About the Initiative for Science in Europe

Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE) is an independent association bringing together European learned societies and scientific research organisations
operating throughout all disciplines and across all research sectors. ISE supports all fields of science and technology (including the humanities and social sciences) all over Europe, involves active researchers in the design and implementation of European science policies and advocates sound independent scientific advice in the development European policies. ISE has been instrumental in promoting disruptive excellence-based funding programmes for scientific research and played a central and decisive role in the creation of the European Research Council (ERC).

You are a European learned societies or a scientific research organisation? Join us.

Photo de Rohan Makhecha sur Unsplash


The Initiative for Science in Europe was initiated in 2003 by a movement of researchers in the life sciences which was quickly joined by researchers from all other fields of research. It led to the creation in 2004 of an informal platform for learned societies, academies, and other non-governmental research organisations in Europe, with the initial goal of rallying the European scientific community around the goal of creating a brand-new EU funded organisation promoting exploratory research which became the European Research Council. 

Since then, it has been active in making the voice of scientific community heard in number of key science policy questions. It has been active in promoting the European scientific community’s views on the framework programmes and their budgets, on open science, scientific advice, research assessment and support to next generation researchers.

The first president of the ISE was Jose Mariano Gago, former Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education and one of the initiators of the concept of the European Research Area (ERA), followed by Julio Celis, currently Associate Scientific Director of the Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, former Director General of UNESCO, and Maria Leptin (former Director of EMBO, currently President of the ERC). The current president of the ISE is Martin Andler, professor emeritus in mathematics and in the history and philosophy of science.

For many years, ISE was an informal, de facto organisation, housed by EMBO. Since 2017, ISE has been registered in Strasbourg as “association de droit local” (not-for-profit organisation) with registration number (SIREN) 837 814 730. Its statutes can be read here.


ISE Governance is organised around three bodies, the General Assembly, the President and the Executive Committee. ISE work is investigator-driven and build on the expertise from its member organisations.

ISE General Assembly 

ISE Governance is organised around three bodies, the General Assembly, the President and the Executive Committee. ISE work is investigator-driven and build on the expertise from its member organisations.

The General Assembly is the supreme authority of the ISE Association. 

It is composed of representatives of the Founding Members and Full Members; Associate Members are invited to attend, without voting rights. 

The General Assembly has all powers relating to the organisation and operation of the Association which have not been specifically allocated to the Executive Committee.

ISE President

The current elected President is:

• Martin Andler, Professor Emeritus, Mathematics (University Versailles-Saint Quintin)

ISE Executive Committee

The current elected members of the ISE Executive Committee are:

• Martin Andler, President 

• Karin Metzlaff (EPSO), Secretary 

• Peter Svensson (EAA), Treasurer

• Fiona Watt (EMBO)

• Moniek Tromp (YAE)

• Gottfried Schmalz (PER-IADR)

Co-opted members are:

• Alexandra Oanca (EASA)

• Luc Bergé (EPS)

ISE Executive Coordinator

The current Executive Coordinator is: 

• Monica Dietl, Research Director (CNRS)

ISE Team

The current team is composed of:

• Karin Metzlaff (EPSO), External Policy Officer, Chair of the Working Group Horizon Europe; she is Executive Director of EPSO, see EPSO Team & Board – EPSO (epsoweb.org)

• Enrique Sanchez (EPS), External Policy Officer, vice-Chair of the Working Group Horizon Europe and Leader of the Task Force “Widening Participation” ; he is Policy Officer at the European Physical Society, Brussels Office, see Enrique Sánchez Bautista | LinkedIn

• Mona Simion (YAE), External Policy Officer, Chair of the Working Researchers’ Careers; she is Director of COGITO Epistemology Research Center and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, see https://www.mona-simion.com/

• Alexandra Dubini (MCAA), External Policy Officer, vice-Chair of the WorkingResearchers’ Careers; she is a senior researcher at the University of Cordoba, Spain; see Alexandra Dubini – Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre

• Toma Susi (YAE), External Policy Officer, ISE representative at CoARA and former Leader of the Task Force “Open Science” ; he is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna, Austria,see https://www.mostlyphysics.net/policy

• Renaud Jolivet (MCAA), External Policy Officer, ISE representative at the ERA Forum; he is full Professor at the Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology, Faculty of Science and Engineering, see Renaud Jolivet (R.B.) – Renaud Jolivet (R.B.) – Maastricht University

• Agnieszka Wykowska (AERG), External Policy Officer, ISE representative at the ERA Forum; she is Professor and leads the Unit S4HRI “Social Cognition in Human-Robot Interaction” at the Italian Institute of Technology, Genoa, Italy, see People details – Agnieszka Wykowska – IIT

ISE organises its production and prepares its positions through robust working groups and task forces to act on strategic policy objectives of common interest to science communities. The Executive Coordinator’s work is to coordinate activities and manage a certain number of scientific and policy experts from ISE member organisations, and in particular early career stage researchers.

ISE 18 member organisations represent more than 180.000 researchers from all over Europe.

ISE brings together active researchers engaged in the research and teaching activities as well as in science policy and pulls their collective expertise to advocate jointly elaborated investigator-driven positions for most adapted research and technology policies and for a better future of researchers and scholars.

For more information see “Initiatives”.

A passion for science

Catalyst for Scientific Excellence in Europe.

Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration

ISE serves as a unifying force, bringing together European learned societies and research organizations across all disciplines and research sectors.

Pan-European Impact

Operating throughout Europe, ISE actively supports and contributes to advancements in all fields of science and technology, including the humanities and social sciences.

Researcher-Centric Engagement

The organization actively involves researchers in shaping European science policies, emphasizing a participatory approach in the design and implementation of these policies.

Advocacy for Scientific Independence

ISE advocates for the integration of sound, independent scientific advice in the development of European policies, ensuring a foundation of robust and evidence-based decision-making.

Innovative Funding Promotion

ISE has been a driving force in the promotion of disruptive, excellence-based funding programs for scientific research, reflecting a commitment to fostering groundbreaking initiatives.

Foundational Role in European Research Landscape

With a pivotal role in the establishment of the European Research Council (ERC), ISE has played a central and decisive role in shaping the landscape of scientific research at the European level.