Call for applications « Visiting Scientists »

Call open until 31 October 2022, 23:59 (CEST)


This hosting programme is dedicated to senior researchers from abroad, whose research project is related, in a transversal and innovative way, to the action areas of theMontpellier Advanced Knowledge Institute on Transitions(MAK’IT) – agriculture & food, environment, health – and contributes to its mission to analyse, accompany and accelerate transitions towards sustainable development. The selected fellows are invited for a 3 to 10 month residency in a Montpellier’s research unit of their choice.

Co-funded by MAK’IT and the host research unit, this programme offers these fellows a privileged working environment for nurturing their ideas and creativity in a decompartementalised way within a world-renown scientific community. MAK’IT organizes weekly exchanges among fellow residents who are pushed to foster innovative interdisciplinary approaches, breaking with academic routines and geared toward the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). MAK’IT fellows are also strongly encouraged and actively supported in their efforts to create new connections and develop concrete collaborations with Montpellier’s scientific community.

  • Nationality:researchers of all nationalities, who have not resided in France for more than 12 months in the three years preceding the call for applications.
  • Tax residence: candidates must have a tax residence abroad.
  • Level of education: candidates must hold a doctorate or equivalent and have at least 10 years of research experience after obtaining their doctorate or equivalent, on the date of arrival.
  • Professional status: candidates must have an employment contract in a foreign university or research institution (other than a French research institution abroad), or be attached to it through an emeritus, covering the period of their fellowship. A letter of attachment, signed by the head of the home institution, will be required in the event of selection at the end of the evaluation process.
  • Disciplines: all disciplines, in life and engineering sciences or SSH.
  • Research project: candidates’ research project must preferably address, in a transversal way, MAK’IT’s three main fields of action: agriculture & food, environment and health. In case it only addresses some of them, it should then incorporate strong elements about inter-/trans-disciplinarity and justifications on how the candidate intends to engage with other disciplines and topics outside of his/her own during his/her fellowship, including through collaboration with diverse local scientific partners. Linkages with and impacts on societal issues and sustainable development transitions should also be highlighted.
  • Invitation letter and scientific partnership: applicants must have received a letter of invitation and of financial commitment(see templatehere)from the Montpellier’s research unit by which they wish to be hosted, signed by its director. Candidates can also be co-hosted by several units, in which case the letter is co-signed by all concerned unit directors(see the list of eligible research unitshere).MAK’IT can support candidates in obtaining this letter.

A hosting agreement is signed between the University of Montpellier, on which MAK’IT depends administratively, the host research units and the fellow to formalize the following modalities.

Research resources

Fellows invited by MAK’IT are detached from their usual obligations in their home institution and have the necessary availability to freely devote themselves to their research project and participate in the Institute’s activities.

During their stay in Montpellier, they each have an office equipped with a computer, Internet access and printing facilities within the research unit.s that host.s them.  The fellows also have access to several meeting rooms and a 250-seat amphitheatre in MAK’IT’s premises.  MAK’IT facilitates access and extended lending rights in the main libraries of the University of Montpellier, as well as the possibility, with financial participation, of having lunch at the cafeteria of the research unit.s  that host.s them, when this option is available.

Fellows are entitled to a research allowance of up to € 2,500, which can be paid in several instalments.  This allowance, for their exclusive use, can be spent to support their research or the costs associated with the organisation of their international event (interpretation, catering, airfare for participants, etc.).


MAK’IT takes full and direct responsibility for the accommodation of its fellows and related costs. Requests for family accommodation must be indicated on the application form in order to be considered.

MAK’IT has at its disposal newly renovated one- and two-room apartments at Villa Leenhardt, not far from its premises.  In addition, the Institute works with a seasonal apartment rental agency in Montpellier that offers a range of quality, fully equipped apartments in the city center.

Flat-rate monthly allowance

Fellows invited to MAK’IT remain attached to their home institution during their stay: they do not have an employment contract with the Institute and it is their responsibility to ask their institution of origin to maintain all or part of their salary.

MAK’IT allocates guest fellows a monthly allowance of a non-negotiable lump sum of €3,000. This amount is calculated to enable fellows to largely cover the costs related to their stay in Montpellier.

Travel and visa

MAK’IT, via the host research unit.s of the fellow, covers its fellows’ return trip between Montpellier and their usual place of residence, in economy class.

Any immigration costs (visa) are also covered by MAK’IT.

Insurance and social security coverage

MAK’IT does not cover insurance and social security costs, which must be borne by the fellows themselves or their employer. The MAK’IT team is at the fellows’ disposal to assist them in dealing with international health insurance companies, in the event that the coverage available through their home institution is not valid in France.

