Other Research Structures

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Federated Research Structures (SFR)

Maison des sciences de l'Homme en Bretagne (MSHB)

The MSHB brings together over 1000 researchers and research lecturers in Brittany from the fields of arts, literature, languages, humanities and social sciences. Its founding members are:

  • The National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)
  • Rennes 2 University
  • IMT Atantique
  • Rennes 1 University
  • Université de Bretagne occidentale
  • Université de Bretagne-Sud

Its 44 research units cover most subject areas in sociology, political science, psychology, literature, economics, law, etc. Its research activity is grouped into 5 major areas:  Armorica, Americas, Atlantic, Arts & Creation, Digital society, Governance, Societies and Health. 

Observatoire des sciences de l'univers de Rennes (OSUR)

The Earth Science and Astronomy Observatory facilitates and coordinates environmental research, working with 6 laboratories in the field in the heart of Rennes. As a member of the National Institute for Earth Sciences and Astronomy (CNRS-INSU), OSUR designs and oversees long-term observation of planetary and socioecological systems. Part of its mission is also to educate in the field of Earth sciences, ecology and environment. 


Scientific Interest Groups (GIS)

The GIS system is essentially a contract of scientific collaboration, bringing together a number of organizations or structures, with the aim of combining scientific skills and means to carry out a specific research theme or program. Each grouping federates expertise and resources for a pre-determined period (agreed on by the involved parties), increasing the collaboration between partners and boosting the possibility for common funding.

The Institute of the Americas, Rennes (GIS: IDA · Rennes)

IDA · Rennes brings together the work being done by America-oriented researchers from five founding institutions in the fields of social sciences and humanities. Its founding members include: Rennes 2 University, Rennes 1 University, Agrocampus Ouest, the CNRS and Sciences Po Rennes. The Institute brings together several research units, a dozen host laboratories, nearly 80 researchers and includes many programs in partnership with regional, national and American teams. The Institute has helped developed a dedicated master course and a Chair of the Americas program for visiting teacher-researchers. Financed by Rennes 2 University, the Chair program has been successful in bringing over 100 teacher-researchers to Rennes.

L'Institut d'aménagement et d'urbanisme de Rennes (GIS: IAUR)

The Institute brings together experts from Rennes 2 University, Rennes 1 University, the Brittany School of Architecture, Sciences Po Rennes and Insa Rennes to promote research and education on the themes of urban planning, development, architecture, housing and construction. They also aim to co-produce pedagogical, scientific, technological and social innovations between institutions with the help of students, teacher-researchers, political leaders, and other economic and social stakeholders. 

Les Archives de la critique d’art (GIS: ACA)

The ACA is a specialized resource center dedicated to art criticism and aims to collect, preserve and enhance the writings, documents and archives of art critics active since the middle of the 20th century until today. Their collection is unique and exceptional in terms of print material and resources, with archives of more than 2 linear kilometers in length, plus digital resources. The totality represents 100,000 print documents, 2,350 periodical titles, more than 700 linear metres of original archival documents: 20,000 artist or thematic files,  more than 50,000 photographs, audiovisual and sound archives and thousands of digital archives. The ACA is associated with Rennes 2 University , as well as the National Institute of Art History (INHA) and the International Association of Art Critics (AICA)

L'Institut du Genre (GIS: IDG) 

The Gender Institute was founded in 2012 by the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and brings together 34 partner institutions to explicitly focus on gender. It represents a key reference in the coordination and scholarly reception of French research on gender and sexuality. The Institute is hosted by and works with the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Paris North.

Apparances, corps et societés – GIS: ACORSO (Appearances, Bodies and Societies)

GIS: ACORSO is a Research Interest Group that focuses on the construction of identities, and the role that they have played in over five centuries of individual and collective appearances. It strives to develop an analysis at the crossroads of material culture, the history of the body, and gender history. The group’s activities are multidisciplinary, combining history, ethnography, sociology, art history, and communications studies. It brings together 34 partner researchers from around Europe and the world.

