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The Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme firmly believes that our increasingly globalized world required more than ever social sciences that are truly international in concepts and methods as well as in content and vision. This principle has been implemented for long by the FMSH through co-operation programmes and scientific networks extending over four continents. Building on its longstanding links with Russia, India and China, as well as with countries of the European Union and North America, the Maison has more recently strengthened its existing networks in Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. The Maison continues to be faithful to its tradition of supporting innovative research proposed by scholars themselves.

The International Programme for Advanced Studies at the FMSH differs from many Institutes for Advanced Studies in that it does not offer long-term fellowships to individual scholars, but rather medium-term fellowships for collective research. In practice, such a policy favours the constitution of a core group of four or five scholars, living and working in residence in Paris for a period of three months. Each international group selected for IPAS normally includes one scholar settled in France, who is expected to act also as the local administrative co-ordinator of the project, in touch with the IPAS staff.

This core group is encouraged to develop and strengthen contacts with other scholars based in Paris and in France who may be interested in their research. The group may also take advantage of the FMSH network of French scholars and foreign visitors invited through other FMSH programmes or invited by other institutions and residing at Maison Suger, the FMSH centre for residence and research. The group will also have the opportunity to interact with Fellows in residence at our partner institution, the Columbia University Institute for Scholars at Reid Hall (for further information about the Institute for Scholars, please consult its web site at ).

Fellows are normally accommodated at the FMSH-affiliated Maison Suger. The Maison Suger is not simply as a place of residence. It also serves as a place of work, and as a site for developing contacts and holding meetings and seminars. In addition, the FMSH main building offers the facility of its library, its scientific directorate and a number of research centres.

IPAS Fellows are thus provided with a congenial and intellectually stimulating environment in which to carry out their research. The triangle constituted by the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Maison Suger and the Columbia University Institute for Scholars, all located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, offers a privileged infrastructure. In such an intellectual climate, the invited groups are expected to be active in their research, to conduct informal workshops and/or more formal seminars open to the scientific community and to produce publications of outstanding quality. It is envisaged that special issues of journals, edited volumes and other collective publications will offer testimony to the success of the IPAS concept.

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