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Research policy

Building on the potential of its members and laboratories, the research produced at Université Paris-Saclay forms part of a dynamic centred on key areas, from pure research to applied science and industrial interest. 

A collective ambition

Université Paris-Saclay is supported by: 

  • The strong presence of national research organisations
  • Access to many state-of-the-art scientific facilities and equipment
  • The high density of industrial laboratories on the Paris-Saclay site.

The challenge is to build a collective research policy that combines long-term support for pure research work with the ability to swiftly address societal challenges through multidisciplinary approaches.

Université Paris-Saclay key figures

Science and Engineering, Life Science, and Social Science and the Humanities

Université Paris-Saclay has a long tradition of research in three broad areas: Science and Engineering, Life Science, and Social Science and the Humanities. A very wide range of disciplines is thus represented, for which research is carried out with a constant desire for improvement: to be at the cutting edge of science, using the most advanced methods and equipment, working with international networks, and training early career researchers. 

Additionally, Université Paris-Saclay shares R&D centres with the biggest French industrial groups, SMEs, as well as a strong network of incubators, start-ups and Fablabs. We share both a campus and an ambition. Paris-Saclay has been a research ecosystem for more than 60 years, a flagship project for France and one of the eight most visible innovation centres in the world.

A network of Graduate Schools and an Institute

The Graduate Schools and the Institute are key pillars of Université Paris-Saclay’s co-ordination and implementation of master’s and doctoral training, research, and innovation.

These coordinated teaching and research programmes bring together teams whose activity is organised around a well-defined theme, discipline, or project. Their purpose is to give visibility to degrees, promoting their value, as well as promoting graduate and research activity, both nationally and internationally, while also collaborating with academic players.

22 Doctoral Schools support the Graduate Schools  by coordinating and managing doctoral programmes, from registration to defence, while also preparing for professional integration. 

