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The creation of a pluridisciplinary Institute for the study of migration

28 Apr 2017 | By Inserm (Newsroom) | Institutional and special event

Vue rue Waldeck Rochet sud (portion piétonne) de la place du FP vers le nord.

©mir no – Campus Condorcet BD

The current migratory crisis in Europe shows the necessity to have solid scientific data to help public authorities take important decisions, in the context of emergencies and varied political situations. In response to these concerns, Inserm and the CNRS have enlisted five teaching and research institutions (Ined – French National Institute for demographic studies, IRD – French Institute for Development Research, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, EHESS – School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences – and EPHE – School of Advanced Practical Studies), with the aim of creating an interdisciplinary Institute for the study of migration. It will take shape in 2019 on the Condorcet Campus, and will bring together 200 researchers. This organisation will be financed by the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research as part of the ‘Instituts Convergence’ call for projects.

1.3 million requests for asylum were registered in Europe in 2015. In France, and elsewhere in Europe, this historic and unprecedented migratory crisis has created new and numerous political and scientific issues.

Following a call for projects “Instituts Convergences” by the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research, Inserm and the CNRS have decided to link up with five other French institutions: Ined, IRD, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, EHESS and EPHE to create an institute entirely dedicated to the study of migration. The objective? To strengthen the ties between science and society, to lead high-level scientific research and provide outstanding training. The ‘Institut Convergences’ for migration will be housed from 2019 within the future Condorcet Campus, in the north of Paris. It will be provided with €13.6 million, over ten years François Héran, Director of Research at Ined, is the project leader.

Some 200 scientists, from the founding institutions, but also international collaborators, will come together in this institute dedicated to multi-thematic research such as the economic, demographic and environmental dynamics of migration, the problem of vulnerability and inequality or even questions of integration, exclusion and discrimination.

From the educational aspect, interdisciplinary training at the crossroads of human science, social sciences but also health sciences (statistics, demographics, public health, epidemiology, economy, anthropology, linguistics, law, ethics, gender studies, data science, archivists) will be proposed. The objective is to establish master’s and doctorate programmes dedicated to the science of migration based on, in the first instance, pre-existing components, from the Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, EHESS or EPHE. A new, completely interdisciplinary Master’s degree will be created at the end of this first phase. 

Finally, Inserm and the CNRS are determined to open an Institute for Society. Services for the community, such as help with homework or language learning dispensed to or by migrants, will take shape. The project also aims to put in place campaigns for prevention and care in conjunction with municipal leaders and migrant associations.

The aim of the ‘Instituts Convergences’ call for projects of the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research is to set up several large-scale, high visibility pluridisciplinary scientific sites to respond better to major issues where social and economic challenges cross paths with the questioning of the scientific community. They must bring together, in an organised partnership in a specific place, diversified research abilities with an integrating vision aimed at producing new knowledge, through the combined recruitment of different disciplinary skills and developing, in association with interdisciplinary research, high quality, innovative training at the Master’s and Doctoral levels, in ‘graduate school’ organisations, both for initial training and continuing training.

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