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The University launches the Institute for Advanced Studies

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Published on Wednesday, 11 November 2020

The University of Luxembourg has launched an Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS) with the aim to strengthen its interdisciplinary research. The IAS will further reinforce the University’s international profile as an excellent research university. It will act as a promoter to overcome boundaries between different scientific disciplines and sectors. 

Building on its strong disciplinary roots, the University uses interdisciplinary research as a catalyst to generate new understanding and innovations to improve the quality of life and society of tomorrow.

The IAS of the University of Luxembourg has four missions:

  • to leverage bold interdisciplinary research at the very forefront of science;
  • to project the University’s values of excellence, interdisciplinarity and internationality;
  • to build bridges within the University community, with external visitors and society;
  • to attract and retain international talent in Luxembourg.

The major challenges we face today, whether they are economic, industrial, societal, health-related or environmental, are so complex and over-arching that interdisciplinary efforts are required to assess, understand and solve them”, explains Prof Jens Kreisel, vice-rector for research at the University, who will lead the University of Luxembourg IAS during the first year as its founding director. “The IAS will act as a magnet for the international research community and open additional channels of exchange with civil society.”

Funding instruments and operations

The Institute is inspired by existing international Institutes for Advanced Studies, which are recognised for combining scientific excellence, interdisciplinarity and internationality, and as for sharing knowledge and experience with society. As the only IAS in a perimeter of 1000km, the IAS will act as a beacon for research in Luxembourg and the Greater Region.

Four funding instruments cover diverse research activities. Funding can be obtained by submission of project proposals, by passing a transparent selection procedure, and through selection by the IAS’ Scientific Council, that is composed of an interdisciplinary panel of University and external experts.

  • Audacity: Building bridges between scientific disciplines and sectors (see images)
    The Audacity instrument funds collaborative projects at the forefront of interdisciplinary science, which have a distinctly exploratory and audacious character.
  • Distinguished: Attracting distinguished international visiting fellows
    This instrument encourages researchers at the University to engage with distinguished researchers and teachers, as well as policymakers, representatives of the arts, government or industry. Distinguished IAS Visiting Fellows will also take part in public outreach activities.
  • Young academics: Attracting and nurturing the next generation
    This instrument attracts outstanding doctoral and postdoctoral fellows who wish to conduct interdisciplinary research at the University.
  • Brainstorm: Small brainstorm meetings on emerging research questions
    Small-sized brainstorm meetings are an ideal forum to exchange on emerging areas of interest, often beyond a single discipline or sector. Such workshops will bring together experts of all ages, domains and sectors.

Through the University of Luxembourg IAS, the University will reinforce its own positioning and the positioning of Luxembourg on the international research landscape. “Since its foundation in 2003, the University has established itself as a strong asset for Luxembourg, by conducting excellent teaching and research that are recognised globally”, states Prof Stéphane Pallage, rector of the University. “The University of Luxembourg IAS further strengthens this positioning and will be a driver of ground-breaking research. “

The University of Luxembourg IAS is a perfect building block for the national research and innovation strategy launched by the government at the beginning of this year, as it will raise the interdisciplinary approach of innovative research, that the national strategy will need in the various priority areas, to the next level,” says Claude Meisch, minister for Higher Education and Research.

Projects of Audacity