The Intercontinental Academia will bring together researchers from various countries to interdisciplinary studies on time

Intercontinental Academia poster

A group of 15 young researchers from different countries and areas of knowledge will participate in an unusual collaborative project from November 2014. The goal is to develop interdisciplinary studies at the Intercontinental Academia, an initiative by UBIAS - University-Based Institutes for Advanced Study, an international network of scientific cooperation that brings together 34 institutes of advanced studies from 19 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Oceania.

The IASs that will organize and host this first edition of the Intercontinental Academia in two immersion meetings are the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of São Paulo (IEA-USP), Brazil, and the Institute for Advanced Research (IAR) of Nagoya University, Japan. Throughout the project, participants will have the guidance of senior scientists and thinkers from regional and international recognition.



Time has been chosen as theme for the project due to being usually conceptualized differently in each area of knowledge, whether in the humanities or the natural sciences. For a comprehensive overview of the impacts of these notions in science and culture in general there must be an academic dialogue between people working and experiencing the different concepts of time.



With the selection of the 15 participants in November 2014 the preparation for the completion of the first immersion meeting in March 2015 at the University of São Paulo will get started. The second meeting will be held at Nagoya University in January 2016. Between April and December 2015, the interval between both immersion periods, the participants will continue their studies by contacting each other and the Senior Committee of the Intercontinental Academia through the internet.

During the meetings in São Paulo and Nagoya, the researchers will have the chance to discuss topics concerning the theme time through lectures, readings, workshops and discussions, as well as to share experiences and participate in intercultural activities and a social programme.

The exchange of information will take place not only among the participants to be selected for the Intercontinental Academia, but also between all the people involved in the project and 'glocal' scientific communities, offering new opportunities to connect with science, culture and research projects of excellence from around the world.

This inaugural edition of the Intercontinental Academia will end in March 2016, two months after the date of the immersion meeting in Nagoya. This final period will be focused on the editing of the results of the project.



Those interested in running for one of the 15 slots for researchers should be aged up to 40, hold a PhD or post-doctorate (completed or in progress) in any field of knowledge and be fluent in English. A letter of interest and a up-to-date curriculum both in English should be sent to one of the Ubias members.

The letter should contain the interest in participating in the Intercontinental Academia, summarized information on their career and academic performance, and an exposition on how it will be possible to contribute to the project. If the candidate receives a letter of endorsement from the institution to which they have sent the letter of interest, they must then complete the application form and attach the required documents. Deadline to upload all the information is August 17, 2014.

The Intercontinental Academia organization believes that there will be at least 100 candidates for the final selection process. The list of participants should include the diversity of areas of knowledge and nationalities.



In the opinion of Martin Grossmann, director of the IEA-USP, the Intercontinental Academia will function as a laboratory for future collaborative university-level work: "It is a small-scale project, but with the potential to generate a new format of scientific activity."

Although the term “academia” is usually associated with a body of scientists that are not involved with the transformation of prevailing ideas despite their great contributions to knowledge, in the sense used for the Intercontinental Academia, according to Grossmann, the word "refers to an environment of cutting edge thinking, an experimental space for discussions, risks and unexpected encounters."

According to economist Dapeng Cai, from the IAR-Nagoya, an initiative such as the Intercontinental Academia is very important because "university research is overly focused and specialized, and researchers are not able to share languages, do not relate to other fields of knowledge and forget how to communicate with each other."

Cai points out that the Intercontinental Academia is guided by three goals: to stimulate joint research between Ubias members; to establish cooperation networks between scientific leaders of the next generation; and to explore new forms of collective academic practices and new formats of scientific coaching, collaboration and dissemination.



The Senior Committee of scientists, which is responsible for coordinating the work of the Intercontinental Academia, counts with Regina Pekelmann Markus, Takao Kondo and Till Roenneberg (scientific coordinators), Eliezer Rabinovici and Sami Pihlström (representatives of the UBIAS network), and Takaho Ando and Martin Grossmann (directors of the host institutes). Regina Pekelmann Markus is a full professor at USP's Institute of Biosciences and executive director of the Academy of Sciences of the State of São Paulo; Takao Kondo is a professor of biological sciences at the University of Nagoya and former director of the IAR-Nagoya; Till Roenneberg is a professor of chronobiology at the Institute of Medical Psychology of the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich and president of the European Society of Biological Rhythms; Eliezer Rabinovici is a professor of particle physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and former director of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the same university; Sami Pihlström is a professor of philosophy at the University of Helsinki and director of the Collegium for Advanced Studies at the same university; Takaho Ando is the director of the IAR-Nagoya and professor of the School of Economics at the University of Nagoya; and Martin Grossmann is the director of the IEA-USP and a professor of the School of Communication and Arts at USP. The general secretary of the project is Carsten Dose, executive director of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Freiburg.

The Scientific Committee of the IEA-USP project has as members: José Eduardo Krieger (President), provost for research and a professor at USP's School of Medicine; Hernan Chaimovich, vice president of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, former director of USP's Chemistry Institute and former deputy director of the IEA-USP; Marcelo Knobel, a member of the advisory committee of FAPESP and a professor of the Gleb Wathagin Institute of Physics at UNICAMP; Massimo Canevacci, anthropologist, visiting professor at the IEA-USP and professor at the University of Studies of Rome La Sapienza; Renato Janine Ribeiro, philosopher, former adviser of the IEA-USP, where he coordinates the Research Group "The Future Questions Us", and professor of USP's School of Philosophy, Literature and Human Sciences; Vera Lúcia Imperatriz-Fonseca, coordinator of the IEA-USP's "Ecosystem Services" Research Group and full professor at USP's Institute of Biosciences of USP; and also two members of the Senior Committee: Regina Pekelmann Markus (Vice President) and Martin Grossmann.

More information on the Intercontinental Academia can be requested at .