New steps towards internationalization

The IEA was present at the meeting of directors from University-Based Institutes for Advanced Study (Ubias), the network that brings together 32 advanced research institutes affiliated with universities around the world. The encounter, which discussed the topic Shaping the Future: Navigating a Changing World, was held on March 4 to 6, at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in Israel.

The participants took stock of the network's three years of existence, exchanged experiences, discussed plans for bilateral and multilateral cooperation, defined strategies for interaction and collaboration, and debated issues pertaining to ongoing global transformations, such as the Arab Spring and the future of higher education and research.

Contributions of the IEA
At the meeting, IEA's director, Martin Grossmann, gave a presentation on the results of the first year of the institute’s Management Project for 2012-2017. Together with Dapeng Cai, a researcher at the Institute for Advanced Research (IAR) of the University of Nagoya, Japan, he also presented the pilot project for the Intercontinental Academy, an experimental initiative of the Ubias under the aegis of the IEA and the IAR that aims to promote scientific exchange between generations, disciplines and cultures.

The concept of the Intercontinental Academy, presented by Grossmann and Cai for the first time to members of Ubias, may be summarized in the expression "2+2+2+2": two institutes from the network, from two continents, will come together to organize a two-year joint research, during which two workshops will be held. To this end, they will select 15 young researchers from different fields of knowledge and universities around the world who will devote themselves to an interdisciplinary collaborative study under the guidance of three senior scientists. 

The consolidation of Ubias

The meeting of the directors in Israel is the third event organized by the Ubias. The first, the founding conference of the network, was held in October 2010, hosted by the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (Frias) at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany. The event brought together 32 institutes of advanced studies from 19 countries on the five continents to discuss the topic University-Based Institutes for Advanced Study in a Global Perspective: Promises, Challenges, New Frontiers. 

The second event, on March 2012, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Studies (JNIAS) at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India, convened representatives from 8 of the 11 institutes that compose the network’s Steering Committee, including Grossmann. On that occasion, participants defined preliminary proposals for cooperation between the institutes, including the creation of the Intercontinental Academy.

A fourth meeting is already scheduled for next September: the interdisciplinary conference Scientific and Academic Knowledge, to be held at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.


As a result of the contacts, exchanges and debates promoted by the Ubias meetings, the IEA has been talking, articulating partnerships and establishing closer relations with other institutes from within and outside the network, such as the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, USA.

In March 2011, Peter Goddard, Director of the IAS, and Eliezer Rabinovici, director of the Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, were received by Adnei Melges de Andrade, executive vice-dean of International Relations of the University of São Paulo, and César Ades, IEA’s director at the time. Both Goddard as Rabinovici talked about how their institutes operate and the specificity of advanced studies.

In April 2012, Aditya Mukherjee, director of the JNIAS, also visited the IEA. At the conference High Density Democracies: Brazil and India, he addressed the origins and academic policies of his institute and of the university that harbors it, while Grossmann presented the IEA’s Management Project for 2012-2017. (Watch the video)

The last visit of its kind took place in February this year, when Cai and Susumu Saito, who is also a researcher at the IAR, came to the IEA to attend the event Advanced Research in Nagoya. Cai spoke about the concept and operation of the Intercontinental Academy, and Susumu gave a presentation on the best practices adopted by the IAR to develop high-level research. (Watch the video)

Discussions on events such as these, as well as numerous other activities related to the dynamics of institutes of advanced studies, the forms of cooperation between them, and the meetings organized by Ubias take place in the Green Room, the section of the IEA Web site that maintains, organizes, discusses and presents the main ideas that inspire and the contribute to the institutional project of the current administration.

English version by Carlos Malferrari