As an institute of higher education devoted to cultural heritage, the Inp is engaged in scientific research as much in the field of restoration as in conservation.
As such, actions undertaken can involve all scientific disciplines relevant to cultural heritage : academic subjects needed to analyse the following (history, history of art, archaeology, history of technology, ethnology, life sciences), vocational subjects associated with these occupation activities (archival, museology), experimental sciences to share scientific advancement in conservation and restoration (physics, chemistry, biology), and finally social sciences contributing to the interpretation of patrimonialisation.
Remaining within its area of expertise, the Inp conducts a definite scientific policy and develops its research actions for which future training professionals within the establishment become both spectator and player. Still within its area of expertise, the Inp communicates research results, whether they concern research carried out by the students or former students of the two departments or by results published as a result of scientific events organised or partnered by the Institute. The heritage journal, an Inp annual publication, gathers details of work carried out by the conservators and restorers while providing readers with interview content and opinons of intellectuals and professionals committed to cultural heritage.
Two main lines of work emerge in phase with the activities within the two departments.
- the materiality of works. This thematic strategy includes material conservation, restoration, material analysis. It is fuelled by activities undertaken within the research laboratory in the department of conservators-restorers. The main research theme is to understand cultural heritage materials (knowledge of rare or ancient techniques, development or adaptation of restoration protocols). This thematic strategy increases collaboration between the two departments given that the materiality of works is an essential part of the curators training programme.
- Heritage skills and practices. A reflection on the evolution of cultural heritage professions, transformation of work practices, institututional development, the relationship between heritage professions and society : this thematic strategy can be developed in scientific and cultural events, research seminars, workshops led by the students. It allows for a multidisciplinary approach with researchers from the different disciplines and ties in easily with the initial or ongoing training programme arrangements.