A foundation recognized as a public-interest utility in 1981, IHES has needed to find several funding streams to finance operations and ensure scientific development for a total budget of about 6.5M€. The Institute’s essence is reflected in its current funding structure: a French research center with international influence.
For a budget of €6.5M (on average in 2007-2017)
Support from the French State: IHES’ primary source of support
The French Ministry in charge of research has supported IHES since 1964. Today, the Ministry for Higher Education and Research awards the Institute an annual grant, representing about half of its budget.
Four permanent researchers are affected to the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), which pays for their salaries and funds a number of scientific events every year. Other institutional partners, such as the Paris-Saclay University, the FMJH and the LabEx CARMIN, contribute to funding part of the Institute’s scientific activity.
Funding from the European Research Council (ERC)
IHES has received funding from the European Research Council since 2016. The projects funded by the European Research Council are:
– CriBLaM (Critical Behavior of Lattice Models): led by Principal Investigator Hugo Duminil-Copin this project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, under grant agreement #757296.
– ReNewQuantum (Recursive and Exact New Quantum Theory): led by Principal Investigator Maxim Kontsevich, this project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement n°810573.
An international network
This network was created in the 1970s, when the Institute started to broaden its funding sources by looking abroad:
- The Swiss Academy of Sciences (since 1973)
- Max-Planck Gesellschaft, Germany (since 1975)
- The Belgian Science Policy Office (since 1976)
Gifts and donations
In the late 1990s, under Jean-Pierre Bourguignon’s directorship, IHES set up a department dedicated to fundraising and conducted two successful international campaigns, a key outcome being the creation of endowment funds.
The Institute’s endowment currently funds around 18% of its operations.
The generosity of IHES’ donors also funds specific projects such as conferences or researchers’ visits (covering 5 to 10% of the total budget).
Funding from the Simons Foundation
The Simons Foundation is the institute’s most important donor. For twenty years, from the beginning of the fundraising activities undertaken by IHES in the 2000s, and until 2021, the Simons Foundation gave more than €25m to IHES.
In 2021, James and Marilyn Simons, the co-founders of the Simons Foundation, pledged another 25m€ to support IHES over ten years: this is a record gift both for the Institute and for fundamental research in France.
Depending on the Institute’s needs, these funds will be used to finance doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships, as well as one or more prestigious position(s) for a talented young scientist with an outstanding track record, as well as allow leading researchers to spend long sabbaticals at the Institute.
This grant will also allow IHES to continue to develop initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in mathematics and theoretical physics, by raising awareness of these issues within the scientific and mathematical communities as well as at the Institute itself. It will also contribute to the financing of projects that promote the dissemination of science and knowledge to the general public.
A significant portion of the donation, given more specifically by the Simons Foundation International, will also strengthen the Institute’s endowment to ensure its financial independence and stability over the long-term.
The Simons Foundation also funds specific projects, the Simons Collaborations, carried out by some of its permanent professors:
- Simons Collaboration on Homological Mirror Symmetry, whose principal investigator at IHES is Maxim Kontsevich;
- Simons Collaboration on the Nonperturbative Bootstrap, led at IHES by Slava Rychkov.