2 place Le Verrier
Iméra is a University-Based Institute for Advanced Study (UBIAS). It was incorporated in 2013 as a scientific foundation into Aix-Marseille University, the largest French university with more than 130 research structures in all the fields of scientific inquiry, labelled IDEX-Initiative d'excellence in 2012 and fully endowed in 2016. This has opened up IMéRA to a wide array of top-level interactions, notably with AMU’s many graduates schools (AMU Institutes and Investments for the Future Programme-PIA)
Iméra residences are structured around four scientific programs: (i) Arts and Sciences: Indisciplined Knowledges (ii) Interdisciplinary Explorations (iii) Mediterranean (iv) Necessary Utopias.
Iméra has built close partnerships with major French research institutions such as the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) and the Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), as well as international research institutions, such as the Fulbright Franco-American Commission. It has also a history of engagement with the local, regional and national artworld and of engagement with civil society. The Institute hosts researchers from all disciplines and promotes inclusive interdisciplinary approaches. Residents develop their own research projects in conjunction with teams and research labs in Aix-Marseille University. What is distinctive about Iméra is the collaborations between artists and scholars as well as the relationship between the humanities and social sciences on the one hand and the exact sciences on the other.
Iméra is keen to ensure that applicants engage in the collective activities of the residence, which take one day a week, including the Community Building Seminar held on a weekly basis (read more here about Residents’ commitment). Bilingualism in English and French is also essential and residents must be able to: understand both languages orally and in writing (passive knowledge) and master at least one orally and in writing (active knowledge).
Premises and facilities
Located on extensive grounds in the heart of Marseille, Iméra comprises two main buildings—a large 19th century house called Maison des Astronomes (Astronomers' House) and a vast university building dating from the 1960s.
The FIAS fellows will be accommodated nearby the Parc Longchamp in apartments for 1 to 4 people on the same site as the Institute and its collective working spaces. Residents also have access to an equipped desk in a large open space, meeting rooms, a conference room (50 seats) and recreation areas.
They have access to the whole system of Aix‐Marseille University’s libraries.
Scientific priorities in FIAS
Iméra promotes innovative experimental interdisciplinary approaches in all areas of knowledge. Artists holding a teaching or research position in an institution, and developing approaches at the intersection of art and science, are eligible for the FIAS call.
Furthermore, the research activity within the institute is hinged around four scientific programs.
The thematic coherence of the project with the program guidelines is a decisive element in the evaluation of the application.
The Iméra programs
Arts and Sciences: Indisciplined Knowledges
The program "Arts & Sciences: Indisciplined knowledge" is situated at the intersection between arts and sciences, open to artists and scientists of all disciplines. This transversal program focuses first on the ways in which artistic and scientific knowledge intersect through collaborations between artists and scientists from all disciplines, sharing a reflexive device - real and theoretical space - in order to understand what the other does and to challenge their own modes of writing. Each participant is free to experiment with the different levels of these crossings, suggesting a constructive overcoming of the frameworks imposed by each field of knowledge and/or discipline. In close connection with one of the themes of one of the other three Iméra programs – "Necessary Utopias", "Mediterranean" and "Interdisciplinary Explorations" (see below) – the research can be based on the different fields of creation. Documentary film, sound and literary experimentation, illustration, archival work, the links between art and therapy, and lecture-performances are among the privileged fields, but without excluding other practices. It is not a residence for the production of works or an exhibition, but on the contrary a space for intellectual research, elaboration and experimentation free from the constraints linked to the final result.
The program is open to researchers from all disciplines who have a specific interest in the interactions between exact and natural sciences (mathematics, logic, computer science, physics, chemistry, biology) and human and health sciences. Applicants' projects must have a strong interdisciplinary dimension. Epistemological reflections on intersectoral interdisciplinarity are welcome. Priority will be given to projects by researchers who have produced innovative and original results in their own field through their dialogue with another discipline. The Interdisciplinary Explorations program addresses all issues related to the theory and practice of interdisciplinarity in university research and teaching. It is articulated around three main themes associated with seminars and lecture series. The three main research axes concern: a critical appraisal on interdisciplinarity and discipline identities toward history; concepts transfer and plurality of worldviews in the practice of science; new perspectives on cognitive and health sciences.
The program is open to scholars and thinkers from all disciplines. Under the umbrella of the transdisciplinary field of "Mediterranean Studies", the program’s scope is transnational, cross-regional, and embraces the Mediterranean societies of Anatolia, the Balkans, the Levant, North Africa and Southern Europe (including France). It is built around five main research axes: the question of interpreting and archiving, including digitally, ways of life and everyday culture in reference to the Mediterranean societies; critical thinking on the shaping of migrant narratives across the Mediterranean, in particular through a reflection on the history of belonging and citizenship, and the extraterritorial circulation of ideas, goods, and peoples, both in the past and in the afterlives of empires; the entangled historical legacies at the roots of the social, ethical, political, national, transnational, and ethno-religious identities which are at play in our present time; the question of the Mediterranean at the time of the Anthropocene, of coastal vulnerabilities and global warming, as a global frontline of climate change; leading the conversation beyond the dominant “two shores” narrative twofold: by advancing the notion of the"third shore", i.e. global Mediterraneans, and by embracing the diasporic voices of the Mediterranean societies.
The program is open to scholars from all disciplines, to artists from all fields and to social actors, i.e. to thinkers and to makers in the broadest sense of the term. At the core of the program resides a constellation of themes which have become in the last decade rather mandatory, or even classic, for many Institutes for Advanced Study: interdisciplinary research on global phenomena and challenges, as well as on creativity and innovation, all in the horizon of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The recent pandemic and the actual crisis have revealed more clearly the urgency as well as the importance and complexity of such topics. The projects of the candidates must propose new ideas and/or new practical solutions for those local or global problems that the contemporary world considers both inescapable to face, but impossible to solve, without really thinking and acting outside the box. The fields of invention and application of these necessary utopias are, among others: ecological crisis, health, migration, work, economic and social inequalities, urban life, education, political participation.