The mission of the AXA Research Fund is to support academic institutions hosting outstanding researchers committed to improving people’s life by carrying out cutting-edge and innovative research dealing with global societal challenges related to Life & Health, Data & Technology, Climate & Environment and Economics & Insurance.

Life & Health

-Demographics, longevity and aging

-Prevention, personalized health and behavior change (incl. NCDs…)

-Population health management

Data & Technology

-Artificial intelligence, data science & machine learning

-Cyber risk & protection

-Robotics, automation & autonomous vehicles

Climate & Environment

-Risk modelling of natural hazards & weather events

-Urban resilience

-Sustainable resource management

Economics and Insurance

-Systemic risk and macro-economic and societal role of insurance

-Sustainable finance

-Financial modelling

-Geopolitical & country risk

Geography

The AXA Research Fund partners with academic institutions only. Institutions located within countries where the AXA Group has insurance operations are eligible for funding.

Please refer to the following AXA page to know where we have operations :  https://www.axa.com/en/about-us/axa-world-map 

Research

Proposed programs must address academic research and not “Research & Development”. Programs are considered R&D when they pursue an objective of systematic application of knowledge or understanding, directed towards the production of useful materials, devices, and systems or methods, including design, development, and improvement of prototypes and new processes to meet specific requirements. This includes specific technology development, as well as clinical trials.

Ethics

Projects must deal with research that conforms to the AXA Group Compliance and Ethics Guide (https://www.axa.com/en/newsroom/publications/compliance-ethics-guide) which excludes (but is not limited to):

  • Research violating national regulations.
  • Research having direct military use.
  • Research having potentially dangerous environmental impacts.
  • Research relying on the artificial production of highly infectious pathogens with potential for large scale harmful/lethal effects for humans and research involving gain of function.
  • Biomedical research conducted without the fully informed consent of the participant.
  • Research on embryonic stem cells (incl. animal, with inferred subsequent human application).
  • Research processing private personal data without the informed consent of the concerned parties (incl. genetic information).
  • Research activities aiming at human cloning.

 Cases of scientific misconduct such as fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or misrepresentation of data will be considered as breaches of fundamental ethical principles and the proposals concerned will be excluded.

Grant and agreement terms and conditions

Each project selected by the Scientific Board and funded by the AXA Research Fund is a combination of a candidate, a project and a host Institution. Thus, the candidate is expected to carry out the project as described in the proposal, and as specified in the grant agreement.

 Should the Institution be selected by the AXA Research Fund Scientific Board, it will receive an official letter specifying the amount of the proposed grant and the duration of the grant. Upon written acceptance of the grant offer by the institution, the AXA Research Fund will liaise with the Operational Contact of the grantee’s host institution to set in motion the contracting process. Grantees will be kept updated by their Operational Contacts throughout the contracting process.

Duration of the agreement

Once the Institution officially accepts the grant and the conditions, the AXA Research Fund and the Institution enter in the process of setting-up the agreement. The grant offer is effective for a period of 6 months. The AXA grant could be officially announced only when the agreement is signed and the researcher is appointed.

The agreement period covers the granted research project period. At the term of the agreement, the Institution may freely use the balance of the capital it has acquired as it deems the most appropriate, in the scientific field covered by the AXA grant.

Payment of the grant

Payment of the grant is done in one or several installments, depending on the size and objectives of the contemplated scheme.

An Institution is free to make an appointment at a higher cost level but must support the extra expenditure from its own funds. The host Institution could also request for other funding partners as long as the conditions of the agreement with AXA are still respected, notably regarding the publicity on the grant (see below section “Publicity on grant”).

Use of grant

Payment of the grant is done in one or several installments, depending on the size and objectives of the contemplated scheme.

An Institution is free to make an appointment at a higher cost level but must support the extra expenditure from its own funds. The host Institution could also request for other funding partners as long as the conditions of the agreement with AXA are still respected, notably regarding the publicity on the grant (see below section “Publicity on grant”).

