Out of 52 projects selected by an international jury appointed by the National Research Agency to fund high-level scientific “equipment of excellence” (“Equipex”) projects, Sciences Po’s proposal came equal first, even though only 5 projects were chosen in the social and human sciences (SHS) field.
Launched on the initiative of research teams at Sciences Po, led by Laurent Lesnard, Director of the Centre for Socio-political Data (CDSP), developed with the support of Amélie Antoine-Audo and Sciences Po’s European Office for Research (MER) and supported by the PRES Sorbonne Paris Cité, this project will benefit from the most important financial allocation awarded to a SHS project: 10.4 million euros over 10 years.
Sciences Po’s Equipex project – code named “DIME-SHS” – centres on the collection, processing and analysis of data in the social sciences. It aims to provide the social and human sciences in France with the means to take a major qualitative leap forward in investigation methods. Its originality lies in its use of the Internet and, more generally, information and communications technology (largely thanks to Sciences Po’s medialab) to achieve progress in three essential stages of research protocols in SHS: data collection; storage and distribution of qualitative investigations; and tools to analyse the web as a corpus of data in itself. The network, led by Laurent Lesnard, brings together research teams from Sciences Po and the following institutions: the Group of National Schools of Economics and Statistics (GENES), the National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED), Télécom ParisTech, EDF R&D and the Quetelet network.
The success of this technological equipment project in service of the social sciences is a validation of Sciences Po’s scientific policy over the past few years of developing research teams and state-of-the-art tools in the social sciences. The highly demanding and rigorously scientific nature of this project – in terms of both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and processing – has been one of the key elements of its success.
Sciences Po is also included in one of the other 5 SHS projects selected amongst the winners of the “equipment of excellence” category of the Investments for the Future program.