This article was published in the AMU letter (official review of Aix-Marseille University), on the occasion of the tenth anniversary celebration of Iméra, Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) of Aix-Marseille University.


Established in 2007, on the initiative of Robert Ilbert, with associative status, Iméra aims to welcome international researchers, artists and writers of the highest world standards in accordance with the charter drawn up by the French Network of Institutes for Advanced Studies (RFIEA) of which the institute is a member. Integrated into Aix-Marseille University in 2013, Iméra has gone from “exploratory of interdisciplinarity in the Mediterranean” to a University-Based Institute for Advanced Study (UBIAS) with research fields, a functioning and transformed scientific and institutional objectives, without deviating from the project of the founders with the permanent concern for an interdisciplinary approach, the incubation of projects aimed at innovation. Since 2017, the institute has benefited from scientific animation structured around four distinct programs: Arts, Science and Society; Mediterranean; Perspectives: explorations of interdisciplinarity; Global phenomena and regulation. Each is headed by a program director, significantly strengthening the functions of incubating and building interdisciplinary international communities.

In just a few years, Iméra has doubled the number of residencies (from 100 researcher-months in 2015 to 199 in 2019), and above all maintained an upward trajectory in terms of the quality of the scientific and cultural projects incubated. This has been made possible by the proliferation of very high-level scientific, cultural and institutional multi-year partnerships, ranging from the Research Institute for Development (IRD) and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) to the Franco-American Fulbright Commission and the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, via the Islam de France Foundation, the Mucem, the Paoli-Calmettes Institute, the Southern Region or the Bouches-du-Rhône department. These partnerships have given rise to numerous thematic chairs occupied annually by eminent researchers from the world’s leading universities and research institutes. Iméra has thus established itself as an Institute for Advanced Studies on an international scale, being one of the three coordinators of the UBIAS network of excellence.