Home / Apply / Calls for applications / Sorbonne University - Paris IAS research Chair on “Major Societal Changes” - Water & Patrimony

Current calls

Sorbonne University - Paris IAS research Chair on “Major Societal Changes” - Water & Patrimony

Sorbonne University - Paris IAS research Chair on “Major Societal Changes” - Water & Patrimony

Réseaux sociaux chairechangementsmajeursEN20242025

In partnership with Sorbonne University, the Paris Institute for Advanced Study is offering a 10-month chair or two 5-month chairs for high level international researchers in the humanities and social sciences (HSS) during the academic year 2024-2025.

The Sorbonne University – Paris IAS Chair gives a researcher the possibility to work on an innovative project advancing knowledge on the societal impacts and ethical dimensions of major, global changes, more specifically focused on the topics of water and patrimony. The researcher will benefit from the outstanding work conditions and the scientific environment of the Paris IAS, and will collaborate chiefly with Sorbonne University’s research teams and Interdisciplinary Institutes.

Deadline for applications: Sunday, October 15th, 2023, 3:00 pm (Paris, CEU time)

Applicants may request either

- a 10-month fellowship from September 2nd 2024 to June 30th 2025;

- or a 5-month fellowship from September 2nd 2024 to January 31st 2025;

- or a 5-month fellowship from February 3rd to June 30th 2025.


Societies facing major changes: Water and patrimony
This research chair is focused on the humanities and social sciences (HSS) with a strong interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral dimension. It aims to address societal challenges linked to the diverse uses of water and water management across ages, particularly in dense urban centers, and to the fundamental intricacies between water and patrimony. Perspectives could include but are not limited to the following topics and research teams at Sorbonne Université:

On each of the themes mentioned above, the goal of the Sorbonne University – Paris IAS Chair on "Major Societal Changes" is to provide society with knowledge and solutions that are useful for taking action, while questioning the boundary between basic and applied research. It promotes participatory approaches in which social actors (ordinary citizens, public institutions, economic actors, NGOs) are considered as partners in research, because of the relevance of their knowledge -be it traditional, hybrid or technical- for the construction of research objects and methodologies, but also with a view to empower citizens to better understand the challenges and act upon them.

Research on the societal impacts of major changes should therefore also be an opportunity to reflect on the impacts of research itself, including the acceptability of change by citizens and the implementation of accompanying and regulatory policies (nudges and legislations) by territorial, state or transnational institutions.

The Chair offers international researchers in HSS a 10-month research fellowship at the Paris Institute for Advanced Study, in order to develop innovative research in conjunction with the Sorbonne University laboratories and more generally with the scientific and economic fabric of the Paris area, one of the densest in Europe. The stay at the IEA guarantees the constitution of scientific collaborations of excellence and academic visibility of the results obtained.


During the stay, the holder of the Chair is expected to give lectures as well as to organize an international interdisciplinary conference in Paris on themes related to the research project, in collaboration with the research teams and Interdisciplinary Institutes at Sorbonne Université.

S/he will also have the possibility to convene smaller meetings and invite researchers for short stays at the Paris IAS to contribute to the research project, give lectures, etc. In addition, s/he will benefit from the help of the institute to set up innovative mechanisms to enable citizens to participate in research and to disseminate the results.

At the end of the fellowship, the holder of the Chair must write at least one research report which will be made public.


Researchers from all countries are eligible.

Applicants who have spent more than a total of 12 months in France during the 3 years prior to the application are not eligible.

This call for applications is open to:

- Senior university professors or researchers holding a position in a university or research institution or emeritus and having a minimum of 10 years of full time research experience after their PhD (at the time of the application). To be considered a senior, the applicant must have received her/his PhD before January 1st 2014.

- Junior scholars having the status of postdoctoral researcher or holding a position in a university or research institution, and having a minimum of 2 and maximum of 9 years of research experience after the PhD. To be eligible and considered a junior, the applicant must have received her/his PhD between January 1st 2014 and January 1st 2022.

Advanced knowledge of English is required, as all scientific and social activities at the Institute are held in English.


The main criteria of selection are:

  • the scientific excellence of the project and its innovative character;
  • the transdisciplinary and intersectoral potential of the research;
  • 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 colleagues from Sorbonne University.

We advise the applicants to state explicitly why their project is innovative, and what its potential impacts in other disciplines and sectors are.


The application, in English, must be submitted via an online application system (https://paris-iea.fr/). Paper or e-mail applications are not accepted.

The application consists of the following items:

  • The completed application form;
  • A curriculum vitae (10 pages maximum) including a list of publications and a list of the 5 publications considered as most important by the applicant;
  • A detailed research proposal (25 000 characters maximum, spaces included. This count does not include the bibliography). The proposal should include :
    • Theme
    • State of the art in the field, innovative character of the proposal
    • Theoretical  framework and methodology
    • Expected outcomes and impact
    • Work planning, timescales
    • Existing or planned scientific cooperation and contacts in Sorbonne University and in France
    • Bibliography (books and articles cited);
  • Two summaries of the research project (1500 characters maximum for each, spaces included): one for an audience of specialists of the field of research, and one for non-specialists;
  • A letter of cooperation with one or more research teams of Sorbonne University, signed by a member of the team. The letter must state the nature of the planned collaboration;
  • A list of four topics (two of them at least related to the theme of the research proposal) on which the applicant could give a lecture during the fellowship;
  • in the case of Junior Fellows (2 to 9 years after the PhD at the time of the application), two letters of recommendation;


Application deadline: Sunday, October 15th 2023, 3:00 pm (Paris, France time)

Preselection: January 2024

Final selection and notification of results: February 2024

Starting dates of the chair:

            - September 2nd 2024 for a 10-month chair

            - September 2nd 2024 or February 3rd 2025 for a 5-month chair


The holder of the Sorbonne University - Paris IAS Chair on “Major Societal Changes” benefits from all the advantages the Paris IAS provides its fellows, among which housing in Paris, a monthly remuneration (or complement of remuneration) and the payment of the 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 2- to 5-room apartments, a conference room and other services. Depending on the availability of the apartments at the pavillon, other housing options might be offered to the successful applicants.

Status and remuneration: The holder of the Chair who maintains a status in her/his home institution benefits from a stipend. When it is not the case, the Paris IAS proposes a short term research contract with salary. In all cases, the remuneration depends on the researcher’s personal and professional situation and on whether s/he continues to receive pay from her/his home institution. The benchmark pay scale corresponds to prevailing standards in French academia.

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

Support for research: During their stay, the chairholders will have an office with a computer, Internet access, and printer in the premises of the Paris IAS, in the 17th Century historical monument Hôtel de Lauzun. The IAS also provides meeting and conference rooms.

The researcher may receive financial support for her/his work and scientific activities. This includes the organization of events (colloquia, seminars, lectures, etc.), doctoral training, intersectoral workshop and short term invitations of researchers to the IAS. 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 researcher to enjoy special access and borrowing privileges in the main Paris university-based research libraries. In addition, s/he can have most books and documents delivered directly from the libraries to the institute.


For additional information:

About the Paris IAS: https://www.paris-iea.fr

About Sorbonne University: http://www.sorbonne-universite.fr/

Contact address for this call: candidature@paris-iea.fr

15/10/2023 15:00
IEA Candidatures