IMéRA/BLRI: Call for applications "Language and Brain"

The IMéRA/BLRI specific call is aimed at researchers (scientists) carrying out projects on the theme “Language and Brain”.

The Brain & Language Research Institute (BLRI) is a federation of 7 research institutes, encompassing the fields of linguistics, neuroscience, informatics, medicine and psychology. It includes 4 experimental platforms, which provide for state of the art experimentation in fMRI, MEG, EEG and primate studies. In addition, the BLRI provides an interactive service, to help with data analysis. The BLRI aims to elucidate the underpinnings of human language, via the interaction and intersection of modelling, experimentation and informatics. Its ultimate goal is to elaborate a generic model of language processing and the cerebral basis thereof.

A foundation of Aix-Marseille University, IMéRA is an Institute for Advanced Study, a unique research centre where both emerging and top-level scientists can take advantage of residence schemes to carry out innovative research projects. IMéRA is specifically aimed at fostering cross-disciplinary projects. It receives scientists and artists of all disciplines (in residence between 3 and 10 months), as well as a few cross-disciplinary teams with joint projects for short stays (2 to 4 weeks). Residents carry out their research in connection with Aix-Marseille University (AMU) teams and laboratories or with partner bodies.

Research undertaken at the Institute is meant to develop interaction within social science, within science, between social science and hard, experimental and health sciences, and links between art and science.  The Institute thus contributes to the emergence and development of world-class cross-disciplinary research approaches on Aix-Marseille University ground and grooms young researchers for such approaches.

It also enthusiastically welcomes projects bearing on Mediterranean territories or submitted by researchers from the Mediterranean rim.

In their applications, candidates should clearly demonstrate their interest in cross-disciplinary projects on the basis of their research or itineraries, by:

  • providing a list of already experienced cross-disciplinary collaborations or of publications calling for such collaboration schemes; or
  • proposing to start one such collaboration and specifying its characteristics; or
  • detailing expected contributions from cross-fertilisation of their own research program with perspectives and intellectual resources of other disciplines.


Deadline: 18 November 2016 (this date included)

Duration of residences: 5 or 10 months

Residence periods (to be chosen by the candidates, several choices are possible):

  • 11 Sept 2017 to 9 Feb 2018 (5 months)
  • 19 Feb 2018 to 13 July 2018 (5 months)
  • 11 Sept 2017 to 13 July 2018 (10 months)

Who can qualify

Special BLRI residences at IMéRA are open to researchers (senior or junior) in all disciplines and of all nationalities with a regular status in foreign institutions.

To be eligible, scientist applicants must meet the following 4 conditions:

  • Not to have lived in France more than 12 months during the three years preceding this call for applications;
  • Hold a Doctorate or PhD;
  • Have a university or research position for minimum two years as at the closing date of this call for applications;
  • Carry out a research project in connection with the theme “Language and Brain”.

Selection criteria

Application assessment criteria include, but are not limited to:

  • candidate’s course;
  • research project;
  •  interdisciplinary component;
  • Interaction perspective with BLRI research centres: LPL (UMR 7309), LPC (UMR 7290), LIF (UMR 7279), LNC (UMR 7291), INT (UMR 7289), LIA (EA 4128), INS (INSERM 1106).

Living conditions

Under a partnership agreement with the BLRI, IMéRA offers:


 IMéRA will pay an allowance to researchers, who fall into two classes.

  • Junior: €2,300 monthly allowance;
  • Senior: €3,500 monthly allowance.

Junior class: Researchers who have 2 to 9 years of  full-time research experience after obtaining the PhD (PhD training is not considered in the calculation of experience) as at the closing date of the call for applications.

Senior class: Top-level researchers with minimum 10 years’ experience in full-time research after obtaining the PhD (PhD is not considered in the calculation of experience) as at the closing date of the call for applications, and university professors.


IMéRA provides free accommodation to residents in one of the apartments of the institute, situated in “Parc Longchamp” in the center of Marseille.

Requests for familial hosting at IMéRA shall absolutely be mentioned in the application form, for consideration. These requests will be satisfied within the constraints of the available accommodations at IMéRA's disposal, i.e. 14 apartments from which 4 can host families (3 apartments for a couple with one child, 1 for a couple with 2 children).


IMéRA will pay for the residents’ ticket from their usual place of residence to Marseille and back.

Research means

Within the limits of the available budget, IMéRA can fund missions and initiatives related to research projects.

IMéRA does not finance production means for resident artists planning to make pieces of work.

Resident commitments

The resident accepts the charter of the Institute which involves several commitments, including: residence at the institute, contribution to IMéRA’s activities and publications, participation in the residents’ lunch and seminar every week, and dissemination of information on the resident’s activities and achievements by IMéRA.

Application date
5 or 10 months
Social sciences