Students in a laboratory

UChicago-CNRS Partnership

Request for Proposals

UChicago-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) Collaboration Funds


The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the University of Chicago are launching a joint call for proposals to support collaborations between UChicago researchers and labs affiliated with CNRS, and to foster cooperation between PhD students on shared research interests.

This call is open to proposals from all disciplines and academic research areas. This program seeks to:

  • Support research teams that include Principal Investigator/PhD student pairs from both UChicago and a CNRS-affiliated lab
  • Fund up to three years of international travel expenses for each team, starting in 2023
  • Provide additional funding to support CNRS-affiliated PhD students

Proposals will be accepted through February 7, 2022. Please see below for full details on the program and instructions on how to apply.

Apply now

Objectives of this Call for Proposals

This joint call is intended to:

  • Identify and support joint research teams between UChicago and CNRS-affiliated labs, via the creation of pairs of Principal Investigators and their PhD students
  • Fund up to three years of a PhD fellowship on the CNRS side of identified partnerships, starting in Autumn 2022
  • Involve UChicago-funded PhD-students interested in international collaboration
  • Fund mobility expenses for each team over a period of three years, starting in 2023

Scientific Areas

The CNRS and the University of Chicago are launching a Joint Call for Proposals between the two institutions, to develop cooperation in new promising themes. This call is open to all disciplines and academic research areas.


Principal Investigators:

  • UChicago side: Assistant, Associate or Full Professors
  • CNRS’ side: Researchers and professors (PU, MCF) working in a CNRS-affiliated lab, holding an accreditation to supervise PhD students (HDR)
  • A PI cannot submit more than one application in the framework of this call.


  • France: candidates to a PhD
  • UChicago: second-year or third-year PhD students

Collaborative Research

There must be at least one PI from University of Chicago 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 (students researchacademic departments) to find information on the research groups and projects being carried out in either institution.

Amount of Funding

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). Students are expected to be financially supported by their home institution, at the equivalent level of a PhD fellowship in a specific program at their home institution.

Support period

Up to 3 years

Number of awards

Up to five students are expected to be funded by UChicago Principal Investigators, who will receive additional assistance from the University’s Global office, and up to five students enrolled in a French university are expected to be funded by the CNRS.

Notification Date

End of March 2022

Close of Submissions Date

February 7th, 2022


Proposals will be evaluated and ranked by a UChicago-CNRS scientific evaluation committee, according to the following criteria:

  • Scientific quality & originality of the project
  • Scientific merit of the teams
  • Synergism between the teams

The proposals must also include an outlined plan for raising external competitive funding (e.g. EU collaborative grants, national research agency grants, etc.).

Mode of Application

The proposal must consist of the following parts.

UChicago applicants should submit this information via InfoReady;

CNRS-affiliated applicants should submit the same information (in English) in one single Word or PDF file (up to 5 pages + the Title Page, not including references and the CVs of the French and UChicago participants) via the dedicated Web site:

PART A: Contact Information

Names of the principal investigators and their laboratories/name of thesis director in humanities and social sciences, their addresses, telephone, and e-mail. The names of the PhD students can be provided if they are already known. For CNRS-affiliated applicants, please specify on the Title Page of the application document "This application is submitted for consideration within the UChicago - CNRS Collaboration Program". CNRS-affiliated applicants will need to use the separate cover page template provided.

PART B: Description of the Project (1,000 word limit)

Title of the project, state of the art for the research area, description of the project and domains of interest, historical context of application (if applicable), quality and originality of the project, objectives, methodology, expected results and their relevance, future perspectives. Explain how the PhD fellow will be supervised and mentored, and how the collaboration will enable and enhance the project. Explain the relation between the project and the research themes of the laboratory (if applicable).

PART C: The Added-value of International Cooperation (500 word limit)

Describe the added value of the international cooperation in fulfilling the aims of the project (explain why the project cannot be carried out at a national level only). Describe the expected benefits for the French and UChicago teams. Describe the balance between the contributions of the French and UChicago teams. If any additional industrial or governmental collaborations are involved in the project, please describe their role.

PART D: Planned Activities (500 word limit)

Describe the planned activities in the framework of the project and provide a timetable. Explain how these activities will help achieve the aims of the project.

PART E: Budget (500 word limit)

Proposed budget including a breakdown of the division of funds, separated into distinct budgets for CNRS and UChicago. The budget section regarding travel should contain explicit line items for travel of the PhD student and the Principal Investigators.

PART F: Perspectives & External Funding (500 word limit)

Outline any proposed plans for raising external competitive funding (e.g. EU collaborative grants, US collaborative grants, national research agency grants, etc.)

PART G: Ethics (250 word limit)

Does the project raise ethical questions? If yes, please describe them and how they will be addressed.

PART H: Academic Quality of the Teams

Please list and upload up to ten detailed (complete) citations for publications related to the project for each team. This list does not count against the page limit. Authors from the respective laboratories must be clearly indicated in the author lists, with superscript or parenthesized letters corresponding to the respective countries, for example Dupont JP (FR), or Smith FD (US).

PART I: Curriculum Vitae of all PIs/Faculty

Please submit short (no more than two page) curriculum vitae for all PIs/faculty (from both UChicago and French insitutions) that will be involved in this project. The CVs do not count against the 6-page application limit.

Selection Process

Proposals will be evaluated and ranked by a UChicago-CNRS selection committee based on the scientific quality & originality of the project, scientific merit of the teams, synergy between the teams, and alignment with the strategic areas of mutual interest.

Successful recipients will be formally notified of the award and informed of funding conditions.


During or at the conclusion of the project, grant recipients may be asked to report on progress or outcomes achieved to relevant stakeholder groups.

Awardees must submit a brief, plain language report (1-page) to their respective PI/thesis director within eighteen months of the conclusion of the award cycle. This report should detail the outcomes of the collaboration and the ways in which the grant has enhanced, or will enhance, their research activities and/or leverage larger opportunities.


For any inquiry, please contact:

UChicago inquiries should be directed to

CNRS (including about the submission platform CoopIntEER functioning) inquiries should be directed to