Faculty & Research -The Centre for Unframed Thinking, joins the French Institutes for Advanced Study (FIAS) network

The Centre for Unframed Thinking, joins the French Institutes for Advanced Study (FIAS) network

In April 2023, the Rennes School of Business Centre for Unframed Thinking (CUT), first Institut d’Etudes Avancées (IEA) to be based in a business school, joined the French Institutes for Advanced Study (FIAS) network, co-funded by the European Union.

What are the French Institutes for Advanced Study?

FIAS is an international mobility programme offering high-level scientific residencies in the seven IEA locations: Aix-Marseille, Orléans-Tours, Lyon, Montpellier, Nantes, Paris and Rennes.

The Centre for Unframed Thinking is now the seventh Institute for Advanced study to join the network.

The IEAs burst onto the French academic scene at the beginning of this century with the stated aim of boosting the internationalisation and excellence of research, particularly in the social sciences, following the model launched by Princeton University almost a century ago.

The IEA scheme essentially involves hosting foreign researchers, who are residents of the IEAs and are selected according to the highest criteria of academic excellence in fields chosen by the host institutions (Rennes School of Business in the case of CUT) in order to accelerate gains in the quality and international visibility of local research.

Research projects in line with Rennes SB’s ‘Unframed Thinking’ motto

The IEAs also stand out for their in-depth practice of interdisciplinarity and the incubation of ‘risky’ research projects, differing from more standard research norms and practices, which in this case fits in perfectly with the motto of Rennes School of Business: Unframed Thinking. The FIAS consortium pools the call for individual residencies in the member IEAs, whose selection is based on a single international jury to ensure the uniform and rigorous application of the IEA criteria of excellence. See the current call for applications below.

Launched in March 2022 in Paris, the CUT will build on the Rennes School of Business research strategy introduced in 2018, which is dedicated to rethinking management strategies in times of multiple transitions at all relevant geographical scales, from global to regional (in this case Breton), and already boasts significant synergy between management, economics and finance disciplines, as well as a sustained intellectual production dynamic.

A broader spectrum of research than traditional business schools

Through its Centre for Unframed Thinking, Rennes School of Business aims to recognise the importance of ecology, energy and environmental sciences, and the technological revolutions underway, in its research programme on transitions. It is therefore extending the spectrum of its interdisciplinarity well beyond that usually found in management schools.

The exceptional intensity of research in the above-mentioned sciences, induced by the existential nature of the transitions underway and the inherent level of radical uncertainty, calls for direct and sustained contact between social science and management researchers and these disciplines. Without this broadening of interdisciplinarity, these researchers run the risk of specialising in niches that are subject to rapid obsolescence or are simply disconnected from the state of knowledge in the fields they are supposed to be taking into account as closely as possible.

World-class interdisciplinary publications

Over the past year, Rennes School of Business has recruited a number of leading international researchers in ecology, robotics and the environment through the CUT (see the CUT’s programmes and the list of its first residents or senior fellows at the link below). Highly interdisciplinary teams have been formed and others will follow in September 2023. The CUT has already produced world-leading publications in interdisciplinary research and has set up a large-scale project to manage new epidemic crises.

More information about the Centre for Unframed Thinking