Research places - Bordeaux Montaigne University v1.2

Research places

The Maison de la Recherche: Université Bordeaux Montaigne’s research-dedicated centre

In order to ensure the important position of research on the Bordeaux education scene and to complete the network of research centres there (including the MSHA, the Maison des Suds, the Maison de l’Archéologie and the Maison des Arts), Université Bordeaux Montaigne has also established its very own research centre: the Maison de la Recherche.

A building has been entirely renovated and extended for the purpose of overseeing the Maison de la Recherche, the Montaigne Humanities Doctoral School and a further nine research units: AMERIBER, CEMMC, CLARE, CLIMAS, CLLE, Histoire de l'Art, IKER, SPH and TELEM.

The oral examination of doctoral theses will take place here and this building will also be the venue for a number of scientific and research presentations and exhibits, which will take place in a dedicated room. Researchers and doctoral candidates will also find specially equipped rooms, where they can carry out their projects and meet up with one another. 

Human and Social Sciences Centre of Aquitaine (MSHA)

The Human and Social Sciences Centre of Aquitaine (MSHA), an interdisciplinary federative structure, by definition interinstitutional, contributes, in total subsidiarity to the university and CNRS structures, to the fertilization of the Human and Social Sciences in Aquitaine. Putting into place mutualization procedures for research, incubation, and structuring tools, it contributes to an increase in the achievements of the Human and Social Sciences in the region.
Granted a specific associative status, in which the rector is a government commissioner, inscribed in the National Register of Human and Social Sciences Centres, in respect of the Chart of the “Five I’s”, and enjoying privileged relations with the Paris Human and Social Sciences Center, it is naturally inserted in the various structural levels of research in France, in Bordeaux, and in Aquitaine. As a federative research structure, recognized and evaluated by the competent national agencies, the scientific apparatus of the MSHA is foremost based on the simultaneous implementation of the transversal programs of the ministerial quinquennial, programs supported by the Regional Counsel of Aquitaine, and the “Research-Actions” on behalf of partners in civil society. These programs present three complementary dimensions: privileged cultural spaces like those in the scope of the European Constitution; strong thematics largely corresponding to social questions and emerging questions evoked by young teams, in a renewed articulation with notably the Doctoral Schools in the Human and Social Sciences.

With its 2 400 m² building available to the research teams, including a documentation centre, shared services (publication, computer services, financial management and guidance), research offices, three meeting rooms and a large conference room, the MSHA is also a physical space in which to welcome researchers and their specific or regular scientific events.

A centre for teams with interdisciplinary programs, the MSHA thus pursues a triple objective of transversal structuring of Human and Social Sciences, developing cooperative work and the incubation of new problematics. It works on the articulations between research themes developed by the Bordeaux and Pau regional teams in Human and Social Sciences in the objective of developing common projects. Therein lies the heart of its federating role and of its scientific specificity, while it notably makes available the expert capacities of its Scientific Counsel: better assisting, from the base of its incubatory function, the Human and Social Sciences community in Aquitaine to structure itself around attractive thematics. This Scientific Counsel, which crosses and combines regional, national, and international experiences, is at present the only Scientific Counsel whose cross-disciplinary spectrum is as vast, at precisely the scale of Aquitaine.

Center of the Souths

Maison des Suds

Built by the CNRS on the initiative of Professor Guy Lasserre, the Center of the Souths opened its doors in 1968. It houses, in its 3 440 m2, the research activities of the UMR ADESS 5185 (Planning, Development, Environment, Health, Societies) and those of the UMR LAM 5115 (Africas in the World). The Centre of the Souths, which is managed by the UMR ADESS, is a building entirely dedicated to research. The CNRS personnel (15), the researchers and teaching researchers of ADESS CNRS-Bordeaux Montaigne University (46) are based here, as well as a dozen researchers and teaching researchers of the LAM CNRS-IEP. The teams benefit from an 80-seat amphitheatre to accommodate their scientific events, a 60-seat work space for seminars and work sessions, and two conference rooms of 19 and 8 seats with video-conferencing capacity.

