Updated 20/07/23

An International Scientific Coordination Network – South (IRN) is a scientific coordination network gathering French and foreign research teams in several countries, including at least one country from the global South.


The French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) supports an original model of equitable scientific partnership and interdisciplinary, citizen, sustainability science committed to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. An International Scientific Coordination Network – South (IRN) is a scientific coordination network gathering French and foreign research teams in several countries, including at least one country from the global South, around a strategic theme for research on and for sustainable development in the intertropical or Mediterranean zone. An IRN has a scientific committee.

  • Objectives
    • Gather together several French and foreign research teams , including at least two partners from countries of global South, who may or may not be from the same country, in a multiple and flexible partnership, thus creating a beneficial forum to scientific exchanges;
    • Promote scientific cooperation between partners themselves, with a South-South component (both emerging and least developed countries);
    • To be linked to initiatives carried out by major international or regional organizations and also around the consolidation and coordination of services or networks of observation of environments or populations.

    An IRN is not intended to fund a collaborative research project.

    Based on the recommendations of a committee composed of members of the IRD’s scientific bodies, IRN is set up for a period of four years, renewable once (subject to a positive mid-term evaluation). A funding decision sets out the rules for partnership between the institutions of members, the leader of the IRN and the IRD. A scientific and financial report is produced mid-term and at the end of the project.


    The projects presented address major global issues and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  They are part of the IRD’s scientific strategy and integrate its major multidisciplinary challenges :

    • Geo-resources and sustainability 
    • Sustainable Cities
    • Coast and sea
    • One health
    • Biodiversity
    • Land and soils
    • Sustainable food systems
    • Climate change
    • Migrations 

    Proposals that include a sustainable science approach  (transdisciplinarity, co-construction with stakeholders, participatory science) will be particularly welcome.

    The Institute will also welcome proposals that contribute to an open and better shared science, to a reduction of the carbon and environmental footprint of research activities, and to the promotion of equality between women and men.

    The research structures involved must also ensure that the project is consistent with the developments and priorities set for the Higher Education and Research systems of their country.

  • Eligibility Criteria
    • IRN projects must include several laboratories, at least one of which must be located in a developing country;
    • IRN projects must be submitted by researchers or teacher-researchers from a research unit under IRD supervision or a unit associated with the Institute with researchers from research organisations or universities in the LEDC;
    • A researcher or teacher-researcher involved in another IRD programme, such as an international joint laboratory or a young team associated with IRD, may submit an IRN project.
  • Evaluation Criteria

    The following elements are taken into account for evaluation:

    Scientific quality and interest in the network’s scientific theme

    • Degree of knowledge about the latest developments in the targeted theme;
    • The network’s scientific objectives.

    The proposed international group’s potential for creating structure and added value for the scientific community concerned

    • Advantages for creating structure in the scientific community around the chosen theme;
    • Correspondence between the network's scope (laboratories, countries) and the scientific community in the targeted field;
    • Added value of collaboration with the South and the benefit for French teams and vice versa;
    • Alignment with the higher education and research priorities of Southern partner countries.

    Scientific quality of the personnel involved

    • Quality of publications by French and foreign teams (North) and South teams.
  • Contractual Conditions and Funding

    An IRN is selected for a period of 4 years, renewable once (subject to positive evaluation - see submission and evaluation criteria).
    Once a project has been selected, a contract featuring the scientific programme, the consolidated budget and the composition of the scientific coordination committee will be proposed for signature by the heads of the French and foreign partners in the group. A scientific and financial report must be submitted halfway through and at the end of the project.


  • Budget

    The amount contributed by IRD can be up to €15,000 per year. This amount depends on the particularities of each project and is decided by the overseeing scientific department(s). Funds can be used to finance international mobility for the GDRI-Sud research group: staff mobility, organising seminars and workshops, publications, etc.

How to apply