The Foundation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (FMSH) was created in 1963 by the historian, Fernand Braudel, and a group of leading scholars and representatives of important French academic institutions; the FMSH is a state-approved private foundation, the present director being the sociologist, Michel Wieviorka. Its mission is to contribute to the promotion of the humanities and social sciences by ensuring their pluri-disciplinarity and their internationalization. It endeavors to facilitate contacts and create networks between high level foreign and French researchers being firmly convinced that the relevance of the social sciences today can only be ensured by constant dialogue between the scientific communities.
The FMSH actively promotes research by: promoting bilateral co-operation with a number of European countries and the major emerging countries; supporting the research groups hosted or backed up, working on themes which are strategic for understanding the present-day world is being strengthened; managing a programme of post-doctoral grants co-financed by the EU.
The Foundation also works in favor of the diffusion and valorization of SHS research. It has a large research library with over 500,000 documents which is open to researchers. The Éditions de la Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme publishes approximately forty research studies a year, as well as some twenty journals, an increasing proportion being online.
It provides support services to the Institute for Advanced Studies in Paris and houses the French network of Institutes for Advanced Studies (RFIEA); it manages the pole for valorization of the 27 French institutes for research in foreign countries (IFRE).
In June 2011, the FMSH created the Collège d’Études Mondiales, an ambitious scientific project analyzing the major issues SSH must tackle today. The Collège hosts research programs chaired by outstanding key figure and hosts a large number of junior researchers from all over the world.