring very interesting insights in this area.

Our aim is to offer a transdisciplinary approach to the issues related to the collective memory, first through social science, then extending to other sciences, such as cognitive and medical science. Through this project, the first interdisciplinary bridge will link the humanities and social sciences and so-called hard sciences with an exploration of psychoanalysis and neuroscience. The aim is to build a global project exploring the questions related to individual and collective memory, in order to build a COFECUB project in Brazil and an National Research Agency (ANR) project in France. The project also will build a horizontal network (in Lyon) between the many researchers at the Université de Lyon (UdL) who are already working on these issues with their vertical networks (with French and international researchers). Eventually, this project may lead to the founding of a federated structure or a research team. The project also covers one of the main themes of the IDEX: Memory and Heritage, which it will help to develop.

At the Université de Lyon, the project brings together researchers from several different institutions (Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3, Université Lumière Lyon 2, ENS de Lyon, Science-Po Lyon, École d'architecture, ENSATT), which have worked on these questions together in the past, and will soon include researchers from the Université Jean Monnet in Saint-Étienne and the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1. Several CNRS laboratories are also taking part in this project (the Max Weber Center, LARHRA, GERPHAU). It includes researchers from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Algeria, Cambodia and Russia.

The events (such as colloquiums, seminars, workshops) that have been held so far and that are planned in years to come primarily focus on three themes:

  • Any memorial phenomenon involves a data selection process, which causes some information to be forgotten, while other information becomes cemented in the memory of each studied group. The initial issue is determining the material sources of memory, the documents upon which the collective memory will ultimately be built. To this end, contributions from archivists and specialists of historical methodology are vital to understand how processing historical sources determines how memory is formed in the future (including the choice to conserve or discard archives, classification systems for existing documents, and methods for gathering personal accounts). But memory is not only built from the materials used by “professional” historians: film, novels, graphic novels, mass media and family oral traditions, pictures (film, photography, paintings, etc.) all provide information about the past. This does not always exactly match historical truth, but it plays a substantial role in shaping the collective memory. Explaining these inconsistencies and the general mechanisms behind the construction of memorial phenomena requires a multidisciplinary approach (history, law, literature, linguistics, sociology, political science, philosophy) with insights from psychoanalysis. As the project develops, it will eventually include insights from other sciences, including neuroscience.
  • Memory is never stable over time ; indeed, it is constantly evolving, becoming richer in some ways, poorer in others. Some memories are forgotten, or lost to censorship – laws play an important role here – while others are promoted. The same event can be understood or reinterpreted in different ways according to the society’s needs or current issues (e.g. the history of the Resistance in France or the memory of dictatorship in Brazil, Argentina or Spain). Sometimes, the same source can be reinterpreted in a radically different way, as can be seen in literature, film or graphic novels. Symbolically, this can also be seen in the architecture of memorials. In this way, the memories we keep from the past also shed light on our current societies. Here too, psychoanalysis and neuroscience will bring helpful insights.
  • Memory and imagination: from the very beginning, imagination is intertwined with memory. In order to be usable, either individually or by a society, a memory must gain structure so it can be told and retold, both to others and to oneself. Memories are staged, added to a narrative reconfiguration, making every reminiscence a way of telling and retelling a story. This narrative weave subtly drifts towards archetypes from mythology, inserting stories from the past into a prototype of timeless stories, creating new forms of truth. These different mechanisms draw memory towards the imaginary, and conversely, create new imaginary archetypes from transfigured “real” facts, which will in turn help build individual and collective memories in the future. Memory and the imaginary feed off each other. The project will involve analyzing the links between memory and the imaginary through historical accounts, fiction and art in general. Particular areas of focus will be post-traumatic individual and collective memory related to wars, dictatorships, genocides and terrorist attacks.

Contact: Hugues Fulchiron, professor at the Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3, Institut universitaire de France

Institut français de l'éducation (IFE) / Laboratoire de l'éducation (LLE)

Education is a major area of research, social experimentation and public debate in many countries around the world, chiefly OECD countries. The study of education requires an interdisciplinary approach involving the social sciences and many other fields (e.g. computer science, cognitive science, etc.). It is a rich area, and innovative ideas covering major themes are being explored on the global stage: education and cognition, disciplinary teaching methods and educational curricula, digital and hybrid education, education and health, the history and political sociology of educational systems, education and social justice, higher education, vocational training, and the organization of educational systems.
At the ENS de Lyon, two organizations are devoted tresearch on educational issues: the Institut français de l’Éducation (IFE) and the Laboratoire de l’Éducation (LLE). Both of these organizations are working to develop collaborative and interdisciplinary projects. Many of these projects are building or strengthening partnerships with research teams at the Lyon-Saint-Étienne site (ECP, S2HEP).

As part of the ENS de Lyon, the Institut français de l’éducation is a national institute focused on research, education and the transfer of knowledge in the field of education, building upon constant interactions with educational communities. It is built around service centers (for training and disseminating knowledge) and offers research and education programs that are updated every three years, taught both by researchers at the ENS and guest researchers, including guests from abroad. The IFE studies the field of education as a whole, from preschool through university, investigating both formal education and continuing education. One of its key missions is to contribute to the public debate about contemporary issues in education and to provide the public with scientific and technological resources.
Three areas of focus have been chosen for 2019-2022: educational professions and territories, teaching in higher education, and apprenticeships and disciplinary teaching methods.
Created in January 2016, jointly led by the ENS de Lyon and the CNRS, the Laboratoire de l’éducation is a Mixed Service Unit (UMS 3773) and the foundation of an incubator for interdisciplinary research projects in the field of education and learning. The UMS has five key partners: the ICAR mixed research units ICAR, LARHRA , the Max Weber Center , Triangle , and the IFÉ (Institut français de l'éducation). Within the Lyon-Saint-Étienne site, the UMS belongs to the Structure Fédérative de Recherche Educola (Education, Cognition, Language). The interdisciplinary incubator focuses on four main fields of interest: education and learning, education and society, public action and educational institutions, and interfaces: spreading knowledge.
These two organizations provide a very favorable working environment for researchers, especially for those who are looking to collaborate on one of the education and research projects led by the IFE, providing facilities (offices, equipment, funding) and integrating researchers into the research and education team.