Selected amongst a shortlist of 8 projects, the final Biosantexc proposal "Integrated research-oriented training network in life sciences through interdisciplinary approaches" is to be submitted this Friday, September 30. The consortium consists of the 4 French Écoles Normale Supérieures, the 6 Indian Institutes of Science, Education and Research (IISER) and 4 other Indian research institutes in medicine and life sciences. Results are expected to be announced at the end of October.
The collaboration between ENS and the IISER started in 2016, with the creation of a framework agreement that has made it possible to develop the mobility of teacher-researchers and doctoral students. The aim was to establish a partnership between institutions with strong similarities: a close link between research and training with high-level integrated programs in the basic sciences, multidisciplinary approaches, a combination between the exact sciences and the humanities, and two national networks of institutions with territorial representation. Despite the Covid crisis, this partnership has been able to grow over the years with two workshops, co-organized by the network in 2019 and 2021, and an intern exchange program that has benefited more than 50 students who, for some, have pursued a thesis in the laboratory where they are undergoing their internship. ENS de Lyon’s involvement includes, for example, research links with the work of Samir Mérabet (IGFL), Julien Derr (RDP), Pradeep Das (RDP), Muriel Grammont (LBMC), Marie Delattre (LBMC) and researchers from IISER on funded projects (CEFIPRA, CNRS) or the supervision of theses. ENS de Lyon’s contribution also includes visiting professors, notably Dr. Amrita Hazra who collaborates with Jens Hasserodt (chemistry) for joint online courses on the chemistry of biological systems. Among the three IISER trainees welcomed i
In 2021-22, two of them are starting a thesis this year at ENS de Lyon: Deevitha Balasubramanian, IISER Tirupati, with Yad Ghavi-Helm (IGFL) and Megha Maria Jacob, IISER Tirupati, with Muriel Grammont (LBMC).
Also, when the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE), in partnership with the MESR, launched the call for projects for a virtual campus in health and life sciences, the two networks decided to apply together in a consortium, partnering with 4 Indian national research institutes. The candidate consortium is led by ENS de Lyon. Building on their initial partnership experiences, the partners intend to create an "adaptive and flexible" network with a critical size sufficient for researchers and doctoral students to find the right synergies , while developing student mobility programs through the structuring of joint programs between members. They also rely on the combination of the humanities and life sciences to create research projects on the concept of "One health".
The added value of the project lies with the aligned development of links in research (researcher mobility programs/workshops) and in training with the development of student mobility (internships, studies, field studies, online courses) and the implementation in the short term of "twinning programs" in training, some of which may later lead to double degrees. Doctoral mobility will also be encouraged as part of the development of scientific collaborations. For this, the ENS network also relies on the successful model of collaboration between ENS and ECNU with the two PROSFER programs (more than 150 doctoral students in 20 years) and JORISS, respectively focused on doctoral mobility and co-funded joint research projects. After China, the development of scientific collaborations with India is a strategic priority brought to the highest level of the Franco-Indian bilateral relationship.
The total amount of funding by the MEAE for these Franco-Indian campuses will be €900,000 which will be distributed among the winning projects (maximum 3) and will enable financing of transport and accommodation costs.