In France, IAS originate in the call for projects launched by the Ministry of Research in May 2006. The call gave the opportunity to universities, grandes écoles and research institutions to federate and form Réseaux Thématiques de Recherche Avancée (RTRA) [Thematic Networks for Advanced Research]. A RTRA aims at creating a focal point for French research, regarding both its scientific excellence and international position.13 RTRA projects were thus approved by the French government - only one being dedicated to human and social sciences: the network developed by the sites of Aix-en-Provence/Marseille, Lyon, Nantes and Paris. The head of the Network of French Institutes for Advanced Studies (RTRA) is located in Lyon.
The Collegium de Lyon is an international and multidisciplinary IAS, focusing on social sciences without excluding exact sciences. Its purpose is to create an academic community based on a culture of excellence, supporting exchanges between disciplines, cultures and languages.
The Institute benefits from Lyon's overall academic environment, coupling its research to the scientific and educational potential of the city (universities and grandes écoles, research networks, institutions), with the vision of developing cross-disciplinary reflections and launching pioneering research.
The Collegium de Lyon's primary ambition is to link the Institute's research program to the diffusion of knowledge for action. In the domain of public policy, it should therefore act as an intermediary between the research sphere and political and social issues. Research undertaken within the Institute should comprise reflections informing the construction of public policy: urban policy and planning, health policy and risk management, cultural policy, international relations and urban powers, development of heritage sites, etc. (see Principal Research Themes).
During their stay at the Collegium de Lyon, Fellows will engage in research projects either on an individual basis, or grouped around themes which resonate with the Collegium's research priorities. They are also given the opportunity of forming thematic-based research groups in collaboration either with other Fellows engaged in pursuing common goals, or with other researchers working in the same field.