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Trans-national co-operation among National Contact Points for Socio-economic Sciences and the Humanities (SSH NCPs)

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Networking to boost socioeconomic sciences and humanities research

An EU initiative helped foster a national contact point (NCP) network dealing with socioeconomic sciences and humanities (SSH). The network aims to guide researchers in securing EU funding.

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Europe funds networks of NCPs for various fields of research. The main role of the NCPs is to foster exchange among researchers. The EU-funded NET4SOCIETY3 (Trans-national co-operation among national contact points for socio-economic sciences and the humanities (SSH NCPs)) project is the second extension to an NCP project first started in 2008. A series of documents were delivered to raise awareness of the relevance of SSH and boost their visibility in European Framework Programmes (FPs). These mainly include a policy brief on interdisciplinary research design, a position paper on the state of SSH in FPs, a report about the participation of new Member States in the FPs, and annual reports about SSH integration in the context of Horizon 2020 and its respective funding opportunities. A workshop was also held to support better integration of SSH in Horizon 2020. A two-day high-profile international conference gathered more than 350 European researchers, funders, administrators and policymakers in order to strengthen the European Research Area (ERA) in SSH and reduce fragmentation of the SSH research community. A thematic brokerage event was also held to promote networking and consortium building among SSH researchers. Three targeted workshops and two training activities were held to support NCPs and researchers in transitioning from the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to Horizon 2020. Project partners extended an online directory of researchers and key players in SSH. The database facilitates research cooperation in Europe. The project further established a network comprised of over 80 European and international NCPs from around 50 countries. In a survey, over 70 % of participating NCPs rated the benefits of the project as 'excellent'. NET4SOCIETY3 helped the research community advise on FP7 and transition to Horizon 2020 by providing necessary knowledge. The project ultimately increased the visibility of European SSH research and boosted its impact.

Keywords

Socioeconomic sciences and humanities, national contact point, Horizon 2020, Seventh Framework Programme

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