Tailor-made hospitality

The Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS) hosts about 80 foreign researchers each year. Invited by researchers from the University of Cergy-Pontoise and the “Paris Seine” COMUE [group of higher education establishments], they stay for between a week and a few months in Cergy-Pontoise.

Upon arrival in Cergy-Pontoise, international researchers are systematically welcomed at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS) on the Neuville campus.

"We greet our guests with coffee and gifts bearing the IAS logo... and we also take care of the administrative formalities," says Ratana Pok, who is in charge of welcoming guests.

Then the IAS Director Arnaud Lefranc invites the visiting fellows, who come from all over the world, to work in the offices of the Maison internationale de la Recherche (MIR).

Stefano Lepri, a physics professor from Florence (Italy), arrived a few days ago and told us that the place is comfortable. "I spend my days at the MIR, where the environment is very pleasant and conducive to the progress of my work.” Stefano Lepri was invited for a month by Alessandro Torcini, a researcher attached to the Laboratory of Physics: Theory and Models. "I know him well, we worked together for many years in Italy.” This time, they are studying the concept of complexity applied to energy flows.

This invitation provides the Italian professor with an opportunity to discuss with doctoral students and researchers from the COMUE and more widely from the whole Paris region. On March 26, he gave a lecture at the MIR to physicists and mathematicians. "I am happy to spend a month in Cergy-Pontoise; I am discovering a new place, a new way of working. France has a very good research environment, in any case better than Italy.” After a day's work, he takes the RER train back into Paris, where he has found a cozy rental. “The issue of accommodation at the MIR will soon be resolved", says Karine Gambier-Leroy, Secretary General of the IAS. "We have fallen behind schedule, but we hope that our eighteen planned apartments, from one to three bedrooms, will soon be ready to accommodate our guests.”

"Pampered" guests

Bertrand Tchantcho, for his part, chose to stay in an apartment near the Les Chênes campus. To organize his stay, the professor from Cameroon asked for support from Fanny Peltre, of the "Accès Paris Ile-de-France" network dedicated to help international researchers settle in. “The support I received for my stay in Cergy was very useful,” said Bertrand Tchantcho, an economist and mathematician who has been an associate researcher at Thema laboratory for four years. He has come to carry out work with UCO economics professor Mathieu Martin.

 "I enjoy my visits to the Thema laboratory because I have a lot of interaction with academics in my field of research.” During the three weeks spent in Cergy-Pontoise, Bertrand Tchantcho also gave a lecture on "the theory of rationality in a sequential game".

"My visit here builds a link between Cergy-Pontoise and Yaoundé universities. Those close ties have already enabled two Cameroonian students to come and study at the Thema laboratory.”

Ratana Pok is already preparing for the arrival of new researchers at the MIR. "The next researchers are coming in from Singapore, and then we will be receiving researchers from Russia, Canada, and Greece next month. We are always delighted to see them because we have been corresponding with them for months by email to prepare the stays.”