Research at INED is conducted by demographers, sociologists, economists, geographers, epidemiologists and historians, among others.The Institute’s 100 researchers work in 10 research units and one mixt research Unit
INED has approximately 100 researchers, 50 of whom are permanent and recruited through competitive examinations. Its research capacities are enhanced through programs for hosting PHD students and post-docs. Moreover, it has around 40 associated researchers. Each INED researcher belongs to one or more of the units by means of which the Institute’s scientific activity is organized. Their responsibilities include writing and publishing, teaching, and training in and overseeing research work.There are demographers, sociologists, economists, geographers, epidemiologists and researchers in yet other disciplines. This diversity ensures a consistently multidisciplinary approach to population questions.
Extensive research concerns
INED researchers describe demographic phenomena such as birth rates, nuptiality, mortality, mobility and migrations, while working to explain them in terms of socioeconomic, legal or historical context. They also study people’s life courses in connection with education, health, sexuality, housing, and categorical differences (age, sex, gender, social class, origins, etc.) They work on the basis of multiple materials—statistical data from surveys and censuses, civil registry information, archives, interviews, etc. The research process extends beyond data analysis to encompass several stages—defining a research program, choosing an adapted methodology, helping to design survey questionnaires and even collecting data in the field—all of which lead to the decisive stage of publishing research results. INED researchers collaborate with their counterparts throughout the world. Research studies, generally developed and carried out by a team, are increasingly part of international research projects.
In the framework of one of its main missions, which is to train in research by doing research, INED researchers are also in charge of tutoring the doctoral students selected to work at the Institute. Another mission is to diffuse research results and inform the public, and here researchers contribute through their publications, participation in international conferences, the expertise they provide to other public authorities and bodies, and their interventions in the media to shed light on major social issues. A number of INED researchers also teach at university or in France’s grandes écoles, where they fulfil their training mission by directing doctoral theses. Many also have responsibilities in specialised journals, scientific committees, national or international organisations, etc.
Evaluation and careers
Permanent junior researchers are recruited through competitive examinations taken after completing their doctoral thesis. After several years they are eligible to take another competitive examination to become research directors, who, in addition to their scientific production, design, run or coordinate research and research diffusion activities. Each of the two levels—junior researcher and research director—comprises several specific career steps and echelons. Each researcher’s activity is evaluated every two years by a committee made up of an equal number of INED researcher representatives and academic members from outside the Institute.