Housed since 2009 in a characteristic building on the banks of the Loire in Nantes, the Institut d'études avancées de Nantes welcomes researchers from all over the world in the humanities and social sciences, particularly from developing countries.

Since the start of the 2021 academic year, it has been run by a collegial management team comprising two researchers (two-year terms) and a permanent executive employee.


Founding personalities

Jean-Marc Ayrault, former mayor of Nantes and former French Prime Minister, and Alain Supiot, French law professor and sociologist, are key figures involved in the creation of the Institut d'Études Avancées (IEA) de Nantes. Jean-Marc Ayrault, as Mayor of Nantes at the time, actively supported the initiative to create an Institute for Advanced Studies in his city. His commitment to research and higher education helped make the project a reality. Alain Supiot, as a renowned jurist and eminent figure in the field of labour law and legal sociology, was one of the main designers of the Institut d'études avancées de Nantes. His academic expertise and intellectual commitment were essential in defining the institute's mission and objectives, as well as in mobilizing the resources required for its creation.

Together, Jean-Marc Ayrault and Alain Supiot, along with other local and national players, helped establish the Institute as a leading interdisciplinary research institution, offering a space for advanced research and intellectual collaboration in a wide range of fields.

South-North dialogue and interdisciplinarity

The Institute's hallmark has been built around an intense North-South dialogue, which gives pride of place to thinking from the South.

The Institut d'études avancées de Nantes specializes in the humanities and social sciences, and covers a wide range of research topics, from philosophy and biology to history, literature, political science and economics. Residents are encouraged to collaborate with local researchers and contribute to the intellectual life of the Nantes region.
Every year, the Institute receives between 150 and 200 applications for some fifteen offers of research residencies to established researchers from all over the world, enabling them to devote themselves to their projects for a period of one academic year. Resident researchers also take part in seminars, conferences and other academic activities at the Institute.

A member of several networks

The Institute enjoys an international reputation as a leading research center. It maintains close links with other institutes of advanced studies around the world, and participates in international collaborative initiatives in the field of advanced research.

The Institut d'études avancées de Nantes is a member of these networks:

  • Réseau Français des Instituts d'Études Avancées (RFIEA), an umbrella organization for several advanced study institutes in France. Its aim is to promote interdisciplinary research and strengthen collaboration between the various member institutes.
  • NetIAS, an international network that fosters cooperation and exchanges between the various European Institutes for Advanced Study. These institutes offer research residencies to researchers from different disciplines, enabling them to devote themselves to their research projects in an interdisciplinary environment conducive to innovation.


Over the years, the Institut d'études avancées de Nantes has become a major player in interdisciplinary research in France, making a significant contribution to the production of knowledge in various fields of the humanities, social sciences, exact sciences and life sciences.