Imperial and CNRS researchers have co-authored over 1,550 publications in the past 5 years (2017-2022), and worked together on 43 joint Horizon 2020 research consortia. The €95.5 billion Horizon Europe budget, which runs from 2021-2027, provides continued impetus for joint initiatives and opportunities to broaden and deepen further Imperial-CNRS research relationships.

From 2018 to present, collaboration has increased, and Imperial now has four formal CNRS collaboration mechanisms in place, in addition to further collaborative projects: 

Collaboration Mechanisms:

Joint PhD programme

To date, the following projects have been funded as part of the joint CNRS-Imperial PhD programme.  

See more information on the programme here.

Abraham de Moivre International Research Laboratory

A central pillar of the partnership between the two institutions, the CNRS-Imperial 'Abraham de Moivre' International Research Laboratory focuses on all domains of mathematics and of their interactions with physics, computer science, biology, economics, social sciences. The creation of the first Franco-British research laboratory, the IRL Abraham de Moivre in mathematics testifies to the desire for a deep and lasting commitment that has concretized the long-standing bottom-up interactions (visiting fellowships) between Imperial and the French mathematical community. Involvement of students and regular seminar series and events (virtual and in-person). 

The maths collaboration has fuelled other areas of collaboration like Physics and Integrative Biology.

Director: Prof. Richard Craster, Professor of Applied Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics, and also member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is the former director of the Department of Mathematics (2011 to 2017) and Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences since January 2020 

Deputy Director: Pierre Degond, Institut de Mathématiques de Toulouse (IMT), CNRS UMR 5219, Toulouse 

See further information about the IRL here.

Quantum Fields and Strings International Research Network

This international research network builds on the collaboration and complementarity of expertise in the field of theoretical physics and mathematical physics between the CNRS and Imperial. More specifically, it builds upon the theory of superstrings and strongly coupled field theories, an area which has seen drastic advances in recent years and is relevant for a wide spectrum of problems, ranging from fundamental aspects of quantum gravity and holography, to practical applications in particle physics, condensed matter or mathematics. This network, with the best research institutions in Europe and around the world, strengthens collaborations and scientific exchanges, including training activities at doctoral and postdoctoral.  

Imperial Coordinator: Prof. Dan Waldram, Blackett Laboratory, Department of Physics

CNRS Coordinator: Boris Pioline, Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Hautes Energies (LPTHE), CNRS UMR 7589, Paris 

Integrative Metabolism International Research Project

The International Research Project (IRP) in Integrative Metabolism (METABOL-IC) is led at Imperial College by Professor Mark Thursz, and at the University of Lille’s European Genomic Institute for Diabetes (EGID) CNRS UMR 8199 by Professor Marc-Emmanuel Dumas. The project is located within the CNRS’ National Institute of Biological Sciences and it is one of the four formal CNRS collaboration mechanisms that now sit within the larger CNRS-Imperial International Research Centre (IRC) for Transformational Science and Technology, launched in April 2022.

This project aims to foster interdisciplinary research to deepen our fundamental and quantitative understanding of metabolism and how to harness this knowledge to improve therapeutic avenues. To tackle these challenges in human metabolism, there is a crucial need for effective integration of multimodal and multiscale omics technologies with artificial intelligence and functional mechanistic exploration in cellular and animal systems.

As no single institution excels in all these domains, this ambitious project is a unique opportunity to cement a long-lasting partnership between EGID and its flagship National Centre for Diabetes Precision Medicine (PreciDiab) in Lille and Imperial respectively. The Partnership will lay the foundations of a CNRS International Research Lab in Integrative Metabolism as a European leader in the field. Imperial has been central to the development of metabolomics at the faculty of Medicine since its inception 25 years ago (which led to introducing a Phenomics BRC theme, now replaced by the new Metabolic Phenotyping Theme) and microbiome (BRC Gut Health Theme, Microbiome Network and the recently launched Leverhulme Centre for the Holobiont) for the last 20 years, with a strong focus on metabolic diseases.

Imperial Coordinator: Prof. Mark Thursz, Division of Digestive Diseases

CNRS Coordinator: Prof. Marc-Emmanuel Dumas, Génomique fonctionnelle (epi) métabolique et mécanismes moléculaires impliqués dans le diabète de type 2 et les maladies associées, CNRS UMR 8199, Lille (also working at Imperial)

Imperial – CNRS Research Seed Fund (currently not funding new projects)

Imperial and CNRS recognise that collaborative activities enable cross-border pooling of research capabilities and sharing of expertise and facilities, the opportunity to appreciate different perspectives, outputs that are typically more highly cited, as well as access to new environments for impact and exploitation of research outcomes. 

The joint research seed fund aims to kick-start frontier research ideas under the new International Research Centre for Transformational Science and Technology.

Imperial-CNRS PhD Placements via Global Fellows Fund

The Imperial Global Fellows Fund supports high impact international placements for PhD students in CNRS labs. Students, with support of their PhD supervisor and host supervisor, have the opportunity to spend between 1 and 3 months in CNRS labs.

The goals of the programme are to: Develop new skills, experimental techniques and/or methodologies through access to commentary training and laboratories not available at Imperial; Take part in activities to enhance their professional competencies and expertise through international and interdisciplinary teamwork; Add value to the PhD experience by providing students the opportunity to develop as internationally mobile and globally minded scientists.

CNRS – Imperial Academic Fellowships (Maths only)

The aim of the joint fellowships programme is to support extended visits of Professeurs, Maîtres de Conférences, Chargés et Directeurs de Recherche from CNRS-sponsored laboratories to the Department and provide more opportunities for exchange visits between researchers from French universities and the Department. This program is jointly funded by CNRS and by the Department of Mathematics.

Find out more information here.