Antoine Petit, President and CEO of CNRS, visited Brazil from March 5 to 8, 2023, accompanied by a large delegation including several members of the management committee, to meet with the organization’s main partners. During a visit to the University of São Paulo campus, Antoine Petit and Carlos Gilberto Carlotti Junior, Rector of USP, announced the creation of an international research center.

The creation of the center was ratified on October 3, 2023 at the CNRS headquarters in Paris, in the presence of the Brazilian Ambassador to France, Mr. Ricardo Neiva Tavares.

The center will run for a period of five years, renewable after joint approval, and will include jointly established research programs supported by joint doctoral programs, collaborative projects co-funded by CNRS, USP and the São Paulo State Research Support Foundation ( FAPESP), etc.

Alain Schuhl, CNRS Deputy Director General for Science, and Carlos Gilberto Carlotti Júnior, Rector of the University of São Paulo (USP), at the signing ceremony for the creation of the CNRS International Research Center (IRC) within USP.

Disciplinary pillars

Initially organized around seven major disciplines

  • Human and social sciences
  • Environmental sciences
  • Sciences of the universe
  • Computer science
  • Quantum technologies
  • Biology
  • Agriculture/decarbonation

The center is co-administered by the two governing bodies (CNRS and USP), assisted by a steering committee and an advisory committee.

A series of workshops to prefigure the center’s disciplinary architecture took place during the 2023-2024 period. At USP, Professor Fernando Menezes has been appointed by Rector Carlos Carlotti to coordinate the center’s disciplinary prefiguration. On the CNRS side, Liviu Nicu, Director of the CNRS office in South America, has been appointed by Antoine Petit, Director General of CNRS, to oversee the preliminary construction phase of the center.


Liviu Nicu

Director of the CNRS Office in Rio de Janeiro

Liviu Nicu

Director of the CNRS Office in Rio de Janeiro

Alain Mermet

Director of the Europe and International Division (DEI) at CNRS

Alain Schuhl

Deputy Director General for Science at CNRS

Eloisa Silva Dutra De Oliveira Bonfá

Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of São Paulo

Paulo Nussenzveig

Professor and Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation, University of São Paulo

Julio Romano Meneghini

Professor at the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo and Director of the Greenhouse Gas Research and Innovation Center

Gilberto Kassab

Secretary to the Government of the State of São Paulo and former Minister for Science and Technology of Brazil

Enrique Ricardo Lewandowski

Professor and former member of the Brazilian Supreme Court and Minister of Justice of Brazil

As part of the creation of the research center, a series of workshops is being organized to define and structure research projects for each of IRC’s scientific areas.

  • Workshop in the Humanities and Social Sciences, organized on the occasion of the “Second Franco-USPian Week of Scientific Cooperation” from September 18 to 22, 2023, at the Maison du CNRS at the University of São Paulo.
    Moderated by Sandrine Maljean-Dubois, CNRS research director and deputy scientific director of CNRS Human and Social Sciences, this workshop led to the creation of the IRL Worlds in transition.

    The IRL will be created to better support Franco-Brazilian relations in the humanities and social sciences between France and Brazil.

    Worlds in Transition is made up of five main themes:

    • Axis 1 – Transnational movements, mobility and spaces
    • Axis 2 – “Making the world” in the diversity of languages and cultures
    • Axis 3- Transitions and dynamics of inequalities
    • Axis 4- Changes in law and democracy
    • Axis 5- Environmental challenges in the Anthropocene era
  • THUS Computer Science Workshop, co-organized in October 2023 at the Maison du CNRS, by Afonso Ferreira, Research Director at CNRS Computer Sciences, Jaime Simão Sichman, Professor at the USP Polytechnic and Alfredo Goldman, Professor at the USP Institute of Mathematics and Statistics.

    Researchers from France and Brazil met in São Paulo on October 23, 24 and 25 for the Techno-Human Systems of the Future (THUS the Future) workshop. The result of a collaboration between CNRS and the University of São Paulo (USP), this workshop brought together forty scientists to discuss the computer science theme of the International Research Center (IRC) between CNRS and USP.

  • Ecology and Environment Workshop
    Moderated by Gilles Pinay, Deputy Scientific Director at CNRS Ecology & Environmentand Jean-Paul Walter Metzger, Professor of Ecology at USP, the Ecology and Environment workshop was held from March 25 to 26, 2024 at the University of Sao Paulo’s Maison du CNRS.
    Some thirty French and Brazilian scientists met to discuss and decide on the research projects that will form part of the environmental pillar of the International Research Center (IRC).