Six research objectives at Université Paris-Saclay

  1. Reinforce the strong position of existing disciplines 

  2. Encourage interdisciplinary work between all teams at Université Paris-Saclay

  3. Carry out broad spectrum pure research

  4. Stimulate the development of new fields

  5. Facilitate and support research-based application developments

  6. Ensure visibility and recognition among peers and society

Examples of major research tools and infrastructures

  • Facilities that cover a broad exploratory field (from human health to agriscience), using high-quality and powerful equipment. This is in conjunction with strong expertise in structural biology, biophysics, cellular imaging, in vivo imaging, and genomics.
  • Platforms operated for the most part by service units (unités de service - UMS) or research units (unités de recherche - UMR), providing a real continuum of know-how and expertise in their respective fields. For example, the drug development process, which goes from molecule to human (UMS IPSIT) or integrative cell biology, and its internal workings and interactions (UMR I2BC). There is also the study of the workings of agri-ecosystems, which looks at biogeochemical processes, the flow of matter and energy, and the functions of organisms in isolation or in interaction with their environment (UMR ECOSYS), as well as the study of plants from all perspectives and on all scales (IJPB, The Plant Observatory).
  • Several research centres that are highly reputed in Europe, giving a real added-value to the Paris-Saclay scientific community:
    • Gustave Roussy, centre for research into the fight against cancer, which has a dozen technical facilities, allows for a continuum in oncology research (centre for biological resources, immunomonitoring, cytometry, and preclinical and clinical evaluations).
    • The Service Hospitalier Frédéric Joliot (SHFJ), which is both the Nuclear Medicine Service at the Nord-Essonne hospital group and a research unit, which manages a unique technical facility in France, whose primary mission is research into multi-modal in vivo imaging and Positron Emission Tomography (PET), with the development of methods and diagnostic agents, and their translation into clinical applications in neurology and oncology.
    • MetaGenoPolis is research unit of Excellence specialising in microbiota science, in the health and nutrition field.
    • NeuroSpin is a unique research centre in Europe, dedicated to neuroimaging and cognitive science, via ultra-high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), as well as electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG).
    • IDMIT and MIRCen, which are unique facilities in France, are dedicated to preclinical and translational research into human infectious diseases and neuro-degenerative diseases, respectively.
  • The particle accelerators in Orsay and at CEA-Saclay that are used by for research in nuclear physics, nanoscience, and chemical physics (medical imaging, oncology, material irradiation and nuclear energy). There are also R&D superconducting cavity facilities for research into future high-energy and powerful particle accelerators, medicine, and pure research for nuclear reactors of the future.
  • Space and aeronautic facilities to build, test, calibrate and operate instrument models that are installed on large telescopes or carried on satellites in space. 
  • A facility for mineralogical, elemental, molecular and isotope analysis, which also carries out measurements of radioactive traces for Earth, Climate and Environment Science.
  • Often used by Université Paris-Saclay, thanks to its proximity, the French SOLEIL synchrotron centre with its 29 powerful beamlines allow for the exploration of inert or living material in all its forms and in an unparalleled spectrum of energy, from X-rays to far infrared. SOLEIL can be used by all scientific communities, from physics to medicine through to chemistry, biology, and heritage science
  • Laser facilities, whether they are high power, very high intensity or ultrafast, providing new sources for the study and modification of structures and dynamics of materials in a variety of wavelength-related fields, such as EUV and mid-infrared, and for different subject fields, such as biology, pharmacy, chemical physics, optoelectronics, nanosciences, the creation of plasmas for particle acceleration, etc.
  • A group of facilities for optical microscopes, SEM, TEM, cryo-microscopes, NMR, mass spectrometry, XRD, etc. which help in exploring, defining, and studying the behaviour of matter and materials, from chemistry to structural biology at the crossroads of the life science, via engineering science with in situ observation of crystal growth.
  • Centres for nanomanufacturing and nanocharacterisation of samples for nanoelectronics and materials
  • Facilities that allow the development, characterisation, modelling and simulation of the behaviour of materials and structures. There is dedicated equipment to manufacturing metal additives as well as developing new materials for future additive manufacturing machines. We also have facilities to carry out tensile, static, vibration, dynamic, seismic, uniaxial, or multiaxial testing alongside imaging-based motion tracking, including optical, infrared, X tomographic imaging, including dynamic imaging and 3D vision, and stereo-correlation and 3D correlation image processing tools
  • Computational science facilities: high performance computing and cloud resources for computational simulations, massive data storage, a network of facilities dedicated to virtual and augmented reality, interactive visualisation of large amounts of data and complex calculations, as well as a FabLaB (digital fabrication laboratory) which is open to everyone, and (especially genomic) resources.
  • The Jacques Hadamard Library, a mathematics research library serving the local and national mathematics community.
  • The Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Paris-Saclay (MSH Paris-Saclay), which is a structure for hosting, stimulating, promoting, and disseminating research in the Humanities and Social Science within the Paris-Saclay ecosystem.
  • Traditional and digital libraries dedicated to HSS research, including the Durkheim library at ENS Paris-Saclay or Université Paris-Saclay’s digital heritage library, YVETTE.
  • The One Health legal clinic developed at Université d'Evry, which represents a renewal of our vision of health, starting with the recognition of the interdependence of the living.
  • The Federation of Research in Computer Sciences, Human and Social at Versailles Saint-Quentin (SIHS) whose objective is to encourage and develop real interdisciplinarity between different subject areas in the Social Sciences and the Humanities (law, history, sociology, and political science) and Communications Studies, in order to address major societal challenges.
  • A FabLaB (digital fabrication laboratory) which is open to all.

Expertise and skills at Université Paris-Saclay

All the expertise and equipment found at Université Paris-Saclay are listed on our Plug in Labs tool: browse the files for our laboratories and technical facilities.

Visit Plug in Labs Université Paris-Saclay

Lines of research

The major challenges facing our world in the coming decades require policies to be based on scientific research and its subsequent developments and innovations.