Cambridge and French research consortium mark a year of collaborative projects

A year of collaborative projects involving Cambridge and a consortium of Paris-based universities proves the potential of international partnerships.This follow an agreement supported by the French Embassy in the UK.


When in May 2014 the Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, witnessed the signing of an agreement between Cambridge and the consortium of French research institutions known as Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL Research University), he celebrated an opportunity for Cambridge “to enhance its well-established connections to some of France’s elite institutions, its most interesting scholars, and its brightest students.”

Just over a year on from the formalisation of Cambridge’s partnership with PSL, many joint projects have emerged that continue to enhance research links and lay the foundation for new collaborations.

These projects have ranged from a summer placement at Chimie ParisTech for students in the Department of Chemistry, to a joint postgraduate research seminar on Ancient Philosophy held in Cambridge, and a doctoral retreat involving the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research and the Institut Curie.


The agreement signed in May 2014, with the support of the French Embassy, aims to facilitate exchange for students and researchers, and seed collaborations between Cambridge and PSL.

A specific purpose of the partnership is to boost existing and prospective collaborative projects, enhancing researchers’ capacity to apply successfully for external funding.


Additional funding for projects in the Arts and Humanities has been provided by the French Embassy’s cultural arm, the Institut Français du Royaume Uni.

Meanwhile, the French Embassy’s Science and Technology Division has provided seed funding for collaborative projects with PSL in the Physical, Biological and Clinical sciences, and in Technology.

To date, ten projects have been awarded funding under the Cambridge-PSL agreement, in disciplines as diverse as biochemistry, chemistry, classics, clinical medicine, French, history, philosophy and theoretical mathematics.


“Bridging the gap in scientific cooperation across the channel, and strengthening partnerships between French and UK universities, are the two priorities of the Science and Technology Department of the French Embassy in the United Kingdom,” said Cyrille van Effenterre, Science and Technology Counsellor at the French Embassy.

“We therefore fully support this partnership between the University of Cambridge and Paris Sciences et Lettres, flagships for the best science in our two countries. We strongly hope this agreement will continue to foster relationships among academics, and will be the corner stone for institutional and strategic partnerships.”

Speaking about the projects supported by the Institut Français under the Cambridge-PSL agreement, Dr Catherine Robert, the French Embassy’s Higher Education Attaché added: “This agreement will also help build and strengthen Franco-British networks involving the best young researchers in the arts and humanities in both countries, as they will be the leaders of the future.”

Source: University of Cambridge.

Read the full press release here.

Published on 01/09/2015

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