Bretagne télédétection (GIS: Bretel)

One of the goals of the GIS BreTel is to become the French and European leader in the domain of research and academic programs linked to the exploitation of high resolution satellite data for a better knowledge of the environment and an increase in security. The GIS was created with teams from the Brittany region, but one of its first goals is to bring the developments into a European context.

Centre de ressource et d'expertise scientifique sur l'eau de Bretagne (GIS: CRESEB)

The Centre is a platform for exchange between managers of integrated water management systems and scientific researchers. Its aim is to facilitate and organize knowledge-sharing between parties.

GIS: Europe de Rennes

The GIS Europe is a platform for scientific expertise on European issues and brings together 10 Jean Monnet Chairs and 80 teachers and researchers in human sciences from eight higher education institutions in the Rennes area. Its objective is to stimulate studies in European issues, in a network with national and international partners. Its activities include research, training, dissemination to the general public and expertise. In terms of research, the activities are organized around the transversal theme of transitions in Europe and divided into three axes:

  • The European Union and the world: cooperation, competition and influence.
  • The European Union's internal structures: new responses to the multiplication of crises and challenges.
  • Building a sustainable future within the limits of the planet: research on socio-ecological and digital transitions.

GIS: M@rsouin (le Pôle Armoricain de Recherche sur la Société de l’information et les Usages d’Internet)

Created in 2002 by the Brittany Regional Council, M@rsouin is both an observatory of digital practices and a network of 15 research centres. This structure is built on Social Science research centers workforces and aims at developing cooperation with firstly regional, but also national and European research centers, public institutions and firms.  Its missions include: 

  • conducting studies and surveys to help better understand how digital practices of individuals and organizations contribute to the transformation of society and economy;
  • fostering research in Social Science on digital practices;
  • engaging a prospective reflection on the Information Society, in order to assist the political institutions in the construction of public policies favoring the emergence of good practices and the access to these services for all citizens.

Research Platforms (Les plateformes de recherche)

Digital Humanities

The Digital Humanities platform of the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme in Brittany aims to regroup a set of services, infrastructures, resources and training intended for researchers in the arts, humanities and social sciences in Brittany. Its role is also to question the uses of digital technology in the above fields, to support practices, to support projects, to stimulate and structure research initiatives in the digital humanities.


Immermove is the virtual reality platform of the Movement, Sport and Health Sciences (M2S) laboratory. It is bundled with Immersia, the virtual reality platform of Irisa-Inria, in a unique immersive collaborative platform called ImmerSTAR. Unique in Europe, it offers a 30 by 20 metre experimental space, equipped with cameras/sensors that make it possible to analyse the fine movements of both sportsmen and drones.

Observatory laboratory for the uses of information and communication technologies (LOUSTIC)

LOUSTIC combines disciplines from engineering sciences (computer science, home automation) and human and social sciences (sociology, psychology and ergonomics, economics, marketing, education sciences, information and communication sciences, management sciences and law) to deal with all aspects of use (technical feasibility, individual, social, economic and legal acceptability).


TACIT is a platform of differentiated pedagogy created by four teacher-researchers of Rennes 2 University, the ESPE of Brittany (responsible for the training of future primary and secondary school teachers and education staff in the region), and a speech therapist and computer developer. Together, and with the support of other regional partners, they developed a speech-language tool that helps children of varying levels to concurrently acquire essential language skills in text comprehension. Their statistical model allows for the establishment of a precise correspondence between a child's level of competence and the relative difficulty of educational exercises. 

Platform of photographic observatories of the Brittany landscape (Popp Breizh)

A photographic landscape observatory allows several images to be compared from the same point of view, to the same frame, but at different times. It is a tool for monitoring landscape changes and measuring the impacts of public policies. The POPP-Breizh project observes the evolution of landscapes and management methods. POPP is a free, scalable software, accessible to all OPP holders for the distribution and management of photos and their metadata.