Junior or senior researcher: "The brain metaphor for the analysis of organizations"

In partnership with the corporate chair for Operational Efficiency and Management Systems (BNP-Paribas – CentraleSupélec), the Paris Institute for Advanced Studies (Paris IAS) is recruiting a junior or senior researcher in the humanities, social sciences or neurosciences for a period of six months (starting between September 1st and November 1st 2016), to take part in a research program on the ways in which advances in the cognitive and neurosciences can facilitate the rethinking of organization and management systems through the use of the brain as a metaphor.

Beginning with an understanding of metaphors as links between a “source domain” (here, the brain and its functions, e.g. mirror neurons, conflicts among agents, empathy, information processing, memory, learning) and a “target” domain (the design of decentralized highly autonomous organizations ), the successful candidate will be expected to produce a report on how recent neuroscientific and cognitive research can lead to new ways of designing organizations.

Research project

In this general thematic framework, the project proposed should respond to one or more of the following issues:

  • Bridging conceptual and methodological approaches from the human and social sciences (e.g., anthropology, psychology, linguistics, management, business administration) with recent research on the functions of the brain;
  • Rethinking and developing previous uses of the metaphor of the brain in different domains, especially in management and organization theory;
  • On the basis of the above mentioned analysis, contextualizing organizations as living organisms rather than machines;
  • In line with general systems theory and theories of interactional design, focusing on the relationship between complexity and the simple (simplexity).

Residency conditions and rules

The successful applicant will become resident researcher at Paris IAS for a period of six months. During this period, he/she will be free of any administrative or teaching tasks and will benefit from the working conditions offered by Paris IAS (including an office and workstation, meeting and conference rooms, facilitated access to research libraries in Paris, and funding for travel expenses).

He/she will be in close contact with the Chair for Operational Efficiency and Management Systems (BNP-Paribas – CentraleSupélec), and will organise a conference related to the project toward the end of the fellowship. He/she will also co-author a research article with the Chair holders.

Furthermore, the candidate will benefit from the scientific contacts of the IEA in the research institutions of the Paris area, and will have the opportunity to develop collaborations with centers engaged in research in the same field.

During the residency, the cost of their accommodation in Paris will be covered by Paris IAS. The status proposed by Paris IAS for the resident researchers will depend on whether or not the home institution contributes to compensation and insurance coverage during the residency. Researchers are not allowed to benefit from several fellowships over the same period.

At the end of his/her stay, the resident researcher will have to produce a research report, as a single author or co-authored with the holders of the Operational Efficiency and Management Systems Chair.

Eligibility criteria

Researchers from all over the world are eligible.

The applicant must have at least three years of active research experience in the field of the project following their PhD at the time of the application.

Researchers with less than 10 years of active research experience after their PhD at the time of the application must provide two letters of recommendation.

French and English language skills are a prerequisite. 

Selection criteria

The main selection criteria are:

  • Scientific quality of the project and its suitability for the current call for applications
  • The applicant’s scientific background
  • For junior researchers (3 to 9 years after PhD at the time of the application), two letters of recommendation
Application date
6 months
Social sciences
Other : Medicine