Interdisciplinary research axes

Selected theses projects funded through DOC2AMU project will have to address one of the following research topics.


Imaging is one of the strongest interdisciplinary and intersectoral research axes at AMU. 26 laboratories are developing research in this field, including economy and social sciences. Imaging for life sciences (Bio Imaging and Biomedical imaging) is at the crossroad between engineering disciplines, such as optical, acoustic and computer sciences and chemical, biological and medical disciplines. At AMU, research activities in this area are structured, on one hand, through two national networks, namely France Bio Imaging (FBI) and France Life Imaging (FLI), and on the other hand by the CERIMED center (European Centre for Research in Medical Imaging) which is located at the Timone campus. Moreover, la Timone hospital hosts a high level imaging facility with MRI 7T equipment, the second in France, for clinical research. The imaging research activities at AMU also concern imaging for space and earth as well as imaging for archaeological purposes in interaction with social sciences.


Nanoscience    and    Nanotechnologies    have    been    identified    as    the    most    promising interdisciplinary topics in Sciences and Technologies at AMU, based on the high expertise being developed in this area at AMU laboratories and the huge potential of this subject. “Life Sciences and Health” also represents a major scientific, medical and societal issue and Aix-Marseille is the second French pole in this field. The positive (therapy) and negative (toxicity) impacts of Nano-objects  and  Nano-materials  on  Health  appear  to  be  more  and  more  important.  The  research topics  in  this  domain  include Nano-tracers  for  diagnostics,  drug  delivery,  drug  chemistry, cell dynamics, toxicity of Nano-materials, etc. ‘Nano’ is also a ‘hot’ societal topic and this aspect will be a priority of the interdisciplinary research that we would like to promote through DOC2AMU project.

Big data

The theme ‘Big Data’ concerns the five interdisciplinary and intersectoral research poles of AMU. More than 25 research laboratories are directly involved in this topic, either as specialists of the subject (computer sciences, mathematics …) or as users. On one hand, strong expertise, based on existing infrastructures, is developed in data mining, data preservation, data sharing and security, and on the other hand many applications of the big data are developed in the fields of astrophysics (CeSAM databases), environmental sciences, economy, smart grids, particle physics, digital humanities (TGIR Huma-Num), life sciences, etc. DOC2AMU project is a unique opportunity to share this expertise and to promote interdisciplinary research in Big Data which take into account both the applied physics in data treatment, specific applications (energy, environment, health, physics, and humanities) and the societal and economic impacts.


Networks are at the root of all human organisations and activities (social, economic, political, travel, energy...) and, at a much lower scale, an indispensable dimension of molecular organisations to build materials and generate functions in living organisms. Strong expertise is present at AMU in the discovery of networks and understanding of their laws and modes of regulation in AMU priority areas: Environment, Energy, Sciences and Technologies, Humanities and Health and Life Sciences. This is an excellent ground to generate opportunities for interdisciplinary projects in biology/medicine (modelling of complex biological systems using omics and bioinformatics, design of chemical compounds interfering with biological networks to treat diseases, etc.), Energy and environment (development of appropriate tools for management and optimisation of energy systems and networks especially for renewable energies), Humanities and Technologies (Mathematics and Computer Sciences) in the frame of DOC2AMU project.


Globalization is an important interdisciplinary research field at AMU, bringing together different perspectives in economics, law, history, politic sciences, sociology as well as psychology, linguistics, etc. It relies on fundamental as well as applied works, involving data collection, modeling, experimentation or theoretical elaborations. Anchored in Humanities, this topic is open to all scientific sectors around themes like epidemiology, technology dissemination, energy production, sustainable development, internationalization of technical, ethical and legal standards, etc. This strategic domain is explored in different ways, such as in the following themes: paradoxical globalization (globalization can be at the same time a source of growth and of increased instability), dissemination and contact phenomena, inequalities and poverty, emergence of global phenomena (effects and role of networks), public intervention (coherence between local, national and supra-national levels), emergence of technical and professional standards, etc. In the DOC2AMU framework, we propose to push forward new interdisciplinary questions, enlarging the scope of this topic from Humanities to other sciences.

Climate change

This topic is currently well developed and structured within AMU. It is supported with a great visibility and a real interdisciplinarity (Geoscience, Ecology, Oceanography, Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, Social sciences, Economics, Law …) with more than 22 AMU research labs. For an environmental point of view, it is now important to increase research and knowledge in the study of ecosystem functioning and resource management in a context of Climate Change. Similarly the use of low-carbon energy is an essential alternative to meet the challenges related to climate change due to anthropological activities. In this context at AMU, research is focused on basic science for energy in the disciplines of science and technology (mathematics, biology, physics, chemistry, mechanics ...) as well as in social sciences and humanities (sociology, economics, geography ...). DOC2AMU project is a unique opportunity to develop interdisciplinary research on the impacts of climate change and the ways to reduce the massive use of fossil fuels and expand the use of low-carbon energy (renewable and nuclear energies).