CHESS Presentation

EUR CHESS “Challenges in Economics and Quantitative Social Sciences"

"EUR CHESS “Challenges in Economics and Quantitative Social Sciences” is a large grant awarded by the French government in 2017 as part of the first wave of the PIA initiative to create “Graduate Schools à la française” (Ecole Universitaire de Recherche, EUR). An Ecole Universitaire de Recherche, or Graduate School, brings together world-leading research units, university teaching departments and Doctoral Schools to join forces in research and in reinforcing PhD-level and Master-level research training.

CHESS is a 52,9 million EUR grant over a 10-year horizon, until 2028, the largest Ecole Universitaire de Recherche (EUR) in France. The grant is administered by ANR, the French National Research Agency, under the Investments for the Future" program (Programme d’Investissements d’Avenir, PIA).

The bulk of the CHESS grant serves to provide continued funding for LABEX IAST and LABEX IAM-TSE, two highly successful LABEX (‘Laboratoires d’Ecellence”) created in 2011/2012:

  • LABEX IAM-TSE (Incentives, Agents, Markets) was awarded in 2012 as the largest among the 71 grants in the second wave of LABEX grant awards.
  • LABEX IAST that was awarded in 2011 as the third largest among the 100 grants in the first wave of LABEX grants. It enabled the creation of the interdisciplinary Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST), a brainchild of Jean Tirole in which the economists of TSE play a prominent role. IAST and its LABEX funding are presented on the IAST website.

Besides continued LABEX funding, CHESS also includes an extra grant of more than 1 million EUR per year to build up and reinforce the graduate school programs (Master and PhD) at TSE, and to create a multidisciplinary dimension by integrating IAST.

CHESS was instrumental in the creation of the Toulouse School of Economics and Quantitative Social Sciences (TSE), the Grand Etablissement founded in 2023 that shares the description of its fields, Economics and Quantitative Social Sciences, with CHESS.

Partners of CHESS are, besides TSE, CNRS, INRAE and University Toulouse-Capitole, the experimental umbrella university that TSE is part of.

CHESS is an inherently multidisciplinary project involving two connected research institutions, TSE in economics and IAST at the boundaries between economics and social science. The need for effective interdisciplinarity in teaching and research has long been recognized internationally, but it faces risks, including risks of inadequate interaction, when researchers from different disciplines talk past each other, and risks of indiscriminate interaction, when researchers use a profusion of disciplinary approaches without adequately mastering any of them. Institutions that have successfully overcome these risks at the level of graduate teaching often adopt an approach that includes a substantial interdisciplinary component in a graduate training that remains anchored in a single foundational discipline which is the approach that CHESS also strives to follow.

Follow the tabs on the main page to learn more about the activities and organization of CHESS.