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Mapping the population, careers, mobilities and impacts of advanced research degree graduates in the social sciences and humanities

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Extensive analysis of key contributions by social sciences and humanities graduates

Policymaking strategies may inadvertently favour investment in and exploitation of research in sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics over social sciences and humanities (SSH). An EU initiative carried out a Europe-wide study of SSH graduates to determine whether this is in fact the case.

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The EU-funded POCARIM (Mapping the population, careers, mobilities and impacts of advanced research degree graduates in the social sciences and humanities) project focused on PhD holders from 10 Member States and Norway, Switzerland and Turkey who were awarded their SSH degrees between 2000 and 2012. A series of policy briefs were produced that focused on six core SSH themes: career paths; research impact; networking; interdisciplinarity; international mobility; and partnering, parenting and caring. The policy briefs were complemented by 13 in-depth policy reports that expanded on these themes. A survey conducted electronically in the 13 POCARIM countries generated more than 1 000 responses and highlighted various important aspects. Research revealed that the majority of SSH graduates sought a career in academia and research. Using the survey as a basis, 325 SSH PhD holders working in various industries and organisations throughout all partner countries were interviewed. All outputs were fed into a final report targeting research policymakers and other stakeholders that outlines key findings and 30 recommendations based on the 6 themes. Overall, findings show that SSH graduates are creative, eager and involved in a broad range of activities that lead to impactful results. SSH research has clearly contributed to the social and economic challenges facing Europe today. POCARIM enhanced the understanding of the mobility and impacts of SSH researchers in the 13 participating countries and beyond.


Social sciences and humanities, research degree, career paths, research impact, international mobility

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