Necessary Utopias Programme 2023-24 LEST /IMERA Chair Worlds of labour

Necessary Utopias Programme 2023-24


Worlds of labour

Application and Residency Conditions


The CNRS Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (InSHS) and the Institute for Advanced Study of Aix-Marseille University (Iméra) have joined forces to propose a chair on "Worlds of labour". The beneficiary will develop his or her research in collaboration with LEST (Labour Economics and Sociology Research Unit). For the InSHS, this chair is part of an action to structure a national program dedicated to labour as an object of research in the human and social sciences. 

LEST is a research unit promoting research of excellence on the dynamics of labour, employment, professionalization and the organizations that support them. LEST is a research unit whose scientific grammar is based on the interdisciplinary fertilization of the social sciences of labour, international comparison, methodological pluralism and diversity of theoretical approaches. Founded within the CNRS in 1969 and supported since 2000 by the dual supervision of the CNRS and Aix-Marseille University, LEST has more than one hundred members including CNRS researchers, university assistant/associate professors, engineers and research technicians, doctoral students and contract researchers. Bi-disciplinary at its inception, the unit brings together researchers from seven scientific disciplines in the humanities and social sciences (sociology, economics, management sciences, law, political science, language sciences, geography and urban planning) to analyze labour and its worlds as a revelation of contemporary social dynamics.

IMERA is Aix Marseille University’s Institute for Advanced Study, member of the French Network of Institutes for Advanced Study (RFIEA) at the national level, and of the Network of European Institutes for Advanced Study (NETIAS) at the European level, and is as well member of the University-Based Institutes for Advanced Study (UBIAS) on a global level. Each year, the institute welcomes a total of thirty artists and scientists from all disciplines, selected after an evaluation procedure that follows the strictest international standards, with preselection of applications and external evaluations. IMERA promotes innovative interdisciplinary experimental approaches in all fields of knowledge.  Since September 2016, research activity within the institute has been structured around four thematic programs. From the beginning of the 2022-23 academic year, these programs focus on the following issues: Arts & Sciences: Indisciplined Knowledge ; Interdisciplinary ExplorationsMediterraneanNecessary Utopias. The LEST /IMéRA Chair "Worlds of labour » is open to researchers whose research is related to the social sciences of labour (sociology, economics, political science, management sciences, law, history, geography, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, etc.).

The aim of this chair is to promote research of excellence on issues concerning the worlds of labour that societies are confronted with (contemporary changes in the relationship of individuals and society to labour, the link between labour and subjectivity, innovations and experiments related to the meaning of labour and its organization, digital technology and labour, migration and labour, risk management in labour organizations, professional integration of the young and the not so young, etc.). All research projects will be considered, and in particular those that demonstrate a certain amount of risk-taking in order to launch a particularly innovative project in line with the Necessary Utopias thematic program in which this Chair is included, as well as projects aimed at writing a synthesis book, animating and mediating scientific reflection on the worlds of labour (organization of colloquiums, seminars), and support for doctoral training. The chairholder will be invited to interact with ArTLib – Research group on labour and freedoms – created in 2019 at Iméra. This is an interdisciplinary and international collective that aims to discuss and disseminate ideas and practices related to the profound transformations of labour and their effects in the sphere of personal and collective freedoms and utopias. 

Applications will be selected on the basis of scientific and/or methodological excellence and risk-taking as well as the interdisciplinary dimension of the proposed project.


Deadline: 7 December 2022 at 13:00 pm (French time)

Duration of residence: 10 months (preferably)

Residence period: 4 Sept 2023 to 5 July 2024

Publication of the selected fellows: Beginning of February 2023


The LEST-Iméra chair is open to established and internationally renowned researchers whose work is interdisciplinary, involves scientific risk-taking in line with the "Necessary Utopias" thematic program in which this chair is included, and who have or are willing to establish a strong collaborative relationship with LEST. To be eligible, applicants must meet the following conditions:

  • Not to have lived in France more than 12 months during the three years preceding this call for applications;

  • Hold a Doctorate or PhD;

  • Have an employment contract (permanent or not) in a foreign university or research institution during the residency.

Other conditions relating to the candidate's integration into the IMéRA intellectual community and any previous relations with IMéRA

  • Language skills in English and French: residents must be able to understand both languages verbally and in writing (passive knowledge) and master at least one of the two verbally and in writing (active knowledge).

  • Collegiality: Candidates commit to participate in the activities planned with the other fellows and the scientific team of IMERA. The Community Building Seminar is in this sense one of the central activities, which takes place every week (usually on Thursday morning). The investment time equals one day per week.

  • Former Fellows: Candidates, who are former IMERA Fellows, may reapply at least 5 years after their first fellowship.


The holder of the Chair receives a monthly allowance of 3000 euros.

She/he will also benefit from paid travel expenses and free accommodation on IMéRA premises.

Residency conditions 


Unless otherwise specified, IMERA hosts the residents in one of its 14 apartments, situated in “Parc Longchamp” in the center of Marseille.

The attribution of apartments is the sole decision of IMERA, which strives to accommodate all residents in the best conditions. Requests for familial hosting at IMERA must be mentioned in the application form.


IMERA takes in charge only the residents’ ticket from their usual place of residence to Marseille and back.

Research means

Residents benefit from the support of the IMERA team, which facilitates the conditions of their stay and the organization of their activities within the limits of available financial resources. These normally relate to the theme of their program but can also be transversal to other programs. In this context, IMERA helps residents to establish new contacts with the scientific and cultural environment of the Aix-Marseille region.

Residents commitments

The IMERA resident agrees to accept all the principles and living rules contained in the Institute Charter.


Online applications must include the following supporting documents:

  • All the following files (to download):

  • A curriculum vitae including a list of publications

  • A presentation of the project (maximum 5 pages) followed by a selective bibliography (compulsory for researchers)

  • A letter of support from an Aix-Marseille University researcher or associate/assistant professor OR a letter of motivation clearly explaining the interest for the candidate to interact with Aix-Marseille University’s laboratories and to lead a project from Aix-Marseille.

The complete application should be sent to Constance Moréteau, academic coordinator of IMéRA:

For any scientific question related to this call, please contact Enrico Donaggio, scientific director of IMéRA and director of the "Necessary Utopias" programme:

For more general questions related to this call, please contact Constance Moréteau