Scientific departments, as created by Article 5-4 of the University of Montpellier’s General Statutes, are in charge of:

  • coordinating research in a particular thematic area
  • strengthening the links between research and training

Scientific departments carry out their missions according to UM’s strategy, in coordination with the site’s thematic fields and in conjunction with the University’s academic and research structures..
The Scientific Departments text of regulations (FR) sets out the common missions and organizational rules relative to these structures.

List of Scientific Departments

Director of the department: Bruno Touraine

General presentation: The Scientific Department Biology-Agrosciences brings together the laboratories (mixed research units, UMR) with the University of Montpellier as a supervisory body working in the vast field of biological sciences and agronomy. This set covers all of the disciplines related to Plant Biology in the broad sense, from molecular biology to ecophysiology, Microorganism/Host-Environment Interactions and Biotechnologies and Bioprocesses using agroresources either for food or non-food purposes. By federating these UMRs from the University of Montpellier, the Scientific Department of Biology-Agrosciences ensures the link between world-renowned research and university training programs in these fields.

Disciplines: Plant Biology; Biology of Microorganism/Host-Environment Interactions; Biotechnologies; Bioprocesses for food and non-food purposes.

Keywords: Fundamental plant biology on model organisms; Microbiology; Plant breeding; Crop protection; Beneficial interactions; Adaptation of plants to environmental constraints; Food quality; Food security; Enhancement of plant production for food or non-food purposes; Biomaterials; Biofuels.

Outstanding reputation: Montpellier is the highest research concentration in France in the field of Plant Sciences. It brings together many RMUs and research teams, specializing in Interactions between microorganisms and eukaryotic organisms and whose reputation has been recognized internationally. It also excels in the field of Process Sciences applied to Agroresources for food and non-food. The Montpellier system is therefore characterized by the coverage of a wide range of disciplines focused on the acquisition of fundamental knowledge related to model biological systems, plant breeding, crop protection, plant adaptation to environmental constraints, the role of microorganisms in agronomy and the environment, food quality and safety and the development of plant production for food or non-food purposes. The wide variety of study models facilitates the development of translational biology approaches, allowing data acquired on model biological systems to be transferred to species and conditions of agronomic interest and/or to biotechnological applications. The Montpellier site has acquired an internationally recognized place in the fields of Biology-Agrosciences, due to its broad disciplinary coverage, its ability to link fundamental research and applications and its unique position between North and South countries.

Web Site

Research units

Technological or service platforms for research

  • Food Technology Workshop

Director of the department: François Rousset

General presentation: The field of our community covers the basic and applied environmental sciences, concerning the biotic and physical environment. Our disciplinary field therefore includes ecology, the study of history and evolutionary processes, the reconstruction of climates, the study of the earth’s deep to superficial envelopes, their couplings and the flows of energy and matter between them. We develop applications in the fields of agronomy, fisheries, domestication, health, natural water and land hazards, and resource management.

Keywords: Environment; Population dynamics; Ecology; Resource management; Geology; Hydrology.

Outstanding reputation: Our Department is integrated, in coordination with research and development organizations, into one of the main European campuses in environmental disciplines. Our campus is also distinguished by its involvement in the development cooperation with the countries of the South, in our various sectors of application.

Research units

Technological or service platforms for research

  • Microsonde Sud
Web Site

Director of the department: Jean-Yves Le Guennec

General presentation: The Scientific Department entitled: “Scientific Department Biology-Health” (DSBS), is responsible for coordinating research and strengthening the research-training link in the Biology-Health thematic area. The Scientific Department Biology-Health brings together 28 research structures and 5 technological platforms.

Disciplines: Biology; Biotechnology; Medicine; Pharmacology; Physiology; Dentistry.

Keywords: Cancer; Genetics; Epigenetics; Infectious diseases; Experimental and regenerative medicine; Neurosciences.

Outstanding reputation: The excellence of the research structures within the DSBS is measured by the many ERCs obtained during the last contract and the high publication rate which makes the UM one of the leading universities in France in fundamental biology. It also welcomes many ATIP/AVENIR teams.

Web Site

Research Units

Technological or service platforms for research

Director of the department: Joulia Larionova

General presentation: The Scientific and Chemistry Department includes 6 research structures located on different sites, as well as 3 technological platforms and 2 service platforms for research that are open to the entire community.

On the other hand, it brings 6 Training and Research Units, Schools and Institutes together:

and 3 Doctoral Schools:

The Department has 533 permanent staff members attached to various supervisory bodies (UM, CNRS, ENSCM and CEA), including 226 teacher-researchers, 134 researchers and 173 research support staff.

Research and development activities are based on the skills of constituent research structures with their own specificities, with the sole objective of developing chemistry at the service of man and his environment with three priority axes: health and human protection, sustainable chemistry and energy, materials and vectors.

The Department is at the interface with 4 other Scientific Departments of the University of Montpellier: MIPS, Biology – Health, Biology – AgroSciences and B3ESTE.

On the other hand, at the level of the entire chemistry community, it is part of the Balard Chemistry Center, which brings together all the chemists of the Montpellier Academy (

Disciplines: Chemical sciences and theirs interfaces

Keywords: Chemistry for health, biology and pharmacy, green and sustainable chemistry, materials and processes for energy.

