Investigation Unit

An entity to meet scientific and economic requirements

Since its inception, this original platform has served several purposes:

  • promote researchon a contract basis, particularly with sponsors outside the university
  • improve existing survey protocols
  • to enable the professionalisation of Master's students by involving them in the work of the Survey Unit



A unique and recognized resource for a diversity of actors in the area

A hybrid structure in which research fundamental and research applied, methodological and practical reflections, the Inquiry Unit today constitutes a unique interface between scientific approach and social demand.

Its vocation is not to be a service provider for the administration of surveys on the basis of standardised or stereotyped protocols. Rather, its ambition is to test, in real conditions, the innovative and relevant nature of new logics around questions of sampling, big data, and the link between qualitative and quantitative, in close partnership with local authorities, institutions, companies, associations and other university laboratories.

The Ministry of the Interior, the Post Office Group, the Savoie Mont-Blanc Chamber of Agriculture, theAgency for Energy Management and Development (ADEME), the Ministry of Ecological Transition, Savoie Mont Blanc Tourism (SMBT), private sector companies(Albedo Energy, AMO Infusion, EDF, etc.), and mountain doctors are among the structures that have called on the scientific and technical skills of the Research Centre on a contractual basis for a variety of issues.

Some ongoing partnerships

  • The Investigation Unit is currently conducting the national survey on the link between the population and the internal security forces, which aims to understand the perception that the inhabitants of the Quartiers de Reconquête Républicaine have of the law enforcement forces deployed under this new system.
  • For the past two years, the Survey Unit has been conducting a field survey for the Savoie Mont-Blanc Chamber of Agriculture, coupled with an analysis based on all existing data, in order to understand the dynamics of changes in agricultural structures (GAEC) and to identify the strengths/weaknesses of farms located in Savoie and Haute-Savoie.
  • After several years of collaboration with Mountain Doctors, in 2016 the Survey Unit implemented a specific computer tool for collecting data from which the world's largest statistical database on mountain sports traumatology is produced. Every year, around ten bachelor and master students collaborate in the administration of this survey.
  • With the support of first-year students in the USMB's Master's degree in Social Sciences Applied to Research and Surveys (SSAMEE), the Research Unit is assessing, on behalf of Savoie Mont-Blanc Tourisme (SMBT), the methodologies for segmenting the mountain tourist clientele in order to propose, in the long term, more refined approaches to better identify expectations, changes in behaviour, etc.