From April 22nd to July 8th, we have been contacting researchers that have carried out or plan to carry out EU-funded research in the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH). We asked for their views on a set of five questions, in order to take the pulse of the SSH research community and prepare a declaration that will be handed over to research policy makers at the event.
The European Commission proposals for the multi-annual framework for research and innovation (“Horizon 2020” – http://ec.europa.eu/research/horizon2020), discussed and modified by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, have structured research funding into interdisciplinary blocks defined as “societal challenges”. In this new structure, a new role for SSH is being envisaged. SSH are seen as core building block for realizing the Vision “Europe 2020” (http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/ ): an “integrated approach” will replace previously existing dedicated funding streams.
With a view to this unprecedented role that has been assigned to SSH research in Europe, the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU has decided to dedicate a specific conference to this discussion.The conference’s steering committee has decided to launch an online consultation on how to shape the roles of SSH in “Horizon 2020”. The objective is to learn more about the current situation and the ambitions of the research community, but also to identify the needs and structural problems of specific fields, with an emphasis on their potential to contribute to the success of the Vision Europe 2020.
We have been circulating this consultation to the wider SSH research community, irrespective of whether individuals or institutions are already active in EU-funded research. Indeed we believe it is of great importance to reach out also to those SSH communities that have not yet been involved in EU-funding. This includes researchers who are based outside Europe, but are in cooperation with colleagues in Europe.
Results of the consultation will be made publicly accessible online after the conference. However, they will also provide valuable input for the Vilnius declaration on “Horizons for Social Sciences and Humanities” to be handed over to the EU Council of Minsters by the Lithuanian Minister of Science and Education.
Until August 306 responses reached the Steering Committee that can be used for analysis. Many of them contain highly elaborated statements. They were primarily analysed in regard to the conference topics in order to integrate this expertise in the discussions in each session. In a second analysis phase later this fall/winter the results of the consultation process will be made publicly accessible online and will provide further input for the Conference Report on “Horizons for Social Sciences and Humanities”.
You can find the set of questions of the consultation request here: