Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Social Sciences and Humanities researchers rate EU funding as the key to internationalisation

09.12.2010
“Social sciences and humanities researchers are not active in EU research!” This is a common misconception recently proven wrong. The “Socio-Economic and Humanities Programme (SSH)” of the European Union Seventh Framework Research Programme (FP7) is considered a gateway for researchers into international research cooperation. This positive response is one of the key results of a recent survey of SSH researchers and scholars around Europe and beyond, carried out by the EU-funded NET4SOCIETY project. NET4SOCIETY is a network of National Contact Points assisting SSH researchers’ engagement in FP7.

The survey focused exclusively on the experience and assessment of SSH researchers within FP7. The goal was to investigate the main barriers and incentives identified by SSH researchers in regard to their involvement in FP7 and to gain insights into their experience within the specific SSH programme and across the other themes of FP7. More than 450 researchers from 39 countries contributed to the survey via an online questionnaire, and an additional 100 researchers in 29 countries were interviewed this summer.

Two out of three SSH researchers said their primary motivation to participate in this challenging and bureaucratically intense programme is the international research environment and the interdisciplinary opportunities it offers. This assessment was endorsed by a UK project coordinator who stated ”the most important incentive for working on an FP7 project is the wealth of international contacts you develop as you’re going along. It allows you to broaden your approach and look at how other countries solve social problems”. An indicator for the scope of international cooperation in SSH are the 67 countries currently participating in the SSH projects.

Typically, European SSH research teams include six to nine international partners. This working environment – often misconceived as too large and diverse to be attractive – is considered a very important approach, which can only be complemented, but not replaced by other schemes which fund individual researchers, such as the ERC.

Women find the SSH programme attractive, with a participation rate of over 32%. While gender balance remains a problem in FP7, the SSH programme currently comes closest to achieving the European Commission’s goal of increasing the overall participation of female researchers to 40%.

While putting to rest some typical misconceptions often voiced about FP7, numerous issues were criticized. Over-subscription to calls and low success rates are considered a massive barrier for SSH researchers. In total more than 1.700 proposals have been submitted, whereas 134 project have been funded so far. With a success rate of under 10%, the SSH programme has the lowest success rate in the FP7 Cooperation programme, while at the same time attracting proposals of the highest quality. While being the world’s largest SSH research programme, with a total budget of 623 million Euro for 7 years, this programme by far commands the smallest budget within the Cooperation Programme. Inadequate budgets have repeatedly led to a substantial number of excellent proposals, scoring 14.5 out 15 possible points, being denied funding.

Researchers were divided in their opinions of the new “societal challenges” approach introduced in 2009. While the general idea was welcomed, the implementation and especially the larger size of the projects are seen as problematic in terms of project management and consortium building.

Other recommendations for improvements include the concentration of funding on small and medium scale collaborative projects. Another point stressed was the need for a greater emphasis on humanities-oriented research. Three out of four SSH researchers would also welcome the inclusion of bottom-up funding possibilities within the context of the SSH programme.

Overall, the answers and comments of the research community indicate a high approval of the current programme and there are high expectations that FP8 will include a more appropriate budget, recognising the great potential that the European SSH research community has to offer.

The report “SSH experiences with FP7 – a midterm commentary”, resulting from the NET4SOCIETY survey, will be published in the beginning of 2011.

Contact

NET4SOCIETY project:
contact@net4society.eu
NET4SOCIETY survey:
Christina Bitterberg
German Aerospace Centre, Project Management Agency
Christina.Bitterberg@dlr.de

Petra Richter | idw
Further information:
http://www.dlr.de
http://www.net4society.eu

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>