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[Appel clos] Chaire de recherche Jean D'Alembert "Patrimoine, Cultures et savoirs"

[Closed call] Jean D'Alembert Research Chair "Heritage, Cultures and Knowledge"

With 48,000 students, 9,000 researchers and teacher-researchers, and 11,000 technical and administrative staff, the Paris-Saclay University  relies on the production of excellent scientific knowledge which is used to provide cutting-edge training in the sciences and engineering, life sciences and health, social sciences and humanities.

It offers a range of expertise that is unique in the Ile-de-France region and nationally in the study of culture, heritage objects, and forms of knowledge transmission. This expertise is expressed in particular within the Maison des sciences humaines Paris-Saclay and the four Graduate Schools associated with the humanities and social sciences domain. 

These themes, which structure the University, are carried out by the humanities and social sciences laboratories of the University of Paris-Saclay. They are the subject of a variety of disciplinary approaches (anthropology, design, economics and management, geography, history, languages, literature and the arts, musicology, law, philosophy, political science, sociology, etc.), but also transversal and transdisciplinary projects led by the Graduate Schools, developed in collaboration with laboratories working in the fields of experimental and digital sciences.

In partnership with the Paris-Saclay University, the Paris Institute for Advanced Study is recruiting a high-level international researcher in the humanities and social sciences (SHS) for a six-month fellowship in the first semester 2022 or the academic year 2022-2023 on the theme of Heritage, Cultures and Knowledge. The institute will host the researcher as a fellow, who will collaborate mainly with one or several laboratories of the University of Paris-Saclay.

Application deadline: Monday, June 7, 3:00 p.m. (Paris time, France)

Applicants may apply for a six-month stay beginning January 1st, 2022, or between September 1st, 2022 and January 1st, 2023.

The selected researcher commits to give at least one lecture in the University of Paris-Saclay and to organize a scientific seminar with the researchers and professors of his/her partner laboratory.

Heritage will be placed at the heart of the project, whether it is cultural, scientific, technical or environmental heritage. The project will enable progress to be made on the knowledge of heritage, on the understanding of the processes of conservation, restoration and exhibition of heritage objects and on their role in the transmission of knowledge. The chair aims to support research of excellence and to promote risk-taking and transdisciplinarity. The approach to the theme of Heritage, Cultures and Knowledge through the study of at least one of the lines mentioned below will allow for significant progress in terms of methodology, questioning, and reflection on the notional uses that are conducive to the development of new transverse and transdisciplinary research.


The project presented on the theme may be based on the exploration of at least one of the following lines of inquiry: 


The aim will be to study the making of heritage over time and to put into historical perspective the links between heritage, knowledge and culture. Particular attention will be paid to the links between the value given to objects from the past and the forms of projection towards the future. Works tracing the archaeology of the notion of heritage and the regimes of historicity associated with it will be welcome.


The projects could propose a reflection on the construction of heritage value. It would be a question of approaching the manufacture of heritage by reinterrogating in particular the links between heritage value, economic value and societal value of heritage objects.

3-Professions, trades, know-how

Projects dealing with heritage professionals, the professions and/or heritage making (patrimonialisation), or the dynamics of training and professionalization in the field of heritage will be examined with attention, particularly those that propose to shed light on the skills, know-how and professions of the future.

4-Transitions and digital

Anchored in the past and updated in the present, heritage objects are also likely to be associated with transitions, be they ecological, societal, cultural or digital. Research exploring the value of heritage in societies' understanding of current or future transitions will be appreciated. Projects questioning the links between heritage and innovation will also be appreciated, as will those that aim to shed light on the impact of digital technology on the way we describe, think about, name, visualize and designate heritage.

5-Crisis, vulnerability and destruction

The question of the vulnerability of heritage can be explored, in particular through the study of the polysemy of this notion. Situations of heritage disasters, and in particular the destruction of monuments and emblematic sites, could constitute a suitable field for the study and management of risks through prevention strategies. The effects of the destruction of heritage objects on the production and transmission of knowledge within vulnerable societies could constitute lines of inquiry, as well as the study of the role of heritage and heritage making (patrimonialisation) in the resilience to crises.


Researchers of all nationalities are eligible.

Persons who have stayed in France for a total of more than 12 months in the three years preceding this call (for example, as lecturers, fellows or contract workers in a French teaching or research institution) are not eligible.

