The integration of Social Sciences and Humanities research (SSH) in Horizon 2020 projects comes with great opportunities but also with certain challenges. For decades, the European research was mainly focused on the expertise of researchers specialised in life and physical sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Now, the Horizon 2020 policy looks further – it is based on a premise that integration of SSH aspects into European research is essential to generate new knowledge.
Net4Society – the Network of National Contact Points of Societal Challenge 6 ‘Europe in a changing world -inclusive, innovative and reflective societies’ prepared a short and informative factsheet about the added value of SSH integration, the main challenges and ways to overcome them in order to effectively integrate SSH in a Horizon 2020 project.
Have a look at the fact sheet and learn how to ensure fruitful SSH integration!
The broad integration of the SSH within the Societal Challenges and Industrial Leadership priorities is an exercise that provides both opportunities and challenges:
One the one hand it provides opportunities by creating more scope for SSH contributions under more thematic areas and more topics than before.
On the other hand it also creates new challenges since this new approach necessitates a change of mind towards more interdisciplinarity.
This second monitoring and evaluation report assesses in a thorough and detailed manner how the different SSH disciplines have been integrated into the projects funded in 2015 under the Societal Challenges and the Industrial Leadership priorities. The report illustrates the progress of the new policy on the integration of SSH as a cross-cutting issue but it also points out to areas where further efforts for SSH integration are needed.
For decades, European research was primarily based on the expertise of researchers specialised in life and physical sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Now, the new Horizon 2020 policy looks further – it is based on a premise that integration of social sciences and humanities (SSH) aspects into European research projects is indispensible to generate new knowledge and innovation.
SSH encompasses various disciplines – from sociology, psychology, communication and political science to economics, history , culture, law and ethics. It is evident that the knowledge for solving different societal challenges, including those related to the environment field, is spread across STEM and SSH disciplines. SSH integration in Horizon 2020 projects can yield innovative solutions and products that are socially acceptable, directly applicable, marketable and cost-effective. In addition, SSH integration can substantially enhance the impact of the project and support effective dissemination of results and communication with the target group and the wider public.
What does SSH integration mean in practice?
SSH experts contribute to framing Horizon 2020 topics and, consequently, the SSH aspects determined by them must be adequately addressed in Horizon 2020 proposals. In addition, evaluation panels include SSH expertise and the evaluators are trained on how to identify and evaluate SSH aspects. Given the above, inclusion of SSH expertise in project proposals can substantially increase evaluation scores and consequently raise a chance for a grant.
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