The Chair encourages and supports research on beauty in every scientific discipline.

The Research Chair regularly publishes calls for applications for positions including doctoral fellows, post-doctoral fellows and research teams who will align their scientific projects with the Chair’s thematic focus and disseminate the results of their research as widely as possible.

Future forms of beauty

As part of its first call for collective and transdisciplinary research projects, the Research Chair on Beauty studies will support and assist, starting February 2021, the two following winning projects for a consecutive 18-month period.

  1. Adaptative Beauty: Transferring natural elegance to architected materials
    Project led by José Bico, ESPCI - PSL, in partnership with the University of Stuttgart (Germany)
  2. Structural colors
    Project led by Ann Veronica Janssens, Beaux-Arts de Paris - PSL & Dr. María Boto Ordóñez, Researcher at KASK / School of Arts Gent (Belgium)

More information

Doctoral studies

Sophie Cohen-Bodénès is the first doctoral candidate through the Research Chair on Beauty studies. She began her doctoral project in October 2019.

Guilhem Marion is the second doctoral candidate through the Research Chair on Beauty studies. He began his doctoral project in October 2020.

sophie cohen-bodenes

The cognitive and evolutionary origin of the aesthetic response to beauty, its universality and its variety: an approach rooted in the cognitive sciences and vision sciences.

Dissertation conducted under the supervision of Peter Neri, CNRS researcher and head of the Vision team.
Sophie Cohen-Bodenes, Doctoral student in the Perceptive Systems Laboratory (LSP, ENS-PSL)
Photo de Guilhem Marion

Toward cognitive musicology: an inter-individual approach to the perception of beauty.

Dissertation conducted under the supervision of Shihab Shamma, professor on the Perceptive Systems Laboratory (Cognitive Studies department) Listening team at École Normale Supérieure - Paris Sciences & Lettres.
Guilhem Marion, Doctoral student in the Perceptive Systems Laboratory (LSP, ENS-PSL)

Postdoctoral fellowship

The Chair will fund two post-doctoral projects on the following topics.

1. Future Beauty

As society changes in profound ways, beauty in its various forms is changing as well. Advances in technoscience, migration, growing urbanization, evolving traditions, algorithmic beauty, experi-mentations in sound, the aging of the population, the body as a testing ground: all of these phenom-ena are helping to drive those disruptions and are cornerstones for this topic of study.

The research will aim to yield a better understanding of the future of beauty in all its forms, span-ning the full range of disciplines.

2. Beauty and Its Depiction

By questioning our own depictions of beauty, we can understand who we are, why we say what we do and how we live together as a society.

This research project tackles vehicles by which subjective and/or societal representations of beauty are constructed. How and from what is our attitude to beauty created? What historical mindset in-forms depictions of beauty? The research will aim to identify the invariants that shape our represen-tations of beauty.

The recruited researchers will work on one of the two proposed thematic axes.

Rémi Mermet is the first post-doctoral fellow to join the Chair. His post-doctoral project starts in January 2020.

Upholding the cannon ? For a metamorphosis of the concept of beauty
Research project conducted under the supervision of Isabelle Kalinowski, Head of he laboratory Pays germaniques.
Rémi Mermet, Post-doc fellow at the laboratory Pays Germaniques (UMR 8547, ENS – PSL)
Rémi Mermet

Differentiating the canon? For a redefinition of the concept of beauty.

Research project conducted under the supervision of Isabelle Kalinowski, director of the Germanic Countries Joint Research Unit
Rémi Mermet, post-doctoral fellow in the Germanic Countries laboratory (UMR 8547, ENS-PSL)

The next call for applications will be published in September 2020.

Dissertation Prize

Each year, the Research Chair on Beauty studies issues a call for applications to honor research that offers a unique sci-ence-based approach to topics connected with beauty.

2019 Winners:

First prize
Camille Couvry
Beauté, classe sociale et empowerment: Les jeunes femmes de classes populaires dans les élections de Miss en Normandie [Beauty, social class and empowerment: young working-class women in beauty pageants in Normandy], University of Rouen.

Second prize
Olivier Chiquet
Penser la laideur dans la théorie artistique et la peinture italiennes de la seconde moitié du Cin-quecento [Ugliness in artistic theory and Italian painting in the second half of the 16th century], Sorbonne University.