The mission of the AXA Research Fund is to fund academic research dedicated to bettering our understanding of important hazards, risks and threats and our current global societal challenges within four clusters: socioeconomic risks, environmental risks, life risks and the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”.


The AXA Chair scheme is intended to support a significant step change in the development of a Research area within a host Institution and to contribute in a distinctive way to the development of that Research area in line with the Institution’s long term strategy. It aims at creating a full-time academic position in the host Institution and fostering a step-change in the career of the appointed AXA Professor.

In 2017, the AXA Research Fund dedicates up to 5 million euros to support 4 to 6 Chairs. An AXA Chair is supported through a single endowment payment. The duration of the scheme is the prerogative of the Institution and may range from 5 to 15 years.
The AXA Research Fund requires a specific Candidate (inaugural Candidate for Successional Chairs) to be presented, and the Candidate commits to take up the position, if awarded. Once the Institution enters into an agreement with the AXA Research Fund, it is expected to invest the lump sum and use the resulting income towards the costs of the Chair.


Host Institution

• The AXA Research Fund partners with academic institutions only.

• Host institutions must be registered in the AXA Research Fund’s database.

• Institutions located within the defined geographical scope are eligible for funding.

Chair holder

• The Chair holder is expected to be of the highest caliber, as evidenced by the standard indicators for assessing academic excellence (publications in first-rate journals, international stature and network).

• The profile expected is higher than PhD+10 years.

• Other academic affiliations are accepted as long as the AXA Chair Holder is spending more than half of his/her time in the host institution, and his/her publications are issued in the name of the host institution during the whole chair duration.


The research project must fall within the scope of the AXA Research Fund’s overall mission, that is, to fund basic science dedicated to developing a better understanding of global risks.
Only research projects with justified relevance to the following AXA Research Fund list of topics will be considered for funding.

How to apply

To apply for our schemes, academic institutions must be preregistered on our platform. Institutions are invited to appoint a single point of contact (“Operational Contact”) who will handle relations with the AXA Research Fund.
Host institution has to declare its intent of applying to an AXA Chair by email (, at least one month and a half prior to each closing dates.
The institution operational contact will be contacted by a Research Officer of the AXA Research Fund to discuss the Institution’s project, the contemplated scheme, and the involvement of the presidency/rectorate (or equivalent) in this initiative. The research theme should also be presented. Upon completion of this stage, an access to the online application platform will be granted.

Institutions may apply for either:
AXA Permanent Chair position to be held by an individual Chair holder:
- The host Institution intends to create a permanent full-time position and recruit a world-class researcher from another Institution. - The Institution may apply for a Chair position to be filled at a level of seniority that satisfies the above requirement and define the duration of the partnership and the level of funding requested accordingly.

AXA Successional Chair Programme where the endowment will serve to support a succession of temporary short-term appointments:
- The Institution intends to set up a mid or long-term Research Programme where successive world class researchers will be attracted from other institutions to fixed term appointments. In exceptional circumstances, an application to appoint an internal Chair holder might be considered.
- The Successional Chair Programme may be held at a level of seniority that satisfies the above requirement.
- The application must identify the proposed inaugural Chair holder, and indicate the procedures that will be followed to secure the succession of Chair holders, following completion of the inaugural appointment.
- The period of each appointment should range from two to five years within the global frame of the expected duration. The Institution may define the duration of the partnership and the level of funding requested accordingly.

Click here to download the details of the selection process.

Institutions are invited to submit their applications for one of the two campaigns, bearing in mind that an Institution is allowed to submit only one application per year:

November 24, 2016 for the first

June 20, 2017 for the second