CNRS-UArizona International Research Center for Global Grand Challenges

IRC for Global Grand Challenges

Participants (FR) : CNRS

Participants (US) : University of Arizona (Arizona)

The purpose of an IRC is to strengthen and perpetuate strategic partnerships with institutions that have a high volume of cooperation with CNRS, involving different institutes and a variety of themes. The IRC is monitored by a regular high-level strategic dialogue between the 2 partner institutions to set cooperation objectives. An IRC is steered by bilateral institutional bodies to promote synergies.

The University of Arizona is particularly well known as a world leader in the environmental sciences (1st in the USA for environmental research, 1st in the Shanghai ranking for water resources research). On November 17, 2020, a strategic dialogue involving University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins and CNRS CEO Antoine Petit established that the already rich and numerous collaborations between the two institutions could be strengthened, particularly in the environmental, astrophysical and information sciences.

April 14, 2021 saw the signing of the very first International Research Center (IRC) entitled France Arizona Institute for Global Grand Challenges, which aims to tackle major scientific environmental challenges. In particular, this collaboration builds on existing cooperative ventures between CNRS and the University, such as the iGlobes International Research Laboratory, which focuses on similar themes.

In September 2022 the IRC science committee met in Paris and identified three global grand challenges for the partnership to tackle: “Habitability in our future: What Makes A World Fit For Life, and How to Keep it That Way“, “Preparedness to Planetary Challenges: Climate change and Health” and “Integrated Food-Energy-Water Solutions at Scale”. Since then, all three axes are being actively developed.

Last events

Last Joint call for thesis proposals: October 2022
High-level strategic dialogues: March 2022, September 2022, December 2023
Scientific workshops: March 2022, April 2023, October 2023

  • The University of Arizona


  • Director, Alain Schuhl
  • Director, Joaquin Ruiz
  • Assistant Director, Régis Ferrière


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