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International Research Center for Fundamental Scientific Discovery

UChicago-CNRS Research Collaboration Program

In 2019, the CNRS and the University of Chicago launched a joint call for proposals to develop cooperation in promising new scientific themes between the two institutions. The agreement is designed to support a series of three-year collaborative research programs for up to 10 new PhD students per year, including students from UChicago and from French universities that host a CNRS research unit. Under the supervision of two primary investigators, one from UChicago and one from CNRS, the program helps PhD students broaden their perspective, gain experience and maturity in leading international research projects, and enhance their scholarly training in preparation for their future professional careers.


Call for Proposals: 2024-27 Cohort

Call Release Date: September 25th, 2023
Close of Submissions Date: November 20th, 2023
Notification Date: January 31st, 2024

Purpose of this Call for Proposals

The CNRS-University of Chicago International Research Center for Fundamental Scientific Discovery (IRC Discovery) is a joint research center between the University of Chicago and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). IRC Discovery strengthens partnership between scholars at two of the world’s leading research institutions and leverages both institutions’ robust networks and large-scale investments in scientific infrastructure to address some of the world’s biggest questions.

IRC Discovery provides dedicated support and resources for expanded collaboration between UChicago and CNRS and it is within the context of this initiative that we announce this Call for Proposals for the 2024-2027 cohort of the UChicago-CNRS Research Collaboration Program.

This call is intended to:

  • Identify and support collaborations between teams at UChicago and CNRS-affiliated labs, via the creation of pairs of Principal Investigators and their PhD students.
  • Fund up to 3 years of a PhD fellowship on the CNRS side, starting in Autumn 2024.
  • Fund mobility expenses for each team over a period of three years (starting July 1, 2024, for UChicago PIs and January 1, 2024, for CNRS-affiliate PIs)

Eligibility Requirements

Academic Areas

This call is open to all disciplines and academic research areas. Priority will be given to projects that build upon themes addressed in the inaugural workshops hosted as part of IRC Discovery’s launch in June 2023, which include:

  • Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Physical biology of emerging model organisms
  • Quantum Information Sciences

Applicant Eligibility

To be eligible to apply to this program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Proposed projects should include a UChicago PI and graduate student and a CNRS PI and graduate student. Graduate students may be identified after the proposal is submitted.
    • UChicago PIs must be:
      • Assistant, Associate, or Full Professors.
      • Must be eligible to supervise or currently be supervising a PhD student.
      • Must only submit one proposal to this round of the program.
    • UChicago Graduate Students must be:
      • Second or third-year PhD students with an interest in international collaboration with France.
    • CNRS PIs must be:
      • Researchers or Professors (PU, MCF) working in a CNRS-affiliated lab and holding an accreditation to supervise PhD students (HDR).
      • Must only submit one proposal to this round of the program.
    • CNRS Graduate Students must be:
      • Candidates to a PhD program.

Collaborative Research

There must be at least one PI from UChicago and one PI from a CNRS-affiliated lab. Those who do not already have a collaborator may consult the CNRS website (CNRS directoryor the UChicago website (academic departments directory) to find information on the research groups and projects being carried out in either institution.

Funding Details

Funding Amount

Students are expected to be financially supported by their home institution, at the equivalent level of a PhD fellowship in a specific program. Additional funds will cover mobility costs for visits to France & to UChicago for the PI and the PhD student (up to 5 000 € for France-based awardees and $5,000 USD for UChicago awardees - per institution, per year).

Grant Period/Period of Support

Grants through the Research Collaboration Program can last up to 3 years.

Number of awards

Up to five proposals will be selected for awards.

Mode of application

PIs from France and UChicago are expected to collaborate on a joint proposal for each project. The proposal must then be submitted to the following websites, in English, and in PDF form:

  • UChicago applicants should submit their proposal via InfoReady
  • CNRS applicants should submit the same content via the dedicated website: https://www.cooperation.cnrs.fr. Please follow the mode of application section’s guidelines and only put “see PDF” in CoopIntEER mandatory sections.

// View full application details in InfoReady