Groundbreaking research

A comprehensive research university

Sorbonne University has built its research on deep fundamental questions in each domain coupled with interdisciplinary approaches that bring a broad and holistic perspective to complex issues. 


The university’s strength relies on member institutions that are leaders in their domain and complementary in their work. Fundamental research is a cornerstone of the Sorbonne University approach. Bringing new insights into unexpected areas, fundamental research at Sorbonne University is the source of new solutions to questions that have not yet been asked. With recognized world-class research in mathematics, engineering, materials, life and health sciences, environmental sciences, humanities, and social sciences, the University has the critical mass to investigate fundamental issues at the heart of each domain.


Since Sorbonne University cover an exceptionally broad range of research disciplines, it is able to promote scientific and educational developments that lead to original, transversal solutions. Sorbonne University accelerates research with strategic projects that have been awarded funding from the France’s Investing for the Future initiative: 


  • 15 Laboratories of Excellence (LABEX) transforming science 

    Sorbonne University is directing laboratory projects across numerous domains, such as: Mediterranean history and religions; digital humanities; biological psychiatry; modeling and numerical simulation; dark matter and energy; matter and the environment; human machine interaction; and immunity.


  •  5 EQUIPEX for advanced equipment 

    The French scientific community, as well as industry, will benefit from the development of the Internet of the future and an observatory for the ocean, ice and atmosphere composed of fifteen platforms floating in the Arctic Ocean (IAOOS). Sorbonne University is also associated with mesocenters for petaflop computing; observatories for climate research, and a national network of robotics platforms.


  • 4 Biotech programs address societal challenges 

    EMBRC-France, which is both a national and a European infrastructure for biology and health, is made up of three Sorbonne marine stations. The University is also managing a bioinformatics project on the protein interactions in genomes.


Specific interdisciplinary programs, such as calls for convergence projects and thematic chairs have been built among the member’s institutions and they have led to five interdisciplinary themes.


Sorbonne University is building common tools based on digital technology. The first is the portal for documentation and digital resources, which has a unique interface in terms of ergonomics and functionality for all digital and physical libraries, archives, pedagogic resources, editions and collections. It will be extended to include texts and audio documents and will be the basis of the development of the Sorbonne University Open Access project.



Sorbonne University institutes work at the crossroads of research, patient care and education: 


  • The Vision Institute integrates basic and clinical research, and actively pursues technology transfers 

  • The Brain and Spinal Cord Institute focuses on neurodegenerative diseases 

  • The ICAN Institute offers an integrated approach to cardiovascular and metabolic diseases 

  • The Cancer Institute draws on two public hospital groups and the faculties of science and medicine.



  • Nobel prizes for physics in 1997 and 2012
  • Field’s Medals in 1982, 2010 and 2014
  • 3 of the 5 European KICs* in Climate, Digital Life, and Health Engineering
  • More than one quarter of the members of French Academies in Science and Medicine come from Sorbonne University
  • 5 marine stations on the coast of France

*Knowledge Innovation Communities

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