Any budget awarded by the AXA Research Fund is expected to cover primarily the researcher’s salary and/or the Research environment (e.g.: Research staff salaries), and any expenses directly connected to the Chair Research Program.

The AXA Research fund does not cover expenses which are not directly connected to the Research Program. Therefore, the AXA funding cannot be used for administrative and infrastructural expenses.

Eligible costs are:

  • AXA Grantee expenses (incl. annual gross salary, travel & accommodation costs…);
  • Post-Doc/PhD expenses (incl. selection process costs, Junior Research Fellows Grants…);
  • Acquisition of scientific equipment and resources (databases, survey costs, consumables…);
  • Academic and public engagement activities organization costs.

Research Environment

It is the remit of the Institution to provide to the researcher a Research environment (at minimum) aligned with the conditions described in the application (resources, equipment, budget etc.).

 The AXA Research Fund has signed the Charter for European Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers and thereby is particularly attentive to Institutions demonstrating their commitment to an attractive, supportive and stimulating environment in which to carry out Research and recognizing the importance of providing its researchers with the training and means to be internationally and inter-sectorally competitive and mobile.

Monitoring of grant

Every year, the Institution will provide a report composed of 2 separate documents:

  • Activity report: it shall describe the activities of the research program (key highlights on progresses, achievements and outputs versus objectives);
  • Financial report: it shall describe the use of the monies provided by the grant.

Intellectual property

The researcher remains fully independent to conduct the Research project. Furthermore AXA will not claim any right to the ownership or use of the results coming from the Research Program, and the Institution and/or the Chair holder and member or her/his team keep full ownership of their results, in accordance with the legal and/or contractual provisions existing between them.

Publicity on grant

The AXA Research Fund is a philanthropic initiative and therefore the publicity on the grant is only designed to enable AXA to promote its general interest role. The title of the Research Program should include the name of “AXA”. The job title of the researcher should include “AXA” (e.g. AXA Professor). When communicating on the AXA Research Program, the Institution, the researcher and the team member should mention the support of the AXA Research Fund.

Open access policy

The AXA Research Fund believes that providing free and unrestricted access to the scientific outputs of the research projects it supports should be a fundamental part of its philanthropic mission.

 As of July 1, 2016, an Open Access policy is effective for all new agreements and granted funding. In order to build on best existing practices in this area, this policy closely follows the guidelines instituted and recently updated by the European Research Council. According to this new open access policy, the AXA Research Fund:

  • Requests that an electronic copy of any research article, monograph or other research publication that is supported by the AXA Research Fund be deposited in a suitable repository immediately upon publication. Open access should be provided as soon as possible and in any case no later than six months after the official publication date. For publications in the Social Sciences and Humanities domain a delay of up to twelve months is acceptable.
  • Strongly encourages funded researchers to use discipline-specific repositories for their publications. If there is no appropriate discipline specific repository, researchers should make their publications available in institutional repositories or in centralized ones.
  • Reminds researchers supported by the AXA Research fund that open access fees are eligible costs that can be charged against AXA RF grants, provided they are incurred during the duration of the project.
  • Asks host Institutions to cover open access fees of any research publications supported in by the AXA Research Fund, arising after the end of the project.

 The AXA Research Fund supports the basic principle of Open Access to research data. Nevertheless, considering the fast evolution of current debates and the diversity of approaches between disciplines, no binding commitment to open research data will be requested. Nevertheless, the AXA Research Fund recommends and strongly encourages all its funded researchers to follow best practices:

  • By retaining files of all the research data they have produced and used during the course of their work, and that they be prepared to share these data with other researchers whenever they are not bound by copyright restrictions, confidentiality requirements, or contractual clauses.
  • By seeking to establish and practice good research data management in accordance with the current best practices in their respective fields and to share their data with other researchers in a responsible way.