The National Center of Scientific Researche (CNRS)  is the largest public research institution in Europe, and the largest European one in terms of publications. CNRS has been awarded in 2017 HR Excellence in Research (HRS4R). It supports many labs and units in partnership with other academic institutions, among which is the Institute of Islamic Studies and Societies of Muslim World (Institut d’études de l’Islam et des sociétés du monde musulman, IISMM) in partnership with EHESS, and InVisu.

The main mission of IISMM  focuses on articulating the outputs of academic research in the social and human sciences on Islam and Islamic societies to a wide public. It accomplishes this through conferences, seminars, spring schools, public conferences, publications, continued education to professionals, media interventions and 12 invitations of guest professors every year for one month. The IISMM is the French core of an international network of scholars working on Islam and Islamic societies in all periods, regions and fields (anthropology, economics, history, demography,…)

The Visual and textual information in art history: new terrains, corpora, tools Institute (L’information visuelle et textuelle en histoire de l'art: nouveaux terrains, corpus, outils, InVisu) is a research centre specialising in digital humanities in the field of visual studies, with a strong focus on architecture, heritage and visual arts in the modern Mediterranean; it produces tools to link relevant digital data, as well as descriptive digital catalogues, virtual exhibitions, sources collections, and online fully searchable printed texts, exclusively using Open Source software and infrastructure. The centre regularly offers training in digital humanities to beginners and more advanced scholars. It publishes the bi-annual multilingual peer-reviewed online ABE Journal  (12 issues available, with print-on-demand option)



Founded in 1575, Universiteit Leiden (UL) is the oldest university in the Netherland. Consistently ranked in the Top 100 by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, it has 26,900 students and 1,352 academic staff (from a total of 115 different nationalities). UL is involved in strong international research collaborations and is part of the Coimbra Group, the Europaeum and a founding member of the League of European Research Universities. UL research commitment is further evidenced by its more than 40 national and international research institutes.

The Centre for Digital Scholarship (CDS), a department of the Leiden University Libraries, plays a prominent role in fostering Open Science and the related (21st century of ‘transferable’ ) skills for Leiden researchers. CDS provides training, hands-on-support, instructions in tooling and software and consultancy to support Leiden researchers with research data management (RDM), Open Access, support for data science (text- and data-mining, GIS, database modelling/website building, visualisations) and Digital Longevity.



Radboud University is a broad, internationally oriented research university. It values quality, combining excellent education with cutting-edge research. Academic expertise is closely related to important societal issues, in both the public and the private domain. The research profile of Radboud University has two main components: academic and societal. All of the research across all of the faculties in the University meets high quality standards. The department that is involved in the ITN, Religious Studies and Islamic Studies, is rated as a top programme. Radboud University is a fully equipped research university providing workspace, library and ICT facilities. The Graduate School of Humanities provide general training including in academic English, writing skills, writing support group, data management, scientific integrity, plagiarism, researching scholarly information, social media and fund raising.



The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is a broad, internationally oriented research university. It values quality, combining excellent education with leading research. All of the research across all of the faculties in the University meets high quality standards. The department involved in the ITN, History, European Studies, and Religious Studies, is rated as a top programme. The University of Amsterdam is a fully equipped research university providing workspace, library and ICT facilities. The Graduate School of Humanities  provides general training including in academic English, writing skills, writing support group, data management, scientific Integrity, plagiarism, searching scholarly information, social media and fund raising.



Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) is a broad, internationally oriented research university. It values quality, combining excellent education with cutting-edge research and a strong academic and societal profile. Academic expertise is closely related to important societal issues, in both the public and private domains, brought together in four foci for research: connected world, governance for society, human health and life science and science for sustainability.


The Vrije Universiteit has a strong track record in Islamic studies, digital humanities, migration and diversity, and postcolonial studies. The Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology has been rated as the best anthropology programme in the country. The university provides workspace, library and ICT facilities, as well as general training including in academic English, writing skills, plagiarism, research integrity, researching scholarly information, using special collections, academics and social media and fund-raising.



The Higher Council of Scientific Research (CSIC) is the largest public research institution in Spain. It supports many institutes, among them the ILC (Madrid), IMF (Barcelona) and EEA (Granada).

The Institute of the Languages and Cultures of the Mediterranean (ILC), located in the Centre for Social and Human Sciences (CCHS) focuses on the study of the languages and cultures of the Mediterranean area from a multidisciplinary perspective. It originally held the collection of Hebrew and Arabic manuscripts now digitised and hosted at the Biblioteca Tomás Navarro Tomás (TNT) situated in the same building, and publishes journals such as Al-Qantara (Arabic and Islamic Studies) and Sefarad (Jewish Studies).

The School of Arabic Studies (Escuela de Estudios Árabes, EEA-CSIC) is a research institute whose main concern is the history and culture of al-Andalus. Its library is regarded as one of the best in Andalucía focusing on Arab and Islamic studies. It  hosts the Digital resource Prosopography of the Ulama’ of al-Andalus (PUA):

The Institución Milà i Fontanals-Barcelona (IMF-CSIC) is a research centre with a strong focus on African anthropology and Mediterranean history; it publishes the peer-reviewed journal Anuario de Estudios Medievales.



