Paris IAS Call for the "Brain, Culture and Society" Program

The Paris Institute for Advanced Study welcomes applications from high level international scholars and scientists in the fields of the humanities, social sciences, cognitive sciences, and neurosciences for a research stay of five or ten months during the academic year 2020-2021 within the framework of its “Brain, Culture and Society program”.

The selected fellows will be given the opportunity to work freely on the project of their choice, at the interface between the sciences of the brain, the humanities, and the social sciences. They will benefit from the scientific environment of the Institute and have the opportunity to create contacts with researchers in the academic institutions of Greater Paris.

Applicants may request a fellowship for one of the following periods:

  • September 1st, 2020 to January 31st, 2021 (5 months)
  • September 1st, 2020 to June 30th, 2021 (10 months)
  • February 1st to June 30th, 2021 (5 months)

The Brain, Culture and Society program

The primary mission of the Paris IAS is to be a research centre anchored in the humanities and social sciences (HSS), with the aim of fostering a fruitful dialogue between researchers from different cultural and disciplinary backgrounds.

Within the framework of its “Brain, Culture and Society” program, the Paris IAS invites applications centred on the dialogue between the humanities, social sciences, cognitive sciences and neurosciences.

The exponential development of scientific data on genetics and the brain gives us more and more insight on the functioning of the human being in its environment. It is becoming increasingly difficult to reflect on topics such as the Human, the mind and consciousness in the humanities and social sciences without taking into account the neuro-anatomic and neuro-functional data produced by life sciences and neuroscience in particular. Reciprocally, neuro-sciences cannot claim to understand the Human if they do not incorporate the knowledge built up by the humanities. 

The aim of this program is to enable scientists and scholars from different disciplines and cultures to share a common environment, interact and exchange ideas, and thereby to renew their approaches to the questions and paradigms under study.

Conditions of eligibility

Researchers from all countries are eligible.

This call for applications is open to:

  • Junior scholars with a position in a university or research institution, who have received their PhD no later than April 1st 2017. The applicants who have held their PhD for more than 9 years will be considered as senior researchers.
  • High-level senior researchers holding a permanent position in a university or research institution, or emeritus professors, having a minimum of 10 years of research experience after their PhD (received before April 1st 2009).
  • The institute is bilingual. Knowledge of English is required. The applicants are also expected to understand French, as scientific and social activities are held in French and English.

In both cases, candidates must be under contract with their institution for the duration of their stay at the IEA (sabbatical leave type).

Applicants who have spent more than a total of 12 months in France during the 3 years prior to the application (that is, between February 15th, 2016 and February 15th, 2019) are not eligible.

Criteria of selection

The main criteria of selection are:

  • the scientific quality of the project and its innovative character, its capacity to bring the humanities/social sciences into a fruitful dialogue with the cognitive/neuro-sciences, and its significance for the international scientific community ;
  • the career path of the applicant;
  • the quality of the scientific contacts of the applicant in France, and the applicant’s capacity to collaborate with French scholars and research teams (organization of scientific events, participation in seminars, preparation of a joint research project for an application for international funding, etc.).

The application

The application, in English or French, must be submitted via an online application system. Mail or e-mail applications are not accepted.

The application consists of an online form with the following attached documents:

  • a curriculum vitae (10 pages maximum) including a list of publications and a list of the 5 publications considered as the most important by the applicant;
  • a detailed research proposal (25 000 characters maximum, spaces included, bibliography not included). The proposal should include :
    • theme
    • state of the art in the field, innovative character of the proposal
    • methodology or theoretical  framework
    • expected outcomes
    • work planning, timescales
    • existing or planned scientific cooperation and contacts in France
    • bibliography (books and articles cited);
  • a letter of cooperation signed by a member of a university or research institution based in France. Preference will be given to projects conducted in cooperation with the partners of the IAS (see list below). The planned collaborations may include the organization of conferences and series of lectures or the preparation of a research project to be submitted to an international funding agency (like the ERC or the EU H2020 program);
  • in the case of Junior Fellows, two letters of recommendation from French or international researchers.


  • Application deadline: Monday, April 15, 2019, 3:00 pm (Paris, France time)
  • Preselection: May 2019
  • Final selection: October 2019
  • Notification of results: November 2019

Conditions of stay

The Paris IAS provides its fellows with housing and a monthly remuneration (or complement of remuneration). It also pays for their round-trip ticket to Paris.


The Paris IAS provides apartments in the Pavillon Victor Lyon at the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris. This building, entirely refurbished, offers 1-room to 5-room apartments, a conference room and other services.

Status and remuneration

Fellows who maintain their status in their home institution benefit from a stipend. For others, the Paris IAS proposes a short term research contract with salary. In all cases, the remuneration depends on the fellow’s personal and professional situation and on whether she or he continues to receive pay from her/his home institution. The benchmark pay scale corresponds to prevailing standards in French academia.


Travel costs from the fellow’s home to Paris and back are covered by the IAS (economy class).


The IAS’ fellows will need to get a personal insurance covering all risks during their stay, for themselves as well as the persons accompanying them.

Support for research

During their stay, the fellows will have an office in the premises of the Paris IAS, in the 17th Century Hôtel de Lauzun, with a computer, Internet access, and printer. The IAS provides meeting and conference rooms.

The fellows may receive financial support for their work and scientific activities, including the organization of events (colloquia, seminars, lectures, etc.). Help for the translation and publication of their research texts can also be proposed.

The Paris IAS and its partner institutions have signed agreements enabling the fellows to enjoy special access and borrowing privileges in the main Paris university-based research libraries. In addition, the fellows can have most books and documents delivered directly from the libraries to the institute.

Partner institutions

  • Sorbonne Université (formerly Université Paris-Sorbonne and UPMC)
  • Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
  • Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3
  • Université Paris Descartes
  • Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7
  • Université Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Défense
  • Université Paris-Saclay
  • EPHE
  • ENS
  • FMSH
Application date
5 or 10 months
Social sciences
Other : Computer science, Medicine