Research project

Research prize 2018
for his work on the various dimensions of poverty and the living conditions of homeless people

After studying mathematics and statistics, Maryse Marpsat worked in INSEE’s research unit on the unemployed in the 1930s. She then joined the Social Studies division as head of urbanization studies, before becoming editor-in-chief of Social Data and finally head of the division.

In 1993, following a request from the CNIS to conduct a pilot survey of homeless people, she joined INED as head of the research program on homeless people and marginal housing situations. With Jean-Marie Firdion, she adapted a survey method used in the United States to the French (Parisian) context, the first French survey based on a representative sample. This method was adopted by INSEE in 2001, in its first national survey on the subject. As part of projects supported by the European Commission, she leads the international CUHP group (Constructing Understandings of the Homeless Population). With an American homeless man, Albert Vanderburg, she co-wrote a book entitled Le monde d’Albert la Panthère (The World of Albert the Panther), describing his life on the streets and his previous experiences. In 2006, she returned to INSEE as project manager for homeless people and marginal housing situations, and took part in the 2012 national survey of the homeless.



The French Red Cross Foundation’s Research Prizes are designed to promote scientific work that has already been completed, or innovative lines of thought devoted to humanitarian and social issues, in both the North and South. Open to all disciplines of the human and social sciences and to all nationalities, they reward scientific excellence and human commitment, promoting scientific knowledge, ethical reflection and social innovation to advance action in the service of the most vulnerable.