The interdisciplinary Centre for Near and Middle Eastern Studies (CNMS) was established at the Philipps-University of Marburg in 2006. With a total of seven professorial chairs, a multitude of staff, and through a broad network, a unique range of possibilities in the field of Oriental Studies has emerged. The CNMS views itself as an interdisciplinary teaching and research institution with an international and social role. It places a high value on its collaboration with civil society. Newly generated research results constitute an integral part of the teaching curricula and are made available on a larger scale to a broad public through lecture series, conferences and workshops. International exchange programmes, summer schools, and educational trips to the Middle East region contribute to the visibility of the Centre’s research agenda.



Freie Universität Berlin is one of the universities that the federal government has designated as a University of Excellence. Its particular strengths are (1) a broad variety of global academic and scientific cooperation arrangements in place as part of alliance projects and networks with other entities active in research (2) its innovative support strategy for junior scholars. In the humanities it is the most successful German university in terms of research income.

The Institute for Islamic Studies at Freie Universität Berlin has 6 professorships and further disciplinary expertise is available through dedicated professorships in Middle East/Islam in other departments (e.g. politics, anthropology). The Institute is the lead entity in the Berlin Graduate School of Muslim Societies and Cultures (BGSMSC), which is dedicated to innovative training of PhD students.



The GIGA is one of the leading European research institutes for Area Studies and Comparative Area Studies. It examines political, economic and social developments in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. For over 50 years, GIGA scholars have conducted research in these four world regions and with renowned international partners. The GIGA is a member of the Leibniz Association and is jointly funded by the Federal Foreign Office, the Hamburg Ministry of Science and Research and the other federal states. Its third-party funding quota equals around 25% of its total annual budget of € 11m. The GIGA is an independent research institute with its own library, IT department, administration and communications and publications department. The library holds 190,000 books and approximately 1,700 current journals, plus online documents, and also supports GIGA researchers in all matters related to open access to publications and research data. The GIGA’s doctoral programme offers a 3-year structured training for 40 doctoral students. They are provided with close supervision, full integration into the GIGA’s research structure, substantive method training, and courses on soft skills and further research-related themes. They also have access to all courses offered by the Graduate School of the Faculty of Business, Economics, and Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg.



KU Leuven was founded in 1425 as Belgium’s first university. It ranks among the top 100 universities in the world. In the Times Higher Education ranking KU Leuven is ranked as the 14th European university, while in the Reuters Top 100 of the World’s most innovative institutions, KU Leuven is listed as the first European university. KU Leuven boasts a rich tradition of education and research that dates back six centuries. The university’s basic research orientation has always been and will remain fundamental research. At the same time, the university remains vigilantly open to contemporary cultural, economic and industrial realities, as well as to the community’s needs and expectations. From a basis of social responsibility and scientific expertise, KU Leuven provides high quality, comprehensive health care, including specialised tertiary care, in its University Hospitals. In doing so it strives toward optimum accessibility and respect for all patients.

KU Leuven is currently by far the largest university in Belgium in terms of research funding and expenditure (€466.55 million in 2016), and is a charter member of LERU. KU Leuven conducts fundamental and applied research in all academic disciplines with a clear international orientation.



The Institute of Research for Development (IRD) is a French public research institute reporting to 2 ministries: Education and Research, and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The IRD, in collaboration with partners worldwide, addresses international development issues with an emphasis on interdisciplinary scientific research. Its research and training activities are intended to contribute to the social, economic and cultural development of developing countries. IRD operates in 35 countries and in 5 French overseas territories. It has a staff of 2,220, of whom 39% are based in developing and emerging countries.

The Population and Development Centre (Centre Population et Développement, Ceped) is a Joint Research Unit of the Paris Descartes University and the IRD. Its interdisciplinary research is dedicated to populations and development in the Global South, drawing on demography, economics, law, geography, sociology, anthropology and socio-linguistics, and conducted in partnership with Global South research teams. It has been offering PhD programmes and Master’s in ‘Population and Development Expertise’ at Paris Descartes University.



CHwB Bosnia and Herzegovina works on: 1. Inclusive conservation, 2. Civic engagement, 3. Interpretation and  education and 4. Cross-border professional learning and exchange, and facilitates the work of the Balkan Museum Network. Its vision is that everyone has the right to enjoy, access and participate in cultural heritage and its mission is to promote cultural heritage as both a right in itself and a resource. CHwB is active in restoration and education projects, promotes cultural freedom and diversity, contributes to building trust and reconciliation and cooperates with civil society and institutions at all levels. It organises Regional Restoration Camps (RRC) that provide practical knowledge using innovative teaching methods and contributes to increasing the employability of camp participants. Two-week-long camps also provide opportunities for fieldwork in multidisciplinary teams. RRC are part of a Balkans-wide push to encourage people to value and care for their local heritage. They represent a simple and successful training model which has grown, over the past seven years, from a few students to participants from 18 countries. The aims are to use cultural heritage to build relations between young professionals, creating conditions for reconciliation as a prerequisite for peace and democracy, as well as to preserve traditional crafts and techniques. Universities from the Balkan region are involved in the implementation of the RRC delivering the theoretical part of lectures. Working with junior professionals, CHwB also works on the certification of craftsperson’s skills and their vocational education, and, through various educational and media campaigns, improves awareness of the social and cultural importance of heritage preservation.