ECAF provides access to field research in Asia through a dense network of more than twenty centres in sixteen countries operated by the Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient (Paris), the Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente (Rome), the Asien-Afrika-Institut (Hamburg), and the Südasien-Institut (Heidelberg). The mission of ECAF field centres is to be valued physical hubs in important Asian locations which:
- possess and make accessible unique, rich, on-the-ground academic expertise and resources
- draw visiting European scholars into new and stimulating interactions with each other and with local academic partners within and across disciplinary boundaries (including, for example, hosting or co-organising international lectures, workshops and seminars)
- facilitate enriching exchanges and engagement with local languages / cultures / communities / environments
- support international collaborations and enable new world-class research
- provide practical / logistical support to early-career scholars and those new to the area
- develop dialogues with local and international networks, agencies and communities of interest outside the academic world (including, for example, local European diplomatic personnel, Non-Governmental Organisations, and community-based groups).