IMéRA (Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Research) is an Aix-Marseille University (AMU) Foundation. From its very start it was a member of RFIEA (French Advanced Study Institutes Network); it is also part of the European Network of University-Based Institutes.
IMéRA has 5- or 10-month residency schemes for scientists and artists; it also accommodates a few multi-disciplinary teams with collective projects for short duration stays. Residents work on their own research projects in connection with Aix-Marseille teams and laboratories. They contribute to the Institute’s own intellectual life based on cross-fertilisation in Science and Arts.
IMéRA residencies take place in an atmosphere of collegial interchange, in a space that is appropriate both for nurturing cross reflections on the research work of participating scientists and for starting or strengthening inter- or trans-disciplinary cooperation: it is by monitoring science and art as they are being made and at their most intense that one can grasp and test cross-fertilisation opportunities and ensure that they connect theoretical inventions and research practices, hitherto carried out separately.
IMéRA offers resident researchers the right environment for the advancement of their research work, as close as possible to the course they have charted for themselves that fits their needs, and in line with the canons of excellence that identify them.
The Institute provides an experimental, inter-collegial space where researchers can expose their works’ progress to one another in seminars that may be organised by a resident on his/her research project, in collaboration with AMU teams, or on the basis of a theme chosen in common by residents.
These various contacts give each researcher the opportunity to develop new lines of enquiry that have not previously been raised in their field.
These exchanges can either show that certain issues are more common across disciplines than was imagined, or help to explain why the approaches of various disciplines are significantly different—in which case the matter can be discussed and comparative analyses made.
The practical concept that guides us is that bringing inter-field audiences together will allow scientists to reappraise their research work and the logic underlying its argumentation, and therefore to detect cross-fertilisation points for future joint disciplines.
IMéRA’s specific goal is to experiment cross-fertilisation between various disciplines because we consider that insufficient use is still made of such interactions, which are key conveyors of scientific innovation. We want to share any innovation strategies that might be developed within the Institute at the crossroads of various disciplines, together with all the scientific communities working in its environment.
Research projects carried out at IMéRA focus on interactions within social science, within science, and between social science and formal/experimental/health science, and on relationships between art and science, exploring and enhancing the potential openings between such disciplines and the new objects that may be formed there.
We also strive to foster relationships between researchers from all sides of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Institute provides an experimental, inter-collegial space where researchers can expose their works’ progress to one another in seminars that may be organised by a resident on his/her research project, in collaboration with AMU teams, or on the basis of a theme chosen in common by residents. IMéRA will therefore give particularly favourable attention to applications from researchers who can, through their work, develop interactions within social science, within science in general, between social science and formal/experimental science, and between art and science.