Shared projects, a common culture of excellence

The partners are aware that on a governance level, the work accomplished has not met the expectations of the judges and ministries concerned. On the other hand, the progress made collectively within the Sorbonne University and Sorbonne Paris Cité consortiums has enabled the partners to successfully conduct numerous projects and develop effective collaboration.
They have gained mutual understanding and developed efficient working methods and a shared ambition. The IdEx project has increased the number of scientific partnerships between disciplines and institutions, strengthened research and pedagogical support and led to shared services.
This common culture and the resulting inter-institutional working practices have resulted in the development of shared services in the sectors of doctoral teaching, language learning, digital teaching methods and simulation-based medical studies.
– SAPIENS – (Service d’Accompagnement aux Pédagogies Innovantes et à l’Enseignement Numérique de Sorbonne Paris Cité) to help academic staff to implement innovative and digital teaching methods.
– PERL – centre for the development of linguistic resources for non-specialists.
– Le Collège des Ecoles Doctorales – a consortium designed to coordinate some thirty graduate schools
– iLumens – a medicine simulation centre to train future health professionals.

Scientific research

Coordination of research on major societal issues
  • 9 interdisciplinary courses: the human factor in medicine; the dynamics of ageing; digitisation of our cultural heritage; Earth politics; biomedical imagery; energy sources of the future; the body: networks and digital identities; crises and health protection and plural societies;
  • 9 LabEx projects combining research teams from at least two different academic institutions (Who Am I?, UnivEarths, EFL-Empirical Foundations of Linguistics, Inflamex, Cultural Industries and Artistic Creation, ImmunoOnco, GR-Ex – Biogenisis and Pathologies of Red Blood Cells, SEAM – Science and Engineering for Advanced Materials, LIEPP – Interdisciplinary Laboratory for the Assessment of Public Policy;
  • calls for inter-institutional research projects and, in particular, inter-research units (108 projects approved involving 200 research teams).
Shared tools for researchers
  • Implementation of TROPIC, a management tool for research contracts and conventions
  • Creation of a Sorbonne Paris Cité shared skills database
  • Creation of a document digitisation platform for three libraries
  • Simplification of management practices using shared software for project management and research contracts.
  • Support to take research to its highest level.
Today, recognition of scientific excellence often goes through Brussels. It was for this reason that the Europe Research Network was created to help research teams submit Horizon 2020 and ERC projects. This helped us to obtain 109 ERC grants (out of the 958 allotted to France), including 25 for the human sciences. Recognition of scientific excellence is also achieved by technology transfers and the industrial development of research. It is for this purpose that the Sorbonne Paris Cité consortium has become a majority academic shareholder of the SATT IDF Innov technology transfer company. To achieve global visibility of scientific research conducted by our institutions, a joint signature policy for publications has been developed.
Promotion of the doctoral degree as a diploma of excellence in its own right
This means encouraging Ph.D. students to be successful, improving their course work and ensuring recognition of their degree in the socio-economic sphere.
This has resulted in the following:
  • the creation of a Collège des écoles doctorales – a consortium that coordinates thirty graduate schools and offers Ph.D. students a vast scientific potential and individual support,
  • the publication of a catalogue of 210 courses proposed by the CFDip, which aims at helping post-docs to embark on a successful career (management, IT, data processing, publications, languages, economics, etc.),
  • on-line release of Amethis, monitoring software for theses, Ph.D. students and doctoral support teams,
  • funding for foreign Ph.D. students,
  • launch of two recruitment campaigns for 60 international high-potential Ph.D. students from across the world (in addition to those that already exist i.e. 250 contracts/year). This programme has received support from the European Union via the COFUND-Inspire programme,
  • funding of 30 double-culture Ph.D contracts.

Teaching and pedagogical innovations

The IdEx scheme has enabled us to:
  • develop innovative courses for students and internationalise the courses offered
  • structure a continuing education offering,
  • offer international mobility programmes for the staff,
  • finance forty MOOCs in all fields of knowledge, half of which were given by teams from several institutions,
  • provide the medical departments with a network of simulation centres called iLumens to train future health professionals.
Joint experiments involving several institutions have also been launched. One example is Alter PACES, which offers students alternative paths for studying medicine and combined degrees.
An incubator has been created to support entrepreneurial projects carried out by students from member institutions and its PEPITE CréaJ-IDFC network.
Several programmes to help students obtain their bachelor degree have been set up, based on the use of digital tools to provide extra tuition for classroom courses, career guidance and liaison with high schools and the development of combined or dual degrees. After being tested at Paris Descartes university, an orientation and extra tutoring scheme called PAREO was extended to the other institutions.

International outreach

Partnerships have been stepped up via the international networks of each institution:
  • opening of offices in Brazil, Argentina and Singapore,
  • development of partnerships with the university of Montreal in Canada and the Abai University in Kazakhstan,
  • creation of the Virchow-Villermé Public Health Centre with the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin,
  • outreach policy with regard to China and Australia to develop joint research and teaching programmes, in liaison with research bodies that are members of the Sorbonne Paris Cité Consortium,
  • signature of a partnership with the University of California, Berkley.
A Chairs of Excellence programme has been implemented to host junior and senior scientists of world renown (total of 16 Chairs).
The internationalisation of courses has been strengthened thanks to funding programmes for international Master’s degrees and incoming mobility grants: 400 grants have been allocated to top-level international students wishing to obtain a Master’s degree in France.
In terms of outgoing mobility, another programme has provided funding for Master’s degrees abroad for one hundred students.
Foreign academic staff have been invited to give courses in foreign languages in international Master’s degrees.
Administrative and technical staff have also benefitted from a mobility programme in foreign institutions.


Student life

Given the geographical breakdown of the member institutions, it soon became obvious that the shared campus is the city of Paris. The ‘Festival des Idées – Paris’ was developed to take this into account. Fifty events are proposed over a period of five days in numerous cultural venues in Paris and in each institution. The Festival is followed up by a diversified cultural offering all year long.
There is also a wide choice of student sports competitions and courses and joint events organised around student engagement.