The Université de Rennes 1, a research-intensive university

Research is a priority for the Université de Rennes 1. Our policy is to develop excellent fundamental and disciplinary research by promoting the emergence of innovative and high-risk projects, by providing modern support infrastructures, and by encouraging transdisciplinary and partnership research to address the societal challenges of today and tomorrow.

5 priorities

The scientific policy and major ambitions of the University of Rennes 1 are characterised by 5 priorities:

  1. To strengthen fundamental and disciplinary research at the highest level of scientific and technological excellence on an international level, by offering teacher-researchers and researchers a structured, high-quality working environment.
  2. To encourage the emergence of daring, innovative and differentiating research projects on a national and international scale, within and at the interfaces of the disciplinary pillars, which will contribute, in partnership with other players, to the identity card of Rennes research.
  3. To generalise the internationalisation of research activities through targeted and concerted action. Amplify actions within the scope of European programmes.
  4. To address the major societal challenges of our time through multi- and trans-disciplinary research that is broadly open to economic, social and cultural dimensions, and that guarantees the highest disciplinary quality.
  5. To enhance our skills and know-how in order to be a major socio-economic and cultural player in the region through the deployment of its innovation, development, transfer and dissemination policy.

5 research clusters

To ensure a dynamic management and animation of its major research and innovation fields in a coherent and complementary way with the other fields of excellence of the site, the University of Rennes 1 and its partners have deployed 5 research clusters in 2021:

  • Biology - Health
  • Environment
  • Materials
  • Mathematics - Digital
  • Human, Organisational and Social Sciences

These areas directly echo the "research fields" in which the Hcéres calls on universities to organise, lead and steer the overall strategy of a research university.

By federating the Joint Research Units (UMR), Research Units (UR) and Joint Service Units/Research Support Units (UMS/UAR) of which the University of Rennes 1 is a stakeholder with the national research organisations - in conjunction with the corresponding doctoral schools - these five centres are intended to be the preferred places for consultation and coordination in order to deepen the collective strategic reflection to bring out new thematic projects and to encourage complementarities, synergies and collaborations between the teams as well as multidisciplinarity. In other words, these 5 centres contribute directly to the overall definition of the scientific strategy of our institutions

Research activities at the University of Rennes 1 are carried out by 30 highly structured units of sufficient critical size, in particular through a very strong partnership with the major research organisations (CNRS, Inserm, Inria, INRAE). In fact, nearly 90% of the university's 1,700 teacher-researchers and researchers and 1,000 PhD students carry out their research in joint units with these major organisations.

Platforms and partnerships

The university has made the development of large-scale scientific platforms and their visibility at regional, national and international levels one of the priorities of its scientific policy. Intended to offer, by grouping equipment and human resources, very high level technological resources to a community of users, the majority of these platforms are part of a mutualisation approach within federative research structures (UMS CNRS and INSERM) or common services.

Partnership research with industrial and socio-economic players is another of the university's priorities; this is reflected in framework agreements with major groups and 8 joint laboratories.

The numerous collaborations of the research units of the University of Rennes 1 with international academic partners are illustrated in particular within 21 Associated International Laboratories (IRP ex. LIA) and Research Groups (GDR), co-sponsored with the CNRS and INSERM.

International ranking

The University of Rennes 1's dynamic research and development continue to be of the highest quality.

This excellence is reflected in the international rankings which, to name but a few, place Rennes mathematics in the top 76-100 of the 2021 ARWU ("Shanghai") ranking, the study of water resources in the top 75-100, earth sciences and technologies for medicine in the top 150-200, ecology, chemistry, physics, telecommunication technologies in the TOP 200-300....