IAST : Understanding Human Behaviour and Culture
The Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST) is a unique research institution engaging scientists from different disciplines toward a common social science project: understanding human behaviour and culture.
Conceived by Nobel prize-winner Jean Tirole, the IAST was established in 2011 as a “Laboratory of Excellence” by the French government. We are hosted by the Université de Toulouse Capitole, which is a university for social sciences. The ambitious goal of our interdisciplinary research institute is to break down artificial disciplinary boundaries in order to bring together researchers from all over the world, trained in the different social sciences. Together we aim to facilitate cross fertilization and unlock new ideas to address the challenges of the 21st century.
The IAST works closely with Toulouse School of Economics, chaired by Jean Tirole, and several of its founding scholars are economists, but the aim of the institute is to break out beyond the disciplinary boundaries of economics and to tackle important research questions using whatever disciplinary tools may be appropriate.
The Research program of IAST is organized around 5 broad themes:
- Individual Motives, Actions, Innovation, and Well Being
- Individuals and Social Networks
- Society, Globalization, and Public Policy
- The Nation State and Global Public Goods
- Governance and Markets
It is also based on disciplinary programs, of which there are currently five, in Biology, History, Law, Political Science and Psychology. We also have research activity in three other disciplines: anthropology, philosophy and sociology, and we welcome motivated applications from researchers whose disciplinary training does not fall within these categories.
How to apply
Opportunities vary year to year, but in 2015 for example we opened four calls for applications corresponding to three different positions:
- Research Fellows, open from mid-October to 31st December, each year
- Visiting Fellows, open from mid-October to 30th November, each year
- Tenured or Tenure-track positions, depending on open positions
To apply for one of these positions, the applicants have to visit the www.iast.fr website, where they will find useful information and be able to apply online.
The application process consist in filling in a form, and uploading material (CV, cover letter, publications,…). The type of requested document can vary according to the position.
In addition, the applicant’s referees will be able to upload securely their letters of recommendation directly on our platform.
Once all the applications received, the recruitment committee is meeting to shortlist the best candidates. After an interview (through skype or in person, depending on the position) with each shortlisted candidate, the recruitment committee will inform them of the outcome of their application.
The candidates have to present their career through the online application form and requested documents. They are selected according to their scientific background, but also to potential fit with the IAST research interests and activities. We are hence particularly keen to receive applications from candidates who are enthusiastic about engaging in interdisciplinary research and, more generally, bringing social sciences together for the common good. Examples of previous and current work along these lines would be a bonus, as would ideas for future projects that could be developed in this sense within the IAST.
The IAST: a thriving hub for “thinking out of the disciplinary box”
There are many regular scientific events organised to foster interactions, both internal and external, and members are encouraged to get involved with these activities as far as possible. We also favour a collective, bottom up strategy for our scientific outlook and appreciate colleagues who want to get involved, give feedback and help build our future. We aim also to offer a sociable, friendly environment which is a pleasant place to work. Any ideas from colleagues to go further on this are always welcome.