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- Christine Musselin, Vice-President for Research ©Caroline Maufroid / Sciences Po
Research is central to Sciences Po’s intellectual approach. Our research mission is twofold: to contribute to the analysis and understanding of the contemporary world and to enrich the content of our teaching programmes.
Our research community consists of over 220 internationally recognised academics and 350 PhD candidates. Their work covers a wide range of topics including education, democracies, urban development, globalisation and public health.
One of Sciences Po’s key objectives is to make a significant contribution to methodological, epistemological and theoretical advances in the humanities and social sciences. Sciences Po’s mission is also to share the results of its research with the international academic community, students and society as a whole.
Ever since Sciences Po was first assessed in the QS rankings in 2007, it has ranked among France’s top institutions: first in political science and sociology, second in law, third in history and fourth in economics. Internationally, Sciences Po has improved its performance in political science and international studies, moving up three places to 13th for this discipline, and has maintained its position for Sociology (36th).
Contributing to scientific and public debate
Research at Sciences Po contributes to knowledge and debate in five overarching disciplines: law, particularly private and international law; economics, focusing on issues such as international trade, monetary policies, labour markets and innovation; history, particularly political history and the study of conflicts, world history and the history of knowledge and cultures; political science in all its forms: study of voter behaviour, international relations, compared political and cultural areas, political theory, administration and public policy; and sociology, particularly organisational sociology, economic sociology and sociology of social stratification.
Our researchers study major issues such as public health, education, urban development, security, the environment and democracy all over the world, with an extensive range of approaches, from ethnography to the most sophisticated econometric methods.
Six of Sciences Po's research centres are associated with France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) as “joint research units” (UMR in French), and four of them are recognised by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education as “host teams” (EA in French). In addition to these ten centres, the OFCE serves as both a research centre and economic forecasting organisation. Sciences Po's academics publish over 800 books and articles each year, which are available in our open archive Sciences Po Institutional REpository - SPIRE.
Sciences Po began to set up research chairs in 1999 with the aim of making a significant contribution to topics that remain difficult to grasp, either because they are new or because they have undergone recent developments. Among our established chairs, the Sustainable Development Chair is part of this approach. The chairs take various forms. Some are led by academics who conduct research and teach; others are oriented towards running a sector-specific network (companies, politicians, regulators, etc.) and act more like think tanks, studying behaviours and contributing to debate.
A new generation of chairs in 2017
Inspired by these experiences, our institution has launched a “new generation” of chairs based on four principles: a topical theme, a long-term structure based in a graduate school or a research centre, a sustainable economic model and an increased dialogue between public, private, academic and even political stakeholders. As with the "Technology, Governance and Institutional Innovation (TGII)" Chair and the “Cities and Digital Technology” Chair, they are intended to sustain and enrich teaching and research, with a large capacity for foresight, knowledge dissemination and raising awareness.
Several chairs exist and have existed thanks to the generosity of our corporate partners, in particular:
- The Health Chair: Air Liquide, Ipsen.
- The Transformations in Public Policy and Public Law Chair (MADP): Berger-Levrault (fr), Electrosteel, KPMG.
- The Chair Technology, Governance and Institutional Innovation Chair (TGII): Airbnb, Carrefour, Facebook, Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations.
- The Cities and Digital Technology Chair: CISCO, La Poste (fr), RTE and Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations.
- And also OMER, the emerging countries observatory at CERI (Centre for International Studies): Air Liquide, Cofely Ineo, Safran, Total.
“Research at Sciences Po is first and foremost international research, both thanks to the composition of our faculty and, perhaps more significantly, because it concerns all the countries of the world and has long been comparative. Research feeds into all our teaching programmes and underpins the core courses at the Undergraduate College and most of the graduate schools.”
Christine Musselin, Vice-President for Research