Constitué en 2010 sur une base fédérative comme groupement d’intérêt scientifique (GIS) par trois partenaires fondateurs (Université Paris 1, Université Paris Diderot, CNRS) et par des partenaires institutionnels attestant l’importance de la dimension appliquée des sciences du territoire : le CGET (ex-DATAR), l’IAU-îdF et l’ADEME, rejoints par l’INED et l’IRD, le Collège international des sciences du territoire (CIST) est devenu au 1er janvier 2017 le Collège international des sciences territoriales, fédération de recherche CNRS FR2007 regroupant aujourd’hui 24 research teams.

Its objectives are to: contribute to formalising and organising this interdisciplinary field , in France and internationally, especially Europe; bring together research units working on territories; strengthen the national network of teams involved; boost their synergies (themes, methods, equipment and databases, responses to calls for tender, research dissemination events, etc.); and develop the interface between research and education (joint online courses, participation in themed digital universities, project for an international master’s degree in territorial sciences involving the universities of Paris, Besançon, Lausanne, Luxembourg, Louvain-la-Neuve, Metz, Trier, etc.).

Le CIST est un outil de recherche et de formation (masters et doctorats) de haut niveau centré sur les territoires. Il est interdisciplinaire : des géographes, des économistes, des sociologues et des démographes, des historiens, des juristes, des archéologues, des équipes ou programmes pluridisciplinaires. Il est connecté aux sciences de la vie et de la terre, aux sciences de l’ingénieur et à la santé, autour de 7 structuring research themes :

  • Actions & Territorialisations (A&T)
  • Local Territorial Information (INFTER)
  • Medias and Territories (MEDIA)
  • Mobilities, Identities and Territories (MIT)
  • Territories on the Long Run (PAST)
  • Regionalisations, Globalisations, Circulations (REMOC)
  • Territories and Health (SANTE)

CIST possesses a vast international network especially in Europe.
Several research teams that are members of CIST are involved in European research programmes in networks or contracts (FPs, Interreg, ESPON, EEA, European Commission, European Parliament) and thus benefit from the support of UMS RIATE. These international research relations are coupled with co-accreditations at Master’s level, creating a highly structured network with other universities in and outside Europe.
CIST currently concerns 250 research lecturers and researchers (of whom 90 supervise research), 80 technical and administrative engineers and ancillary staff and over 300 PhD students, making it an ambitious group for scientific exchange that connects territorial research networks in Ile-de-France (Paris region) with those in the rest of the country, Europe and the world.

CIST is also capable of carrying out applied research linked to social demand. Its teams interact with professionals working on land use, the environment and the sustainable development of territories. The involvement of its institutional partners guarantees effective interaction between research on territories, social demand and professional practices (e.g. applied science, studies, advice to general entrepreneurs, career prospects for PhD students, etc.).