The fellows must provide proof of adequate social security coverage, covering the risks of illness, accidents at work and civil liability, before arriving in Montpellier.

Administrative services

The MAK’IT team is at the fellows’ disposal to help them with the administrative procedures related to their installation in Montpellier and the organization of their scientific events.

If necessary and with the assistance of the International Student/Researcher Welcome Desk (SAIEC) of Montpellier, their families also benefit from specific support: schooling of children, assistance with the academic integration of spouses, French as a foreign language courses, etc.

A stay at MAK’IT aims to enable invited fellows to carry out their research through an innovative and enriching approach, by freely organising their activities and working hours and benefiting from the necessary services and assistance in their daily practical and administrative procedures. It also implies the acceptance of certain conditions.

Time spent in Montpellier

Each invited fellow is required to be in Montpellier for at least 90% of the duration of his/her stay (excluding periods of closure of the Institute). This residency requirement, which is essential to establish genuine partnerships with the local scientific community and other fellows, is compatible with occasional absences, which must be reported in advance to the host research unit.s and the MAK’IT team.

Contribution to MAK’IT activities 

The fellow commits to contribute to the interdisciplinary activities, meetings and reflections organised by MAK’IT during his/her stay, including Fellows’ seminars and lunches every Thursdays. He/she undertakes to share the progress of his research with the other fellows and the local scientific community and to prepare a short activity report at the end of his/her stay.

Organisation of an international public scientific event in Montpellier

With the logistical and financial support of MAK’IT, the fellow commits to organise, during his/her stay in Montpellier, at least one scientific event of international scope, open to the public, in connection with his/her research project and in collaboration with the research unit.s that hosts him/her and the Montpellier scientific community more broadly.

Communication and dissemination of results

The fellow retains the intellectual property rights to the results of his/her research carried out as part of this fellowship with MAK’IT.

He/she undertakes to contribute to MAK’IT’s publications and other communication tools concerning the progress of his research.

He/she keeps MAK’IT informed of its participation in external symposia, seminars or scientific events as well as of his/her publications, prizes and distinctions obtained or any new development in his/her career.

He/she authorizes MAK’IT to publish his/her portrait and, if relevant, the results of his/her research carried out at MAK’IT for the Institute’s archives. In the event of their wider dissemination, the fellow undertakes to mention the support he has received from MAK’IT and to affix the Institute’s logo to them.

MAK’IT attaches great importance to the quality and impartiality of its selection process. Each application received that meets the eligibility criteria is evaluated byMAK’IT Scientific Council (MASC), composed of independent international experts. The MASC issues a reasoned opinion on each application and forwards it to MAK’IT Management Board (Strategic and Structuring Investment Committee of the University of Montpellier) for final decision.

At the end of these two successive phases, candidates are informed of the result of the selection. Successful candidates receive a letter of invitation from MAK’IT Director detailing the proposed conditions of stay.

Evaluation criteria

  • EXCELLENCE: Do the scientific background and international recognition of the candidate meet the standards set for this programme? Does the proposal entail research at the highest level?
  • INNOVATION: Does the proposed project break new ground? Does it hold the promises of new insights and the potential to produce new knowledge, including publications? Is the science-society interface addressed in the project?
  • INTERDISCIPLINARITY: To what extent does the proposed project draw on different disciplines? Will it facilitate interdisciplinary exchanges? To what extent does the candidate demonstrate openness to engage with topics and reflections outside of his/her own?
  • RELEVANCE: Does the project have relevance for MAK’IT and its action areas? Does it constitute a meaningful contribution to the acceleration of transitions within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development? Are the proposed exchanges with Montpellier’s scientific communities significant enough and able to lead to extended collaborations?
  • FEASIBILITY: How convincing is the project design? How realistic is the research plan?

The requested application material, in English exclusively, will consist of:

  • The completed online application form
  • A detailed curriculum vitae
  • A 5-page research proposal (not including the bibliography) or a 10-minute video presentation
  • A selection of two significant publications (articles or book chapters)
  • A letter of invitation and financial commitment(templatehere)from a recognized research unit in Montpellier(list of eligible research unitshere)


Provisional calendar

  • 22 July – 31 October 2022:opening of the ‘VISITING SCIENTISTS’ call for applications
  • November – December 2022:evaluation of applications by MAK’IT Scientific Council and shortlisting of candidates
  • January 2023:final selection of candidates by MAK’IT Management Board (Strategic and Structuring Investment Committee of the University of Montpellier)  and communication of the results
  • September 2023:start of the fellowships



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