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Flagship Projects

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Call for projects : Guideline​s


To address the increasing challenges facing ocean and coastal ecosystems in the 21st century, a new stage in the structuring of the interdisciplinary research community that was part of  LabexMer (2011-2018) was necessary. The ISblue university research school, “Interdisciplinary graduate school for the blue planet” is funded for 10 years (2019-2028) by the French “Investment for the future” program.

ISblue aims to be a “graduate school” of international level, which involves research forces in an ambitious training scheme, to place the next generation of professionals at the forefront of marine sciences and innovation.

ISblue’s research programme focuses on 5 themes: ocean regulation of climate, earth-ocean interactions, sustainability of coastal systems, the living ocean and ecosystem services, and long-term observing systems.

The aim is to push back the frontiers of knowledge through interdisciplinary research projects, hosting international post-docs and visiting professors. The training programme offered by ISblue is resolutely interdisciplinary (from law to engineering), closely linked to research, and highly attractive to the best international students.

The call for “Flagship projects” aims to support the ambition and increase the visibility of the research carried out within ISblue.

It will support flagship research projects that, through their content and scientific and technical results, will illustrate what ISblue is all about. These projects should reinforce the international attractiveness of ISblue and federate ISblue teams.


In response to this call, research projects on one or more themes are expected.

Flagship projects will be innovative scientific projects. They should be representative of ISblue and allow new collaborations between ISblue research units.

The project will therefore show how it can meet ISblue’s ambitions : international collaboration that will bring visibility to the teams, strengthen research/training interactions, and have the potential to lead to new and more ambitious projects. Projects involving interactions with the socio-economic world will be evaluated very favourably.

The project should include at least one Ph.D. topic and may also highlight, if possible, synergies with other ISblue calls, in particular the one concerning visiting professors. Indeed, this call is intended to provide levers to strengthen the international visibility of ISblue and they should be used to promote the resourcing of ISblue teams.

ISblue wishes to support projects for which ISblue’s support is significant and constitutes a real lever. Projects should clearly indicate for which scientific issues and in which way ISblue support will be used.


This call will have a budget of approximately 800 K€.  Projects are expected to apply for at least 150k€ and up to 400k€ of ISblue funding, including a Ph.D. contract.

Project funding will be granted for three to four years.

It is possible to apply for doctoral contract semi-financing, but on the condition that the complementary semi-financing is provided by an external partner to ISblue members (no institution co-financing, except for contractual resources already obtained), and that the co-financing is already acquired (Ph.Ds should start by the end of 2024 at the latest).

Apart from the doctoral contract, the budget can be used for functioning (including masters internships), travel, the recruitment of post-docs, engineers, technicians or additional doctoral students, and for investment.


Any member of the ISblue community (any permanent staff of the ISblue research units). The project should involve researchers from several ISblue research units.


The projects will be evaluated in two phases by a jury composed of members of the ISblue community excluding project leaders. In the second phase, external evaluators will be appointed for each application.

The jury will be composed as follows: two representatives of the ISblue executive committee, five representatives of the research themes, one representative of the training college and one representative of the socio-economic college.

After a first selection phase, a more complete dossier will be requested for the external evaluation, which will be followed by a second session of the Jury.

The following criteria will be considered (click here to see detailed criteria):

Scientific excellence

The innovative nature of the project

The opening of the project to the global marine science and technology community

– The importance of the project’s potential spin-offs, its capacity to initiate a dynamic of more ambitious projects, its impact on training.

In addition, the quality of the budget presentation will be taken into account.


Closing of the online server on: September the 17th 2023 (23:59 PM)
The jury for Phase 1 will meet on October 16th 2023
Phase 1 results will be announced on October 17th 2023

Phase 2 applications will be returned on December 15th 2023
The jury for Phase 2 will meet on February 15th 2024
Results will be announced around February 16th 2024


The Phase 1 and Phase 2 application forms are to be completed in English.

The Phase 1 application form can be downloaded here below . It is to be filled in and attached to your online application.

Click here to download the template for Phase 1 application form.

For further information

​​For any technical questions during the application process, a “Frequently Asked Questions” document is available for consultation by clicking here.​

For any question or information regarding the call: contact.isblue@univ-brest.fr

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