The International College of Territorial Sciences (CIST) was created in 2010 in the form of a scientific interest group (groupe d’intérêt scientifique – GIS) by three founding partners ((Paris 1 University, Paris Diderot University, CNRS) along with institutional partners convinced of the importance of the applied dimension of territorial sciences: CGET (formerly DATAR), IAU-îdF and ADEME, later joined by INED and IRD. As of the 1st of January 2017, it became a CNRS research federation, FR2007. It now involves 23 research teams.
Its objectives are to: contribute to formalizing and organizing this interdisciplinary field, in France and internationally, especially Europe; bring together research units working on territories; strengthen the national network of teams involved; boost their synergies (themes, methods, equipment and databases, responses to calls for tender, research dissemination events, etc.); and develop the interface between research and education (joint online courses, participation in themed digital universities, project for an international master’s degree in territorial sciences involving the universities of Paris, Besançon, Lausanne, Luxembourg, Louvain-la-Neuve, Metz, Trier, etc.).
CIST is a leading educational and research centre (masters and PhDs) focused on territories. It is inter-disciplinary, involving geographers, economists, sociologists and demographers, historians, lawyers, archaeologists, and multi-disciplinary teams and programmes. It is connected to earth and life sciences, engineering and health science, and works on 9 research areas :
– Actions and territorializations
– Agricultures, territories and sustainable development
– Biodiversity and territories
– Local territorial information
– The media and territories
– Mobilities, identities and territories
– Regionalizations in the world
– Risks and territories
– Territories and health.
CIST possesses a vast international network especially in Europe.
Several research teams that are members of CIST are involved in European research programmes in networks or contracts (FPs, Interreg, ESPON, EEA, European Commission, European Parliament) and thus benefit from the support of UMS RIATE and the European GDR (S4). These international research relations are coupled with co-accreditations at Master’s level, creating a highly structured network with other universities in and outside Europe.
CIST currently concerns 250 research lecturers and researchers (of whom 90 supervise research), 80 technical and administrative engineers and ancillary staff and over 300 PhD students, making it an ambitious group for scientific exchange that connects territorial research networks in Ile-de-France (Paris region) with those in the rest of the country, Europe and the world.
CIST is also capable of carrying out applied research linked to social demand. Its teams interact with professionals working on land use, the environment and the sustainable development of territories. The involvement of its institutional partners guarantees effective interaction between research on territories, social demand and professional practices (e.g. applied science, studies, advice to general entrepreneurs, career prospects for PhD students, etc.).