Each year, one hundred events are organized here in the context of the research activities of the two teams. The major subjects addressed by ADESS, also represented at the University of Bordeaux for activities conducted by the anthropologists (Place de la Victoire site), revolve around the question of nature, its definition, its protection, its encircling, “ecological” justice or injustice, the city, new urbanities, changes in urban government; socio-cultural practices, the street, the body and adjustments in spacing in the social fabric. The LAM principally addresses political, economic, social and cultural questions concerning Africa and wherever in the world Africa is found, sharing its activities between the Centre of the Souths and the research building at the IEP. Both teams share their reflections on the transfer of knowledge, tools of evaluation and action, and the ethics of scientific research.

Archaelogy Centre

Maison de l'Archéologie

This centre houses two research units, the Ausonius Institute (UMR 5607 CNRS/UB3) and the CRP2A (Center of Physics Applied to Archaeology) which is part of the multi-site UMR IRAMAT (Institute of Research into Archaeomaterials, UMR 5060 CNRS/UB3). These two units, associated with the laboratory PACEA of the University of Bordeaux (UMR 5199 CNRS/UB1/MCC), collaborate closely within a high-performance apparatus entirely dedicated to archaeology, the Labex Archeological Sciences of Bordeaux (Sciences Archéologiques de Bordeaux) (LaScArBx), whose administration is based at the Archaeology Centre site.

The main hall and the conference room (99 seats) are shared between both units. The Ausonius Institute, regrouping more than one hundred people, is located in the central and east sections of the building. It offers several seminar and conference rooms and its space houses the services and technical personnel required for the operation of a laboratory specialized in archeological research and the sciences of Antiquity and the Middle Ages. With a collection of 50 000 volumes and 700 periodicals, the Robert Etienne Library attracts researchers from all over Europe and beyond. Ausonius Éditions, with a catalogue of more than 200 titles published over nearly 20 years and the publication of the journal Aquitania, occupies a priority place in the field of historical and archaeological publishing in France.  Geomatics and digital humanities mobilize innovative tools in the service of research and scientific diffusion, notably through the on-line databases. Ausonius thus seeks the role of a centre where science is not reclusive but open to society: those interested can follow the team’s progress thanks to frequent temporary exhibitions presented in the building of the Archeopole of Aquitaine. Pedagogical workshops are also regularly held there, organized for students in secondary education.

In the east section of the building, the offices of the IRAMAT-CRP2A constantly accommodate more than thirty people, staff and temporary, doctoral students, intern students. The organization of the team is that of an archeometry laboratory: it has its own very specific heavy equipment associated with spaces dedicated to material preparation. It allows the analysis of archaeological materials and their dating in the study of human settlements, art history, the history of techniques and materials. The laboratory is thus internationally recognized for its advanced specialties (luminescence dating, analysis of archaeomaterials by physicochemical methods) and for its interdisciplinary calling, associating at the same site the skills brought by both materials and human sciences. A classroom, the Archaeometry Room, welcomes, among others, the students of the Patrimony and Archeometry Materials Masters program.


The technological platform of the Archéopôle of Aquitaine is composed of a Service Unit (Archéovision – CNRS) to which is attached a transfer cell (Archéotransfert). This technological platform is based on an apparatus unique in France. Its concept was established with the assistance of the Regional Counsel of Aquitaine, Bordeaux Montaigne University and the CNRS.

The 3D production stage is completed by an original interface: the Odéon of virtual reality. This space is a one-hundred seat room with triple functions. Firstly, it is a visualization tool for digital 3D models used during research seminars. It is also an apparatus in which courses requiring the use of 3D resources are held. Finally, and this is what sets it apart, it is a space where the public is regularly received for the presentation of the advances in the latest archaeological projects.

The role of the Archéopôle is not that of a substitute for museums, but rather to explain to the public the methods of research and to thus valorize the know-how and collaborations. Visitors can discover, from the patio of the Archéopôle, not only a replica of the Sphinx of the Naxiens carved in stone by a robot from digital data, but also a sculpted head of Amenhotep IV or a bust of Montaigne, resulting from research programs. In the Odéon, it is the latest results from Rome or Alexandria that are presented. Finally, the uses of new technologies are shared with the public in the Humanities Service. Thus are presented the developing technologies that everyone will find in their daily lives in the years to come. The visiting public consists mainly of students (classes, pedagogical workshops), associations, and individual visitors received by appointment.