Web site

Research units

Technological or service platforms for research

Director of the department: Edmond Baranes

General presentation: The Scientific Department of Economics is one of the 9 Scientific Departments of the University of Montpellier. Its main mission is to coordinate research and strengthen the research-training link in economics. It brings together three research structures, ART-DEV(Actors, Resources and Territories in Development – UMR 5281) (UMR CIRAD/CNRS/UM/UPVD/UPVM), CEE-M (Center for Environmental Economics – Montpellier – FRE2010) and MRE (Montpellier Research in Economics – EA7491).

The Economics Department brings together Teachers-Researchers and Researchers and technical staff from organizations such as the CNRS, INRA, CIRAD,… In total, more than 70 teacher-researchers and researchers work in the field of economic research and develop interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary projects related to the Economics field.

The work and research activities of the Scientific Department of Economics are mainly divided into four themes:

  • Sectoral public policies, innovation and sustainable development;
  • Health policies, emergence of standards and equity;
  • Development, agriculture and public policies of the territories;
  • Environmental economics, natural resources and biodiversity.

The Scientific Economics Department is also involved in three LabEx : LabEx Agro-Fondation Agropolis, LaBex CeMEB and LabEx Entreprendre.

Disciplines: Economics

Keywords: Public policies; Development and territories; Social ethics; Competition; Industries; Digital economy; Energy; Transport; Health; Regulation; Environment; Natural resources; Biodiversity.

Research units

Director of the department: Brigitte Louichon

General presentation: The Education department includes two research structures: LIRDEF (Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Research in Didactic, Education and Training – EA 3749) and SanteSih (Health, Education And Disability Situations – EA 4614), whose work covers the issues of teaching/learning, vocational training in various contexts (school, social, health…) and the production and reducing of disability situations.

Disciplines: Educational sciences; Didactics of disciplines (mathematics, sciences, languages, arts,…); STAPS; Political sciences; Sociology; Psychology.

Keywords: Education; Teaching; Learning; Apprenticeship; Training; Disability; Public policies.

Research units

Director of the department: Véronique Bessière

General Presentation: The Management Scientific Department brings together in the Montpellier Management Research Laboratory (MRM) all of the research teams in Management sciences from the University of Montpellier, Montpellier Business School and the University of Perpignan Via Domitia. MRM has more than 140 permanent researchers and 90 doctoral students, which made it the most important management laboratory in France.

As a management laboratory, it is mainly affiliated to the Ecole Doctorale Economie Gestion of Montpellier (EDEG, ED n°231).

Since September 2011, MRM has been the coordinating laboratory of the LABEX

Disciplines: Management

Keywords: Management; Innovation; Responsible Management; Accounting; Entrepreneurship; Finance; HRM; Marketing; Strategy, Information Systems, Altermanagement.

Web Site

Research units

Head of Department: Marc Herzlich

General presentation: The Scientific Department “Mathematics, Informatics, Physics and Systems” (MIPS) brings together the research laboratories of the University of Montpellier in all disciplines of mathematics, physical sciences and information and communication sciences and technologies.

The personnel of the 8 laboratories of the department includes about 500 permanent professors and researchers and 400 non-permanent researchers and teachers (including 300 doctoral students), working in all areas of the MIPS sector. They are supported by more than 200 technical and administrative staff. The department also manages 8 technological platforms or services for research provided with high-performance research equipment.

The department also contributes to strengthening the link between research and university training in its thematic field, in association with the Faculty of Sciences, the Faculty of Medicine, the University Polytechnic School of Montpellier (Polytech Montpellier) and the 3 University Institutes of Technology of the University of Montpellier.

Disciplines: Mathematics; Informatics; Physics and Astrophysics; Mechanics and Civil Engineering; Electronics, Micro- and Nanoelectronics; Robotics.

Outstanding reputation: The laboratories of the MIPS Scientific Department are internationally recognized in all disciplines of the thematic sector. They are home to 2 winners of the European Research Council (ERC) calls for proposals, 7 members of the University Institute of France (and 7 former members) and 8 recipients of medals and CNRS awards. They are involved in 4 Excellence Laboratories (LabEx) and 4 Excellence Equipments (Equipex) funded by the Investments for the Future program. In particular, the Scientific Department was at the origin of the LabEx NuMEV (Digital and Materials Solutions for the Environment and Life) aimed at strengthening the interfaces between the “hard sciences” and all biological and environmental research at the Montpellier campus. These first-rate research activities have enabled the University of Montpellier to show up very good positions in many international rankings specializing in “physics and astronomy”, “physical sciences and engineering” or “mathematics and computer science”.

Research units

Technological or service platforms for research

  • Micro and nanoelectronics technology center
  • University Space Center (CSU)
  • National Coordination of Training in Microelectronics and Nanotechnology (CNFM)
  • Cold Laboratory
  • Physics and Metallurgy Store
  • MESO@LR Mesocenter
  • NMR imaging platform
  • Infrared and Raman Spectrometry