This call for applications concerns :

  • Senior university professors and researchers in the humanities and social sciences and related disciplines who hold an academic or research position or who are emeritus (at least 10 years of post-doctoral research experience at the time of application). To be considered a senior scholar, the candidate must have received his/her PhD before June 1st, 2011.
  • Junior researchers with a minimum of two years and a maximum of nine years of post-doctoral research experience (at the time of application). To be eligible and considered as a junior, the candidate must have obtained his or her PhD between June 1st, 2011 and June 1st, 2019. Applicants with less than 2 year of experience after thei PhD are not eligible.

In both cases, knowledge of English and understanding of French are required.


The main selection criteria are:

  • the scientific quality of the project, its innovative character, its interest for the scientific community and beyond, as well as its appropriateness to the theme of this call;
  • the quality of the candidate's scientific contacts at the Université Paris-Saclay and his/her ability to collaborate with French teams and researchers;
  • the candidate's scientific background.


The application, written in English, must be submitted exclusively via the online application system (https://paris-iea.fr, see the guide "How to apply"). Paper applications or applications sent by e-mail are not accepted.

The online application consists of the following documents:

  • completed application form ;
  • a curriculum vitae including an overall list of publications and a list of the 5 publications considered to be the most important (10 pages max.);
  • a detailed research proposal (max. 25,000 characters, including spaces. This count does not include the bibliography) presenting
  • the theme and research question
  • the state of research on this subject, the originality of the project
  • methodology and/or theoretical underpinnings, data/sources
  • the expected impact on the discipline, on other disciplines, and beyond the academic field
  • the work program
  • existing or planned scientific collaborations and contacts at the University of Paris-Saclay and in France
  • bibliography (books and articles cited)
  • two summaries of the research project (1500 characters maximum each, including spaces): one intended for specialists in the field, the other intended for the general public;
  • a letter attesting to the researcher's cooperation with one or more research units of the Université Paris-Saclay, signed by a member of the unit(s). The document must specify the nature of the planned collaboration;
  • a list of 4 topics (related or not to the project presented) on which the candidate will be able to give a lecture during his stay;
  • for juniors (2 to 9 years after the doctorate at the time of application): two letters of recommendation.


Application deadline: Monday, June 7, 3:00 p.m. (Paris time, France)

Thematic pre-selection: June 28, 2021

Final selection after evaluation by international experts and notification of results: November 2021

Start of fellowship and stay in Paris: January 1st, 2022 or between September 1st,  2022 and January 1st, 2023.


The holder of the "Jean d'Alembert" Paris-Saclay – Paris IAS Chair benefits from all the advantages granted to fellows at the Paris Institute for Advanced Study. He or she will receive a monthly salary (or a supplement to his or her salary), and reimbursement for one round-trip travel to and from Paris. The fellowship will cover the cost of an apartment in a residence for researchers,.

Status and remuneration

The holder benefits from a stipend agreement when his or her status is maintained at his or her university of origin. When this is not possible, a fixed-term employment contract is proposed. The net monthly remuneration is 2700€.


The Chairholder is housed in one of Paris IAS’s apartments in the Victor Lyon Pavilion at the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris. The building, which has been completely renovated, offers two- to five-room apartments, a conference room, and other communal services.


The fellowship will cover the cost of travel to and from Paris (one return ticket) up to the economy class fare.

Research resources

During his/her stay, the Chairholder has an office equipped with a computer, Internet access, and printing facilities in the IAS's premises at the Hôtel de Lauzun, a 17th-century historical monument. The Institute provides meeting and conference rooms.

He or she may request financial and material support for its research work and activities. This includes the organization of scientific events (colloquiums, study days, conferences) and doctoral training activities. Help for the translation and publication of texts is also possible.

The selected researcher commits to present at least one conference in the University of Paris-Saclay and to organize a scientific seminar with the researchers and teacher-researchers of his/her partner laboratory.

Agreements between the Paris IAS and its partner institutions allow students to benefit from privileged access and extended lending rights in the main Parisian university libraries from the beginning of their fellowship. A book delivery service allows fellows to order and receive documents directly at the Institute.

Additional information:

Paris Institute for Advanced Study : http://www.paris-iea.fr

Mailing address: candidature@paris-iea.fr

Simon Luck : candidature@paris-iea.fr
07/06/2021 15:00