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France-Arizona Institute for Global Grand Challenges


The France-Arizona Institute for Global Grand Challenges (FA) is a partnership with the French CNRS to facilitate best-in-class research, focusing on the grandest challenges

Beyond boundaries: solving the world’s grand challenges, together.

On April 14, 2021, Dr. Robert Robbins, President of the University of Arizona, and Dr. Antoine Petit, Chairman and CEO of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the France-Arizona Institute for Global Grand Challenges, the first of its kind CNRS International Research Center (IRC). The FA institute enacts the UArizona’s implementation enterprise.


The France-Arizona Institute for Global Grand Challenges facilitates best-in-class  international research, focusing on the grandest challenges: the search for life beyond Earth, the investigation into the nature of dark matter and dark energy, the advancement of the digital revolution with accessibility and fairness for all, the innovation of water solutions in arid places across the world, and the anticipation and prevention of global crises in climate, biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human health.  


  1. Boost scientific cross-fertilization among some of the best research teams in the world; not only supporting Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)-UArizona research collaborations but bringing into the fray other international partners as a part of these collaborations to tackle Global Grand Challenges.

  2. Tackle Global Grand Challenges through interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research. Global Grand Challenges research includes research on: arid lands, biosphere responses, food security, renewable energy, water, space exploration, policy and practices, digital revolution.

  3. Enhance collaborative capacities to secure extramural funding from a variety of sources, including U.S., E.U., and other international sponsors, both private and public.

  4. Extend and strengthen our interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research’s global reach through the CNRS-UArizona (France-Arizona) branded collaboration.

  5. Become a “one-stop-shop” for research collaboration on Global Grand Challenges. The Center creates a stream-lined, highly visible hub to disseminate information, collaborate, develop, and promote transdisciplinary international research on Global Grand Challenges.

In the News

Members of France-Arizona Institute for Global Grand Challenges convene in Tucson to reflect on partnership's first year

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2022 Annual Conference –February 28 –March 2, 2022

2022 Annual Conference –February 28 –March 2, 2022

To review research progress and discuss the France-Arizona Institute's strategy, UArizona and CNRS will hold a three-day conference in Tucson, Arizona, USA, February 28 through March 2. More than 30 delegates from France’s National Scientific Research Center (CNRS) will attend in person, including CEO Dr. Antoine Petit, Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Alain Schuhl, the leadership of International Affairs and Interdisciplinary Research, and the directors and deputy directors of eight National Institutes in France. The University of Arizona will be represented by President Dr. Robert C. Robbins, Vice President for Environmental Global Futures Dr. Joaquin Ruiz, Associate Vice President for University Centers Dr. Elliott Cheu, Associate Vice President for Resilience and International Development Dr. Gregory Collins, the Deans or their representatives from eight UArizona Colleges, and more than 20 directors, department heads, and faculty engaged in research collaborations with CNRS laboratories. The conference will end with the announcement of the 2022 awards for CNRS-UArizona Joint Ph.D. projects.


Regis Ferriere


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